Tag Archives: Addiction Treatment

Tag Archives: Addiction Treatment

Fishing is an iconic American pastime. There is nothing like spending the day by the water with your friends and family, casting a line and enjoying the great outdoors. But did you know you can get more than a killer catch from a day of fishing? Fishing has benefits for your physical and mental health as well.

Join us for an informative and interactive session about the physical and mental health benefits of fishing and how you can apply this to you and your patients’ treatment process.


Facilitated by:

Kenny Davis, CPRS & Paul Citro, MBA, LADAC, NCACI, QCS, SAP


1.5 CEs available.

Course Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to take this skill of mindful fishing into their lives and apply it to their recovery and spiritual journey as well as the journeys of their patients.
  • Participants will gain understanding that mindfulness, spirituality and gratitude are something practiced, not just a feeling.
  • Participants will gain knowledge of how/when/where to implement this activity during the treatment process and how to process with patients.



Grounding is a practice that can help you pull away from flashbacks, unwanted memories, using thoughts and negative or challenging emotions.

This session will help both clients and clinicians develop techniques that can help distract from unwanted emotions or past memories and refocus on the present moment. This session will be experiential in nature and will explain and demonstrate several different types of grounding skills in the following categories- mental, physical and soothing. If you or your clients need help dealing with anxiety, PTSD, dissociation, self harm urges, traumatic memories or substance use disorders then this is the session for you.


1. Participants will learn the rationale behind using grounding skills
2. Participants will be able to identify which grounding skills are most useful in which situations.
3. Participants will be able to immediately  use the grounding skills they learn in the session.

About the Presenter:

Rebecca K. Griffith, MA LPC-MHSP, CTT (Certified Trauma Therapist), Certified EMDR Therapist

Rebecca is the Addictions & Trauma Specialist at Cumberland Heights. She has been at Cumberland Heights for almost 5 years, and also has a private counseling practice in Franklin, TN. Rebecca was the Counseling Center Director for Restore Ministries at the YMCA of Middle TN for 9 years before coming to Cumberland Heights. She has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since graduating with her Masters in Clinical psychology in 1988.
At Cumberland Heights, Rebecca does individual trauma and EMDR sessions with patients, leads educational groups about trauma and addiction and teaches a weekly Grounding skills group.

Building a Treatment Organization Through Ethical Business Development Standards and Practices

As the addiction treatment field wrestles with the uncertain impact of COVID-19, ethical business development and outreach practices are more important than ever to ensure that patients find appropriate placement, resources and treatment services to meet their needs. Join us for this presentation focusing on ethics in business development practices in a changing treatment landscape.

When: Friday, May 1, 2020 at 1:00 p.m EST/ 12:00 p.m. CST

THIS IS A ZOOM MEETING- You will receive Zoom ID Information closer to the event date. 


Who Should Attend: Business Development and Marketing professionals in the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Industry

Course Overview: Through the use of case studies, this presentation will identify key areas of learning for business development professionals that support ethical growth of personal business brand and represented company, including how to choose like-minded professional partners, how to grow referral channels, the different between ethical versus legal and how both impact brand trust, how to identify an ethical compensation structure for business development staff, and how to appropriately market online through digital media.

Course Objectives:

– Identify how to organically grow professional referral relationships that support long-term growth and sustainability.

– Define ethical versus legal.

– Understand when to admit and when to refer out: How clinically appropriate and inappropriate admits impact the bottom line and brand.

Course Outcomes:

1- How does choosing like-minded professional partners impact the organizational and business development professional’s personal brand, trust and bottom line?

2- What is the importance of mentoring, support, oversight and supervision in the role of new business development and marketing professionals in the field, and how does that lead to positive or negative outcomes for patients and families?

3- How important is it for a marketing professional to understand and access a potential patient’s clinical needs?

About the Presenters:

Alex Denstman started working at Ashley in 2009 as a Patient Care Coordinator and has since held several roles including Director of Alumni Services, Director of Clinical Outreach, and Vice President of Business Development. In his current role as Senior Vice President, Chief Growth Officer, he now oversees Intake, Clinical Outreach, Utilization Review, Patient Care Coordination, Communications, Alumni, and Development. Alex received his undergraduate degree from University of Baltimore in Health Systems Management with honors and is now pursuing his Master in Business Administration from University of Maryland Global College. His association with Ashley started in 2003 when, at age 20, he was a patient in our program. Alex has remained in recovery and is an active member of the local recovery community. He is passionate about using his personal experiences and 15+ year’s background in the industry to help ensure that patients, families, and referring professionals feel cared for and appropriately served at the intake and discharge stages of treatment and beyond.

