Meet Kati Mckendry
Clinical Director, MS, LPC, CCS
Katie’s primary role is to oversee the clinical programming and staff at Little Creek Lodge and Little Creek Outpatient Services. Katie works to constantly improve the treatment offered at LCL and LCOPS, in order to meet with individual and community needs of the clients we serve. She works closely with the staff to ensure clients and their families are getting the best care possible. Katie finds it essential to spend time getting to know all clients and their families and enjoys working directly with them throughout their treatment experience.
Katie resides with her husband and two young daughters in Clarks Green, PA. In addition to Little Creek Lodge, Katie in her free time enjoys riding her road bike.
Licensed Professional Counselor, State of Pennsylvania
Prior Work Experience:
Prior to joining Little Creek Lodge, Katie worked as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor at Pyramid Healthcare, an inpatient adolescent drug and alcohol facility, and at R.A.F.T., an adolescent IOP program. She also worked for Pennsylvania’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, where she worked with adolescents and adults with developmental, mental, emotional, and intellectual disabilities. Katie has worked at her private practice since completing her Master’s program in 2011.
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Katie McKendry 2:54
in a small town and called to Emerson. It's about little between one in two square miles. So you get the gist, very small. Grew up there my whole life. I'm one of four. second oldest, I have an older brother, who's just about two years older than me, sister two years younger, and then another sister who's about seven years younger than me. You're not the oldest now. Well, you've always had a personality. You feel like a mother hen. I know Katie, for the last couple years.
Joe Van Wie 0:02
Hello and thanks again for listening to another episode of all better. I'm your host, Joe van wie G. Today's guest is Katie McKendree Kirkpatrick. She's the Clinical Director of Little Creek Lodge and Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania. cavies primary role is to oversee the clinical programming, and staff at Little Creek Lodge and little creek outpatient. Katie works to constantly improve the treatment offered a little break in order to meet with individual and community needs of the clients they serve. She works closely with the staff to ensure clients and their families are getting the best possible care. Katie finds it essential to spend time getting to know all clients and their families and enjoys working directly with them. Throughout the treatment experience. JT resides with her husband and two young daughters and Clark's green PA. In addition, a little creek Lodge, Katie and her free time enjoys riding her road bike. She's a licensed professional counselor in the state of Pennsylvania. She also has a master's from rehabilitation counseling from the University of Scranton 2011. Her bachelor's is in counseling and Human Services also from the University of Scranton. Prior to joining little creek Lodge, Katie worked as a drug and alcohol counselor at Pyramid healthcare, an inpatient adolescent drug and alcohol facility. And that raft are a fit and adolescent IOP program. That's intensive outpatient. She's also worked for Pennsylvania's Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, where she worked with adolescents and adults develop developmental, mental, emotional, and intellectual disabilities. Judy has worked at her private practice since completing her Master's program in 2011. Today, we get to know JD and how little creek Lodge has become what it is today, over a 10 year experience. And let's meet JT
Alright, that's it. We're here. We're here with the executive director and the clinical director of Little Creek Lodge. They're up at Lake Ariel. Before we get into talking about Little Creek, wanted to find out and I think anyone listening who's kinky?
Katie McKendry 2:44
Well, thanks so much for having me today. I'm happy to be here with you, Joe. Thanks. Good. So I grew up in North Jersey, Bergen County,
Joe Van Wie 3:24
Well, I would have never guessed that.
Katie McKendry 3:26
It's funny. You say that? Because growing up. I used to be called the mother to my youngest. My youngest sister a little bit you know, I would step in if, you know, I felt like it was appropriate. Oftentimes unwelcomed
Joe Van Wie 3:39
Alright, so there it is. North Bergen. Just just do unlike me on the map there that's near Weehawken know, right.
Katie McKendry 3:49
Well, not north. It's Bergen County serves. Yeah, in North Jersey near Paramus.
Joe Van Wie 3:54
Yeah, no. Paramus, yeah. Okay. I lived in Hoboken. Oh, Jersey City for a little while. Yep. So what was it? It's a small town Emerson. Is that mean? You went to small schools?
Katie McKendry 4:05
Yes. Yeah. Very small. I graduated with a class of about 75 I believe. Wow. real small. And I was in the public school system all the way through
Joe Van Wie 4:15
zero a rural field to this place.
Katie McKendry 4:18
Very Suburban. Yeah.
Joe Van Wie 4:21
Okay. So growing up in that mix. When did when did you feel was there anything that preceded an addiction that would make you feel odd if looking back in hindsight, at that age,
Katie McKendry 4:38
now, so growing up sports played a big role in my life, I was always playing sports you around, and I felt very connected to that sort of seen. I enjoyed it. All of my friends played sports. That helped me I would say harness and develop my leadership tendencies and And when I went away to college, I decided not to play sports or, or pursue that collegiately and I went to Fordham in the Bronx where my father had gone and my grandparents had gone. And I love New York City. So that was like right up my alley. And at that point, I think I had a struggle with what my identity was for the first time because I wasn't preoccupied with activities or, or sports at all.
Joe Van Wie 5:26
Wow. So Fordham legacy. I didn't know this because I read your bio and just, you know, knowing you, on the surface, only knew the University of Scranton, so Fordham, you go from Emerson to Fordham, and you're not playing sports. What sports did you play?
Katie McKendry 5:43
softball, basketball and soccer. Okay, so
Joe Van Wie 5:47
what sports didn't you buy? So you did what was the first reason you can point to that you didn't play affordable? Like,
Katie McKendry 5:58
I wasn't recruited by them there D one. Yeah, I had looked at some smaller schools that had shown some interest. But I had this idea in mind that, you know, I wasn't good enough to really pursue that I didn't want to play d3. I wanted to focus on developing a career. So kind of that mix of not feeling good enough to actually really give it a shot coupled with, you know, thinking that I should focus on what the next step was at the age of like, 1718. Yeah,
Joe Van Wie 6:27
plot the rest of my life and hear from this decision. Yeah. So if you went to a smaller school, you would have played?
