Magazine article Addiction Professional

Q&A with David Perez, Chief Operating Officer of the Oaks at la Paloma

Magazine article Addiction Professional

Q&A with David Perez, Chief Operating Officer of the Oaks at la Paloma

Article excerpt

The Oaks at La Paloma is an integrated addiction and mental health treatment center located in Memphis, TN. For more information, visit TheOaksTreatment.com or call (866)494.7787.

What makes you passionate about treatment?

I just absolutely love to get into the trenches. I think this work is powerful and beautiful and painful at the same time, and I have a passion for that. I love to watch people move through the struggle and come out the other side.

What's your favorite thing about your job?

Each person I'm working with is unique--both staff and patients. We all share so much and are more alike than different, but we're all unique. I get to (and have to be) creative with every interaction, even though I'm bringing 32 years of experience.

How do you know when someone is "getting it" in the treatment and recovery process?

I want to say it's intuition, but it's not. To me, it's just a relaxing of resistance. All of the sudden there's just an openness; things start to click for them. Each of us experiences that in a different way. Sometimes we have to fight and struggle and then release, and for others it just happens naturally; we stumble into it. We're all different in how we get it. I'm also not sure I fully believe in the concept of "getting it." We can't stay "gotten," we have to test it and learn new ways.

What advice do you have for people who are entering treatment today?

Bring all of you. Don't play roles or parts. Be fully authentic and fully in. Bring your hopes, your fears, your anger, whatever it is you've got. That's the only way for it work well.

What advice do you have for people who are struggling to maintain their recovery?

Ask for help. That's the number one reason we struggle; we don't ask for help. We think we have to do it by ourselves, we think that no one wants to hear our crap anymore, we think maybe we're not worthy of help. And then, believe you can heal. Have trust. It may not look the way you want it to look, but it can happen.

We meet you Where you are

At The Oaks, we meet you where you are with acceptance & without judgment. Because of our evidence-based methods for treating addiction and mental health conditions in the same setting, we annually meet criteria for "Dual Diagnosis Enhanced" services, a standard only achieved the top 5% of addiction treatment programs. …

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