[00:00:00] This is Discover a New You Through Recovery, an addiction and recovery podcast through a series of interviews with clinicians and addiction experts. This podcast tells the story of what addiction really looks like and what makes recovery truly possible. We’ll discuss everything you need to know about the nature of addiction, how to identify if it’s time to seek treatment, combating common misinformation and what treatment means, what it feels like and how to get it. From Niznik Behavioral Health and Discovery Point Retreat, I’m your host Noelle Carmen.

[00:00:44] Hi everyone, and welcome once again to Discover a New You Through Recovery. I’m your host Noelle Carmen and we are talking about behavioral health and substance use today, and more specifically, what clinical treatment for those struggling with addiction looks like. With me today is Diosa Moran. She is the V.P. of Clinical Services for Niznik Behavioral Health, the parent company for Discovery Point Retreat. Also with me today is my fave, Greg Powers. He is our local Texas clinical director. Welcome to the show, thank you so much for being here.

[00:01:19] Thank you for having us.

[00:01:21] And just before we jump in, just so you know, Discovery Point Retreat is here in Waxahachie and Ennis and offers the full continuum of services for substance use disorder. Okay, so let’s just jump right into our conversation. Diosa, so excited to have you here. Tell us a little bit about who you are and why you’re passionate about what you do. Thank you.

[00:01:43] Thank you. So, yeah, V.P. of clinical services for all of NBHR, which is the umbrella company. So I’m excited that I get to oversee three clinical divisions, one with substance use as the primary diagnosis, mental health as another primary diagnosis, although it’s all mental health, and eating disorder as the other diagnosis.

[00:02:05] Why I’m so passionate about what I do is I think just personally and professionally, I just have this drive to be able to empower people, to be able to witness people and be a witness to their lives and have been able to do that through behavioral health, mental health.

[00:02:27] So this kind of segways beautifully into what we were just talking about, which is seeing addiction and the human spirit almost as separate entities, because we’re talking about this danger of just labeling someone as ‘you are an addict.’ And that’s what you are and that’s your struggle for the rest of your life. You were saying that you kind of define it a little bit differently, especially with regards to clinical treatment and the services that Niznik Behavioral Health offers.

[00:02:59] Yeah, I think it’s important to look at it from two aspects. One, from a clinical aspect. It’s important to have a diagnosis only because if you don’t have the accurate diagnosis, the interventions are different. You wouldn’t want to walk into a doctor’s office with a cold and get treatment for cancer. So just, you know, similarly in behavioral health, you want to make sure that the diagnosis is accurate. And the way to do that is to kind of uncover and be that witness for that person to really kind of figure out who they are and, you know, what they want and where they’re leading them to. So having that diagnosis is important so we can have the accurate interventions because every intervention is different. But from just a simple human aspect, taking out those diagnoses when you’re with them in an individual setting or even in a group setting is really important. Seeing them as a person and who they are as well as how they want to be seen and empowering that. And kind of meeting them where they’re at and being able to, like I said, be a witness to them and empower them to be in that journey with them, you know, and that direction that they want.

[00:04:13] Because doesn’t a lot of this have to do with stigma? It is the fear of being labeled, stigmatized, and then not being able to actually move into a functional life just because of the label itself.

[00:04:27] Correct. I love how you say energy; I think energy is so important. So I think when someone is labeled with a, you know, a specific title that kind of encompasses who they are, defines who they are.

[00:04:39] And I think, you know, it kind of also sets that tone where if we kind of create a fluid type of energy where, you know, this is a part of their life and, you know, maybe a couple of pages in their life, that they have a whole book to write all these chapters and that this is just a piece of who they are, a part of who they are. Not all of who they are. That it’s very fluid and that this energy can be very fluid as well.

[00:05:04] Talk to us a little bit about trauma, because trauma also along with the stigma, along with the labeling, this can be a really like a recipe for disaster, right? Where recovery seems almost impossible.

[00:05:20] Yeah. You know, trauma is such a hot topic and something I’m very passionate about. In, like, my research and, you know, obviously my experience, I think not that everything is trauma related, but there’s so much in our life that is about trauma. I think as an American culture, there are certain things that we could do better in really fostering that transition, you know, from young adulthood to adulthood. And I feel like sometimes the conduit to get to adulthood is something traumatic. And why I say that is because when you have these diagnosis, it feels like a lot of these trauma stories is kind of what activates some of these diagnoses. And, not to say that every single diagnosis is trauma base, but I think a lot of it is. I think it’s like a characteristic that really infuses the energy of these diagnoses.

[00:06:18] And if we can kind of really support our culture, you know, ritualistically and having these healthy transitions from like young adulthood to adulthood and even midlife to on and on and on. I think we can see where these diagnoses are not so heavy in its energy.

