My name is Shandy Melson, and I am the Clinical Director at the Vance Johnson Recovery Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. I have worked in health care for 19 years, the last nine of which I have been providing treatment for substance use disorders and mental health disorders. During that time, I’ve learned a lot about evidence-based addiction recovery strategies, and I’m excited to use that knowledge to help our patients.
I am passionate about providing quality care for the people we serve. That’s why I’m licensed to provide mental health counseling (with a specialization in mood disorders and trauma) and hold a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada. I’m also a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor Supervisor.
My goal as Clinical Director is to collaborate with my coworkers to develop unique and effective programs that maximize our clients’ chances of success. This means considering their unique needs, their goals for treatment, and other personal factors that impact the kind of care each patient needs.
I also advocate for our clients’ rights by listening to any concerns or issues they face during treatment. There is no way to avoid 100% of conflicts, but I can step in and find long-term solutions that address issues and stop them from reappearing in the future. In this way, I take minor hiccups and change them into small steps along the path to recovery.
The stories that arise from newfound recovery inspire me and remind me of why I became a counselor in the first place. While each patient’s experience is different, it’s always interesting to see the same threads of addiction in each story. It reminds me how I need to treat each patient differently while employing the same addiction recovery skills that I’ve picked up throughout my career in this field.
In addition to my other responsibilities, I work to reduce the stigma of addiction and mental illness in our community. By helping people find recovery, we affect the individual, their family, and the community at large. That’s the kind of difference I get to make at the Vance Johnson Recovery Center, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.