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SMART Recovery Intervention Clinic – Healthier, Happier, More Productive – BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT By Jannise Bush

Jannise Bush20160216Bernice Gordon-Young, is the Owner-Coordinator at SMART Recovery Intervention Clinic located in the Twin Towers and works at OSF in the Behavioral Health Child & Adolescent Department. She started out in 1994 as a residential counselor with Catholic Social Services. One of the reasons she worked there was because she was a teenage parent and wanted to assist other teenage parents develop life skills, continue their education, and lead a successful life. After a short time working with girls, funding was cut and the program was closed. Due to the connections she made in her role, one door closed and another one opened.

A boys’ residential facility opened, and she was offered an opportunity to work there. “I remember being hesitant and thinking, can I do this, I’m a female. One of the supervisors thought I would be perfect. So I took the job, still under Catholic Social Services with Guardian Angel Residential Group Home. I loved it! I absolutely loved it!” She worked with young men age 13-21 for seven years as one of only two female staff. Today, she is still in contact with many of the young men who are now adults.

bernice-gordon-youngBecause of her love for counseling, she earned her Masters degree in mental health counseling and became a licensed psychotherapist in 2002. During this time, she had an internship working with sex offenders and co-lead classes on anger management, life skills, and substance abuse for men and women on parole/probation. She eventually took over that program and became the owner of SMART Recovery Intervention Clinic. That was 14 years ago, and she now serves on the Behavioral Audit Board for Youth & Family Services, formerly Catholic Social Services.

The SMART Recovery Intervention Clinic helps people identify their feelings, assess what they’re thinking, identify how their thoughts makes them feel, and utilize appropriate reactions/responses. “I want people to know that for me it’s not about economic wealth, it’s about mental wealth. I really want them to understand the stigma that was once there about mental health is no longer there, particularly in the Black community. Confidentiality is the highest priority in the therapeutic relationship. Therapy is helpful because we all have challenges we need help dealing with in life sometimes. In general, talking with a psychotherapist is about talking with someone who is there to listen and give you helpful tools in a nonjudgmental environment with dignity and respect.

SMART Recovery Intervention Clinic currently has a group program for people 18 and over on Saturdays from 12:15 to 1:15 for $10/person. Individual sessions are available at $25/session. In addition, the plan is to start another group for ages 13-17 on Saturdays from 11 to noon. If you would like to begin working to live a healthier, happier, and more productive life, contact Bernice Gordon-Young at (309) 922-1969.