Zach Snitzer is the co-owner and Director of Business Development at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center and is responsible for the business development, marketing, branding, public relations, communications, and social media strategies of the organization. Zach is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Marketing. Prior to his career working in addiction treatment, Zach worked in marketing, communications and public relations in both the sports and media industries. Due to his own personal journey of recovery, Zach had a vision of bringing world class long-term treatment to his home area that viewed addiction as a chronic illness and offered a continuum of care that truly aided in healing patients and families with a path of sustainable recovery. In addition to his duties at MARC, Zach serves on the Board of Directors of Valley/Bridge House, the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia Professional Liaison’s Association (DMV-PLA) leadership committee, and the National Advisory Board for the National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD.)

Tom Walker holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor and Qualified Mental Health Professional in the state of Virginia. He has been working in the substance use disorders and behavioral health field since 1999. Tom spent 10+ years providing direct care to clients and families as a counselor prior to beginning business development work with regional and national healthcare organizations and co-founding Encore in 2016. In addition, Tom has been in long-term recovery and actively engaged in the local recovery community since 1997. His work and personal recovery have been primarily focused in the Washington DC region, and as a native to the area, Tom is passionate about ensuring that the individuals and families living here have access to the highest quality of care possible.

This workshop aims to help attendees better understand substance abuse diagnosis, co-occurring issues and addiction in our society, shifts in treatment options and guide in the pain recovery processes. Attendees will be encouraged and will learn ways to provide useful methods for facilitating improved understanding and multiple approaches to address these problems from a clinical standpoint.

This presentation aims to help attendees better understand substance abuse diagnosis, co-occurring issues and addiction in our society, shift in treatment options and guide in the pain recovery processes. Attendees will be encouraged and learn ways to provide useful methods for facilitating improved understanding and multiple approaches to address these problems from a clinical standpoint.





8:00-8:45 Registration Opens (Coffee served & Continental Breakfast)

8:45-9:00 Welcome to Attendees and CE announcements

9:00-10:30 The Blessings : Judith Crane, MA, LMHC, CAP, ICADC, CSAT

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-12:15 The Neurobiology of Trauma : Mandy Baker, MS, LCDC

12:15-1:15 Buffet Lunch

1:15-2:45 Collaboration Model for Substance Use Disorder: Dr. Gregory Boris

2:45-3:00 Break

3:00-4:30 The Science of Measurement in Substance Use Disorder Treatment : Nicholas Hayes, PhD

4:30-4:45 Closing, Evaluations

Total Hours: 6.00 CE’s



Continuing Education

This program is co-sponsored by BRC Recovery and The Institute for Continuing Education. The program offers 6.00 contact hours, with full attendance required.

There is no additional fee for making application for continuing education credit. Application forms and other CE materials will be available on site. CE verifications are mailed to attendees within 30-days following the event. If you have questions regarding the program, continuing education learning objectives, presenters, agenda, contact The Institute at: 800-557-1950 / email: instconted@aol.com

NOTE: To receive continuing education credit, applicants must complete all CE materials, sign in/out at designated locations, and submit an evaluation form for the sessions attended.

NOTE: It is the responsibility of the attendee to determine if CE credit offered by The Institute for Continuing Education meets the regulations of their state licensing/certification board, including the Ethics Workshops scheduled.

Psychology: The Institute for Continuing Education is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute for Continuing Education maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Counseling/ MFT: Counselors will be provided with a Certificate of Attendance.

Social Work: The Institute for Continuing Education is recognized as an approved provider of continuing education by the Texas State Board of Social Workers Examiners, Provider 1416, expiration 4/30/20.

Non-Credit Events: Registration, breaks, and lunch

Skills Level: This program is open to mental health professionals of all skill levels.

Instructional Methodology: May include lecture, demonstration,  and audio/visual.

