Gina Thorne and New Directions Podcast
Nick Parks and Chris Suggs of New Directions in Boynton Beach talk about their facilities’ client-first mentality and their brain-based treatment program.
Gina Thorne: Hi everyone, this is Gina Thorne and welcome to the Lakeview Podcast Series. I’m joined today with Nick Parks and Chris Suggs with New Directions in Boynton Beach. Welcome, guys. We’re here today to talk a little bit about your program and about New Directions operates as far as an extended care program.
But before we do that I’m just curious, Nick, tell me a little about your background. How did you get into this field?
Nick Parks: Well, I was a client at Lakeview about four and a half years ago. I went through the program twice, it worked for me when I went down to Florida. At about five months clean the IOP that I attended actually saw the change that had occurred, the phenomenon had happened right in front of their eyes, and at about five months clean they actually offered me a job as a behavioral health technician. I started working as a BHT, I worked my way up to a shift leader, to a supervisor. Then I changed facilities and I started working at South Florida Recovery Center, I was their lead tech, then I was their admissions director, then I was their marketing director, and that got me into the swing of marketing.
I left there about two months ago to come to New Directions and what really attracted me to New Directions was their “client first” mentality. It’s always what is in the best interest of the client. No matter who it’s coming from; a therapist, a tech, a nurse, a doctor, the owner, the clinical director. It didn’t matter what level of employee you’re talking to at our facility, everybody has the same outlook about the client and it’s always in their best interest and that attracted me to their company. They had been recruiting me for about a year to come over to work for them, to market for them, because I have very close ties to American Addictions as well. I worked high up with a corporate guy named David who is the director of all discharge and case management and that made me valuable to the field. They would always try to recruit me and what ended up happening is I gave them a couple of minutes. I went in, listened to what they had to say and they blew my mind. It’s like when you’re sitting in a meeting and you hear the guy in the front of the room tell your story, it’s like, “This is where I want to work.”
I felt at home when I walked in. All the clients are in great moods. And something else that also hit me is that at the end of every day, there are a low percentage of clients who say they’re not getting anything out of this process, but it’s amazing that about 90% of them will admit that they got something from group that day, or they got something from our neuro treatment and that helped me make the adjustment a lot quicker as well because I want to be a part of something that is changing lives.
Gina: Well thank you! That is great. Sounds like you’ve already given us some great information about your program. I’m interested in hearing more about it.
How about you, Chris? What got you into the field?
Chris Suggs: What got me into the field, is I was working doing maintenance for a man, that’s how I met Nick, he was a business owner for Insider Recovery, that was the first behavioral health tech job that I got, through there me and him met, and I come from a dysfunctional family, I’m not in the program myself but I found a lot of closure when I started working as a tech. It was overwhelming with all the answers I got, with all the questions that I needed to help me out with the situation I had back at home. So when I got into the field it was just like being home.
Getting all the information that I needed, and I started out as a tech and I did that for a while, probably about a year or so, then moved back home for a little while, some personal issues, then Nick called me six or eight months down the road, got me back down here, offered me a job with him to help out because we just clicked off the start. I got back into treatment again, working as a BHT, then promoted to working in the housing component, and what we have now at New Directions is awesome. It’s about a 25 bed facility in transitional living, so I have techs under me, I help out with transportation, get techs to and from meetings. We also take clients shopping for food…
Gina: Well you try to provide them with opportunities to really practice their recovery skills in real life, which is important…
Chris: Exactly. We give them the real life recovery.
Gina: Good! So tell me a little bit about your line of service. What is it that you guys do? What’s your program?
Nick: Our program is brain-based treatment. We’re the most cutting-edge IOP on the East Coast. We are one of the first centers to start the Nexalin and the brain mapping. And what we do is we actually take an EMG of the brain and we can actually read the electrical current from that, and as you know the brain is electrical matter, it’s made up of electrons. And they’re here for 42 days, they’re at American Addiction Center for 30 [days], they’re at a treatment center for anywhere from a month to two months.
In there, what you guys are witnessing is a phenomenon of almost a physical withdrawal. The diarrhea, the puking, the shakes, the chills, the tremors…and when we get them, as an aftercare, we usually see the post-acute-withdrawal symptoms, also known as PAWS, which is really the chemical imbalance; the anxiety, the depression, bipolar, and we target that. There’s a lot of IOPs, I like to call them “cookie cutter” IOPs, where you just go in there, you sit down, you listen to a 12-step group, and basically they’re just taking up your time. There’s a physical and mental disease behind this and we treat that first. So that when you’re in a room with a 12-step or a life skills group, you can focus on what’s happening in that room.
So what we do is we read the [brain] current, and through the current we can actually see if you have anxiety, if you’re bipolar, if you have depression, depending on the ways the electrons are running, we can actually send a shock there and reroute the current. What that does is it’s a quicker speedup to non-medication. We don’t not give medication; if it’s needed, we give it. We’re not opposed to it. We are just coming at it from a different angle and trying to speed up the process. We’ve found that anxiety is cured by it, depression is cured by it, it’s out of the study period, and this is fact. Brain cells are rebuilt by this.
Gina: It’s a brain disease, so obviously being able to treat the brain is part of the deal. That’s a really cool concept that we haven’t heard too much on, so that’s pretty wild.
If somebody wanted to know more about how to access your services, how would they get in touch with you?
Nick: Me personally, I’m the Director of Business Development and how you’d get in touch to find out more about New Directions would be to contact me personally by phone or email. You can get to me at 617-749-6724 and my email is [email protected]. I check my emails very frequently and you can also gather more information at our website NDBrainTherapy.com.
The owner, Lisa Cicetti, she’s an electrical engineer major, a Ph.D. in psychology and she’s had substance abuse run in her family, so if you look at those two, she combined them. With the electrical engineering certification and the Ph.D., she’s figured out a way that those two can coincide with each other and this is the product that she’s come up with and it has been nothing but positive. We have a great reputation in the recovery community, nothing bad is ever said about us and we really do care and we really do understand that it is a brain disease and that we have to start with the brain first. To get to the heart, we have to start with the brain first, get these guys chemically balanced, get them in the room so that they can soak up what is being said. That’s the approach we’ve taken and it works; I’ve seen it firsthand.
Gina: Well thank you both, Chris and Nick, for being with us. For those of you interested in learning more about Lakeview Health, you can find us online at LakeviewHealth.com and you can also reach us at 866-460-8416.