Recovery Unscripted Podcast - Episode 20

Featured Guests: Jaime Vinck and Tena Moyer, Chief Operations Officer and Associate Medical Director, Sierra Tucson

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My guests today are Jaime Vinck and Dr. Tena Moyer, who serve at the Arizona treatment center Sierra Tucson as the Chief Operations Officer and associate medical director, respectively. They discuss the presentation they gave at the Innovations in Recovery conference on the mature adult treatment experience and share how exploring cultural implications across generations at both the macro and micro levels can help them better meet the needs of these patients.

As Vinck and Moyer put together their presentation on mature adults, the focus became the macro and micro cultural impact of someone age 45 and above and what that means for them as an individual in treatment. “So you could have someone who’s 45 and their experience of the world and their experience of culture is completely different than someone who is perhaps 65,” Vinck explains. “That 20 years in between has been just unbelievable in terms of life events.”

In order to meet mature patients’ needs in treatment, it’s important to understand their cultural context and the role that has played in creating who they are today. “You have to recognize they have a lifetime of experiences that they’ve collected and they’ve responded to those experiences by integrating some kind of a psychological conflict, a defensive mechanism or they’ve used it to grow in a more positive resilient way,” Moyer adds. “And that disorder, that drinking or that depression…serves a function for them that has to do with the history of their life and possibly and probably the history of their family.”

Viewing the big picture of someone’s macro and micro cultures can both provide insight and hope in the treatment process. “We look at transgenerational trauma, transgenerational mental illness, transgenerational substance use disorder, but also transgenerational resilience,” Vinck says. “In really opening up that dialog with our families…they will not only know who their parents are but they get more of a snapshot of who they are as well and they will have that transgenerational empathy.”

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