Katie McKendry 6:34
Well, yeah. Yeah. Like I was looking at Dickinson College in Carlisle. And I think that I always felt, again, not good enough. Like, I think that that's kind of like the underlying piece, you know. And so I also had an experience, my senior year with a coach that was really negative, and kind of impacted me in the way that I felt like I had done something wrong or like that I didn't deserve to pursue collegiate athletics. You know, he was just a jerk. Yeah. And how old was he? He was middle aged.
Joe Van Wie 7:11
or more, his coaching style is a mirror of his own distress, which looking back as a clinician,
Katie McKendry 7:17
yeah, looking back, I felt like he was a major control freak. You know, I didn't do exactly what he wanted me to do, or what he thought I should do. And so it wasn't, it wasn't no longer accepted. I went from being like a starting player, as a freshman on the varsity team, to having my captain ship stripped of me my senior year, because I wouldn't just focus on basketball is how it came across.
Joe Van Wie 7:39
Oh, yeah. To pick one. And at this time, just to describe, there is no addiction to point to who you are. You're not normally drinking smoking pot.
Katie McKendry 7:49
No, I really didn't party because when we were in season, we shouldn't. And I was the captain of my teams. I was the class president all four years in high school. And so I was pretty focused. Now. I did like to party. But it really didn't take off, I guess, you know, in between seasons, my junior year. So maybe around the age of 16. I started drinking, I think I drank for the first time when I was 13, or 14, you know, an older sister of a friend of mine got us like a 12 pack. And there was four of us. So we split them all. And I just remember feeling like if anyone doesn't want to finish their beer, I'll finish it. You know, as soon as I catch my Nope. And then tried. It was like immediate. I was like, This is what I've been waiting for. I've arrived, you know,
Joe Van Wie 8:32
and your connection with sports and the community of sports. The team was so strong, it's not like it at 13 that's developed into something I'm gonna start being reckless, it didn't challenge your identity that
Katie McKendry 8:45
No we didn't. And we still managed to have fun like my friends like to party. So when one season ended, and there was a couple week break, you know, we would you know, party on the weekends. I think I was growing up in a time where a lot of parents in our town, not that they supported it, but they were kinda like, well, if you if you do it safely, we're okay with that. Small knit family oriented town. We all grew up from the time we were in kindergarten together and no one was getting in trouble. You know,
Joe Van Wie 9:12
there's something strangely wholesome about that you transparent and safe and it doesn't become like deviant i, where I grew up, there was, you know, here in Scranton, there was factions where you felt like a deviant. But then I saw families that did do that. I didn't think their children felt like they were doing things that were deviant.
Katie McKendry 9:33
No, I didn't feel that. I didn't learn to keep secrets. I felt like I can be honest, you know? Yeah, that's healthy.
Joe Van Wie 9:41
So you have a challenging coach you already afford and we're bouncing around but I like this. So you're at Fordham and this kind of support. Would you describe that as the support structure? The identity of sports is of huge vacuum.
Katie McKendry 9:57
Like yeah, I did feel that way and I I didn't quite know where I fit. So, you know, it's so exciting when you go away to college and you're meeting people from all over and you're trying to find your new peer group. I'm very, very socially inclined. So that was an important piece to me. And I was like, still this like tomboy, ask, you know, 1718 year old girl, I think I went away. I was 17 when I went to college. I know I turned 17 or better. Wait, let me think about this. So I graduated in 2003. I was born in No, maybe I had just turned 18. I was a young 18. Yeah, yeah,
Joe Van Wie 10:35
I'm so young. Before we move on, I always ask people this just to get an understanding. You drank and you're already at their team, but you can feel there's an engine in there. You can make more. Yeah, yeah. Was the euphoria profound? How would you describe the first time you felt a buzz like that? It altered your sense of self. Yeah, for you. Was that profound?
Katie McKendry 11:00
It was I felt kind of like lifted up and like, maybe a woken a little bit. I think I was always such an anxious kid. And was very serious and intense. And so that really helped me relax and kind of stay present. You know?
Joe Van Wie 11:17
Yeah. Would you would you be a kid that would be described as having a DD or any other kind of nothing right
Katie McKendry 11:24
now. Just kind of some anxiety, I would say I used to get really nervous about the safety of my family members. I had some OCD tendencies with rituals. But nothing crazy. Like I wasn't like being treated by any professionals or anything like that.
Joe Van Wie 11:40
Just just Miller Lite was the first intervention on their society. Yeah, Rolling Rock. Yeah. 33 That's funny I did you I had a ritual going to bed at night was you know, exits doors, invasions into the house. What preparation as I would fall asleep, these are the preparations going through my head. Yeah. Anything could kind of make that subtly happen. I think to a kid, it's not abuse, it doesn't have to be neglect. And I say this a lot. But you know, I was reading that attunement or bonding can be interrupted, maybe with too much cortisol in the first trimester of pregnancy. And this can be a dopamine mechanism of how you soothe yourself. Did Are you curious to what would cause you to have maybe a little more anxious behavior? Does this? Why is it a rise in a person's personality? We ever curious, how does this start like this? Is this accidental? It can't just be a biomarker clinic.
Katie McKendry 12:44
So I am curious now that I have children. Yes, my oldest daughter reminds me and she's seven. And she reminds me a lot of myself as a teenager. I you know, in speaking with my parents who are super, super close with and, you know, I remember my a lot of my childhood, most of it. I don't think I think I struggle with some anxiety, which does run in my family. But really, it kind of crossed. I don't want to say a line. But it definitely got more intense as an adolescent. And I think that, you know, there were some things that happened that I don't really want to get into, but I think more so what it was about was this underlying feeling of not feeling good, not being able to control my surroundings. You know, one thing that was public that happened that really impacted me was Do you remember that story about Elizabeth smart, where she was taken out of her bed in the middle of the night? I do that freaked me out? Like
Joe Van Wie 13:38
Tony, it was a hard news cycle to write I mean, this was What's your name with the blonde hair and CNN she used to have a sensational show. I don't remember screaming her show was the Elizabeth smart show essentially. I don't remember ever seen any other news pieces. And yeah, it was intense. It was an intense moment, all missing children, but I remember that one to Spink distinctly was on 24 hours a day.
