Meet Gaia McVey, MS, LCPC Adolescent Clinical Supervisor

“Watching an individual change, succeed and grow through treatment is very motivating,” says Gaia McVey, Adolescent Program Clinical Supervisor at Gateway CarbondaleGaia McVey. With a wealth of experience in substance use disorder treatment, she works closely with her team at the Adolescent Male Residential Program.

“We are flexible in our individualized treatment planning and approach for adolescents. We use a great deal of interactive activities in our group counseling sessions to help teens learn new skills in a variety of ways,” explains Gaia. Gaia has been a member of the Gateway’s clinical team since 2000.

She obtained her Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the Rehabilitation Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.

 

9 Tips to Encourage Your Valentine to “Lean In” to Addiction Recovery

iStock_000008811652MediumIn honor of Valentine’s Day, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment reminds couples that selfless act of love can rekindle a sense of purpose in their Valentines. Without a doubt, the power of love can help people take the first step in overcoming alcoholism and/or drug addiction.

“An act of concern and support may arouse a renewed sense of personal power in others, which changes their perspective from ‘feeling forced’ or powerless to change to ‘feeling confident’ or capable of change,” explains John Larson M.D., Corporate Medical Director, Gateway Treatment Centers.

Building self-confidence and sense of purpose in your Valentine requires genuine respect and judgment-free affection from reliable “agents of change.” To help encourage an open approach versus a confrontation about substance abuse concerns, Gateway offers nine tips:

  1. Get smart about effects of alcoholism and drug abuse as well as potential treatment options to help facilitate a productive discussion.

  2. Timing is extremely important. Choose a time when your Valentine is sober and the mood is calm.

  3.  Set a caring and supportive tone for the conversation–anything less may backfire.
    – “You haven’t seemed to be yourself lately. Is everything okay?”
    – “What can I do to help the situation?”
  4. Use open-ended questions to draw out underlying feelings.
    – “It’s not uncommon for people to drink alcohol to try to appease their tough thoughts and feelings. What are some memories and feelings that trigger drinking?”
  5.  Talk less, listen more. Listen and respect everything your Valentine has to say, and resist interrupting.
    – “What are some of the things that make you happy when you’re not drinking?”
    – “What are some of the not-so-good things about drinking?”
  6. Use affirming statements to demonstrate understanding and to validate a loved one’s feelings. Validating a person’s feelings—no matter what he or she has to say—can help encourage self-guided change.
    – “You are under a tremendous amount of pressure so it’s no wonder you feel so overwhelmed.”
    – “That must have been devastating. I’m sorry you had to go through that.”
  7. Take with a grain of salt any accusations of blame or verbal abuse, and refrain from engaging in arguments.
    – “I understand this isn’t easy to talk about so I’m going to let that one go.”
  8. Substance abuse rattles one’s self esteem so be sure to express he or she deserves better, and is capable of achieving whatever change is desired.
    – “I’m not giving up on you. You are the most amazing person I know.”
  9.  If shut down, don’t take it personal. Rather, just listen and try to withhold frustration or it may be more difficult for him or her to open up later.

“Planting the seeds of recovery from addiction is a delicate balancing act requiring patience and unconditional love but it’s not impossible,” says Larson.

For more insights and tips about helping a person take on addiction issues, download Gateway’s Roadmap to Understanding Substance Abuse at RecoveryGateway.org/Roadmap.

Another Helpful Article: “What To Do When a Loved One Has a Substance Abuse Problem?”

Editors Note: This post was originally published in February 2015 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness February 2016.

In Honor of National Recovery Month, Gateway Alumnus Shares the Story of his Road to Recovery

In Honor of National Recovery Month in September, John Fields, Gateway Alumnus Shares His Recovery Story:

National Recovery Month, Gateway Alcohol and Drug Treatment CentersBy the time John Fields turned to Gateway, he was having a drink as soon as he woke up in the morning. He had become aware his drinking was out of control and that he needed help. “I knew I couldn’t quit on my own. I needed a safe place where I didn’t have access to drugs or alcohol,” John said.

John wanted to get his mind clear so he could begin to think rationally again. He also wanted to learn how to live on the outside without using alcohol

“Gateway gave me what I needed most, a safe place and the tools and knowledge I needed to live a sober life outside of treatment,” John explained.

