- Master of Science degree in Addiction Studies (MHS)
- Certified Intervention Professional (CIP)
- Bachelors of Science degree in Finance
- Member, National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP)
- Member, Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC)
My training for helping families and those struggling with addiction started long before I realized it. I grew up in a family that ran on self-will and where making family decisions without professional guidance was the norm. That is what happened when addiction affected our family. The addiction tore the family apart, pitting members against one another until the family was broken. Almost at the point of no return, our family retained the services of an intervention professional, which changed our lives forever. It was that experience that led me to change my career path.
Upon graduating with a B.S. in Finance, I held positions at Ameritech (formerly Illinois Bell) and the accounting firm Arthur Andersen in Chicago. After our family intervention in the summer of 2005, I accepted a position at the intervention company that had stepped in to help my family. At the time, it was a small operation and within a couple of years, we became a 20-person staff helping thousands of people. I remain grateful for the services they provided me and my family and for the opportunity I was given. Believing that it was time to move on, I started Family First Intervention in the spring of 2009. Along with the lessons learned during this time and with the encouragement of my wife, I returned to school and earned an MS in Addiction Studies from Governors State University in University Park, Illinois. The combined knowledge from personal and professional experience has allowed me to expand my ability to help others.
I have learned over the years the importance of families receiving help and entering a recovery program of their own. I was always told a family had to wait for their loved one to want help or hit bottom. As I watched families wait, I realized how inside the box that approach is. It is equivalent to telling families they have no voice and must accept the situation for what it is. I have learned the best gift we can offer a family is closure, knowing they did everything they could to help themselves and their loved one battling addiction. You may not have control directly over the addiction, but you do have control over what you do about it.
Today, my wife and I remind ourselves how fortunate we are to have gone through what we did in our lives. We realize that the trials and tribulations occurred for a reason, that they allowed us to be better role models to our two daughters. We are thankful to be able to redirect and rewrite our family of origin script and to change that path for ourselves and our children. Providing them with a far different life emotionally would not have been possible had we not experienced the things we did that have brought us to where we are today.
You may not have control directly over the addiction, and you do have control over what you do about it.