Katie McKendry 14:03
Yeah. And I feel like I was old enough at that point. I don't remember exactly how old I was. But I was old enough to know that that was super scary. Yeah, that could happen. And I remember like, making my dad nail the window shut. You know, having both my like having my sister slip and sleep in my room because I was afraid they were going to get stolen. It was always about other people more so than myself.
Joe Van Wie 14:25
Okay. Did you have friends that you would you talk about the Elizabeth smart thing like was this a was that in Jersey?
Katie McKendry 14:34
No. It was like in Utah so yeah. So
Joe Van Wie 14:38
Wow. It's weird how information I didn't have news like that. I'm an 80s kid that didn't show up till High School and I could zone in or out but can I can't imagine before eight and then you could start to comprehend these narratives and if a new stations on the background are you playing with phones, like what's a story? Like how do you measure it with proximity? Yes, isn't close to me. If this happens, the world's unsafe.
Katie McKendry 15:02
Exactly. I can't control my environment. No bad things can happen against my well,
Joe Van Wie 15:07
because other free agents out here, they want to take me right now.
Katie McKendry 15:11
How does that happen? I don't know, when there were other siblings of hers in the room or something like that, you know? So I was like, I could relate.
Joe Van Wie 15:18
Oh my God, that's a freak show. Yeah, yeah. So she wasn't even safe with other people around her. Right? Oh, that's a weird idea. Mm hmm.
Katie McKendry 15:27
So I think like my, so my anxiety really increased around that time. And I think going back to like, looking at the root of anxiety or things that how that kind of develops or manifests in people. And I see it in my my oldest daughter. But to me, she's like, you know, the 16 year old version of me, you know, I don't really looking back on how I remember my childhood and my relationship with my mother, which is wonderful. I don't know that. I think it could have been avoided, to be honest with you from an attachment perspective. Sure. I always felt safe with my parents, I always felt in tune with them emotionally. They're both very emotionally available. I always felt like it was safe to, to be able to be myself with them. And my siblings, you know, so, you know, I think that people can do everything right. And some people are kind of wired that way. And for me, like the trying to provide my oldest Claire with a sense of safety, and a message that no matter what, she's good enough, and then I'm always going to be here is my, my hope in in addressing it, you know, but some of its I see it's like, unavoidable. Yeah, it is.
Joe Van Wie 16:39
I think most of reality is happening. And you can't control that. That's the base, kind of scary truth of confronting my anxiety, realities of rising, and I didn't arise or choose to be a mammal, let's start there. Choose to the Earth game. I get really excellent. But it builds a foundation of why can't I enjoy what's already arising? I'm a part of it. It's not unity. But like, I listen to some speakers sometimes describe this feeling of non separation. And there's a Liberty I started to find in that what my anxiety like, if you're not, I think I'm in my head. Stop breathing. If you don't interact with the environment that just I can't control what wherever I go. I'm digressing. But yeah, it's it's strange. I'm not a geneticists. That's not our expertise. But I'm still curious. Like, is this story starting even generationally before us from, you know, maybe a history of violence in our civilization, do these things stay in us as markers to be prepared fight or flight? Of course they do. We see that in the brain, but does anxiety or the response to that addiction to some reason? Does that start before? Like, does it start my grandparents, great grandparents? So it's just fascinating to me. Yeah. Especially your story. You have bonding. You have security, you have love. You get a challenging identity problem. At the time you arrive for them. And, and what suits it. How did it how did the addiction start to suit did it suit this?
Katie McKendry 18:29
Yeah, so actually, my first I would say my first addiction was an eating disorder. So my freshman year around the Thanksgiving holiday, I felt like um, I don't think it was like totally a conscious thought. But it some of it was because it's so behavioral and you're responding in the moment with how you're acting that I became very restrictive and very focused on exercising and so, you know, I partied a lot did a lot of drinking really only drinking smoked pot a little bit? Yeah, no drug, no drug use. And, you know, I think inevitably, that provided a sense of relief, right. But afterwards, you feel out of control. And so I shot control through, you know, my weight and what I put in my body and things like that. And so that was really my first real wholehearted love. I don't think my drinking was was that like, necessarily problematic. I think it was pretty age appropriate at that time, though, emotionally. I think it gave me more from the beginning than it gave other people. Sure. And so by the time I guess in my second semester, that's when it was becoming problematic in terms of my overall health. It happened pretty quickly. Well, from like Thanksgiving through the Christmas holiday, I was home. My family could see that. I was losing a lot of weight and I was very in an unhealthy in a way unhealthy mindset. During this time I really wasn't drinking, actually, because they didn't want calories from alcohol. Yeah, so I went a period of time without even drinking. And I ended up in my first inpatient treatment program for an eating disorder by May, I wasn't able to finish the spring
Joe Van Wie 20:16
semester freshman year. Yeah. Do you think the anxiety you described early on, there's a physicality to it maybe rises up? And you could feel it physically, like, sports could always diminish that community sport but the physicality of it right? Now you're not on a team? To go into the gym? Kind of? Is there a community going into the gym or going with a partner? Is their friendships or bonds going?
Katie McKendry 20:47
Yeah, very regimented. Very,
Joe Van Wie 20:50
you designed a program? Do you think that was maybe an effort unconsciously to, to respond to the anxiety that might be coming up from it?
