Sierra Tucson Blog

Sierra Tucson and EAGALA: Making connection through horses

By Jessica Miceli, MAC, LSC, EAGALA Certified Professional On January 19-21, 2017, Sierra Tucson will host the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association’s (EAGALA) “Training the Trainers” workshop. Founded in 1999, EAGALA is a nonprofit organization that has set the global standard in offering a fully developed, professionally endorsed treatment model for mental health professionals practicing equine-assisted psychotherapy. EAGALA has over 4,500 members in 50 countries (“The EAGALA Model” 2009-2010). Since... Read More

New Year’s Resolutions and Recovery

Embracing progress, not perfection The New Year is upon us! As we bid farewell to 2016 and welcome 2017 with open arms, it seems only natural to make a list of resolutions. But when lofty goals become set-ups for let-downs, it can lead to depression and self-doubt. At Sierra Tucson, we acknowledge the excitement that comes with a new year, and we believe in balancing that enthusiasm with realistic plans.... Read More

Depression and the Holidays

Finding peace and joy from within Typical holiday messages suggest we should be filled with gladness and good cheer. Tidings of Joy. Peace on Earth. Happy New Year. Despite holiday buzzwords and societal expectations of how this time of year should look, not everyone feels so merry and bright. From financial woes and high hopes, to shorter days and overwhelming to-do lists, this time of year can result in depression... Read More

How to Enjoy the Holidays in Recovery

Below are some tips and words of encouragement from some of our alumni. Sierra Tucson Alumni Relations wishes you a healthy and happy holiday season. We Support You! “My recipe for success during the holiday season includes meetings, meetings, and more meetings—especially extra Al-Anon meetings. Additionally, by using prayer and meditation, I’m better able to stay centered. I do make a plan when attending events. For me, my food plan... Read More

Music Therapy: Finding the Rhythm of Recovery

Did you know that incorporating music therapy into the treatment of addiction is beneficial to one’s recovery? It complements other treatment modalities used to help each individual. Music therapy can be active or passive; it can involve listening or singing. At Sierra Tucson, Family Therapist Michael Simpson, MSC, BCC, LAC, leads communal drumming circles. With the right rhythm and a new perspective on regaining harmony, music therapy can help open... Read More

Eating Recovery and the Holidays

Minimizing Fear and Anxiety For individuals in eating recovery, the holiday season can stir up feelings of fear and anxiety. From Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, to holiday parties and Chanukah traditions, this time of year is when memories are made around calorie-laden meals. Often, fighting the urge to fall into old patterns and behaviors feels like an uphill battle for the struggling individual. At Sierra Tucson, our goal is to... Read More

A Healthy Food Attitude

How long has it been since you’ve taken a look at your relationship with food or the parameters around which you eat? Does this relationship matter to you? Why or why not? The answer to these questions can create such an opportunity for you. In a world full of “eat this, not that,” “super food,” and a surplus of health claims, somewhere down the line there has been an attack... Read More

A Warm Welcome to the UK

Sierra Tucson regularly invites professionals from all over the world to meet our caring staff and see our beautiful campus. We were fortunate to host several guests from the United Kingdom in September. Brent Clark, BA (Hons), MSC, a therapeutic director in London, shares highlights from his recent visit. I first heard about Sierra Tucson eight years ago when studying for my master’s degree in addiction psychology and counselling. Max... Read More

What Does “Quality” Mean at Sierra Tucson?

By Sue Menzie, BSN, MS Director of Quality Improvement Usually the terms quality improvement, quality management, and performance improvement evoke some very interesting emotions and responses in the health care industry. For most of my health care career, the Quality Improvement Department was also the “Gotcha” Department. Basically, the department that was always negative and condemning, representing a challenge to show “good numbers” so the organization didn’t end up on... Read More

Psychodrama at Sierra Tucson

By Bill Coleman, LMSW, TEP Resident Psychodramatist Psychodrama at Sierra Tucson has a long history. It has been offered since the opening days in 1983 and long considered one of the most powerful forms of group therapy. Not easy to describe, psychodrama can be classified as experiential therapy. It is essentially role-playing, where disturbing and inhibiting forces on the inside of an individual are manifested on the outside, in the... Read More

Resident Satisfaction … And the Survey Says?

By Richard M. Walko, PhD Quality Management Coordinator Surveys say a lot actually. Because of our strong commitment to resident satisfaction, Sierra Tucson conducts a lot of surveys. Years ago, each resident was offered one general satisfaction survey to fill out right before completing his or her stay. Today, with an eye toward knowing, in real time, how satisfied our residents are, we have implemented an additional survey. At about... Read More

4 Tips for Managing Prescription Medicine in Recovery

Are you anxious about undergoing a medical procedure while in addiction recovery? Are you hesitant to take prescription medications for fear of relapsing? These dilemmas pose unique sobriety challenges for those in both early and long-term recovery. With a little planning and a proactive approach to post-operative care, the following tips from Jerome Lerner, MD, director of Sierra Tucson’s Pain Recovery Program, can help lower the risk of relapse and... Read More

Identifying, Screening and Treating Depression

By Valerie M. Kading, DNP, MSN Director of Medical Operations, Sierra Tucson October marks two days dedicated to highlighting depression and the potentially devastating effects of the loss of a pregnancy or child. National Depression Screening Day, on October 6, is devoted to educating the public on stigma reduction and improvement of access to treatment for individuals and families suffering from depression. Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, on October... Read More

Individualized Treatment for Professionals

By Michael Genovese, MD, JD Chief Medical Officer, Sierra Tucson At Sierra Tucson, we recognize that our residents share much in common, but that we must also be mindful of the stressors and circumstances facing each individual. Men and women who are in high-pressure professions may be the first to offer help to others but the last to recognize the need within themselves. Even if they do, many put off... Read More

The End of Chronic Pain

By Jerome Lerner, MD I understand that it’s a bold idea to declare the end of chronic pain. I have worked in the field of pain management for 30 years, most recently as the director of the Pain Recovery Program at Sierra Tucson. I have literally helped thousands of people suffering from seemingly endless pain to find relief. And yet, I dare to declare the end of chronic pain. Why?... Read More