Alumna places importance on individual in helping those with addictions

Placing importance on the individual and their needs is important to alumna Erin York, a 2011 graduate in addiction studies and psychology, who is program director for Forever Wellness and Recovery in Shreveport.

In her job, York focuses on addiction disorders and works with clients individually as well as in group settings. The program works with clients who are voluntarily seeking treatment, but also works with the criminal justice system.

“At Forever Wellness we work with individuals 18 and older,” said York. “We see all addiction, chemical and behavioral. We work with clients who are seeking services for alcohol addiction, drug addiction and gambling addiction.”

York planned to major in psychology, but soon added an addiction studies major.

“When I learn about the addiction program I signed up for it,” said York. “I became very interested in addiction while in school. Once I graduated, my first job was on an addition unit, and I began to gain experience. I have worked in addiction since I graduated.”

According to York, the connections she made with psychology and addiction studies faculty were invaluable in preparing her for a career.

“I stay in contact with (Associate Professor of Addiction Studies and Director of LAATTC) Mr. (Joseph) Biscoe as well as (Professor of Psychology) Dr. (Patrice) Moulton,” said York. “They were both inspirations for me, my career and I still speak to them daily. They spent so much time with me while I was at NSU, helped me so much, I owe them a big thank you.”

York later obtained a Masters of General Counseling and Guidance from Louisiana Tech. In her career, York has worked in many settings of addiction.

“When I became the program director, I wanted to offer as much as possible for the community,” she said.

Forever Wellness assists people to be approved for Medicaid, which will pay for the services. They offer different forms of therapy including couples/family counseling, intensive outpatient group therapy, SMART recovery meetings, domestic violence prevention classes and educational classes on theft deterrence, anger management and marijuana education.

“We don’t have one treatment modality, but many,” said York. We are evidence based and like to use treatment programs such as SMART recovery, CBT, REBT, Solution Focused. We also provide 12-step models for those who work well with AA/NA ideals. Our vision is to work with each client to meet their goals and their needs.”

For more information on Northwestern State’s programs in psychology and addiction studies, go to psychology.nsula.edu.