Balance House Clinician’s Corner: Catie Cartisano, LCSW, LSUDC, Partner
Balance House Clinical Director Catie Cartisano operates from an Attachment Theory lens. When clients come in having struggled with extreme isolation due to COVID, attachment work is one of the ways Catie focuses on healing their relationships. Catie loves to use Emotion Focused Therapy with clients and their families to help them better understand their feelings and process them in a safe way. Catie and the entire clinical team are EMDR certified to ensure evidence-based treatment of trauma.
Catie received her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work along with Advanced Substance Use Disorder Treatment Training at the University of Utah. With ten years of experience, Catie spent most of her career in the public sector at non-profit facilities and federal and government agencies. She has extensive experience working with high acuity mental health patients, combat veterans, chronically homeless individuals and inmates at the Utah State Prison. This experience has prepared her to work with severe cases of PTSD, an array of personality disorders, trauma, substance use disorders and the Severely Mentally Ill. Catie believes that people in recovery must first detach from addictive substances and behaviors in order to develop the capacity to build and sustain healthy relationships. Catie has implemented multiple evidenced-based practices into Balance House’s outpatient and residential facilities and specializes in the following modalities: Acceptance Commitment Therapy, 12-Step Facilitation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Attachment and Addiction, Recovery Management and Motivational Interviewing. In her free time, Catie can be found riding her horses or playing with her new pup, Stella.
An Interview with Catie
Why do you enjoy working with young adults?
“Young adults are among the most engaging, resilient, and intriguing individuals I have ever worked with. Their circumstances create challenges that can only be met with determination, perseverance, and integrity. There is more sense of achievement when working with young people; there is the sense that you have been witness to, and hopefully helped facilitate, true growth and change. Each day presents a new challenge that keeps me and my team stimulated to learn more. The work can be very frustrating some days but also very rewarding.”
Why does Balance House believe in long-term treatment?
“Simple: time. It takes more than 90 days to create a life that our guys don’t want to lose. Having a community, healing relationships, getting a job, and turning their lives around takes more than a few months; it takes consistency, accountability, and guidance over time. I have worked in many treatment settings and they are all usually missing one key component: aftercare. Watching a young man come in without his GED and then witnessing him graduate from college is incredible. This would not be possible without the support of the long-term recovery community that Balance House provides.”
What are some of the most common issues you’re seeing among young adult men?
“There are so many issues young adults face right now. From the current political climate to the isolation from the pandemic, along with the toxicity of social media, young adults are faced with many obstacles. What I do know is that these are some of the most capable young men that are underachieving in their lives. So much of what has been focused on with these guys has been what’s wrong with them and becasue of this, so much has been missed about what is right with a client.”
Balance House is a year-long continuum of care for young men ages 18-32 years old. We are located in Salt Lake City, Utah at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. Balance House offers four, distinct levels of care from residential treatment to independent, sober living. Residents of the program are offered a chance to explore the outdoors and beauty that Utah has to offer as well as to participate in group and evidenced-based treatment modalities. Our treatment program is different by design. We offer a space in which young men can help make decisions about their treatment plans and goals as well as feel supported as they begin to realize what is important to them outside of the treatment setting.