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Mary Reid – Staff Spotlight

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Mary Reid, counselor at Casa Di Vita

Mary Reid has spent her entire career in substance use services at Casa Di Vita. She first started there as an intern in 1999 and then moved to the night aide position while Casa Di Vita was managed by a different agency. Once Cazenovia Recovery assumed operations of the program in 2014, Mary became counselor associate and she now serves as the site’s counselor. “I just love it,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”

Like many other professionals in the field, Mary chose to work in recovery because one of her family members experienced addiction. “My brother was an alcoholic and I pulled my hair out trying to get him to stop on my own,” she said. Mary earned her associate’s degree in Drug and Alcohol Counseling from Erie Community College in an attempt to help him. She also has a certificate in life coaching with a focus on grief and loss counseling from Light University. Thankfully, her brother is doing well now.

Mary acknowledges that she was a little hesitant about the change to Cazenovia Recovery from her former agency, but she has grown to enjoy it. “The care is quicker and more precise,” Mary said. She also feels that paperwork and documentation have improved greatly since our agency took over. This included a major change in the move to electronic documentation. “I was computer illiterate at first,” Mary said, “but I like it now. It’s much easier.”

Our residents bring many of their challenges to Mary and she appreciates the opportunity to help them with their traumas. “‘I can’t, I won’t, and I shouldn’t’ don’t exist in my office,” she said. “I help them to find a solution for themselves. I get them to understand what went wrong.”

When it comes to providing high-quality care, Mary believes that she promotes empathy. “I ask them to take me into their world and to let me see through their eyes. I want to know their struggles.” Mary also believes that it’s important to empower our residents and to help them discover their confidence. “I want to take them back to when they stopped seeing themselves as successful,” she said. She then helps them to realize that they can get their lives back on track. Recovery is all about second chances and Mary ensures that the residents at Casa Di Vita get the best second chance possible.

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