ADA: If you have special needs, please contact Ruth Ann Rigby at: Rrigby@brcrecovery.com

MCCME: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the MS State Medical Association and BRC Recovery. The MS State Medical Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The MS State Medical Association designates this live activity for a maximum of 5.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Adolescent and Young Adult Continuum of Care: Increasing Engagement and Decreasing Trauma

The young adult population can be difficult, challenging, and rewarding to intervene on. Developmental issues, drug impact upon an undeveloped brain, and lack of impulse control potentially escalating to violence must be considered and evaluated. As Interventionists and behavioral health experts, we have learned just as much from our missteps than we have from our successes; the entire evolutionary process has shaped a new set of guidelines for safely and effectively engaging adolescents, their families/support systems, the treatment they seek and the long-term strategy for keeping everyone anchored to the most beneficial path. Without effective communication, awareness of emerging trends, and healthy engagement by everyone involved, the long-term continuum of care suffers. Our workshop will address the best ways we’ve learned to secure optimal, long-term outcomes.

This workshop is designed to help identify the differences in intervening on the young adult while effectively implementing a long-term continuum of care that engages the entire support system, while teaching participants to recognize and embrace the emerging trends they must acknowledge in order to maintain success. In addition, the participants will learn skills to handle and de-escalate conflict and liability within the intervention and throughout the continuum of care.

Learning Objectives:

• Attendees will be able to identify differences in working with the young adult/adolescent struggling with substance use and co-occurring disorders.
• Attendees will be able to describe specific techniques to assist in crisis situations that may occur during an intervention with young adults/adolescents.
• Attendees will discuss co-occurring disorders that must be considered during the intervention and in treatment placement for young adults and adolescents.


About the Presenter:

Adolescent and Young Adult Continuum of Care

Heather Hayes is the Founder and CEO of Heather R. Hayes & Associates, Inc. She is a Master’s Level, Licensed Counselor, Board Registered Interventionist (CIP) and Certified ARISE Interventionist. Mrs. Hayes received her B.A. from Emory University and her M.Ed. from Antioch University in Counseling Psychology. A veteran of the behavioral health field, she has over 30 years of experience working with addictions and other disorders and specializes in the treatment of adolescents/ young adults, trauma, brain disorders, complex mental health issues and the full spectrum of addictive disorders.

Known as one of the country’s most prominent authorities on these topics, Ms. Hayes is a coveted speaker on the national and international stage and has been published in numerous journals, books, and other industry publications. Recognized for her comprehensive and trauma-informed approach to addiction and intervention, Ms. Hayes serves as an on-air expert and consultant for CNN and Dr. Oz and has been featured on A&E, ABC, CBS, BBC, FOX, and NBC. In addition, Ms. Hayes is a featured interventionist on the 2018 & 2019 seasons of A&E’s high profile show Intervention.

Throughout her career in addiction treatment, Mrs. Hayes has worked to connect with her clients at their greatest points of suffering. She strives to offer clients and their families a place of safety as they navigate the recovery journey and works with the entire family system to support long-term healing. As an independent interventionist, Mrs. Hayes does not have financial relationships with any treatment centers or clinicians. Over 90% of the individuals who go through the intervention process with her seek treatment.

Outside of work, Heather uses her expertise to give back to her community as a volunteer psychological profiler with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department Hostage Negotiation and SWAT Team.


NASHVILLE, TN JANUARY 22, 2020 – Cumberland Heights is proud to announce it has become the only addiction treatment center in the state of Tennessee to achieve the national Blue Distinction Center designation given by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Cumberland Heights is proud to announce it has become the only addiction treatment center in the state of Tennessee to achieve the national Blue Distinction Center designation given by Blue Cross Blue Shield

The program recognizes providers that demonstrate expertise in delivering quality specialty care in a way that is safe, effective and cost efficient. The goal of the program, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield, is to help consumers find both higher quality and more affordable healthcare for their specialty care needs, while providing a credible foundation on which employers may customize their employee benefits. Designations are awarded based on criteria that support delivery of timely, coordinated, multi-disciplinary, evidence-based care with a focus on quality improvement and patient-centered care.

The designation for Cumberland Heights comes on the heels
of another big announcement. Late last month our facility became the first addiction treatment center in Tennessee, and one of the first in the nation, to achieve certification by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

“Both the Blue Distinction designation and the ASAM certification are big honors and affirms our dedication to provide the highest level of care to our patients and their families. We take pride in carrying on traditions created here more than 50 years ago, while also being at the forefront of cutting-edge practices to give patients the tools they need to live a life free from addiction,” said CEO Jay Crosson.

