We are so excited to announce that Jennifer Olvera has been named program administrator of our residential addiction treatment center in Los Angeles. Jennifer will be overseeing the detox and residential programs ensuring that the residents receive the support that they need in their recovery. She sat down with our content manager, Lindsey, to talk about her experience and what she is excited to bring to the team.
Lindsey (L): Welcome and thank you for talking with me today. Can you tell me a little about what you do?
Jennifer (J): I am the program administrator, and I’m going to be overseeing The Discovery House detox and residential in regards to policies, procedures ensuring that the clinical aspect is met. Making sure the staff is doing what they need to be doing to provide the support that we say we’re offering.
L: What is your background?
J: I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist. I’ve been working in the field of mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders since 2004. The experience that I’m bringing is that I started from the point of data collection to the point of the program administrator and everything in between. So, I understand the details of the day to day operation. I’ve worked in residential homes as a clinical director, program director, and therapist, support staff type of positions. So I understand how the policies and procedures and care of the client – how important that all is to the client.
I also bring expertise from a clinical perspective and ensuring that the client is obtaining the clinical support that they need to overcome their situation whatever that might be. Whether they are at the detox level or the residential level, my goal is to create an avenue of hope and enlighten their lives so they can be happy.
L: What is your favorite part of working in this field?
J: I enjoy creating possibilities and opportunities for people as a whole. Whether that’s from a team perspective, client perspective I appreciate that. Working in this type of field allows for that. Each level you’re at it allows for that.
L: If you could garner the attention and tell the world one thing about addiction, what would you say?
J: That it impacts more than the person, who is addicted.
L: Through working with those struggling with an addiction, what do you hope to accomplish each day? How do you work to achieve it?
J: I hope that they’re able to see a better purpose for life other than using. I hope that they’re able to see that it impacts more than just them. How do I accomplish that? By bringing to light how that reality is. Whether that be through sharing the personal experience of being a child of an alcoholic and a person addicted to drugs or whether that be asking them questions that will take them to that answer.
L: Are you in recovery, if you don’t mind me asking?
J: I look at recovery as I’m recovering from life. I come from a family who struggled with drugs and alcohol. My father was addicted to alcohol and drugs, and there was domestic violence in the household, so I’m recovering from what he brought to my family. So, yes I am in recovery. Addiction impacts more than just the person using.
L: What is your mantra?
J: I think about something that my aunt told me which was, don’t let anybody take your joy, you hold that yourself. You create your happiness and don’t allow anybody, any place, anything to take that away from you.
I also think what I bring to the team is that I believe and I do my best to live in a leadership philosophy that is more like a mentorship. How I treat the staff I am working with; I want that to trickle down to how they are treating their peers and especially the clients. It creates a culture of a team effort. It’s one of the reasons I accepted the position here and speaking with Tom and McKay and seeing the things that were posted and read through the website seemed to bring alive the philosophy and a work culture that I want to be a part. That’s what I want to bring to a team is that team mentality. Not just saying it but actually living it.