Katie McKendry 21:02
Yeah, my anxiety is definitely very physical in nature, I feel it kind of, in my core, and so
Joe Van Wie 21:10
our minds down to the cellular level at times, and I'm like, What is this feeling? Why don't we feel
Katie McKendry 21:15
Yeah. And so I think that that was a false sense of connection that I had was to that regimen that I was creating, you know, and that's what I felt connected to. That's what I felt supported by. That's what I felt, you know, my routine with getting up and what I wouldn't consume, and how much I would exercise and all of that stuff, you know, and then that, you know, I think that that kind of fed into some of those tendencies when I was a little younger, in high school where I was very regimented, and ritualistic. Yeah, you know, at home. You know, that became my, my new version of that. And then, you know, quickly, I was very out of control with that, you know, because there were certain markers that I needed to hit in order to remain in school, I was so unhappy, and I just couldn't make them not, not from like a grade perspective, but from like, a health perspective. You know, because the whole time I was doing really well in school, I think I had a four out, you know, because that mindset lends itself well to
Joe Van Wie 22:13
you have discipline to already established it. Yeah. And you're bright. So what was it like arriving at impatient? You said, Yeah. Was this was this hard? Or did you feel welcomed? Was there any connections made there?
Katie McKendry 22:31
So it's funny you asked that, so I was very unhappy about it. But obviously, I had to do it. And one of my closest friends today I met there, I won't say her name, you know, or though she's in the Scranton area. She's sober. But we connected there and then reconnected almost a year later. Exactly. In at mountainside. Yeah. When we were in, after getting out of inpatient treatment for
Joe Van Wie 22:56
addiction. And just for context, mountainside was the first really healthy, fully functional woman's sober living. Yeah, you're and hundreds of all the women I've known over the last 25 years had some kind of connection contact or live there. Yeah, that was a really special place. Yeah.
Katie McKendry 23:17
Very special. So you know, I went there. And I was basically just trying to hit some, some preset goals in terms of health. And I, you know, completed that program and returned home and was given an opportunity to kind of finish out my final exams for the spring semester at home that summer. I was doing like an intensive outpatient program, all with the mindset of wanting to go back to school in the fall. And I just really struggled to, to maintain my health. And so I started drinking, that's when my love of with alcohol and what it gave me really started because I started to drink so I didn't have to feel the effects of putting on weight and feeling out of control and things like that.
Joe Van Wie 24:03
And this doesn't start at campus. This is this at Emerson over the summer secretly friends at home now like that you can hang with the guys or girls that didn't go on to those. There's people still townies
Katie McKendry 24:16
time. Yeah. Yeah. A lot of people that grew up in Emerson stay in Emerson. Yeah, so I, I had a lot of friends and a lot of love and support. Yeah, throughout everything.
Joe Van Wie 24:24
But did you have this support? Did you? Do you have any friends that you would be prone to addiction? Did you find a mate? Like, no drinking, pal?
Katie McKendry 24:32
Are all my friends all by yourself? Yeah, totally. Totally. So that's lonely. It's so lonely.
Joe Van Wie 24:40
Oh, man, so there wasn't a drinking kind of period where you're down at Fordham campus or popping over to Manhattan where it's a social, the nightlife. This is a response to stuff that's happening internally.
Katie McKendry 24:58
Yeah, absolutely. Wow. And you know, there were some social pieces. Right. But I would always drink alone ahead of time. Do more drinking then and then drink alone afterwards, you know, to go to prep,
Joe Van Wie 25:11
maintain, yeah, lose control and publicly Yeah, that would probably be more frightening for you then. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, I, I think that's more noted women culturally, not wanting to lose control public that that seems really scary. Yeah. So does anyone know when is when is this first notice? Or where did the effects start to? You can't hide it.
Katie McKendry 25:38
So I don't know if my parents or siblings noticed it. That's, you know, August, let's call it heading into my sophomore year. But very quickly into my sophomore semester, they noticed it. Because my friends there were concerned, you know, immediately. Just the amount of drinking. I became a daily drinker very quickly. Well, like let's say September, maybe October,
Joe Van Wie 26:05
sophomore year? Yeah. Do things start to decline? That usually would be something new easily maintain your grades. You're very disciplined.
Katie McKendry 26:15
So my grades did decline? That horribly? Yeah. I think I you know, I don't even remember what my you know, overall GPA was when I ended up transferring, but it
Joe Van Wie 26:26
will look it up. I'll do some research.
Katie McKendry 26:29
But I think by relationships, mainly, you know, I was lying. I was stealing, you know, stuff like that. Yeah, that would seem odd. Yeah. out of character. I was. Yeah. I was isolating. Yeah. Yeah, so it declined pretty quickly. In that fall semester. I think I did complete the semester. And then I started this spring semester and then was pulled out of there. Will
Joe Van Wie 26:57
do let me ask you what, what music was important to you sophomore year. So what are you listening to at this time? Where are you listening to depress it to just switch gears and say, Fuck it, I'm gonna let things unravel here.
Katie McKendry 27:09
I kind of did you know, it was really, it was like the time of like, AOL Instant Messenger. And you can believe like, I don't know what it was, but it wasn't like when you were inactive, you could leave like a post and oftenly lyrics I think I was. I just listened a lot to the Rolling Stones. Okay, that's criminal. And you know, Dave Matthews Band. You know, what I used to post about, but I remember taking lyrics that were like, pretty depressing.
Joe Van Wie 27:44
Well, from the personality of describe, from adolescence, going through high school now this sophomore year. I'm just wondering, I want to put some texture to it. Is there music now that you relating to? Or are dark tones, romantic ideas that you're letting go of this order? Is there a relief from how tight you ran? You ran a tight ship? Was there any bravado coming out of this music? Like maybe I'm not who I think I am? Maybe I'm just a hippie?
Katie McKendry 28:12
I don't think we're all feeling of like, I'm a failure.
