Meet Our Director of Admissions
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In this episode, we get to know our passionate admissions director, Erin Greney, as she gives us insight into her professional role within the addiction treatment industry.
- Erin opens up about why she enjoys working in admissions within the addiction treatment center and her passion behind working with people
- How she guides her admissions team and drives them to put compassion and empathy first
- Why Erin chooses to put people first vs. a ‘heads to beds’ mentality
- How Erin’s personal experience plays a role in her role as the admissions director
- Everyone on the episode shares a “Best Day” at Peaks Recovery memory
The thing about people calling us, we know it is so scary, overwhelming, fearful, and an unknown experience, whether you have called and been to treatment before, or if this is the first time reaching out for help, it can be a really scary experience for alot of people and families. So whatever we can do to nurture that, and make you feel more comfortable, and support you through the process, we will do it because we truly understand the fear.
hello and welcome to another episode of finding peaks i’m jason friesman chief clinical officer of peaks recovery to my left chris burns president founder and motivational specialist let’s go grateful to be here yeah grateful you’re here thank you to my right aaron grenny yeah our director of admissions uh really excited to have you here today um we have talked about a lot of things uh in the minutes leading up to this show yes um what i would the thing that i wanted to start maybe by asking you about is uh why in the world do you want to be a director of admissions for rehab that’s a great question um so i think that admissions for me and of course i’m biased i say that all the time but it’s really an opportunity to connect directly with families clients different people involved at a point in time where it’s so critical to make such a important connection and be supportive in any way that you can um and then also there’s the kind of direct result of seeing someone get into treatment and all that hope that we have for them in their journey it’s i mean it’s incredible so yeah and also i love people too so they’re directing what you do i do okay good yeah yes um so tell me about kind of we were talking a little bit but what is your philosophy of admissions if you will yes how do you view it so for me the most important piece about admissions is relationship building and being in a position where we are supporting and you know developing trust and walking through this path and the end result is not entirely necessarily even that they come into peaks it’s just truly the benefit of helping whether that’s with us or somewhere else but building a relationship and being able to help in any way shape or form whatever that looks like for that individual and their family so yeah i love that i love what you have brought to the admissions team the department from like a cultural perspective because when i when i’ve been involved and and had the opportunity to work with admissions department and even bef the admissions department before you took over we really have this kind of like dire rock bottom approach to get people into care and i’ve watched you come in and really create some trauma-informed admissions processes which just really like i was talking about it with tris a couple weeks ago just the opportunity you give your team and your department and yourself to hold space and to spend time and to to madeline’s point which is like listen first solve later it’s actually something that i’ve never seen in this field every admissions department i’ve had the opportunity to be around is kind of like sharks they come in and they’re bottom feeders and they come in and promise you the world and give you nothing as a result and you’ve really changed what i think is possible in an admissions department just through your presence and focus on being relational it’s just actually been really really cool to watch and i had a lot of fear um when we lost a couple of our admissions people i’ve been around for a long time and i was like holy crap are we going to be able to do this and actually the compassionate attention to this process creates more opportunity for vulnerable people to get in these beds and um i just couldn’t be more proud thank you so much for sure appreciate that it’s been really cool to watch yeah yeah it doesn’t it doesn’t have to be like that and the fact that you guys like sit on the phone with people that can’t pay for treatment i think it’s just so special and when i say this is the best admissions department like it’s not even close um and maybe there’s a call center with more people but certainly not the people that we have and it’s just it’s really special how do you we get so many calls each month and you all are so busy how do you feel so comfortable allowing your team and yourself included to spend so much time with people i mean where’s the payoff there yes well one of the the really important pieces about that is we’re relying on each other throughout this time as well so that team mentality is something that i mean truly within the admissions team i’ve never seen individuals so um motivated to support each other and people on the phone in entirely um so you know we’ll we’ll rely on each other and if someone has a longer call we’ll we’ll say to each other hey i’m on a long call can somebody you know help out with this call or