Meet Our Director of Outpatient Services
Our special guest, Rachael Tapp, gives us insight into her professional growth within the addiction treatment industry.
- Rachael opens up about her beginning steps working within addiction treatment and finding her calling in helping others.
- How Rachael navigated working in addiction treatment though not experiencing addiction
- Jason, who was one of Rachael’s professional mentors, gives his viewpoint on her development.
- How do you hold space for someone, and why do you do it?
Empathy is knowing our own darkness well enough to sit in the dark with another. And that is holding space, just sitting in the dark with another. You don’t need to bring solutions, just bring yourself, and just meet the other person where they are.
hey everybody and welcome to another amazingly phenomenal edition of finding peaks uh grateful to be here with some of my good friends and colleagues we got jason friesma chief clinical officer um lpclac that’s it that’s it lpc uh licensed professional counselor we have rachel tapp who is our outpatient director correct and my name is chris burns i am the president and founder currently but i’m working on another title um also known as motivational specialist motivational specialist so grateful to be here today on this thursday i really love coming in here on a thursday because i spend a tremendous amount of time on the client level on thursday and i’m reminded every thursday and every friday when we get to do crossfit with the clients and kind of run a circle and check in group why we do what we do and why it’s so impactful and there couldn’t be two more professionals sitting in front of us today that share in that impact and so really grateful to have rachel on for the first time rachel started with us new year’s eve 2016. and she actually before the show described her first shift as being pretty intense with not a tremendous amount of training but peaks recovery in 2021 has a great training program continued education you name it we’re here for you but maybe talk with us a little bit about rachel um kind of the early professional stages i know you worked over at parker valley hope um and then transitioned over to peak’s recovery through a friend of ours named robert jocelyn and yeah a great professional in the community and may just talk to us about that transition and kind of the roles that you’ve assumed um and stepped into and been promoted within and we’ll start there okay um yeah i i started my journey in this field at uh peaks recover nope at parker valley hope um and i think that that was a really good um like stepping stone for me i think i that was where i i think i i found my passion at parker valley hope like for the field um and yeah i mean like you said i i knew robert jocelyn uh he also worked at parker valley hope and then um yeah i was there for almost two years um and it was i mean i learned a lot i completely um you know i was immersed in the in the work there um and i really enjoyed it until i um didn’t and um and i reached out to robert who was working at triple peaks and um he yeah i mean he said that there were some positions open and i reached out to him and um and angelica was actually the one who interviewed me initially um and i’ll never forget because she did ask me who my favorite superhero was um and i yeah yeah it totally threw me off guard i was like wait what like why why do you care um but yeah it was it was a really interesting question um wait but who’s your superhero yeah okay so listen
so i said um i said ant-man oh my gosh that’s yeah i’m not really like it wasn’t small at all yeah because i i’m not like a superhero really person yeah ant-man small but like powerful but i’m also not like small like i’m not sure yeah that’s besides the point um yeah and so i um i interviewed with her and she offered me the position and things uh got better at parker valley so i stayed um so i declined the position and um yeah and there was one day that um i was praying and i was questioning you know if i was supposed to be working in this field like what i was supposed to be doing and angelica called me the next day and i told her i was like listen this is crazy that you’re calling me um and she told me she was like rachel i called you because i had a gut feeling to call you um and so like from there on i told her i was like i don’t care what shift it is i don’t care how much you guys pay me like i’m in um and so i started as the weekend house manager and that’s when we stayed on for however many hours
yeah it was great yeah so i started with that and i think uh during you know the house manager position i um i learned that i learn best being thrown in to things like that um i so there like you said like there wasn’t a lot of training but i think that that’s exactly what i needed um and i don’t know if you know this but it actually just reminded me i remember when we hired you and this was you know 2016 coming into 2017 we’re talking four years ago yeah and i’ve grown in the field and our company’s grown a tremendous amount but i used to think in that residential director positions like you have to be in substance use recovery you have to and i remember when they hired you and i maybe even told somebody i don’t know that she’s going to be really functional in this role she’s not in substance recovery and to counter that point rachel was the longest standing person in that role was probably the best individual professional we’ve ever had in that role and very quickly i was shown an opportunity for growth so i just i wanted to share that oh my gosh i didn’t know that yeah thank you for sharing it sure yeah yeah now i’ve come a long way i’m like you actually don’t you probably shouldn’t be in recovery at least that kind of recovery so yeah well and i actually i i appreciate you sharing that with me because that was something that was really