Could we get some brief biographical information from you? Hometown, previous experience, education, etc.?
Sure! I am a local – grew up in Chapel Hill, went to Chapel Hill high school back when it was the only high school in town, and then to Davidson College where I got my BA in psychology. I left North Carolina for awhile to do community development work in refugee communities in the US and to get my Master’s in Addiction Counseling. I’ve been back in North Carolina for 15 years and have been a licensed counselor for close to 20.
I spent a number of years working with individuals in recovery doing post-treatment monitoring, which really cemented my belief in the importance of an extended continuum of care. The longer we can extend a client’s care and the more gradual we can make the transition between levels of care, the better the outcomes for long term recovery and mental health.
I particularly love working in admissions because I get to interact with both clients and families as they navigate the transition between levels of care. It can be a stressful moment in the process but is also an opportunity to commit to long term recovery and can be a time of hope and motivation. It’s a privilege to walk those steps with parents and clients and to work with the great partners we collaborate with.
What first made you want to work for Green Hill?
I was working in young adult treatment when Green Hill first opened and I watched the passion and energy go into developing the program. When Tripp invited me to come on board I was excited to be part of this team. I really enjoy working with families at this stage and helping to manage the transition into this level of care.
If you could give a new therapist or admissions director one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be connected! Being engaged with a community of young people working strong recovery programs is inspiring. Individuals who choose to work in this space are brilliant and compassionate and it’s a real privilege to work beside them. I’d say it’s important not to be siloed in your single role.
If Green Hill had a talent show today, what would you be doing on the main stage?
Playing Bananagrams. I am unbeatable.
What does your ideal day look like?
I’d wake up naturally without an alarm, still early in the morning and head out for a long run on a beautiful trail or a wide beach with a good friend. I’d come home happily tired but recharged and relax with hot coffee, leisurely breakfast and the Sunday newspaper. Key role – puzzle section.
I’d spend the afternoon outside with my family – skiing in winter, swimming in summer, thoroughly tiring ourselves out and enjoying the outdoors, disconnected from technology.
I’d finish the day cooking dinner with friends, maybe followed by a highly competitive board game or two. Then I’d go up to bed with a good book and read approximately three pages before falling asleep.
Anything else you’d like the community at large to know?
Oh, I’ve got a couple.
- Growing up I really wanted to be a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld, back in the days before Blackfish.
- In my old life I was a therapist for police and fire departments, working with officers who experienced traumatic events in the line of duty.
- I am really looking forward to moving to the country so that I can have chickens.
- I have a twelve year old daughter who keeps me humble by regularly saying things like, “You have a lot of good ideas, Mom, but that is not one of them…” and “Please don’t do that around my friends.”
Quick Facts about Wendy
High School: Chapel Hill High
Undergraduate: Davidson College Graduate School: College of William & Mary
Favorite Books: Accidental Saints, The Giver
Regular Podcast Rotation: The Daily, On Being, Scene on the Radio, In the Dark
Favorite Color: Yellow
Bucket List: Visit all US National Parks
Mountains or Beach?: Beach
High School Superlative: Most Easy to get Along With
Top Karaoke Song: Waterloo, ABBA