Q&A with Michele Hodelin, LCSW, ACSW

Title: Director of Outpatient Services

Facility: Foundations San Diego

Education: Dutchess Community College, Poughkeepsie, New York, 1988; Dominican College of Blauvelt, Orangeburg, New York, 1990; Fordham University, New York, New York, 1991
Degrees/certifications/licenses: LCSW, ACSW
Hometown: Beacon, New York

What makes you passionate about treatment/recovery?
I have a strong commitment and dedication to working with the chemically dependent population. I am very passionate about the recovery process, the disease concept of addiction, as well as treatment and recovery.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Being afforded the opportunity to see the strength and growth in people, their amazing transformations and resiliency are my favorite things about this job.

What would you say to families going through the process of treatment with a loved one?
The disease of mental illness and/or chemical dependence is a family disease, and it’s imperative that the family members get their own treatment. There are inpatient, outpatient and self-help groups for family members of those suffering with mental illness and/or chemical dependence. Families, and even the identified patient, are often under the false belief that it’s just the patient’s problem, but the families are the ones who have gone through the crises, drama and trauma with the patient. They also need to go through the recovery process. Families have a right to heal too!

What’s your daily routine?
My daily routine, Monday through Friday, is to get my son off to high school, drive to work, handle all my responsibilities at work, drive home, cook dinner, spend time with my son and our three pets – two cats and a Chihuahua – talk to my husband, and go to bed. On weekends, I like to spend time taking care of our home and spending quality time with my son.

What do you do to stay energized during the day?
I make sure I take time for myself to re-energize by taking a lunch break, even if it’s eating at my desk. Proper nutrition is critical to energy and stamina.

What are your hobbies outside of work?
Spending time with my family, going to the beach and playing sports

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
Ireland, Hawaii, Switzerland

What’s your favorite thing about the city you live in?
Having only been here for a couple of weeks, I’d have to say my favorite thing is the response I get from people when I tell them where I live.

If you were stranded on a desert island and you could only take three books, what would you choose?
The Bible, a self-help book on how to survive on a deserted island and a bonfire cooking for dummies book.

How do you know when someone is “getting it” in the treatment and recovery process?
There are several ways. One way is when you can hear the internalization in their speech patterns.

What advice do you have for people who are entering treatment today?
Remember there is always hope and there is always, always a choice! Everything in life brings with it a choice; we just may not know what it is.

What advice do you have for people who are struggling to maintain their recovery?
There’s only one thing you have to do, and that is to not make it worse. Don’t drink; go to meetings.

How have you been inspired by people in recovery?
By their resilience, commitment, strength and dedication.

Favorite quote or best advice you’ve ever received?
Just for today…