hard for me for a long time like i doubted myself um quite frequently actually um because you weren’t the only person who had that response um but yeah i i learned a lot in the house manager position and i remember interviewing for the residential director position um and i mean you remember yeah i do yeah you were there again it was jason and corinne and jason asked me what i did for self-care um and this was a turning point for me as well and jason and i talk about it all the time but my response for self-care was that i sleep that was what you said yeah that’s honest just like really embarrassing yeah um but i’ve uh since grown a lot in the self-care department it’s been improved um in the residential director position i i mean i learned i think i i learned a lot about myself in that position um so i learned boundaries i i didn’t even know like what boundaries were you know like i was working i don’t even know how much i was working and i remember um yeah i remember going to jason and i was like listen like i’m not like i can’t do this anymore um and he was like well you said are you running toward or are you running from and i was definitely running from um and that’s when we implemented the counselor on call because i was on call yeah became my problem yes yeah well and i think like what that taught me was um what actually happens when you ask for help and like when you like put a voice to what you actually need and yeah i i think mostly boundaries in that position um and then the residential operations director so when i transitioned into that role i think that was when i learned a lot more about um like the professionalism and like the more professional piece so that was when i you know i was invited into the leadership meeting and i mean i think that meeting i um yeah i learned how to regulate my emotions in that meeting uh which was hard but i i think i i don’t think i learned the hard way i think i’ve learned beforehand um yeah but uh a lot of professionalism and just like how to carry myself i i’ve always known that i have like a lot like this this presence and this energy but i don’t know that i never i ever really knew what to do with it and i think in the residential operations director position i think i kind of learned um and now i’m in you know the director of outpatient services position and i think in this position so far i’ve i’ve learned um i mean maybe like my power um and
um like autonomy i think i’ve i’ve i’ve felt a level of autonomy and a level of guidance like the perfect amount of autonomy and guidance um yeah and i mean i just continue to learn about myself professionally and personally that’s phenomenal too because we come from such a generation and recovery of experience strength and hope experience strength and hope what’s your experience strength and hope and most people coming into treatment when you first started were like what’s your experience strength and hope how do you share experience strength and hope because rachel was somebody in those rooms that’s guiding a circle process and so she’s in there checking in with people about their day checking in with cravings checking them in with triggers checking in with how we’re doing behaviors how are we eating how are we sleeping and never having been in their shoe how do you navigate that process so well uh so like i said that that was something that was really hard for me i um so from my experience what would actually happen is you know like the clients come in and their first question is like what’s your drug of choice and you know like i i learned this the hard way you know i would say well you know like i’ve never like i don’t have a drug of choice i’ve never used drugs um and i could see immediately like the the wall go up and the the the client without saying it would say um like oh you don’t get it you don’t understand me um you’re not someone i can relate to and so um and this is something i actually walked through with one of with lauren um because uh you know it was really hard and i experienced quite a bit of shame about it um but i think what i what i can relate to is the feelings um so like my response now is you know i’ve never been addicted to a substance but i know what it feels like to be depressed and i know what it feels like to be so anxious you don’t know what to do with yourself i know what it feels like to be um like despair like i know shame i know all those feelings so i think um you know that’s how i can relate to our clients now um those that have you know substance use um issues and that i mean i i think that that is almost more like powerful most definitely and to your point what you just shared i was in circle this morning and a client of ours um was talking to bobby actually and said hey you said something to me when i was in detox i want you to know what really helped the way that it shifted the way that i looked at this he’s like i thought i was coming here to learn how to not drink which to me meant unhappiness a life sentence of unhappiness and you came in and said you’re actually here more to learn how to be happy yeah than to learn not to drink and something so simple like that because it’s not and maybe you were the front end of this new progression at peaks because it is so not about coping mechanisms right it’s about pain and shame of which most humans can identify and relate to if they give themselves a chance and so i really love that too because it’s it pushes it in the direction that it needs to be i think we really would do ourselves a service by quit talking about substances and drug of choice and war stories because it doesn’t matter we talk about the stuff that really matters and that’s pinging that intensity to get loaded to get high to escape which is pain how has it been for you kind of being because i know jason’s been you know somewhat of a mentor and you know it’s jason who will ask clients and as well as professionals and his friends really good caring questions like are you running toward are you running away what has it been like as a professional who’s been doing this for a tremendous amount of time see a young professional like rachel really grow and flourish as a result of a little bit of guidance and some passion