call someone i’ve been working with or whatever and everyone is so willing to do that consistently um that it’s really incredible to watch and be a part of but yeah the compassion piece is something that you spoke to that i think is so critical that i mean truly every call like that’s the motivating factor um is just showing up and being compassionate because the thing about people calling we know this it is such a scary and overwhelming and fearful and kind of unknown experience whether you’ve called and been to treatment before or this is your first time kind of reaching out for help it’s it’s a really scary um experience for a lot of people and a lot of families and so whatever we can do to kind of nurture that and make you feel more comfortable and support you through that process i mean we’ll do it because we know how scary it is so yeah i love that i think i think i’ve watched other people approach admissions by taking the the scary moment and then leveraging that fear and really failing the flames of it to try to create uh action on somebody’s part it’s workable it is it’s like you’re going to die you better go yeah there’s enough of that already we don’t know we don’t need that yeah yeah how did you or why do you have this approach oh that’s a good question um i mean i think so part of it comes from my own of course experience um with recovery and going into treatment and of course i i kind of use that experience as much as i can um and you know i think that what i’ve seen because i have seen this other way as well and unfortunately in a lot of ways it does work for people but this approach just all together is is what supports everybody in its entirety and the other thing that i think that the admissions team does really well is that we’re and we’ve talked about this we’re setting the standard for the care that they will get at peaks so we are wrapping around family systems and clients and educating and you know kind of guiding through because we need to set a tone for the incredible care that the entire team at peaks will give so we need to set a good tone for that we need to set that example from the second they call us when i think you know having having sat on the clinical side for so long and i know i’ve shared a little bit of this with you but i i feel like a lot of times our clients start to get help before they walk in our door because they are talking to you and and your team and not only are you setting the tone but like you’re beginning the process actually um rather than because my experience when people come into treatment scared or their family is scared um it takes a week two weeks three weeks to like begin to unravel that and begin to work on repairing the relationship with the family or whatever whereas if if admissions is kind of a relational process i’ve watched it um be a much smoother transition into our care uh and having that uh having that alignment and i and i do want to say too um i know your team cares a ton too because like you know i they love to hear how clients are doing along the way and and after and all that so yeah i really appreciate that too echoing what you said chris yeah i mean that’s just a huge point to make is like for years we’re dropping off scared kids and scared families into treatment and then we have to pick up those pieces and build trust right for somebody who’s in a tremendous amount of fear and quite frankly a lot of times is angry because the the family system just went boom get out and go and you have to or you’re gone right and so they’ve really leveraged that connection and as i was saying in group and lisa smith has said it in here before with that connection you have influence without that connection you don’t have anything and so we can’t move people in any sort of direction without that connection and that influence and i just when somebody shows up supported it’s much different than showing up scared and i wonder too just having that experience in prescott arizona you know we’ve both kind of been through the rigmarole of treatment out there the environment the culture and we saw a lot of things being done a certain way and at times i know we’ve spoke about it i’ve just kind of sat back and be like is this the right way right and in fact i think we’ve learned that it’s not and and now we’re here and that was one of the conversations i remember having with you on the front end is like the opportunity we have to engage in a really kind of authentic clinical and medical process for the clients that we serve is really cool and being able to promise not kind of throw lobster hail mary out but be able to promise clients that when you come into care this is exactly what you’ll get met with and be treated like every single day throughout care it’s just it feels so good yes you know yes and i think that for us on the admission side that authenticity and that we truly believe what we’re talking about because it’s real like the quality of care that you will receive we’re we believe that wholeheartedly we see it every day um so that authenticity i think comes through really clearly as well which i mean i think about some admissions people where they kind of have to yeah bring that up and i’m so thankful that we don’t have to do that yeah and it’s it’s real yeah so how do you how do you think your own personal journey of recovery informs how you operate your team i mean we have a lot of conversations about emotion and we’re very open about talking about self boundaries i think that’s huge for longevity in any role in