Bio: Jack Britton, LPC, LCDC (both in the state of Texas) at Ranch at Dove Tree
Education: Master of Arts in Addiction Counseling, Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies, 2011; Master of Science in Accounting, Southern Methodist University, 2008.
What drew you to the field of addiction treatment? Why?
I worked as an auditor for two accounting firms and quickly realized how boring that type of work is. I started researching fields where I could put my heart into my work.
I knew I liked seeing a counselor, and I believed I could cultivate a style of counseling that might assist young people. Within months of finding Hazelden’s program, I moved to a chicken farm in a town of 500. I haven’t looked back.
What keeps you in this work, day after day?
This work is always interesting. I am bound to it by enjoyment and by the opportunities I have to educate others.
An example: I attend a lot of friends’ weddings. Sometimes I am tempted to tell strangers that I am a cotton farmer in West Texas, since such a response might not solicit the questions that “addiction counselor” does.
Most of the time, however, I talk about my work because I want people to know more. I want them to know, for instance, that every time I get up at 6 am and putt on my motorcycle toward the Ranch at Dove Tree, I start imagining the day ahead, knowing full well that a fair mix of hope, surprise, and difficulty are all around the bend.
What is your philosophy on addiction treatment?
Addiction treatment is an incredible process. People start off not knowing what they don’t know – with time, more is revealed. Our work is about mapping a series of objectives, acknowledging that 30 or 60 days is the beginning of the work that a client will do.
With that said, people change when they sense they’re being treated with honesty, care, directness, and positivity. I am very convinced that much of addiction treatment’s job is to promote improvements in quality of life and to provide some tools for fostering such improvements.
What tools would you like your participants to gain while working with you?
My top three are:
- the ability to identify and dispute irrational thoughts;
- interest in others’ perspectives; and
- assertiveness skills.
What do you envision the future of addiction treatment to be like?
Addiction treatment is needed in many places where it is not currently available. Have you researched a good treatment center in Argentina? Switzerland?
Shame exists in very hearty doses globally. The future is about collaboration with our neighbors to help people in a culture-embraced manner.