Spotlight Series – Stephanie J. Smith
Stephanie J. Smith, MA, LPC, CAP, LCDC – Clinical Director at Hanley Center
After winning the war against her own battles with drug and alcohol addiction, Stephanie decided to leave behind her career as an investment counselor and make addiction counseling her profession. For her, this was an easy choice because she enjoys experiencing and aiding the daily growth of her clients. Stephanie guides clients through the recovery process to help them gain freedom – both from their addictions and from the struggles of their lives. Stephanie draws upon her past experiences and training to better relate to her patients and provides an empathetic shoulder that clients at Hanley Center can trust and rely upon. The care that Stephanie demonstrates allows each patient to grow at his or her own pace enabling the individual to discover the happiness that recovery brings.
What brought you to Origins?
I was working at a great treatment center in the Texas Hill Country and received a call from a friend and former co-worker who was at Origins, letting me know that Hannah’s House was opening soon and that they needed a counselor. I honestly didn’t have any intention of leaving my current job, but I was curious about the program. Once I saw the facility, met the staff, and heard about the company’s philosophy, I immediately knew I was meant to work for Origins. I moved down about three weeks later and became one of the original primary counselors for Hannah’s House. I recently relocated again, and I am now the Clinical Director at Hanley Center in Florida.
If there were only one thing you could tell us about working in the area of treatment, what would it be?
I work in the clinical realm. I especially love doing trauma work with clients, and I am continually amazed at the resiliency of the men and women. I have learned to never give up hope or my belief in miracles. I’ve found that the answers and the ability to heal are always found within the individual; I just have the honor to help guide the person in their quest. I’ve learned that anyone can recover from the disease of addiction. Anyone.
Do you hold any credentials or certifications, or do you participate in any other professional activities outside of work?
I am a LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) and a LCDC (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) in the State of Texas as well as a CAP (Certified Addiction Professional) in the State of Florida. I have been trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Level I & II, and I stay current with the EMDRIA (EMDR International Association) as a professional member.
Are you in recovery yourself? If so, what do you love most about being in recovery?
I am a recovered alcoholic and addict with a sobriety date of September 2, 2004. What I love most about recovery is feeling that I can finally be and love myself as I am. I have had the opportunity to meet so many intelligent, funny, kind, and amazingly weird people just like me!!
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have any pets or engage in special hobbies?
I love reading, and I am usually quite content to hang out at home. I used to want to be a rock star when I grew up (thanks to Joan Jett and the Go Go’s). I’ve recently started to play, write, and record music again just for fun. Nothing moves me more than music. I used to have a longhaired Chihuahua named Garp who died unexpectedly about a year and a half ago. I’m slowly becoming ready to adopt another little guy or girl, but the problem is I want to adopt all the shelter dogs I see.
Is there anything else you might like to share?
We work to combat a fatal disease that if untreated causes heartache to so many. Having said this, I try to live my life by what I once heard someone say: ”My ability to recover is in direct proportion to my ability to laugh at myself.”
Hanley Center at Origins, part of the Origins Behavioral HealthCare family of addiction treatment centers, is located in a tropical campus setting in West Palm Beach, Florida. Hanley Center at Origins provides a broad range of programs based on the most advanced research in the disease of addiction. The center is a pioneer in programming for Baby Boomers and Older Adults. From detoxification and medical stabilization to individualized treatment and continuing-care planning, Origins is proud to provide the most innovative and effective treatment programs designed by professional experts. Hanley Center at Origins offers client-driven care, and clients in need of gender-specific treatment receive it. Older adults participate in co-ed programs with gender-specific groups.