chris that’s a great question and i think um it’s been
i mean it it’s why i’m here to be honest with you um i’ve done private practice work i’ve worked i can i can do counseling kind of wherever actually um not trying to be rude but like the reason i’m here is because of our team and because of um really the tone from from the moment i started at peaks has been to support clients but also to support each other and to and to be a group of people who are um well they’re they’re here to um be here for one another and and honestly we spent a lot of time at work uh especially lately and uh and frankly um to be able to care and have genuine conversations with people and and to provide a little bit of mentorship or ask a question here or there um or just offer a word of support or um you know have somebody walk into my office close the door and be like wow this is what’s happening in my life um it’s been a great honor to be honest with you and i think um what you said too and what we probably didn’t see four or five years ago when we were doing this is we were setting a stage to really not just help people struggling with substance addiction but to help people that are just struggling um with life and with with depression and with anxiety and with um but with life basically and we had created such an environment that to invite people in that maybe don’t identify with any substance of choice like they can come and receive help at peaks too whereas four or five years ago that wasn’t the case um and i really related to what you said to rachel um because i was actually the first person peeks hired that wasn’t going to aaa wasn’t in recovery actually and like mayfield uh yeah that’s true i did have me and bobby were like i bet he’s got 15 years bobby’s like i think he’s probably got 20. yeah of recovery so i appreciate that
from you guys that’s a really good compliment that you thought i was a heroin addict yeah that’s 15 years ago yeah some people might not think that’s a compliment but it was but like but in all seriousness like um i know that was outside of your comfort zone to begin to add on people who who thought maybe a little bit differently or came at this a little bit differently um and but what it has done and i think it’s really been able to like free peaks to really elevate itself to provide care specifically um to just anyone who’s struggling with anything and we can find the empathy for that yeah i really appreciate you saying that and you bring up a really good point too and something that i i know i don’t think makes peaks really unique is professionals like jason and professionals like rachel who are willing to sit down and really hold space for people and it’s been the first treatment program that i’ve been a part of and most certainly i’m biased but i watch our team every therapist ccas even holding space for people and it comes from the top down and the ability to sit with people after they hold space with people which can be a really intense situation so i just kind of want to end with how do you hold space and why do you do it
uh so i think it it varies um so for me i think you know you talked about it earlier like the attunement um you know and just being attuned to the client and quite literally meeting them where they’re at you know like we talk about it all the time like just meet them where they’re at meet and where they’re at and i think um holding space is like a different level of meeting people where they’re at um yeah i mean and for me like uh i ask you know like what like what do you need right now do you need me to just listen do you need feedback and just sitting there in the uncomfortability um and why do i do it um
i do it because i want to be able to um honestly i want to be able to do something different um i think my you know growing up i think that that was kind of something that um wasn’t always welcomed um and so you know it it is kind it’s like personally i just i just want to do something different yeah i love that how about you um i’m going to use uh pema children’s words who said that um empathy is knowing our own darkness well enough to sit in the dark with another and that’s holding space is just sitting in the dark with another yeah you don’t have to bring solution you don’t have to bring you just bring yourself and you just meet another person where they are i love that yeah both phenomenal descriptions you know in in my experience in the field and in recovery there had been a time where i was just unable to hold space i wasn’t at a spot in my recovery with my pain and my shame in order to sit and really what i consider holding space today is leaning in and really leaning in and sometimes clients and people they’ll deliver information out that pushes a lot of people away and i think you all do a phenomenal job when that information comes out of just getting closer and leaning in and it’s been my experience over the last year and a half most certainly in the pandemic it’s like you can feel the trust build when you lean in and hold space and it’s just like the client wants to get closer the professional wants to get closer and it becomes much more connected so i thank you both for coming on today it’s been phenomenal just checking in about fun stuff that i love to talk about which is passion recovery champaign all of that stuff yeah i really appreciate it great thursday to be here um that’s all for finding peeks today please find us on instagram facebook wherever you get your podcast we’ll be back next week it’s been an absolute pleasure be great