working in the treatment field particularly again biased in the admissions role because we’re dealing with things that are often highly fast moving highly emotional so it’s really important for us to kind of have internal boundaries a lot of times so that we can continue to help the next person that calls so just conversations like that i don’t think would be entirely possible unless i was pulling from my experience of course you know the the compassion and the patience i mean a lot of that comes from um you know my own experience as well so yeah i think that feeds a lot yeah and what kind of hope because i get on the phone in 2021 and i have the opportunity to pick up the admissions ball i’m usually the first person to grab it after all that great energy has touched that family but what are some of the things before my brain just went completely dead um on that front end um that you’re relaying to families as a part of your recovery to like really instill hope because one of the things that i get on and say to him every time is i said i am the most hopeful person you’re gonna ever talk to because i believe today that we have an authentic opportunity to walk this path together and to create hope in our lives and to create a quality of life improvement unlike we’ve ever seen and i only know that through my personal walk and really my personal walk in the last couple of years with all these fancy modalities we have now and opportunities we have to engage in diffusing some intensity and so how do you relay that hope and and maybe it’s tied to your story and your own recovery story but um what emphasis do you put on that in that admissions process yeah i mean i think there’s a lot of situations where families and you know clients themselves feel like they’ve been through this process and so it feels like a hopeless place especially if you’ve tried and it hasn’t been successful that’s really disheartening that’s really hard and so i think to share experiences of you know a lot of people have multiple situations where they’re trying and they’re trying so trying something different a longer type of care such as 45 days really stabilizing first like we identify kind of where within the last processes what was missing or what did that look like um that something new might be beneficial um so yeah i mean just just kind of sharing that like there is still hope and it can still happen um if we maybe try something a little bit different yeah you know yeah i love that and peaks to me in a lot of ways most certainly our curriculum is just different right and not just the curriculum but the connective tissue yeah the under the tree the opportunities we have to care and it is just i was sitting with yesterday i was i was i was almost moved to tears by my second coffee date yesterday because i sat with a 40 year old mature adult um earlier yesterday morning and he said i’ve been to southern california treatment i’m hyper vigilant in these places i’ve worked in treatment and this place is different these group sessions are intentional do you pay everybody to care do they just show up like that it’s like really phenomenal and then i have an opportunity to go to the women’s house in the afternoon at 3 30 and i just wish more people had the opportunity to do this because i sit down with this young woman who’s been to multiple treatments who has been considered and called a chronic relapse she’s in our care and she’s like i have more hope than ever yes i’ve only been here 10 days this is different and it is different because of those connective features um and a lot of the things that you bring on the front end which creates a tremendous amount of momentum into company culture and throughout the curriculum in our process so again just thank you i can’t rave enough about this admissions team and the first step cultural component to everything we do yes just really well interestingly to just piggyback the question i was thinking of before you even said all that is like what is it like to actually sell the peaks program not sell but like tell families about what we do here honestly there’s situations where sometimes we’re like we have to calm down a little bit because we’re too excited and it kind of doesn’t match the tone all the time right so we have to think okay this person is not in a place where if we’re excitedly shouting about what we offer although we’re so excited about it of course um but it’s it’s not difficult um again because we we see it we know we trust every single staff every processes every group like we know that it’s it’s gonna help and it’s to be beneficial and a lot of times it’s the right situation for a lot of people that call um so it almost feels yeah i mean it’s it’s exciting definitely um but it’s not terribly difficult like we don’t feel like we have to over emphasize anything or blur any lines or be dishonest in any way because again it’s it’s what we really offer and that feels good and that’s easy so i’m gonna ask you a hard question though okay you ready yeah of course what’s been your best day at peaks my best day at peaks um that’s a great question i for me the things that stick out in my mind are hearing someone that i worked with someone that i helped come into the program and was in a dark place and things were hard and you know they weren’t doing well to hear that they have gone on to be successful they graduated we hear feedback you know from the team about how much they improved and um you know how their quality of life has increased and they’ve just gone on there’s nothing like that in the world for me having seen the place they’re in in the beginning um i mean that’s just powerful and incredible and inspiring and all of the positive words so um i can think of a couple obviously i’m not going to name names but i can think of a couple people that i’ve worked with on the front end and to hear kind of their positive story is amazing