Joe Van Wie 28:17
Let me put the stones on. I'm gonna record failure.
Katie McKendry 28:21
I'll go and I'm going all you know what I mean? Like, there was just I'm throwing the towel and kind of thing. Oh, wow. Yeah, that's
Joe Van Wie 28:27
that's, that feels like collapse. That's not you don't feel like fun. You feel like you're dipping? Yeah. So you can feel your addiction, not as something almost. Maybe some would describe as denial, something I'm gonna maintain throughout my life. You feeling that it's act? It's actively becoming failure? Ready?
Katie McKendry 28:44
Oh, yeah. Oh, man. Yeah. And I'm trying to keep it a secret, but I can't you know, yeah. Wow. Oh, that sounds awful. Yeah, it was awful. It was it was bad. I remember one time waking up in my dorm room. I don't know what time of day or night or whatever it was. And I woke up and my dad is sitting like at my desk because my roommate had called him and was like, you gotta come get her. And he was like, get out of bed. Let's go. It was like, he was waiting for me. And I was like, Oh my God, you know? You know, because they kept trying to intervene and talk to me Give me every opportunity to be successful. Get me in with counseling, you know, and I just lie after lie after lie and
Joe Van Wie 29:24
and which you have a good relationship with your dad. Oh,
Katie McKendry 29:27
yeah. Yeah. Well, that.
Joe Van Wie 29:31
Well, that's wild.
Katie McKendry 29:32
Yeah, it was upsetting. He worked in the city down in Manhattan. So I would often you know, take the train down from the Bronx their demand for dinner and I was always trying to keep it together. Yeah, you know.
Joe Van Wie 29:43
So this is an intervention what what what becomes of it he Your dad has to come over to Fordham. He's working downtown, but that's pretty alarming. He's in your room. Yeah. What what happens next?
Katie McKendry 29:56
I don't remember. Exactly, but there was a period of time I'm where they were trying to let me live on campus and go to class. They would stop in, make sure I was doing okay, you know, call me all the time. And then eventually they pulled me off campus and I was commuting from Emerson. So my dad and I would drive in early in the morning, he would park probably somewhere along the East River, maybe like, I don't know exactly where to be honest with you. And then he would take the train downtown and I would take the train uptown.
Joe Van Wie 30:25
You have a handler now? Yeah, I have. Yeah.
Katie McKendry 30:29
And which is, you know, my dad loves to have fun. So he likes to party. And so it was interesting that he was my handler. But very successful, very well adjusted guy. Yeah. And very concerned, always trying to be in my corner.
Joe Van Wie 30:42
We sounds like he's a product of a Jesuit culture. Yeah. Did you go to a Jesuit was your high school Jesuit now public, but you guys are Jesuit all the way. Yeah, Fordham legacy there.
Katie McKendry 30:57
And so then, eventually, like I was commuting in and I stopped going to class or I was going to class. I remember one time one of my professors saw me waiting for the train, drinking out of a paper bag. I don't know what I had done all that. You know what I mean? Like it was just it was bad. It was bad. Oh, what's this? Yeah, Katie, is that you?
Joe Van Wie 31:18
Yeah, it's a bag of granola. Yeah. Were you experiencing anything? We were talking Off mic. And some people describe it we were just talking brain lock or something. mixture that can happen when anxiety add or just addiction, like addiction start to shut your brain down. So did you have intentions maybe I gotta clean this up. Dad came down. Now he's community me to school, this has to feel you're pretty sensible person that this is a burden. I'm causing burden to other people too. But would that all diminish in one? One moment of stress? You would just say I'm getting a paper bag? Like how does that happen?
Katie McKendry 32:00
Yeah. So at that point, I was pretty much drinking around the clock. So there weren't any moments of clarity. Holy shit. I know. It really it really, really intensified quickly.
Joe Van Wie 32:10
So this is you could probably you're physically eyes, you're you're physically changing your drinking every day. Yes. What would you think and moments of clarity for yourself? How this How does this end? Did you know anything about treatment? Or say 12 Step culture or some kind of like, how did you think this was gonna get resolved by you?
Katie McKendry 32:31
Yes. So I, there were no rational thoughts like that about like, how is this going to end? I wasn't playing the tape through Yeah. My dad had a colleague who was sober a number of years, and he wrote me a letter sent me a copy of Bill's story. You know, he worked a 12 step program. He was trying to, you know, reach out, but he was a middle aged guy. I was, you know, 1819 to help these girls down in Florida. You know, I'm living back at home and Emerson, you know, I'm miserable. I kind of I think there was a part of me that was like, just let me live the way I want to live even though like I was so always rational and put together that obviously, that didn't make any sense. You know, thinking clearly anymore. No, and you know, any moral or value or anything that was like a guiding force in my life up until that point was just totally pushed to the side. It was just that instant gratification instant relief that I needed.
Joe Van Wie 33:31
How does for demand? How does this get tied off? How did you
Katie McKendry 33:35
so I got pulled out in the middle of my spring semester. I don't remember exactly when and started going into like an IOP program and trying to get sober jersey. Yeah. And
Joe Van Wie 33:48
was it humiliating to like, was there a humiliation involved? Like you're you've you're taking a leave from for?
Katie McKendry 33:53
Yeah, very humiliating. Yeah. Humiliating, embarrassing. That embarrassing to be back at home. In my small town.
Joe Van Wie 34:02
Are you blacking out? You're drinking every day
Katie McKendry 34:04
of blackouts? Yeah, yeah.
Joe Van Wie 34:05
So two years go by in school that must have felt like a lifetime. And you didn't think it was gonna be interrupted this way? You thought you would get through?
Katie McKendry 34:13
Yeah, yeah. And I wasn't really used to failure, but always so afraid of it. Yeah.
