All Kinds of News for May 08, 2019
James Skelton worked at SUWS as the Recovery Support Specialist from 2015-2017. During that time, he helped transform the Phoenix program by incorporating more 12-Step education and overall recovery knowledge. James was then accepted into the Western Carolina University Social Work program and went on to earn his Master’s. During school, James interned at Mission Hospital’s inpatient Psychiatric Unit and found a passion for the DBT approach. He also conducted research projects on gender and neurobiology of addiction, as well as effective aftercare planning for adolescents in treatment. Now James returns on May 20th as a primary therapist for the Phoenix program – serving adolescents with substance use disorders and co-occurring diagnoses.
About returning to SUWS after two years at school, James says, “It feels like I’m coming home! I’m excited to take what I’ve learned through my studies and research and bring it into the field to benefit these guys.” As someone who already knows the power of wilderness milieu work, he is looking forward to going in-depth into group culture, peer relationships, and examining the magic of wilderness.
Another familiar face returning to SUWS is Valerie Wanamaker, LCSWA. In the past, Valerie was a field staff; after earning her social work degree, she served as seasonal therapist in group Bravo. Now Valerie has returned to help launch new initiatives in the family program. She will be an ally for families - having calls with them throughout their child’s stay and helping them process the experience, their own goals, and their plans for the future. Valerie will also be leading parent workshops and supporting the families during the 2-day graduation process. The Family Program will continue to evolve over the summer, with even more family supports launching in the fall.
About SUWS of the Carolinas
SUWS of the Carolinas is a licensed, CARF International-accredited mental health facility, committed to helping families rediscover their strengths and fostering growth for young people. Operating in the Pisgah National Forest outside of Asheville, SUWS delivers wilderness based therapeutic interventions for 10-17 year old boys and girls with compassion and excellence.