What Does Success Look Like to You? – Sue Adamson

What Does Success Look Like to You? – Sue Adamson

Sue Adamson has always felt a duty to help those in need, and this driving force in her life assisted in shaping both her worldview and her career path. Initially, as a health and fitness contractor, Sue worked diligently to help people recover from physical injuries, allowing her to become a positive influence with patients labouring to reclaim their physical strength and mobility. While doing so, Sue continued her education and professional development and she became a qualified trauma-informed therapist. Armed with this newfound expertise, she was able to evolve and move forward in her career.

Currently, Sue is the clinical director of a residential addiction treatment center called Sage Health Centre, which is located in Kamloops, British Columbia. She has been a champion for overall health and wellness for more than 30 years, and has been supporting people on their journey to recovery for 14 years. As the clinical director of a residential addiction treatment center, Sue Adamson presides over all aspects of the facility’s programming and treatment planning, from a client’s initial referral to their discharge and continuing care plans. 

Sue Adamson is a certified trauma-informed therapist. Her expertise lies in supporting clients through an integrative approach to addiction recovery that incorporates both western and eastern knowledge, including client focused, trauma-informed clinical therapy modalities; mindfulness techniques such as breath work and visualization that increase body and mind awareness; nutritional counselling to reduce the craving cycle; and 12-step/SMART recovery concepts. 

At her core, Sue is an advocate for addiction recovery and the recovery community, having both personal and professional experience with the process.

How have you achieved success?

I started my career as a health and fitness contractor. Even back then, I knew I wanted to dedicate my professional life to helping people better themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. While working at rehabilitating my clients—people who had been involved in car accidents, sports mishaps, or work-related injuries, and other such cases—helping them to regain their mobility and some semblance of their former lives, something was awakened inside me. I was amazed at the strength of the human spirit and wanted to support individuals to become the best versions of themselves. With this thought in mind, I set to work educating myself further, earning several certifications in the field of mental health and addiction, as well as eastern philosophies in order to offer an integrative approach to addiction recovery.  

Eventually, my professional journey led me to my current role of clinical director at the Sage Health Center. That day was special. I love my job. I still consider myself a student of life, so I make a point of continuing my education and training on matters relating to recovery, mental health, and wellness. I consider each new piece of knowledge I acquire that can be used to help my patients as a success.

How has your definition of success changed over the years?

My current definition of success largely revolves around helping people recover from addiction which involves addressing and healing the underlying issues that contributed to their addiction issues.  I suppose that’s one way my definition of success has changed over the years. When I began my career, I focused mainly on physical ailments. A client would come to me for assistance recovering from a back injury, for example, and I would devise a program aimed at restoring them to their condition pre-injury.

In my current role, however, the wounds that clients struggle with can be physical, emotional, and psychological. Addiction weakens the body, but its roots lie in a deeper core wound. Offering an evidenced-based path of recovery includes an integrative approach to recovery that addresses all aspects of body, mind and spirit. 

What obstacles have you overcome in the process?

Upon checking into the treatment center, every client presents a unique set of circumstances and potential barriers to a successful recovery. They are all individuals and require treatment tailored to their specific needs. There is no one-size-fits-all remedy for addiction. So, looking at it from that perspective, I suppose my entire career has been about empowering the client to take ownership of their life choices and their recovery. 

What drives you to succeed?

My drive to succeed is mainly derived from my desire to empower people to become the best version of themselves. That’s a simple and straightforward answer for a process that is anything but simple and straightforward. Nevertheless, that is the ultimate source of my motivation. It’s the reason a I get out of bed in the morning.

What has success meant to you?

To me, success has meant supporting clients in their journey in recovery which in turn offers a solution in their relationships with their families and friends. Success has also meant saving lives that otherwise might have been lost. It may sound dramatic, but chemical dependency can so easily spiral out of control. Alcohol and drug addiction is such a destructive force, and if left unchecked and allowed to worsen, it can not only completely take over a life, it can end a life prematurely in a number of different ways.

Do you have advice for others on how to be successful?

The best advice I could possibly give to anyone is to be mindful, trust your gut, find your passion and be true to yourself and in turn others. Lead by example, be solution focused, and do your best to try to understand and empathic of what other people are going through in their lives. If at all possible, provide others with the tools to improve their situation and make better choices. All that being said, it’s important to know that you cannot ‘fix’ people from the outside, no matter how noble your intentions are. True positive change can only come from within.

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Website – https://sagehealthcentre.ca/about/team/