Joe Van Wie 34:19
It doesn't seem like you would, you know, but while it's happening, what do you tell yourself to just keep moving forward or to get to drink one more day? Are you thinking do I have to confront this? Do you think it's drinking at this point? At least you could target. Drinking was missing everything. It'd be great. That's a weird lie. Most people
Katie McKendry 34:40
know. I think I knew that. It was deeper than that. Because eating disorder. Oh, that's right. Yeah, so I think, you know, I think it was this cycle of not feeling good enough now manifesting, you know, really not doing well and trying to just To avoid that, but they were both compounding one
Joe Van Wie 35:01
another, which is what we studied for, for animal
Katie McKendry 35:05
science. And attorney.
Joe Van Wie 35:10
Attorneys can be truncated as the best attorneys ever met were drunk. What is the IOP look like to you then? Does it seem like a punitive? Is there anyone there that you that you had a connection to? Or you're at least curious about what they're saying?
Katie McKendry 35:29
Yeah, there was some of that. And I started, you know, I was introduced to AAA, started going to meetings. And it was really just to try to keep people off my back, you know, I wasn't really, you know, I think my drinking decreased a bit, I wasn't going to programming drunk or anything. And by this time, you know, there's either alcohol locked up in my house or not available to me, you know, everyone around me is trying to acquiesce to me, but I'm not, you know, wow. And so just feeling so crummy, and so down. And I went away to inpatient treatment for like a month and came home, tried to stay sober for maybe another few weeks or a month, and then just kept drinking. You know, back in the IOP program, obviously, I'm trying to drink after I know, I'm getting breathalyzer just like really crazy, like silly stuff, you know?
Joe Van Wie 36:19
So how do you escape the reality of what's happening? What do you think the future has? Like? Yeah. Is there any consideration? This is just a period? I'll get through it? Or is that going away? Is that hope going away? Are you thinking you might always have this condition? Is there any way you think you're gonna resolve it?
Katie McKendry 36:42
I was always such a doer. And I feel like that's how I approached everything else in my life. But now, you know, and I think those are the conversations that like my mom, or dad, or siblings were trying to have with me, like, how is this going to end Kate? Like, what are you actually doing here? Because that was so Always so goal oriented and pragmatic and rational. And
Joe Van Wie 37:02
I'm gonna need a year to answer that, Mom,
Katie McKendry 37:05
let me drink. I'll figure it out tomorrow.
Joe Van Wie 37:06
Well, I what I think is interesting, you know, we've been part of organizations where a motto or creed is one day at a time, and that's easy to unpack, you're looking at eternity, the life of our son is one day at a time. But in that idea of of living in the moment, this bravado and liberty you think would come with living in the moment, it actually exists in addiction, like in a really unique way, there is no consideration outside of the immediate impulse, the need, especially if withdrawal is happening. The milestones of a day are really rewarding, even though you're in the middle of this depression, awful negative feelings. If I could get to 12 o'clock, I have to go here. I know I could get booze that yada whatever these little milestones even for specially an opioid addiction, yep. Your there is no life being on that day, right? And then every time I get to that mile marker, I can get drunk or this drunk at this hour. That's when I'll breathe, and maybe I'll come up with a plan. But they'd never count. Now it doesn't, with you really living one day at a time, what you've described, what interrupts that.
Katie McKendry 38:26
So it just got so unmanageable. And I, you know, was not at the time, but very grateful today for how, on top of everything, my parents and my siblings were, you know, we're not a family of enablers. So I was sent to treatment again. And then not allowed home. So I'm 19. And my parents are, you know, reasonable, also pragmatic, solution oriented people. So when the treatment centers like, you can't let her come back home shared, he tried that once. They were like, Okay, no problem, you know, and that's when I ended up at mountainside.
Joe Van Wie 39:03
And this is what produces what you would call your recovery.
Katie McKendry 39:07
So well, the beginning beginning, okay, I stayed sober for two and a half years, and then I thought I could drink successfully. Yeah, so I ended up getting sober for good in 2008.
Joe Van Wie 39:16
So that's when you came to this area was 2008. Your first experience in northeastern pa
Katie McKendry 39:20
2005 2005. Yep. I stayed in this area for two and a half years. I was transferred to Scranton. I was working. I was living in the area. I was in a in a
Joe Van Wie 39:31
Yeah, I remember seeing your media and I didn't know you relaxed, because I wasn't in that circle. But I remember seeing you.
Katie McKendry 39:41
Yeah, so I went and told everyone that I was going to start that's how I was, you know, responsible. And here's the chart. This is this is what I'm doing and why I think that I can do and that was that ended very poorly. So I went back through mountainside and have been sober since then.
Joe Van Wie 40:00
What would you say is the defining difference between the first period of sobriety the first two years you get away from consequences? You got to rhythm, a cadence? Sobriety is the answer. I've done sobriety so well, I can't be an alcoholic is kind of what arises again. And I know that you've seen it happen to me. It's It's fucking nuts. That happens to me. I could see it happening on another person. years ago, wow, that's too bad. Then it's happening to me. I'm like, No, I can't drag out this. Yeah, it's crazy. Like, out of all the things you can do on this planet? I am obsessed. What can I drink? Right? So 2008, what would you say? What changed in the course of would you describe sobriety in itself is definitely not the answer at this point than just the baseline of not being sober, like watching. I guess I'm trying to fish around. What was the difference? Cognitively, spiritually, that you didn't have to in the first two years you had sober time.
Katie McKendry 41:07
So like, what was the precipice for getting sober again? Like what had me convinced? Or how did
Joe Van Wie 41:14
how would you define that two years versus the next period of sobriety? What was different? Why did two years not produce enough of a foundation to say, maybe I'm not this, I'm not going to drink again.
