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Meet Andrew Kaplan, Destination Hope Therapist

Table of Contents

What brought you to the field of addiction and mental health treatment?

My desire to help others. Also, my own life experiences as a teenager peaked my interest in wanting to understand more about what makes people tick, so that led me to go into the field.

What does a typical day look like for you as a therapist at Destination Hope?

I have a group in the mornings Monday – Wednesday, I see clients throughout the week, there’s a lot of follow-through documentation that has to occur, I make calls to family members of clients, and we have staff meetings throughout the week as well. Anytime we have a case that we need to collaborate with other staff members to coordinate quality of care, we communicate via email – whether it’s with our providers or other therapists- so there’s a lot of email communication every day.

Why is getting treatment for a substance abuse or a mental health disorder so important?

For stability. The ability to operate with security in order to just get by the day to day – if someone is dealing with an area of their lives that needs to be addressed, whether it’s related to mental health or substance abuse, it’s very difficult to manage the normal day to day if there’s a problem in either one of these areas. So, it becomes critical for someone who’s experiencing problems with mental health issues or substance abuse issues to manage their lives successfully.

What do you personally find to be the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Without question the most rewarding aspect is seeing personal growth in others. So when I have someone come in whose mindset is that they have severe mental health problems, whether that’s related to grief and loss issues or some sort of past trauma, and they get some sort of relief through the therapeutic process , or someone’s coming in with substance abuse issues and might have a significant reservation to go back to using, and then there’s a shift in thinking about that and a new focus on the importance of remaining sober, that gives me the most motivation to continue doing what I do. So, just seeing change in individuals.

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What do you wish more people knew about DH?

One of the things that gets lost in treatment centers in general is the amount of client care the staff members have with their patients. One of the things I find at Destination Hope is that there’s a much higher level of patient to staff member relationship that’s very positive and very open. So, there’s a continuity of care that exists here that I have not found in the other places I have worked. How the program is run and the concern that staff members have for the clients is somewhat unique here. I find that the program itself is run very well. Administration works very well with direct service. It’s a group effort in terms of providing the best care for the client, and that’s one of the things that excites me about being here. There’s a very strong focus on providing the best care we can for what the client’s needs are.

And what message would you give a loved one or those with a substance abuse or a mental health disorder?

Never be afraid to ask for help. It’s something that keeps people from coming in to a treatment center such as ours ,or avoiding getting the care that they need, is the fear of asking for help. Try to let go of the fear related to asking for help. We all need help. It’s incumbent upon all of us to reach out to others when we need.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

A lot of things! My family. My relationship with my Higher Power. The community that I live in right now. It’s very supportive, so there’s a strong connection that I have with my community.

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What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My drive to help others.

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

I enjoy spending time with my family. We go out and do things as a family. We have a lot of cousins who live nearby and we do things with them as well. I also like to read, listen to music, follow sports like football, and take my kids to a game.

What do you want people to know about you?

I’m a team player. I like to be a part of the team and to assist the team in any way I can.

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