[00:06:36] Because the notion of being diagnosed with something means that is your illness for the rest of your life. That is your diagnosis. It’s written on a paper by some medical doctor somewhere. And so you are saying that you are constantly fighting this notion, especially as clients come in. What sets us apart in terms of boots on the ground treatment in addressing these things?

[00:07:03] Yeah, I love that question because so much of what we do really needs to be holistic and comprehensive, right? So when I say holistic, I’m not just looking at things from a clinical aspect. I’m also looking at things from a medical aspect, from even a nutritional aspect, from a behavioral aspect. It’s so important to include all of these pieces in treatment. You know, I talked to Greg often, you know, him being the V.P. and clinical director in DPR in Texas, that, you know, my hope is that we are really filtering this through and all of our programs. And Greg is such a great part of that, making sure that that happens. So when I say holistic, that it’s not just one area of focus that we are really encompassing all of these areas of focus to provide an abundance of resources and skills for these individuals, clients to be able to utilize. So that’s one part of it. The other part is that not only are we holistic, but comprehensive. That we’re also looking at many other factors, many modalities. So it’s not just basic psycho education. It’s also process.

[00:08:13] It’s also, you know, other things that, yes, can be evidence based, but not always evidence base. I’ll give you a perfect example. You know, someone who’s able to do an expressive arts group, for example, can really get something that really will resonate with them over maybe, you know, just a basic life skills group. And so I love that our company has all of these resources, modalities, so that it’s not a one size fits all. If this modality doesn’t work, then they can try another one. If this group doesn’t work, then there’s another resource and that they get to choose the skills that resonate best for them.

[00:08:52] So you’re really talking about this idea of very individualized treatment. And when everyone walk– any person that walks in the door, you are seeing them as a separate entity. We’re not trying to take clients and fit them into some mold that we’ve created.

[00:09:11] Yeah. And that’s the beauty of our clinicians, too, because they all have these different experiences, expertise, credentials, resources, certifications. And I love that. It’s so important that, you know, it’s not just one person focusing on one kind of modality or certification. It’s that we have all of these things. So we have multiple things in our toolbox to be able to meet the client where they’re at because every single client’s different.

[00:09:38] What would you say in terms of– so our listeners are, ‘Okay, this sounds good. This sounds like there might be some hope here for me. What kind of a message are you wanting to send from Niznik Behavioral Health, from Discovery Point Retreat directly to those in need of our services?

[00:09:57] Well, that’s a loaded question, but I feel like it’s such an important question.

[00:10:05] So I really feel that our clinicians, our staff really meet the clients where they’re at. Why I repeat that is because it really is true. It’s so important. One of the first things that I learned about the clinical team across NBH is that they are all very passionate about what they do. They love what they do. There is not one person that I have met that is not dedicated to their craft, but not just their craft. Their purpose in service, like this is to give back and to be a service. And I love that, you can’t fake that passion. You know, it’s very, very real, very authentic. The other pieces that we have the resources to be able to provide these individuals and go as deep as they want. Or as superficial as they need. That their journey can be at the very beginning or maybe at the very end of their recovery. And we can provide a multitude of resources up to date science behind it, which is important because we have things that continue to evolve. And I think that’s wonderful to be able to utilize all these resources and provide that to our clients.

[00:11:16] Greg, a message of hope from you as well. In terms of, you know, you’re the clinical director here, boots on the ground in Texas. What would you say?

[00:11:28] You know, I think listening to this conversation has been great. And the thing that keeps resonating to me and one of the things that we really focus with, not only our clinical team, but how we work with our clients is taking the approach of not ‘what is wrong with you’ or ‘what is your diagnosis’, but ‘what’s happened to you’. And, you know, it’s about taking the medical, the clinical- whatever you want to call it- aspect out of the addiction and the mental health issue and really talking about where that client is. You know, what’s happened to you in your life? And that’s so important because so many times people will walk into a clinic and they want to know, ‘Okay, well, what is your diagnosis?’ Well, let’s talk about how we got there first, and that’s so important. And so whether we’re talking about addiction or trauma or mental health, you know, it’s it really is taking that one step further of going to where the client is and being able to relate.

[00:12:32] I mean, how many of us can sit here and talk about– you know, we’ve had certain things happen in our life that was significant, that has impacted us through adulthood, right? it’s taking that human facto. Taking the medical out of it and being more human. And that’s kind of the approach that we take at DPR and through Niznik is getting through all the messiness of medicine and in mental health and all that, and getting back to the human and talking about who you are, where you’re at, and how can we help.

[00:13:07] You know, it’s a beautiful thing to really look at what that journey is. And it is a privilege and an honor that people allow us to take that journey with them. And, you know, we get to see some beautiful things. So there’s hope and recovery. And, you know, if I can say if we do anything really well, it’s about getting back to that human factor.

[00:13:32] Greg Powers, Diosa Moran, thank you so much for being here on Discover a New You Through Recovery. I want to thank our audience for tuning in and have an amazing day.