John had been sent to drug treatment centers in the past by family members or managers at a job but he’d never gone to treatment for himself. Each time, he’d end up returning to his same routines. He never followed up with meetings or became involved in an alumni program, and he thought he could resume his old lifestyle with friends.

This time around, he was highly motivated and he also did his homework. John said, “Gateway is a much nicer facility than the others I looked at and the staff is great. These people know what they’re doing.”

Read John’s full story at RecoverGateway.org/AlumniSuccess>

Support your Recovery with a Healthy Lifestyle – Get Moving!

exercise benefits, substance abuse recoveryExercise can be a valuable part of the recovery process, and you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to see the benefits. Have you ever heard the expression, “little things mean a lot”? It applies to exercise too! There are many little ways you can work exercise into your day. These tips illustrate that you don’t need to join a fitness club in order to get some exercise. Following these simple suggestions can all add up to a healthier you!

Walk

One of the easiest ways to increase your activity level is to walk. Walking isn’t limited to going for a walk; you can take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away from the door, walk around your building during work breaks, or walk the dog.

Stand

You’ll do yourself well by standing up while talking on the phone or sitting up in a chair instead of lying on the couch to watch television. Need to talk to a co-worker? Consider skipping using email or the phone – and walk over to their desk or office!

Household Tasks

Doing your own housework is a great way to keep moving, and so is working in the yard. Put on your favorite music and dance or use music as a motivational background when you exercise.

At Gateway Treatment Centers, adults and adolescents can  how to address their substance use disorder and relapse prevention strategies. To learn more about treatment programs and recovery support at Gateway, please visit RecoverGateway.org.

Better Addiction Treatment Results with Evidence-Based Practices

Gateway drug rehab

Group Therapy Room at Gateway Chicago River North

Adults in Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment at Gateway Chicago River North are discovering how satisfying life can be in recovery through the use of evidence-based practices, such as Mindfulness-Based Sobriety and SMART Recovery.

Addiction typically derails one’s priorities and goals. With the support of a dedicated counselor, individuals re-connect with their core values, set and attain goals, and work through issues holding them back.

Evidence-based practices are treatments that integrate professional research and clinical expertise to achieve the best outcome for an individual. Gateway is a recognized leader in the use of evidence-based practices, treatment models that work.

To learn more about evidence-based practices used in outpatient treatment at Gateway Chicago River North, visit RecoverGateway.org or call 877-971-HOPE (4673).

 

Todd Bridges, Star of “Diff’rent Strokes,” Inspires Residents of Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment in Springfield

Gateway alcohol and drug treatment springfield, Todd Bridges, different strokes, Addiction Treatment

Jan Ruby, Outreach Coordinator, Gateway Springfield; Dana Schanholtzer, Midwest DNA and Drug Testing; Todd Bridges; Kerry Henry, Executive Director, Gateway Springfield

Former child actor, Todd Bridges, provided inspiration and substance abuse recovery guidance to the residents of Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment  in Springfield, IL on Friday, September 19, 2014. Bridges was a long time child actor on the television show, Diff’rent Strokes, and remains active in various movies and television shows today.

Bridges discussed his personal struggle with drug addiction and the damaging effects it has had on his life. During his presentation, Bridges elaborated on his various substance abuse treatment episodes and what it finally took for him to get his life back on track. He shared with adults in the audience the importance of working on themselves; and encouraged those with children to remember the impact drug addiction has on the entire family.  Bridges also encouraged  teens in attendance to make better choices with their young lives; pointing out  they risk losing their freedom, families and possibly their lives. Bridges sprinkled his presentation with humor and laughter and encouraged questions from the substance abuse treatment facility residents.

Remaining gracious and humble, Bridges demonstrated a real life example of how to overcome addiction by meeting life on life’s terms; one day at a time.  Gateway Treatment Centers would like to thank Mr. Todd Bridges for sharing his story.

 

Gateway Provides Addiction Treatment Resources at Recovery Walk Celebrating National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month, Gateway Treatment Centers, GAteway Alcohol & Drug TreatmentIn celebration of National Recovery Month, the Governors State University Addictions Studies Alumni Club sponsored their third annual Walk for Recovery on Saturday, September 20, 2014 in University Park, Illinois. Each year, this walk honors individuals recovering or seeking recovery and celebrates the treatment providers committed to helping them.

