Ask Patrick Casthely and he’ll tell you dreams do come true, just not always in the ways you’d suspect. Patrick was working as a licensing specialist with the State of Florida Department of Children and Families when he first came to know The Recovery Place. As part of the group licensing the facility, Patrick took a tour and reviewed various aspects of its operations.
“During the tour, I fell in love with the place,” he says. “The staff, the leadership, the aesthetics – this was a treatment center that met the highest standards of excellence. This was a treatment center I would choose for a family member.”
Five years later, Patrick now serves as the clinical director of The Recovery Place, a position he describes as a “dream come true.” He started as a clinician in 2008 and got the attention of the leadership team when his clients ended up staying in treatment longer and achieving better outcomes, landing him a promotion to clinical director.
Married and expecting his second child next month, Patrick feels blessed to work with people in recovery. Witnessing people restore their lives and reunite with their families, he says, makes the long hours well worth it.
As clinical director, Patrick designs individualized treatment plans and programming for clients. He also works in a hands-on way to ensure that clients are getting the attention they need. He makes a point to participate in the orientation process so that he meets every single client that receives treatment there.
While some treatment centers are confrontational and punitive in nature, Patrick takes a client-centered approach that emphasizes a close alliance between staff and clients. Patrick prides himself on his work ethic and commitment to his clients, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously. Friendly, funny and down-to-earth, he is easy to talk to and quick to build rapport.
“We treat our clients like VIPs,” he says. “Being in treatment can be overwhelming so we walk them through every step of the process. Coming from a place of empathy and warmth, we try to see the world through their eyes and make sure their experience is a positive one.”
A Relationship for Life
The treatment experience is so positive that some clients come back to work there. One client who Patrick treated years ago set a goal to work at The Recovery Place and followed through years later. Every time Patrick sees him, he smiles, grateful for the reminder that people recover from this disease and go on to achieve their goals.
What makes an experience as difficult as drug rehab so positive? Clients work independently, shopping, cooking and cleaning for themselves, which builds life skills and self-esteem, Patrick says. Once a client joins the community, they’re part of The Recovery Place for life. Through Facebook and alumni groups, clients stay in contact with each other for ongoing support and encouragement.
For Patrick, the staff is what makes The Recovery Place most special.
“I am surrounded by some of the country’s best clinicians,” he says. “They are passionate and hard-working, and each one will gladly stop everything to help a client work through an issue.”
Room to Grow
Although Patrick has come a long way personally and professionally, he’s not done yet. He’s working on his Ph.D. and jumps at every opportunity to learn more.
“I’ve still got a lot of growth in me, and there are so many people who need our help,” he says. “All they need is a belief in the possibility that they can get better – we can handle the rest.”