Rethinking Mental Health Support
What is recovery? It's understanding yourself, adapting to your unique mind and mastering what's been hurting you. It's leaving diagnoses behind and working with what you've got to maximize your life emotionally, spiritually and cognitively. It's finding purpose and meaning. It's contributing. It's deep and meaningful healing. Do you believe in recovery? I didn't. Until I was 28 I believed life would be about navigating chaos. Yet I never accepted the feedback of my providers, that stabilization was all I could hope for, that I needed to settle. So I became deeply proactive.
Following a logic of self-forgiveness and gradual skill development, I mastered my attention challenges, my emotional disregulation, the substance use I relied on to self-medicate and the psychotic experiences those substances brought on. I worked hard becoming intimate with the nature of my own mind and training myself until I overcame what I could and learned to adapt to what I couldn't. I went to work as a counselor, finding that empathy and familiarity with the experiences of others gave me a real advantage in understanding others. I earned graduate degrees in modern mental health strategies and in the role of trauma on development. The ideas I brought to hospital leadership, conferences and the peer community led to opportunities to direct change efforts at a major hospital system, run my own recovery center and create a training program for others in recovery who wanted to also become counselors.
I believe that anyone can recover and as someone who's walked the road I can serve as a guide. Together we can partner to understand your challenges and I can use clinical approaches along with the insights of lived experience to collaborate with you in the healing process. We'll begin with empathy and trust. We'll build an understanding of your unique situation and together, we'll consider how to proceed. I won't pretend to have all the answers, but I will offer a relationship, a skill set and a commitment to partner with you through your journey.
Read my full recovery story in my blog.
Costanzo, M. (2016). Ill or Injured: Shifting the Emphasis to Trauma in Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. 39. 368-370.
Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner
Certified Peer Specialist
LEAN Six Sigma
Board member, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association Board of Content Matter Experts
- MS, Psychiatric Rehabilitation
MA, Developmental Psychology