This free community event featured a two to three mile walk, an addiction treatment resource fair, and guest speakers, Peter Palanca, Executive Vice President and COO of  Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC, Inc.), Mark Sanders, CEO, On the Mark Consulting, and Comedian Jay Washington.

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers participated in the resource fair providing valuable addiction treatment information including our What’s a Parent to Do? Resource guide that helps parents understand the complexities surrounding adolescent drug and alcohol use. Download our free Parent Guide or view other addiction treatment resources at RecoverGateway.org/Resources.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Programs Offer Tools and Knowledge for Recovery

alcohol and drug abuse treatment programs, Gateway Treament CentersAt Gateway Treatment Centers, our clinical professionals specialize in providing substance abuse treatment to help you, or someone you love, get life back on track. Our substance abuse experts are committed to providing the most advanced treatment options in order to equip each individual with the recovery tools needed to manage addiction and maintain sobriety on an ongoing basis.

Gateway’s integrated approach encompasses counseling, substance abuse education, relapse prevention, treatment therapies to address underlying causes of alcohol and drug abuse, such as mental health and trauma issues, role playing to practice coping skills, medication assisted treatment (when appropriate) and aftercare.

To learn more about treatment and therapies for substance abuse offered through Gateway Treatment Centers, click the tools for recovery listed below. If you or someone you know needs help with substance abuse, please call to schedule a free, confidential consultation at (877) 505-HOPE.

Recovery Tools:

Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment
Family Involvement
Medication Assisted Treatment
Mindfulness
Substance Abuse Education
Motivational Interviewing
12-Step Facilitation
Trauma-Informed Therapies
Improving Social Skills in Young Men
Helping Women Recover

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment is Different…Find Out Why

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment CentersWhen someone chooses Gateway  Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers, our team of clinical professionals strives to ensure each person is treated with respect and feels empowered to turn their lives around. We don’t fixate about the past rather we look ahead to what life can be like in recovery, a life that is truly worth living.

At Gateway, shame dissipates and motivation appears. Families heal and reunite. The brave decision to manage substance abuse issues and the commitment it requires remaining sober is celebrated every day.

Here is what people who recently completed treatment at Gateway Treatment Centers have to say:

“I am truly thankful to have found my way to Gateway Chicago West. The ENTIRE staff has treated me with dignity and like a family member…they all have helped save my life!  I sincerely hope that anybody who needs help with substance abuse finds their way to Gateway.  Gateway is the family helping to save me and my family.”

“I am now 120 days clean and sober after trying to quit myself the past 40 years. I would and will recommend Gateway to anyone who has a problem like I have.”

“I have had a wonderful experience at Gateway, I have learned so much in the time I have spent in treatment. The program has offered me a lot of support outside the groups. I would recommend Gateway to anyone seeking help.”

Read More Success Stories

To learn more about Outpatient and Residential Treatment Programs and our free, confidential consultation, please call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Make It A Mindful New Year!

minduflness sobriety, gateway treatment centersWhat is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you:

  • NOTICE things you used to ignore or take for granted.
  • ACCEPT things as they are at any given moment rather than how you would like them to be.
  • OBSERVE and accept your thoughts, feelings, sensations and urges, without judgment and without reacting to them.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is highly effective in treating mood swings, stress, depression, grief and impulsivity–all of which are at risk of fueling addiction. Ultimately, people will do what they want. We cannot live their life for them. But once people reflect on what’s important to them, they may decide it’s time to let go of some things to live the life they want.

More often than not, people who come to Gateway Treatment Centers decide on their own that substance use is not consistent with their values. They realize that alcohol and drug use is holding them back.

  • Improves awareness and communication.
  • Enhances life skills, self-confidence.
  • Addresses co-occurring mental health issues like anxiety and impulsivity–that may have contributed to or resulted from substance use.
  • Reduces substance abuse and the likelihood of relapse.

To learn more about  mindfulness directly from Gateway’s mindfulness experts, please sign up for our free webinar later this month.

As part of an integrated treatment program, Gateway Treatment Centers use mindfulness to address relapse prevention for lasting recovery. To learn more about the tools and knowledge individuals can gain at Gateway Treatment Centers, please visit RecoverGateway.org  or call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

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