About Cumberland Heights

Cumberland Heights’ mission is to transform lives, giving hope and healing to those affected by alcohol or drug addiction. For more than 53 years we’ve helped those struggling rewrite their story and live a life filled with hope.

From the earliest days of mankind, spirituality has served as a search for meaning and understanding. It helped our ancestors to explain natural disasters, motivate communities and overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It shouldn’t be surprising that spirituality remains integral to our daily lives, especially for those in recovery – mindfulness, self-care and the acknowledgement of a higher power are all referenced in almost all popular approaches to addiction treatment. Today, we’ll explain the key differences between spirituality and religion, while providing some tips about how to integrate a spiritual approach into your recovery.

The Difference Between Spirituality and Religion

While these terms are often considered synonymous, key differences exist between spirituality and religion.

Religion, by definition, is an institutional system of religious attitudes, practices and beliefs that exists to explain the service and worship of a higher power, which may take the form of one (or more) gods. Most major world religions are based on the teachings and beliefs of historical or symbolic figures, such as Jesus Christ, Moses, Buddha or Muhammad. There isn’t much room to customize a religion – it often exists in a prescribed format, with concentration on rites, rituals, scriptures, observances and houses of worship.

Spirituality, in contrast, refers to the general experience of connecting to something more than yourself; it can involve seeking and exploring one’s meaning and purpose. It is more closely related to practical appreciation of spiritual teachings and personalized experience. This journey is inward in nature and focuses on awareness, rather than the performance of rituals or activities.

Characteristics of spirituality include :

  • A heightened state of awareness, perception or being
  • Informing, empowering and connecting an individual
  • A relationship with one’s self (and resources beyond the self)
  • Values and qualities of character
  • Changed, intentional lifestyle choices
  • Motivation and catalytic power to make a change

Why Spirituality Helps Us Recover

During active addiction, your purpose in life is commandeered by drugs and alcohol. Your day-to-day life becomes consumed by obtaining, using and recovering from your substances of choice. Simultaneously, friends, family, hobbies and career obligations fall by the wayside. All resources are redirected to drugs and alcohol.

Because of this, you have to begin searching for your purpose anew once you leave your life of substance use behind. Many people who leave treatment experience a disturbing revelation: “I’m sober. Now what?” Spirituality is a key tool for answering this question. It encourages introspection and personal development while also promoting an attitude of gratitude and curiosity. This active state of inward exploration is vital to the recovery process – without seeking to understand oneself and one’s motivations, lasting change is nearly impossible to achieve.

Taking a Spiritual Approach

Many individuals in recovery describe spirituality as a turning point in their journey: a perspective they uncovered after a near-death experience (such as an overdose), troubling diagnosis, traumatic event or incarceration. However, you do not have to have a major life event to begin experimenting with spirituality. We have compiled a few tips for integrating this mentality into your daily life.

  1. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is at the root of spirituality. Develop an awareness of your inner self by sitting quietly and acknowledging the thoughts that arise. Avoid judging these thoughts or banishing them. Feel the ground beneath your feet and listen to the little noises around you. By slowing down and checking in with yourself, you’ll begin to build a regular spiritual practice.
  2. Walk in nature. Spending time in the great outdoors, particularly in the context of a state park or expansive forest, reminds us that we are a part of something greater than ourselves. Banish feelings of isolation and keep your problems in perspective by connecting with nature on a regular basis.
  3. Remember to be grateful. Gratitude is another fast-track to spiritual awareness. Keeping track of your blessings helps you to focus on the positives in life.
  4. Make a contribution. Helping others is a spiritual activity because it helps us to positively impact those in our community. Whether you’re reaching out to newcomers in at a meeting or organizing a volunteer day at your local food bank, dedicating your time to others is something that will boost your spiritual growth.

Spirituality in Recovery at Cumberland Heights

At Cumberland Heights, we understand that spirituality and recovery go hand-in-hand. Our spiritual care services are diverse and include sessions with our Spiritual Directors, experiencing the labyrinth and practicing mindfulness meditation. To learn more about our spiritual programming, contact our admissions staff at (866) 899-5231.

