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Meet Wesly LaGuerre, BHT Supervisor

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What inspired you to pursue the career you have today?

I want to help those who are battling addictions and want another chance in life.

What are the responsibilities of a BHT?

The BHT spend more time with the clients than any other staff. Their tasks include observing and reporting client’s behaviors. Provide a safe and supportive therapeutic environment for clients and staff. Assist clients with activities of daily living and personal hygiene. We wake the clients up for medications and breakfast and make sure the clients are ready for the groups and individual sessions with their primary therapist.

Can you share how collaboration among staff in different departments is integral to your role?

I play a vital role of reporting safety concerns to the maintenance manager for all the facilities. I also serve as the attentive eye and ear for client grievances and bring it up with the clinical director to help resolve their concerns. The techs spend the majority of time with the clients and form relationships with them. We observe and report whatever is going on and report any behavioral issues in our shift report so it will be addressed that day. Whatever the issue may be, we address it. We call the therapist, nurse, call center, or whoever has the best rapport with the client, if necessary, to help them through a challenging time.

Is there a situation that you’re the proudest of?

I’m most proud of the way I helped handle a patient who posed a significant danger to himself by having the client express his concern, while having a mutual understanding as well as serving as his advocate and respecting his right to deny getting treatment. As a result, we had a face-to-face process of interaction that advance me to getting his consent to staying for treatment with medical/clinical advice. He was there because his parents wanted him to be, and he wanted to leave. He had hopes of becoming an engineer, but due to his addiction he dropped out of school and was in bad shape when he came to us. I spoke with him and told him to give it a try, that this might be the best place for him and to take it one day at a time. You don’t always get the chance to come back to treatment so to take care of the moment you get the chance. Not everyone gets a 2nd chance. He knew if he needed help, I was always available for him. I also told him his parents wanted the best for him because they loved him, and to listen to their advice. He took my advice and continued following the program. He’s now in IOP and is doing great. He has a smile on his face – you can see the change from day 1.

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I live to see those moments. When I come to work, I want to see that difference in their life.

What do you love most about your job?

What I love the most about my job as a Behavioral Tech Supervisor is to pass on the knowledge that I have for the past 9 years to the TechsIn addition to their training, I take the new techs under my wing, have them shadow me, understand boundaries, and see how to handle a situation. How to connect with a client and make them feel at home. It makes a difference how you approach them. The most important thing is to treat the client the way you want to be treated – with dignity and respect.
Also, as I am present at the alumni events, I see former clients and am so happy to see how their lives have changed. Recently I saw someone who had been struggling so much that I didn’t know if they were going to make it, and now they’re back on their feet. She’s doing so well, she has a job, she has a sponsor – it made me so happy.

What would you say to someone who is considering Destination Hope for a loved one?

I would say that there is no better place that will care for their loved one in a holistic way. The staff, we really care.  What I like is this is a small environment. As a small place, it’s better for the recovery of the patients. We really attend to the clients’ needs. It’s really important to know that your loved one will get the attention they need. Sometimes they really need that 1 to 1, they really need someone to sit down and vent to. That’s how some clients open up and start to trust.

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When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy spending time with my immediate family.  I have an 18month old! I’m also really big into exercise. I ride my bike in the mornings, play basketball, and go to the gym. I also devote time every day to my bible studies.

What do you want people to know about you?

I am not in recovery, but I have the passion to work with people who are battling addictions and want to defeat that disease.  To be able to help someone who is dealing with an addiction, dealing with a disease – if I can assist them to have a 2nd chance in life, it makes me feel like I’m contributing to society in a way. They don’t choose to be that way. I’m grateful to wake up in the morning and come help them by making sure they’re safe and do whatever they need that we can do to break their illness.  I’m really proud of that.

Why do you want to come to work each day?

Knowing that I’m going to help someone stay in treatment for another day and change their life. They have a better chance of staying alive while they’re here. Anything can happen to them if they leave before they’re ready to. You take it one day at a time. I’m saving someone’s life by being present, talking to them, continuing to encourage them to stay in treatment and trust the process to continue their treatment.

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Addiction & Mental Health Topics

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The Importance of Self-Care in Maintaining Sobriety

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How to Handle a Loved One’s Relapse and Support Their Recovery

The Link Between Addiction and Trauma

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