Katie McKendry 41:28
So those first two plus years, you know, my life had been so was so one way until I was like, 18 years old. And then there was two years of complete chaos and me hitting multiple bottoms between the eating disorder and the drinking. And so I think I kind of like after two years of being sober, looked back at that as like, well, maybe that was a phase, you know what I mean? Like, and I had been sober, you know, because I went back to living my life, the way that I had all my life, which was following direction, taking suggestions, being a leader, you know, doing the right thing. But I wasn't really I don't think convinced that I couldn't control it, I guess I'm not sure. And then
Joe Van Wie 42:13
think like the idea of phase. I've used this word our generation uses it. No. Prior to this, what is a phase? Yeah, it's this this thing I just passed through. And I was like, Well, that wasn't me. There was a phase. What does it really impact to someone's meaning? It's just this catch all phrase, to disregard an entire period of my life is something that will as an anomaly,
Katie McKendry 42:37
right, just like put it in a box, it'll never spike it was, you know, an outlier or something.
Joe Van Wie 42:41
I wasn't present for that party. There wasn't me. I wasn't there.
Katie McKendry 42:45
There's no ownership and calling it a phase.
Unknown Speaker 42:47
How could that mean?
Katie McKendry 42:48
Right, right. Yeah. So, you know, I and then I think I had the gift of desperation. The second time. Yeah. You know, and the regret and the shame that I felt I just remember feeling like I don't ever want to feel this way again, from the
Joe Van Wie 43:05
relapse after two years. Was there consequences in that period of time? Yes.
Katie McKendry 43:10
Man, everything is so pedal to the metal with me. Yeah. You know, and so within, you know, I was started drinking, in Scranton, in Scranton, so I, the first time I drank again, I was actually with my friends from Emerson. And it was New Year's Eve. Yeah, it's a safe place to start. And I blackout the first night, but no one knows it. You know, and I'm keeping it together. And I'm drinking maybe a couple times a week and then very quickly, I'm drinking daily and then very quickly, I'm drinking all day long. You don't mean so within like a couple months? Yeah. But I'm living here. I'm trying to finish my, my senior year at Scranton, preparing to take the LSAT. I'm in a Kaplan LSAT prep course. I'm working at a local law firm a lot as like an office clerk like,
Joe Van Wie 43:58
Oh, we're on a podcast.
Katie McKendry 44:02
So I'm like, you know, barely keeping it together. And I was in, you know, car accident and I it was just got unraveled very quickly. There was an incident where I had been down in Atlantic City with my friends from Emerson watching a friend who was fighting in like an amateur MMA event. And I don't remember the series of events, but it was an awful weekend for me in Atlantic City and then I came back and I was trying to drive back from Emerson to PA but I was so drunk and I fell asleep in Paterson for a while and then I got lost. I was near like giant stadium. I'm driving around
Joe Van Wie 44:42
place to take a nap. No, it's not known for napping.
Katie McKendry 44:45
Not a single female, you know? And they were looking for me and my phone died and you know, it was it was an awful night. I don't know how I made it back. And and then it continued to get worse. Nairn until finally I was, you know, no longer given the option and my family rescued me and forced me into recovery again, thankfully, yeah, you know,
Joe Van Wie 45:09
it's strange to hear you say that I've never heard you tell your story. And, and the Katie, I know from just our recovery community, we're involved and it really is clear. I'm listening to you describe a condition that's happening to the kt, I'd know. Yeah, it's really weird. Because it's like, oh, this is this is a disorder. This is not Katie. Yeah, something's happening to the agency, or the full body of who you are, and can be right. It can't be any clearer from get knowing you for, you know, maybe, you know, casually for 10 years,
Katie McKendry 45:51
how about more than 18 or so on, you know,
Joe Van Wie 45:54
and then you're describing this, I'm like, what the, like, I now, how does this happen to us? And then like, you're stuck in it, you're stuck in it? Where are you in the midst of
Katie McKendry 46:04
all this? Right. And I think that that's what like the people closest to me kept thinking, you know, my family, my closest friends, you know, who are always all rallying around me trying to help, you know, like, where's the KT that we now? Yeah.
Joe Van Wie 46:21
So that's the consequences of two years of just having sobriety. And something wasn't happening in that two years that would produce a term we could share. It could be for individuals, but we kind of, I think, share the same idea of what recovery is for me for you. How do you reach that definition? That the next time you enter mountainside, you're humiliated? You think you're hurt? Yeah. So
Katie McKendry 46:51
I think it's important to tell this story if you don't mind. So no, I was my one sister was sent out to I was living in some a point across from the mall there. And she was sent out to pick me up because I called my dad I used to try to call him early when I knew he was driving into work, and act like everything was fine to try to keep them off my back. And he he said to me, I hear you. You have your drunk voice on already. Kate's only 7am. And so they sent my sister Ali out who had just finished her semester at both now. And she was back home. And she coaxed me into the car and brought me home. And I was so out of it. And it's like, a Thursday afternoon or something, let's call it so they took me to the hospital. And like hours after I stopped drinking my blood alcohol levels like point four something and I'm, I'm awake. I'm like yelling at watching the Yankees on TV in the ER, yawn at the TV and everyone's going to hell is going on? Like, how
Joe Van Wie 47:46
is she not his old man.
Katie McKendry 47:50
And so I ended up, you know, being put in the ICU for? I don't know, I don't know what the timeframe is, is foggy to me. And then I was there and I remember my family would come visit me and I would yell at them. I can drink responsibly get out of here, you know, just awful, awful, not who I am. And I I eventually got stepped down to a regular room. And I had a roommate and I was wheeled into this room. At that point, I had gone through some DTS, some, you know, visual hallucinations, I wasn't able to really stand I was shaking so much. I couldn't stand up on my own. So they wheeled me in a wheelchair into this room. And there's a middle aged woman in there and she said, Oh, sweetie, you're so young to be in the hospital. Are you okay? And I grumbled something like ma'am, fine. You know, she's like, what happened? And I, I said, I might, my family thinks I have alcohol poisoning. And clearly I do, you know, whatever the case was, and just purely out of trying to be respectful as I reciprocated the question and said, you know, why are you here? You know, what happened, and she went on to tell me that she had beat breast cancer, and that she had fallen at home recently and hit her head and had a CAT scan. And they, they saw that she had a brain tumor. And her daughter was pregnant with her first grandchild, and she didn't know if she would live long enough to meet her first grandchild. And in that moment, I thought, I'm doing everything I can to kill myself right now. And this woman would give nothing would give everything she had to live. And I instantly was like, I got to do something about this. Like, you know, I was like woken up out of that. That fog.