It’s hard to believe some of us were alive during a time when addiction was still considered a moral failing. Doctors didn’t recognize addiction as a disease until 1956, and even then, many people were skeptical. The addiction treatment field has come a long way since, and we continue to make strides every year. Even in the last decade, the people we treat, how we treat them and the language we use has evolved. I sat down with many Cumberland Heights employees, including our CEO Jay Crosson to talk about how treatment in the field of substance abuse has changed over the last 10 years, as well as the expectations and hopes for the 2020s.

Jamie Lee CurtisOne battle we seem to have been fighting for years is erasing the stigma. Yes, we’ve made waves, but the consensus is we still have a lot of work to do. In recent years, more public figures have been recovering out loud, and their message is reaching a broader audience because of a little thing called social media.

“On social media I see a variety of actors and singers come out, and they’re willing to be more vulnerable and talk about stepping into recovery. It has opened the door for a lot of people to not feel so heavy with shame about accepting help,” said Women’s Program Director Melissa Hudgens.

I’m sitting around the conference table in the Women’s Department with the director, counselors and other clinicians. It’s their weekly clinical supervision meeting. Everyone is in good spirits. Some are kneading playdoh, others are filling up their coffee cups. There is definitely a family dynamic inside this room and it feels like a safe space to talk about anything. It’s clear to me in an instant how passionate these women are about their jobs.

On the heels of Melissa’s comment, counselor Christi Henderson chimes in.

“Yes, like Kristin Bell and her husband. They very much advocate counseling and make it cool. People want to be like them. They make seeking help smart and admirable instead of this negative, stigmatized thing.”

But with recovering out loud can come some added pressure Melissa notes.

“It can be twofold because when people become the face of AA and NA it can be troublesome. They are human beings and this disease is cunning, baffling and powerful. When or if someone ends up relapsing and society looks at is a failure for the program instead of what it is – a disease, then we lose ground. Hopefully with more education we can avoid this.”
Another positive change the women mentioned are the faces and backgrounds of not only the people we treat, but also our counselors and clinicians.

“As marginalized communities get more rights they can focus on what may have seemed like a secondary problem before, alcohol and drug treatment. When you’re fighting for basic human rights, getting treatment isn’t at the top of your list. As we progress, more doors are opening for marginalized communities to seek treatment, “said Executive Administrative Assistant Maria Michonski.

Case manager Kim Seator adds that for so long, research on addiction treatment has been done on Caucasian males. Now we are focusing more on people of color, LGBTQ communities and those with a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. We’re asking questions like, ‘How does an LGBT person experience treatment? ‘What areas do they struggle in that others do not?’ ‘How would someone from a different ethnic community experience this?’ Cumberland Heights holds trainings to answer those specific questions, and it has helped us better treat our changing population.

“We’ve heard from patients and their stories in relation to how they came out and how their walk has been as an LGBTQ person. People have expressed going through their whole time in treatment and never talking about their sexual orientation and downplaying what their relationship is with their partner. So being able to know the treatment center they are in is a safe and affirming place for them allows them to start talking about things like domestic violence and relationships – maybe they weren’t sharing that before and now they can,” said Kim.

“I feel this too,” said counselor Chandra Reeves. “What has been a spark for marginalized people is seeing people in this field who look like them, like me, a woman of color. That’s huge – hearing from people who look like you who have had similar struggles.”

Man and Woman walking serenity trailWhat we still need to work on, the women agree, is getting those struggling from marginalized communities through the door. There is a lot of back and forth with insurance companies as case managers and counselors fight to get their clients more days in treatment. A large percentage of our clients are trauma survivors who need continuing care following their stay at Cumberland Heights. We offer many continuing care resources for no additional cost, but we can only do so much. Trauma care and therapy is often self-pay, which is a huge barrier for those who simply don’t have the funds.

In the middle of our discussion, Melissa starts to speak. She stops, looks around the table at all her employees and warns she’s about to get choked up.

With tears in her eyes she says, “You look around this room and know these counselors advocate for every woman no matter what they are going through. That is why I love this team so much. They have such a passion for working with every woman period. And changing what that looks like to meet their needs. That is why I come to work every single day.”

Speaking of passion, after I speak with the Women’s Department, I head up to our CEO’s office whose spirit for recovery has grown over the last 30 years – when he found freedom from substance abuse.

Jay Crosson got sober at Cumberland Heights when he was 26 years old and he’s stuck around ever since. From watering the plants around campus, to working in admissions and then as the chief financial officer to now CEO, he can’t imagine working anywhere else.

