Anthony Thompson, Senior Clinician: Sovereign Health of Arizona
What brought you to Sovereign Health?
After completing my studies at Ottawa University and earning my Master’s in Counseling with a Trauma Specialization, I did not find many positions that were a good fit for me. Most agencies do not treat dual diagnosis patients and many agencies are narrowly focused or specialized. Thankfully, Dr. Sue Drury told me about Sovereign Health. Dr. Drury was one of my professors and I consider her a mentor. She is the consulting psychologist at Sovereign Health of Phoenix (SHOP) and told me about Sovereign’s new facility in the Phoenix area and how it was unique in focus, specifically dual diagnosis and trauma. I was intrigued by the opportunity to get in on the start of something new and exciting that was a great fit for my training and passion to help people, especially trauma survivors. The opportunity to work with Dr. Drury after being taught by her was an added benefit. Dr. Dan Gross and Dr. Monica Powers also both helped in making me feel like Sovereign was where I belonged. I wanted to be part of strong, diverse clinical team that shares my passion and creativity for helping people. I have found that here at Sovereign.
What does your position at Sovereign Health entail?
As a senior clinician, I manage and provide group and individual therapy in the treatment of patients with dual diagnosis. When assigned a new patient, I interview the patient in order to complete a Biopsychosocial Assessment (BPS). Such information informs the individual, group, and family therapy provided. I provide therapy from a variety of theoretical orientations, though I am most comfortable with Motivational Interviewing and Stages of Change. I also use the three-phase model of trauma therapy. I engage patients, their families, and other providers as authorized, to draw as accurate of a clinical picture as possible. I then assess their condition and gather a trauma history in order to provide the best care possible. All this is done in collaboration with my supervisor, Dr. Drury, and my clinical director, Dr. Gross. I also document therapeutic progress, as well as challenges to progress to plan for the successful completion of treatment and discharge.
What do enjoy doing when you’re not working?
When I am not working, I enjoy exercising and running. I also enjoy attending church with my family, watching football and basketball on television and listening to music, especially Christian rap. Given a choice, I would rather attend football, basketball, and baseball games than watch them on television. Spending time with my family, whether we are going to the movies, or out to eat, also is a lot fun.
What inspires you?
Getting a second chance to fulfill my dream as a counselor inspires me to provide the best possible service to our patients. I do not take for granted the opportunity to change careers and do what I truly love. Helping a patient gain some insight into their behavior or beliefs, learning from Dr. Gross and Dr. Drury, collaborating with a house manager on behalf of a patient, or teaming up with a fellow clinician are all true blessings that I could have easily missed if I had continued to just pursue a job as opposed to a calling. I am inspired by the chance to make a positive difference, no matter how small.
“…I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. …” Zechariah 13:9. This speaks to the process that many people go through to be their best; similar to the process we introduce patients to, so they can be whole.