Sierra Tucson Blog

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

Sierra Tucson Is ‘On the Air’ with That Sober Guy Radio

Sierra Tucson is proud to have been a part of the 2016 Innovations in Behavioral Healthcare conference in Nashville, Tennessee, presented by Foundations Events. The goal of this annual conference is to “powerfully impact the sustainable health of your organization, your career and most importantly, your patients.” This year, Foundations Events joined forces with That Sober Guy Radio, hosted and founded by Shane Ramer. Ramer’s podcast discusses alcoholism, addiction, and... Read More

Family Matters: How Family Week Supports Lasting Change

By Michael G. Simpson, MSC, LAC Family Therapist at Sierra Tucson Sierra Tucson has been conducting Family Week with its residents and their families since its inception over 32 years ago. Both alumni and referents alike have been effusive in their praise through the decades for the transformations that occur within families and individuals who complete our Family Program. Family Week isn’t an aside from primary treatment; instead, it is... Read More

Changing the Shape of Eating Recovery

Integrative models to support a healthy lifestyle By Scott Frazier, MSC Eating Recovery Program Manager at Sierra Tucson When residents struggle with their identity, they inevitably struggle with attachment. This leads to a craving for attaching to others and may create a loss of attachment to self. One can easily be imprisoned in the early Psychosocial Crisis stages that removes autonomy and causes mistrust in many facets of his or... Read More

A Note on the State of Managed Care

A Word from Our Director of Admissions: Rich Appert A recent admission to Sierra Tucson had me reflecting on our industry’s current interaction with commercial payers and managed care as a whole. While legislators and advocacy groups continue to trudge forward from a bureaucratic perspective (moderately successfully), it’s hard not to grow mildly disconcerted at the “one step forward, two steps back” nature of the relationship. The downward trend in... Read More

LGBTrauma: The Importance of Cultural Competency and Trauma-Informed Care

By David Cato, MSW, LMSW Primary Therapist, Trauma Recovery Program Growing up as an LGBTQ individual in Northeast Texas was difficult. When I began to question my orientation, there were no resources. I did not know any other LGBTQ individuals and no one else knew how to help me once I began to come out. It was very scary to be the only LGBTQ person I knew and not know... Read More

Trauma-Informed Care

Reducing one’s shame by using a non-pathologizing approach   By James Seymour, MD Director, Trauma Recovery Program at Sierra Tucson At Sierra Tucson, we provide what is referred to as Trauma-Informed Care for all of our residents. Trauma-Informed Care is the recognition by the treatment program and the clinical staff that a history of childhood trauma is very often associated with and underlies many of the challenges we see. This... Read More

Trauma Support Services for Our First Responders

In the wake of the recent tragedies and turmoil surrounding our nation’s men and women in blue, Sierra Tucson is partnering with Safe Call Now to help those affected by the police shootings. Post-traumatic stress (PTS) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cause severe emotional distress, and symptoms often intensify over time. Our Trauma Recovery Team is ready and available to support the victims of these horrific events, as well as... Read More

Come to the Table: Sierra Tucson Family Dinner

By Jaime Vinck, MC, LPC, NCC Chief Operations Officer at Sierra Tucson “All great change […] begins at the dinner table.” -Ronald Reagan Eating together as a family creates an opportunity to bond and nourish not only the body, but the mind and spirit as well. As Sierra Tucson becomes our residents’ temporary home, and their process group becomes like family, we have chosen Friday evenings as a time for... Read More

TMS: A Different Approach to Depression Treatment

By Michelle Chacon, RN TMS Coordinator at Sierra Tucson Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has arrived at Sierra Tucson, and in less than three months, has received tremendous feedback from our residents. TMS is an innovative treatment for depression that is safe, clinically proven, and non-pharmacological. For some, the idea of a non-drug, non-invasive depression treatment is radical. First cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008, TMS... Read More

Pain, Opiates, and the New CDC Guidelines

By Jerome Lerner, MD Director, Pain Recovery Program at Sierra Tucson On March 18, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines for the use of opiates in treating non-cancer pain. The report points out that opiate-related deaths have quadrupled since 1999. Twenty percent of patients seeking medical care for a pain-related condition walk out of the physician’s office with a prescription for narcotics. In the... Read More

When Helpers Need Help

A partnership between Sierra Tucson and Safe Call Now addresses first responders and their need for professional support First responders are regularly exposed to traumatic events during the course of their career. Many of them, however, do not seek outside help and instead attempt to recover in isolation. Sierra Tucson is partnering with Safe Call Now®—a 24-hour crisis referral service for all public safety employees, emergency services personnel, and their... Read More

What Is A Recovery Coach?

Connect365 provides the support individuals need following residential treatment Recovery coaching is a term that describes the relationship between coaches and residents post-treatment. According to the Association of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), “Peer Recovery Support Coaches act as a recovery and empowerment catalyst: guiding the recovery process and supporting the individual’s recovery goals and decisions.” NAADAC also defines the relationship between coach and participant as a way to share lived experience... Read More

Eating Recovery: A Shift In Treatment

By Gayle Masterson, MD Director, Eating Recovery Program When it comes to eating disorders, traditional methods of treatment have placed a greater emphasis on the diagnosis and not the individual as a whole. At Sierra Tucson, our Eating Recovery Program is shifting its focus to include attachment issues; developmentally related, early life issues; and the significant ways in which these patterns of engagement in interpersonal relationships result in the development... Read More

Eating Disorders: All Shapes and Sizes

In today’s society, the pressure to look a certain way can be overwhelming. Societal pressures can cause it to be difficult to accept the body we are in, and lead to an unexpected eating disorder. Fortunately, there are new trends that support the idea of loving your body. For the first time in its history, Sports Illustrated put a “plus-size” model, Ashley Graham, on the cover of its 2016 Swimsuit... Read More