Beyond Recovery: Flourishing in Mental Health Residential Treatment

Patient and therapist are hand in hand

Flourishing in a residential drug treatment program requires a diligent approach that addresses various aspects of your well-being. To achieve true health, growth and wellness during the recovery process, one must be committed to treatment. If a patient is not ready to get help and accept care, treatment will not succeed in the long term. Patients who wholeheartedly engage in the treatment program and demonstrate a genuine willingness to change typically are better off by the time they start an aftercare program. Embrace the therapeutic activities, counseling sessions, and educational programs offered; everyone is in treatment to relearn behaviors!

Learning how to change behavior and actions is just one element of the treatment plan. Follow your treatment plan provided by our staff whose experience goes beyond the industry standard. Trusting the staff and letting go of control is all part of the process. Adhering to the treatment plan provided by our team of professionals may include attending group therapy sessions, individual counseling, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and other recommended therapies and activities.

Our team of professionals knows how difficult this process can be. Residential treatment is a significant shift in anyone’s life who is committed to getting the help they need to beat addiction. Here at NPAC, we encourage patients to embrace learning opportunities. Be open to learning new coping skills, relapse prevention strategies, and techniques for managing triggers and cravings.  By doing this individuals set themselves up for a better aftercare program and better chances of having a successful recovery journey! Don’t forget to attend educational workshops and therapy sessions with an open mind. Physically showing up isn’t the same as being there mentally absorbing new life skills and seeking to gain insights for long-term recovery. 

The people you meet in treatment are not just friends for your stay. Build a supportive network and surround yourself with positive and supportive individuals during your Residental Treatment Program. Participate actively in group therapy sessions and connect with peers with similar goals. This allows patients to have a solid foundation, and understand the struggles of addiction more than anyone. Encourage and uplift each other throughout the recovery journey…Everyone needs extra support! 

Just as everyone needs extra support here and there, everyone needs to take responsibility.  Assume responsibility for your recovery and actively participate in your healing process. Show up on time for all your meetings, group or individual, and be accountable for your actions, choices, and progress. Take advantage of the resources available during treatment, and seek guidance from our experienced team when needed.

Treatment is not meant to fix a short-term problem. Understanding how to practice self-care is an essential tool to flourish in residential treatment and for long-term success with sobriety.  Prioritize self-care activities that promote physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Some of these self-care tools are as easy as consistently participating in physical activity, cultivating mindfulness or engaging in meditation practices, upholding a well-rounded and nutritious dietary regimen, and prioritizing sufficient sleep. Individuals who take action and prioritize their self-care can experience many benefits for their overall well-being. 

Part of self-care is setting realistic goals. Don’t come to treatment and start counting down the days you have until you can go home. There is no prize in that thought process. However, setting achievable goals for yourself, both during and after the program, can be a helpful tool to manage triggers that are associated with celebratory milestones. Milestones can be very positive, but at the same time, celebrations can trigger actions and behaviors that treatment is meant to control and fix! You’re trying to go far, not go fast. Slow and steady wins recovery. Break down large goals into smaller, manageable steps to maintain motivation and track progress. Celebrate milestones along the way in a healthy manner to stay motivated and encouraged. It is important to set goals and develop healthy habits to foster personal growth and well-being. By replacing destructive habits with positive ones, individuals can create a foundation for a healthier and more fulfilling life. 

Developing healthy habits is essential for long-term well-being. By consciously replacing negative or detrimental behaviors with positive ones, individuals can create a positive cycle of self-improvement.  The skills you learn at NPAC’s residential treatment all tie together. Healthy habits and self-care are essential elements to flourishing in a residential treatment program.

Finally, seeking aftercare support while an individual is in treatment is essential for life after treatment. Individuals should use the resources available and find an aftercare program that can help maintain their sobriety after their program is complete. Recognizing that recovery is a lifelong journey might be hard, but that is why our staff will help explore aftercare options available to you. Transitioning from a residential program to outpatient care or community support groups can provide ongoing support and accountability.

In a society where stigma still shrouds neuropsychiatric disorders and addiction, the Neuro-Psychiatric Addiction Clinic is a safe haven. Here, individuals find a wealth of scientific knowledge, cutting-edge treatments, and a compassionate environment where their struggles are met with empathy and understanding. By choosing this clinic, individuals and their loved ones take a decisive step towards embracing a brighter future, one where the rays of hope and healing replace the shadows of addiction and neurological imbalance and a renewed sense of purpose.

Start your journey to wellness today at one of the nation’s leading addiction and mental health treatment facilities. Benefit from recovery in style with great people in a pleasant South Florida location. Call us at (888) 574 3506 or complete the form here. We are available 24/7 to answer any questions regarding our treatment programs.

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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner

Facilitator

As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns

Clinician

Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
 
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine