Author: The Staff at Sierra Tucson

The First Valentine’s Day

By Jaime Vinck, MC, LPC, NCC Chief Operations Officer Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Holidays often provide us with an opportunity to celebrate with our families and friends, as well as practice our much-loved traditions. This year, I have been reflecting on those who struggle with a myriad of challenges that make enjoying the presence of Cupid, hearts and chocolates virtually impossible. Following are some likely “firsts” that... Read More

“Spotlight” on Trauma Recovery

A newly released film opens up important discussion about sexual abuse and trauma recovery The movie Spotlight is based on the true story of how a small team of investigative journalists from The Boston Globe exposed a decades-long conspiracy to cover up clergy child molestation. In 2001, the Globe’s “Spotlight Team” investigated abuse allegations in the Catholic Church. Their findings proved to be much more extensive than initially presumed, as... Read More

Experiential Therapy & Yoga

Walking the Walk, Beyond the Talk By Sunni Knowlton Therapeutic & Recreational Activities Facilitator & Yoga Specialist After many years of research and personal work delving into countless modalities of therapy and holistic healing, I’ve come to believe something: While talk therapy is extremely beneficial and therapeutic, integrating the body (physical sensation and awareness) with the mind and spirit produces astounding results in the physiological, psychological, and mental well-being of... Read More

Somatic Equine Therapy

By Liz Dampsey, MA, RSMT Equine-Assisted Psychotherapist Attempting to explain somatic/equine therapy to a friend, I found myself searching for the words to describe this predominantly non-verbal intervention. Thinking about the work I am blessed to do every day elicited a slew of sensations that originated in my heart area and moved throughout my system. My friend, who saw me groping for words, said, “Isn’t it somatic just to work... Read More

Move To Change Your Mind

Empowering residents to take part in their own exercise regime for better health By Maliea Cartagena Fitness Specialist, Therapeutic & Recreational Activities Program As fitness specialists at Sierra Tucson, we often witness fear preventing many residents from stepping outside of their comfort zone. We’ve heard statements like, “The reason I don’t exercise is because I feel lost in knowing how to exercise.” Many residents are fearful of being judged, as... Read More

The Gift of Hope

A holistic approach to pain management for a happier New Year Another year comes to a close, but for those struggling with chronic pain, there may be little hope for a Happy New Year. If your only wish for 2016 is to find relief from suffering, take heart: a holistic approach can help alleviate chronic pain. Sierra Tucson understands the mental anguish and isolation that accompany prolonged pain. We encourage... Read More

The Gift of Boundaries

Protecting one’s sobriety during the hectic holiday season For individuals who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, the holidays can be a tumultuous time when the stakes are high and their guard is low. Often, celebrations create high-risk situations and avoiding relapse triggers may be a challenge. Fortunately, there are ways to protect one’s greatest gift: sobriety. At Sierra Tucson, we understand the stress and anxiety associated with... Read More

The Gift of Joy

Managing Holiday Depression ‘Tis the season for parties, gatherings, and celebrations. But for many, it’s a time when stress, fatigue, and loneliness are at an all-time high. The festivities and events can exacerbate depression, making the holidays anything but happy. At Sierra Tucson, we understand the challenges that accompany this hectic time of year – especially for individuals who struggle with depressive disorders. We encourage patients and alumni of our... Read More

Maintaining Cultural Sensitivity in Residential Treatment

Cultural identity impacts the way in which an individual perceives the world around him or her. It shapes a person’s belief system, provides a sense of belonging, and influences the way he or she lives, speaks, acts, and thinks. As such, the behavioral health industry must not only recognize cultural differences and barriers, but also accommodate clients’ values and beliefs in order to provide quality care. Care That’s Personal At... Read More

The Gift of Self-Care

Eating Recovery During the Holidays The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the promise of celebrations, family traditions, and gift giving. For those who struggle with food, weight, or body-image issues, this time of year can also mean high levels of anxiety, overwhelming triggers, and enormous guilt. At Sierra Tucson, we encourage patients and alumni of our Eating Recovery Program to practice self-care during the holidays. When... Read More

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone: The Power of Experiential Therapy

By Christopher Craig, MA, MS A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. As part of the Therapeutic & Recreational Activities Program at Sierra Tucson, experiential therapy gives participants the opportunity to engage in new behaviors, take healthy risks, and gain insight into patterns that are preventing them from moving forward. This process is replicated in... Read More

Naturopathic Medicine: A Key Component to Recovery & Complete Wellness

Maureen Schwehr, NMD Naturopathic Physician A motto in naturopathic medicine is: We are doctors who listen. Marketing research concludes that patients often feel misunderstood, and therefore have difficulty trusting their health care providers. People desire the reassurance that their medical providers are really listening to them. Generally speaking, it takes 15 minutes for an individual to communicate his/her story and to feel he/she has had adequate time to be heard.... Read More

Pharmacogenomics: A Breakthrough in Psychiatry

By Michael V. Genovese, M.D., J.D. Chief Medical Officer With the advancement of medicine and the multitude of available options, psychiatrists face numerous challenges in tailoring the appropriate course of individualized treatment for patients. Pharmacogenomics is the study of how a person’s individual DNA affects his or her response to medications and a scientific method of evaluating which medications a patient is likely to tolerate. The primary role of pharmacogenomics... Read More