He too has seen a lot of progress in destigmatizing the disease of addiction, but says we still have a long road ahead. He does credit attention surrounding the opioid epidemic to creating awareness and understanding of a disease that does not discriminate.

“One of the silver linings to the opioid epidemic is that it has hit so many families across the country. There are few people who don’t know someone affected by that so in an odd kind of way it has helped the stigma. People are seeing it’s not just the junkie under the bridge. It prevails all levels of society, so while it’s horrible that we have this epidemic that is so wide spread, more people are talking about it,” said Jay.

He says when it comes to politics, the addiction epidemic is one of the few bi-partisan issues. He recalls the 2016 Presidential Campaign when several candidates, both democrats and republicans woman struggling with pillsspoke about family members who suffered.

How we talk about the disease has changed as well. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) advises treatment centers to use fewer stigmatizing words that “discourage, isolate, misinform, shame and embarrass.” Their language guide recommends treatment providers use the term substance use disorder (SUD) rather than addiction. SAMSHA says the term is helpful because it encompasses a range of severity levels, from problem use to dependence and addiction.

“Think about people with cancer. We don’t identify them based on their disease, so why do we do that with people who have a substance use disorder?” said Jay. “That’s why we like to use phrases like ‘I am a person in long-term recovery’ rather than ‘I am a recovering alcoholic.’”

Another notable move in the industry in the last decade was Google’s decision to shut down ad words in the addiction treatment space. Predatory marketers that did not provide any treatment services had mastered collecting online leads and selling them to the highest bidder to the detriment of legitimate treatment providers nationwide – and likely to many people who were seeking qualified help. Stopping these practices had become a top priority for industry organizations like the National Association of the Addiction Treatment Professionals (NAATP).

In Spring 2018, Google announced that it partnered with LegitScripts to screen providers that want to advertise using AdWords. To be approved under the new program, treatment providers had to complete an extensive review process focused on quality, safety and transparency. In the summer of 2018, Cumberland Heights was one of the first 100 treatments centers nationwide approved to participate in Google Adwords.

“I do think it cleaned out a lot of the bad traffic. The challenge has been that people are very creative and from time to time they find loopholes or ways around it. It has taken a lot of providers, us included, to be vigilant about that and report what we perceive to be fraudulent practices along the way, “said Jay.

Jay too, like most of us in the addiction treatment field, want to see better access to care in the next decade. His says this is a critical time, especially with dangerous drugs being so readily available.

“We’ve seen more young adults coming into treatment than we have in the past. Heroin has become more prevalent – it used to be that heroin was the drug in the last stage of addiction. Only people with opioid use disorders would be involved with it and now it’s so readily available across America at an affordable rate that you have kids in high school and colleges that might start by snorting it, but they progress really quickly,” said Jay. “Famous interventionist John Southworth once said to me, with alcoholics we may have 10 to 20 years to get them but with heroin and opioid users if we don’t get them in the first couple of years they are probably dead.”

The Tennessee Opioid State Targeted Response Grant, aimed at reducing the number of overdose related deaths through naloxone distribution, training, and improving access to treatment has helped some Jay says, but it’s still not enough.

“The larger global issue is that addiction is a chronic progressive illness like diabetes or hypertension and our reimbursement mechanisms are set to pay for short episodes of care. It just doesn’t match the disease and there is nobody willing to pay us to help manage a patient’s recovery for that first year to first five years. We’ve taken initiatives on our own, but we are not getting paid for it. As a non-profit we are willing to make some of those investments, but it would be better if we got paid along the way to help people stay sober and not return to treatment, “said Jay.

His outlook for the next decade is hopeful, but he knows changes on the state and federal level won’t come without a fight. On a smaller scale, advancements being made at Cumberland Heights are very promising.

In the last year we’ve hired a Chief Science Officer, Dr. Nick Hayes who is focusing on efficacious treatment protocols, predictive analytics, feedback-informed treatment procedures and collaborations with institutions of higher education for all Cumberland Heights programs.

Counselor at outpatient recovery center“We will be able to figure out which clinicians do better with which patient populations, which patient populations do better with certain levels of care or certain interventions or certain lengths of stay so that from the patient perspective it helps us to provide them with the right treatment at the right time based on their unique context and their symptomology,” said Nick.

