Welcome to Lisa Steele, Executive Director of Malibu Beach Recovery Center
Addiction expert brings years of experience to the MBRC team
In this post, we welcome Lisa Steele Executive Director to Malibu Beach Recovery Center. Lisa has been a fulltime staff member since September, and is already helping enhance the programs that have helped so many!
Q. Lisa, you have a wealth of experience in substance abuse and recovery. Can you tell us a little about your background?
A. I have almost 30 years in the behavioral health field. I moved a lot because I wanted to experience as many settings as possible because I wanted to learn what the best environment is for people to achieve sobriety. I’ve spent a lot of time helping to develop programs that integrate mental health and substance abuse treatment, or co-occurring disorders. One of my last assignments involved working with one treatment organization to develop a mental health acute hospital. I’ve also worked in a forensic substance abuse and mental health program and been an administrator for the largest sub-acute psychiatric hospital in CA.
I have a Ph.D. in Psychology with a certification in substance abuse treatment, and I’m also certified in the treatment of co-occurring disorders.
Q. What drew you to this field?
A. My father died as a result of his addiction to prescription pain pills. I didn’t know about his drug abuse at the time. I took an internship at the Matrix Center, a treatment center in Beverly Hills, and my supervisor asked me why I was interested. When I told her I didn’t know, she said anyone who enters treatment and recovery field has a reason, and I should figure it out.
Two weeks after I started the internship, my father called from detox when I was studying for my doctorate and told me about his addiction. Substance abuse wasn’t a prevalent then as it is now, and I hadn’t recognized the signs growing up. But I knew something was wrong and hearing him say that answered a lot of questions for me.
I realized that my drive to help not only people in recovery but their families was propelled by my own experience. I knew in high school I wanted to help people.
Q. What drew you to MBRC, specifically?
A. The uniqueness of the program. Between the healthful diet and the holistic approach to treatment, it really is different. Every treatment program says it’s different, but MBRC walks the walk. We’re enhancing the program as well. We’re adding treatment for trauma because we’re finding that more clients have PTSD and trauma exposure today; we’re bringing in specialists. We’re also adding boxfit, a cross-training program, to complement our yoga to help people who would like that.
We’re also bringing in a movement therapist for people who have body issues. Finally, we started a journal and writing group to tap into all aspects of the brain, to help with holistic health. We have a great program, but these offerings allow us to serve a broader scope of patients, with a myriad of issues.