Howard is a highly trained, experienced drug and alcohol addictions counselor and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, specializing in treating and providing therapy for a co-occurring disorders population. Howard has been treating clients from a variety of diverse cultural backgrounds all with a common thread. They all struggle with drug/alcohol addiction. ‘I have employed evidenced based treatment modalities for clients since 2008, many of which having an underlying mental health concern or diagnosis (co-occurring disorder) that has not been addressed’. The work Howard does with clients goes beyond relapse prevention and coping skills to ‘survive’. Howard enjoys teaching client’s how to ‘live’. ‘I utilize a ‘systemic’ approach to treating addiction and will teach family member’s how to actively participate in their love ones treatment and at the same time teach them specific techniques to eliminate codependency, as well as dysfunctional and enabling behaviors, and establish healthy boundaries, so the entire family system gets well’. We learn from experience how addiction can impact and affect the entire family.
I believe in ‘empowering’ clients to find solution in their lives and to identify ways to confront obstacles that are getting in the way of their recovery. As a Solution Focused therapist, Howard will integrate various methods including ‘CBT skills, (cognitive behavioral therapy). The goal is to help client’s understand their cognitive distortions that resulted in faulty thinking and poor decision making. Howard received a certification for completing a course facilitated by Dr. Barry Gregory for DBT training. ‘I enjoy using DBT skills (dialectical behavioral therapy) and teaching clients about mindfulness as well as distress tolerance, emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. It has been proven very beneficial for the work we do treating ‘borderline personality’ disorder clients as well as addictions. I am extremely passionate about our ‘experiential program’ and utilizing role play exercises and challenging client’s to get out of their ‘belief system’ and comfort zones to achieve long term sobriety‘. Client’s enjoy the ‘hands-on’ approach to recovery by participating in various experiential exercises, designed to provide a platform to achieve ‘break through’ and overcome the obstacles (barriers) to recovery that have built up for so many years.
I fill the role of ‘Primary Therapist’ which includes 1:1 individual sessions as well as group sessions where clients can share freely with their peers on a variety of topics and process treatment program assignments, ;IE ‘Life Story, Goodbye letters to their drug of choice, 12 step principles and impact letters from family members. Family participation is encouraged and impact letters are processed with clients in group in a confidential safe and secure environment, all which are meant to provide an insight into the ‘negative consequences’ that resulted from addiction patterned behavior.
Having the opportunity to experience and observe ‘first hand’ the emotional, spiritual growth of our client’s is perhaps the most rewarding experience. Being able to witness firsthand the growth, changes and transformations our client’s achieve from the moment they walk through our doors till the time they are ready to ‘commence’ and move on with their journey in recovery (new way of life) is the most rewarding experience you can imagine. Client’s go from ‘hopeless’ to ‘full of hope’. This is the turnaround we hope to achieve.
My prior work experience includes working as: Program Director for a homeless population of Veterans to program director and primary therapist for an outpatient program in Broward County. Prior work experience includes working as a Triage therapist on a Detox unit at a Baker Act receiving facility in Broward County as well as in a Psychiatric Hospital for level 5 patients requiring the very highest level of care. Additionally, I’ve enjoyed managing a core group for the past 5 years in the Palm Beach County area, implemented changes and enhancements to clinical programs and ‘policies and procedures for JCAHO accredited institutions. Additionally, at a program in Broward County Howard provided ‘crisis intervention’ techniques and intervened those clients who were at ‘high risk’ in early recovery and wanting to leave treatment ‘AMA’ (against medical advice). Earlier work includes; over 150 addiction interventions for clients nationwide. Howard has successfully completed intervention for clients from New York to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
My academic background includes: I hold a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Springfield College and graduated in December, 2010. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida.
In addition, I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree from St. John’s University, and majored in criminal justice.
I am certified by the Florida Certification Board as a Certified Recovery Support Specialist.
I hold a National Certification from NADAI as a Certified National Master Interventionist-II and created a training syllabus to teach other mental health professionals on the requirements of creating a successful intervention.
In 2007, I graduated from Summit Education, a school for ‘experiential trainings’ and ropes course using a ‘learning process’ initially designed and developed by The National Training Labs in Bethesda, MD to help government and civilian contractors create and achieve success in a team environment.
I am a native New Yorker; I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and lived in Staten Island and New Jersey for many years till making the transition to living in Florida. I have been a Florida resident since 1996 and I currently reside in Broward County.