Jay says in addition to outcomes, research and quality improvements is the strong foundation Cumberland Heights continues to build upon. We have a family work environment, a clinical staff that truly cares about patients and a big focus on family being involved in treatment. This is the core foundation that has been here since the beginning.

“What is exciting in the last five years is how we have tried to walk with patients through that first year. We continue to expand Outpatient Recovery Centers, having gone from five or six to having 15 in April. We don’t want to just detox people and give them a few days of residential, but we want to work with them as they progress through that first year of recovery, so we keep adding pieces to that from sober living, to 12-Step immersion programs, to the outpatient services with psychiatric nurse practitioners and individual therapists that can do ongoing trauma work, “ said Jay.

Although there is no cure for addiction, every day we see proof those with substance use disorders can lead healthy, happy and productive lives. As we work to better educate, destigmatize and create more access to care, we will save more lives. Our goal is to make each day, each year, each decade better than the last for those suffering and their families. There is hope.

Sunday Sermon: Advent: A Season for Anticipating Change

December 1, 2019

Sunday Sermon Advent A Season for Anticipating Change
Advent Candles – Three Purple And One Pink as a Symbol of Faith with Bokeh Lights
On this first Sunday of the Christian season of Advent, we discuss the spiritual concept of hope, and talk about the hope that comes from inviting God/Higher Power into our lives. As God turned the world upside down with the birth of a baby on Christmas, our Higher Power has the ability to turn us inside out in our recovery, turning our despair into hope, our grief into joy, and our suffering into service.

The Experiential Healing Center offers a training program in SomExSM: A Somatic Experiential intervention to treat trauma and addiction. Certification is offered to counseling professionals, but the training is open to anyone wanting to enhance their practice with a deeper understanding of the neurophysiology of trauma, emotion, and self-regulation. Some of the professions we have worked with are massage therapists, speech therapists, alcohol and drug counselors, physicians and, of course, psychotherapists.  A professional can participate in one module, or attend all four modules and participate in supervision for certification.

Created by Kent Fisher and Michelle Rappaport, this modality uses an inter-relational model of somatic awareness and experiential techniques.  It is highly effective in working with chemical and process addictions, trauma, and attachment disorders, with an emphasis on emotional regulation. This four-module training is designed to give therapists the tools to transform the nervous system around issues of trauma.

Participants will:

  • Develop a working knowledge of the neurobiological aspects of trauma on the body.
  • Practice Emotional Regulation techniques.
  • Practice Experiential techniques to help uncouple the freeze in traumatized individuals.
  • Learn interventions for harmony and repair around core attachment wounds.

​Friday, October 4th thru Sunday, October 6th 2019

Cost: $595 each module


When Kent Fisher and Michelle Rappaport founded the Experiential Healing Center, they were extensively trained and highly skilled experiential therapists, using psychodrama and other action-oriented techniques to help clients access feelings and develop choice making about how they react and repair.

They certified in Somatic Transformation and began to incorporate the somatic techniques to help clients oscillate within their Optimal Arousal Zone in order to touch the edges of their activation and collapse. They began to see that the two schools of thought were not only mutually supportive, but also nearly seamless in their execution, and SomExSM was born.

We don’t wound alone and we certainly don’t heal alone. SomExSM–a Somatic Experiential intervention to treat trauma and addiction–honors this process, connecting the left-brain hemisphere of rationalization , reasoning and meaning-making to the right hemisphere’s capacity for social engagement and emotional processing.  It facilitates the repair of disorganized and insecure attachments of our childhood through somatic engagement and builds resiliency so clients are able to rediscover the Self that lives within all of us–playful, passionate, unashamed, unafraid, eager to learn and grow. At EHC we believe this is the difference between therapy and counseling. Therapy is a co-regulated process where therapist and client embark on a journey to recover and repair the Authentic Self.

SomExSM training will give you a deepened understanding of the neurobiological aspects of trauma, disordered attachment and addiction. It will equip you with a valuable set of skills to facilitate repair and regulation in your clients–allowing them to explore life in the Optimal Arousal Zone known to us here at the Experiential Healing Center as Emotional Harmony.

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If you or a loved one would like to speak directly with one of our licensed admissions staff, please call us now at (800) 646-9998 or submit the following information. If outside business hours, we will get back to you the following day.

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Why is it so meaningful to give to Cumberland Heights?

Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.

We Are Open. Read updates regarding COVID-19 here and our available Telehealth services here.