Bio: Toni received her undergraduate degree in psychology from St. Vincent College followed by a Master of Counseling degree from Duquesne University. She has worked in the addiction field for 22 years and has spent 15 of those years employed at Greenbriar Treatment Center. Toni has held multiple clinical roles throughout her career and is currently the Program Supervisor for Greenbriar’s long-term inpatient facility located in Waynesburg, PA. Toni has impacted many lives during her time at Greenbriar and is a valuable asset to the administrative and clinical team!
Questions & Answers
Q: What motivated you to enter the drug and alcohol field?
A: I grew up in a small town surrounded by addiction, not only by its citizens but also by several family members. I saw firsthand what addiction could do. While I was in college, I had planned on doing an internship at a psychiatric unit in a local hospital which I had arranged in the spring. When the time came for me to start, the hospital had no idea who I was; therefore I no longer had an internship. I quickly contacted my internship coordinator in a complete panic!! Luckily, she was able to get me a summer internship at the Fayette County Drug and Alcohol Commission. It was totally serendipitous and the best possible outcome! On my first day there, the director told me that I was a clinical intern, not a secretary, so don’t get stuck making copies. I never forgot her words and so I stuck with the clinical staff for the summer. I had the opportunity to do individual sessions, groups, DUI classes, and so much more. It felt like home to me and that is when I knew that drug and alcohol would be my path.
Q: Do you have a preferred treatment modality? If so, please explain what it is and tell us why it is your preferred method.
A: I like cognitive behavioral therapy because it helps patients realize that their thinking is flawed and can be changed. They get to see that their emotions can not only be handled and managed but changed! In my opinion, it is an extremely empowering process.
Q: What is the best part of the work you do?
A: The best part of my work is participating in patient care and seeing the changes the patients make. The other best part of my job is working with my clinical team; they are all dedicated, amazing, and passionate people. I have the best staff, and I am so grateful they work with us.
Q: What is something you wish more people knew about addiction, treatment, and/or recovery?
A: Addiction is a treatable illness and recovery exists. You don’t have to keep living this way. There’s hope out here.