Finding the Right Therapist and the Right Mental Health and Addiction Treatment

Equestrian Therapy Session photo of horse grooming
Equestrian Therapy Session

When it comes to finding treatment for mental health or addiction issues, there is no such thing as “one size fits all.” That is why collectively, the staff at OneEighty is certified in a broad spectrum of addiction and mental health counseling treatment options. 

Jane, (not her real name), was 28 years old when she recognized that she was suffering from depression. But it wasn’t until she was 43 years old that she was diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety. 

“I was working with a psychiatrist in Akron who had me on as many as 12 different psychotropic drugs at a time,” she said. “Looking back on that time in my life, my family describes me as a complete and total zombie.  They said that when they spoke to me, it was as if no one was even in there.”  

Living a Life with Purpose

Her absolute lowest point came in 2015 when she made the decision to cold turkey go off the benzodiazepine she was on, and she truly felt her life was over. 

“OneEighty’s addiction and mental health counselor, Abby, was the first one to take my pain seriously,” Jane said. “She assured me it wasn’t all in my head and helped me find my way back to living a life with purpose.”

Abigail Russell, Outpatient Counselor for OneEighty remembers meeting Jane for the first time.

“She came into my office having made the decision to go off benzodiazepines entirely, that should never happen,” Abigail said. “We had an instant connection because I was the first person who validated what she was feeling. I countered her negative self-talk and told her we would meet the challenges together.”

Abigail Russell, IMFT, LPCC, CDCA Team Leader Outpatient Counselor
Abigail Russell, IMFT, LPCC, CDCA Team Leader Outpatient Counselor

Finding Mental Health and Addiction Treatment that Works

The journey they took included multiple types of mental health and addiction therapy. It was clear to Abigail that Jane was seeking answers to the experiences she was having. Beginning with traditional talk therapy, they uncovered underlying experiences of sexual abuse trauma as the cause that led her to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Uncovering her PTSD opened another avenue, EMDR therapy.

“I was not certified in the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment. This form of psychotherapy helps reprogram that traumatic information until it is no longer disruptive and true healing can begin. Because Jane was one of the most driven clients I have ever had, I knew that she would be open to trying new avenues towards a better life.”

Advocating for Your Own Mental Health

Jane felt she had been so focused on the trauma and her PTSD that true healing was beyond her reach.

“While using medications prescribed by a responsible doctor did provide help, it was after my EMDR sessions that I truly felt my pain lifting,” Jane said. 

Following those mental health counseling sessions, Jane was able to repair the family relationships that she had destroyed during her darkest periods. While she admits that she still has some bad times, she encourages everyone to be their own health advocate and ‘never give up.’

Not afraid to continue her quest for a better life, Jane has worked through the intensive outpatient program provided by Wooster Community Hospital, a partner of OneEighty. 

The Dance

And just recently, Jane has gone back to working with Abigail who is certified in Equine Therapy. 

“In equine therapy, there is something known as ‘the dance’”, Abigail said. “When working with the horse, they learn that you can make requests of the horse, but the animal can respond with a positive answer by connecting, by walking away, or by taking a step back. People who experience trauma have problems building healthy relationships. How one connects with others and their self, how they make good connections but understand appropriate detachment is key to their recovery.”

Both client and counselor agree on one thing for sure. Never give up hope for a better life. The key is making a trust connection with the right addiction and mental health counselor where you can honestly open up and find the right path on your journey to new beginnings.

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