(Not an actual client or staff photo)

As September comes to a close, so does National Recovery Month. But we know that recovery is a process – 24/7 and 365 days a year.  LFS therapist and recovery expert Virgen Rojas shares one woman’s story and journey toward recovery.

By Virgen Rojas, PLMHP, PLADC

Jamie came to Lutheran Family Services in April of 2021 with concerns that she was not coping in healthy ways with her worsening depression. She was seen by one of our provisionally licensed mental health practitioners (PLMHPs), who recommended that Jamie obtain a co-occurring chemical dependency evaluation with a dually credentialed provisional drug and alcohol counselor (PLADC), and provisional license mental health practitioner. The evaluation led LFS therapists to conclude that Jamie enter LFS’s Level II.1 Intensive Outpatient Treatment Services, which she could do via telehealth.

Jamie reported that she had made her job her number one priority over the past ten years, and she neglected her life and her family. During the worst days of her depression, she left her job. She came to LFS voluntarily seeking treatment, but she was apprehensive and defensive.

However, Jamie completed a total of 12 weeks of Level II.1 Intensive Outpatient Treatment (this is only a nine-week program). During her treatment, she developed awareness. She acknowledged and put the tools provided by LFS into action. Jamie embraced LFS’s values of Humility, Kindness, Faithfulness, Respect, and Accountability and found them helpful and important references in her recovery. She also focused strongly on the importance of boundaries in her interpersonal relationships. In addition, Jamie focused on sobriety, honesty and addressed the trauma she experienced in her childhood and adulthood.

Jamie asked for and is following through with Medication Management, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR), and is currently in Level 1 Outpatient Substance Use; and she continues to maintain her sobriety. Jamie reports that her progress would not have been successful without realizing the importance of sobriety regardless of the quantity or frequency someone drinks.

Jamie shared that she had been to another provider and therapist for the same issues in 2020 from another agency prior to coming to LFS for help. However, that provider made Jamie feel like she didn’t need therapy and was dealing with her trauma as expected. In her words, the difference she found at LFS was that here, her therapist did not “sugar coat” her reality and inability to set healthy boundaries or accept accountability for the role she played in finding herself in unhealthy situations. As a result, Jamie focused on what she needed to do to make her life better instead of blaming and wanting to change everyone else. Now, she is focused on herself and her son, and as a result, has experienced peace in life. She faces hardships one day at a time, holding herself accountable through her spirituality and sober support system.


NOTE: LFS offers outpatient assessments, referrals, intensive outpatient treatment and family support education. Through these interventions, the user learns their issues are not unique and can be addressed. Family and loved ones are also taught coping skills to assist them in supporting the user build a healthier lifestyle. For more information, please visit https://www.lfsneb.org/service/substance-use-disorder-treatment/.

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