For Jerry Ehmann, LPC, LISAC, NCC, the role of trauma was never more apparent in the roots of addiction and mental health disorders than when, years ago, he worked as a clinician at the Youth Development Institute in Phoenix. The 84-bed residential locked campus provides intensive and specialized treatment for youths referred by the Arizona juvenile court system and other state agencies. Ehmann, who is in recovery, saw firsthand how trauma was a big part of the youths’ stories, and it was the reason why, he says, so many had been locked up in the first place.
When Ehmann later shifted to working with addiction, he again recognized how trauma was the primary cause for many of his clients.
“I realized more and more that substance use was just a coping mechanism for a lot of trauma,” he says.
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