yeah how about you chris what’s been your best yes chris what’s yours best day of peaks there’s a lot i mean i really and i don’t say this just for the [ __ ] but i i genuinely am in a place because of the team and because of what we do and how we do it and the people we’re walking with and the clients and i was just in circle this morning in crossfit where you know a handful of the guys we were said it before were literally bathing them in detox and now they’re in there doing rowing and jumping pull-ups and so like every thursday and friday quite frankly are my best days at peaks because i have an opportunity to engage engage with what i’m passionate about which is client-facing everything activities physical spiritual mental and emotional and just watching people overcome what they thought was possible and every time we leave that crossfit jim i tell all of the guys or all of the women i say hey you didn’t know you’re going to come to peaks and be a better athlete but you’re going home a better athlete and every one of them’s like yeah this is cool and so every thursday and friday really especially in the last couple of years because i get to go down and i get to see firsthand what the team’s doing how they’re respected how they’re digesting the information and every thursday friday i find myself texting someone on our team just be like man i don’t know what you’re looking at but from what i see our clients are satiated they’re feeling fed they’re feeling heard they’re feeling acknowledged they’re feeling valued they’re feeling worth it and for me that is a perfect day it peaks recovery so yeah today today jason what about you who’s your best day oh we know this turn it back it’s every wednesday yeah it is every wednesday it is it is um uh when i get a chance to meet with my clinical team and um and even if it’s a hard meeting and even if we’re wrestling with difficult issues or um you know maybe a staff shortage or you know whatever might be happening at the time um i have a team that i i just love uh to be in front of and and um walking through this process because we we do uh get a chance to be passionate and it is easy um to just access that passion in the heart and um and provide additionally just really good care for people as well um because we do important work it turns out yes um and and that is the thing i i do i kind of wanted to end on this is that um aaron you you have provided that integrity that i think our team needed and because i do think each department when you when you look at medical and clinical and admissions and a residential team and all of our other teams like there is this piece where i think we all are striving to be the best we can and to provide the care and kind of that connective tissue that chris talks about the the things that we aren’t paid to do or the things that aren’t in our job description necessarily but it’s just a privilege to sit uh with our clients at times and and be humans with them and be people um and so i’m grateful for that so uh i feel like what has to go on the top of like every job description it’s like you have to be able to show you care you’re just not gonna you won’t last very long yeah yeah no you can’t show it right you can’t act because everybody will know yes right top of job description you got to show you have a heart and that you care and if you can’t do that you got 90 days yeah and i just love it man that’s a great requirement yeah yeah so it is um aaron thanks for joining us thank you so much for having me i’m so glad you came down here thank you thank you i am so excited about this mug i just want to say super quick i know i know we’re over but um my team the admissions team is absolutely incredible and i’m very grateful for them and i have two best days because working with my team okay two all right so two best days yeah because they’re amazing shout out admissions i will never forget when i’m in the iop office and i walk in and like you three of you are like laying on the floor working in admission talking i’m like you guys it’s dark in here they’re like is it like you must have been working for a while yeah and they were all working on one thing that had to do with the same admission but that one was like sending out the email one was done it was like i was just like this is beautiful and i’m just sitting there with my ttla like this is awesome yeah you know and and everyone will like do it without asking too they’ll be like oh i’ll do this i’ll do this and i’m like yes yes teamwork yeah it really is all right well that we are out of time now as aaron just alluded to but i i’m really grateful for this conversation um as always uh please follow us on facebook spotify probably uh apple podcast um instagram tick tock i’m new to tick tock got a new account this week nice oh my gosh i’ve got three followers i don’t mean to brag what’s the handle what’s the uh 14 or jason uh oh wait is it your personal tick tock yeah but oh that’s what i’m saying peaks yeah we have a pizza pizza tick tock but i’m saying you can follow us but i i’m a pretty big deal too on there i’ve got a free fall yeah anyway that’s it have a good one thank you