Joe Van Wie 49:26
That's I'm glad you describe that because sobriety starts while you're drunk. Those moments and they can disappear on yours dinner. And it's connecting with another person could be a stranger. Now, wait a minute, I've been telling my story, my problems to myself all day in a drunken state. And someone just broke through and it was a woman in a hospital. Yep. Her life. Wow. That's, that's you may. That's humanity. That's connection.
Katie McKendry 49:58
It's connection. Yes. What I've always loved and valued, but sought in the wrong ways when I was in that mode of drinking.
Joe Van Wie 50:09
Yeah, I had some moments like that. I think you were seeing how my mind unraveled, but I was getting interrupted by what am I doing? I'm really stuck. I want to be there for other people. Other people need me. And I'm, I've disappeared. Yeah. And I can only be drunk while I'm to deal with this. Let's that's interrupted now. And you want to wake up. I always like that. You know what perceivably would seem like Judeo Christian ideology that now is packaged as the inception of AAA or NA, uses the word awakening. That's not Judeo Christian. That's kind of a Eastern term. Historically, Hinduism or Buddhism, that would mean your sleep. Katie was asleep and some old lady just woke you up. Yeah, you start to wake up. Well, you're about to finish the you you're prepping for Al stats. Let me jump over to this, the academics, what changes there now as you're entering, you're leaving this relapse. It started in that hospital. You You've returned to the University of Scranton and in a newfound sobriety. Yeah, what changed? Your major was it if I'm not mistaken, it's up political silent science anymore right
Katie McKendry 51:32
now. So when I transferred to Scranton, I switched majors and I started majoring in Human Sciences or human services. And so I'm doing that but still planning on going to law school, but because of my experience up to that point, let me learn about something different because you can major in anything and you haven't even services. Yeah. So I started working with a therapist at that time, who I finally started to be able to get honest about some really deep stuff with. And at that moment, I thought, like, alright, because when I had gotten sober, and, you know, the way I had lived, my life was I wanted to be successful. I wanted to do the right thing. But I also felt like that was what was expected of me. Sure. And I always put these preconceived expectations on myself and pressures. And people would always say, Well, where did those come from? And I truly don't think they came from any me. Well. I think the easy answer would be Oh, my parents expect, you know, but no, they they truly wanted me to be happy and to work hard. And whatever, whatever that was, you know, there were no unreasonable expectations. And so when I realized what I really wanted, which was to help people, I thought, why am I going to go to law school, and then take a job as an attorney, helping people making like no money with all this debt from law school, you know, and it was really just like a practical decision that I made after developing this relationship with a therapist, I thought, if I can help one person the way she's helped me, yeah, that would be so purposeful, and so meaningful. And so I never ended up taking the LSAT, I cancelled my registration for it. And I applied to graduate school for counseling at the EU at the EU, and I think I applied to Marywood ended up just staying at the EU because I was
Joe Van Wie 53:28
on social was it were you applying for this social workers license? Wasn't that they had a good track there.
Katie McKendry 53:34
So it exists professional account? So no, not at the social work programs at Marywood. So I did professional counseling. My program was rehabilitation counseling that I did.
Joe Van Wie 53:45
And did you find the information? You're involved? You know, for the last maybe 10 years in eruptions in counseling, peer to peer sober living? Were you finding any information in that program? New in driving more curiosity of shark not only yourself and how you can reach other people?
Katie McKendry 54:06
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I thought it was a great program. I really connected with some different professors there. I worked on campus as a graduate student. So I spent a lot of time there. And it was evident that that's what I was supposed to do.
Joe Van Wie 54:21
Obviously. Well, let's just skip to the end now. Not to jump around and interrupt me. Like I always have a plan for podcasts and then it unravels some. Most of the time something interesting happens without my permission. Yes, if I can listen, like that's when I'm a good host. You're at a place called Little Creek lodge now. And how long are you sober just for the
Katie McKendry 54:53
Joe Van Wie 54:55
a half years. How long have you been at Little Creek?
Katie McKendry 54:58
So I started out Little Creek in July of 2015. So a little over seven years,
Joe Van Wie 55:04
seven years, so the half that time. I think it's a really special place. And I wish it was more involved. And the founder, Andy pace has always been a really interesting guy to me. Yeah. And I always liked being in his company. I liked him. Professionally, I thought he was really thoughtful and kind, just his whole demeanor and approach. What? How did he start this place of when.
Katie McKendry 55:34
So he and his wife Barbara started little creek, I think they had the idea in 2006 2007, he was working at another treatment center and kept seeing the same people come in and out of treatment. And they developed little creek as an after care program, like a long term aftercare program to really give young adult men a shot at learning to live a new way, and enjoy life. And they developed it on this principle of creating a loving, warm environment that wasn't institutional in nature, where they could really integrate in the local 12 Step community. And also get involved in outdoor activities get reconnected with old hobbies that brought them joy, or new hobbies that they can find purpose in and learn how to live again, you know, so little creek had its first client in 2008. They found property that made sense and they built it from the ground up near Lake area. Yep. Okay. And it was an 90 day private pay model initially, for aftercare. And there were three stages of treatment. You know, the first month, people were getting acclimated, they had to get a sponsor, they started working with a counselor, you know, in that second month, they started to look for employment and develop more independence. And then the third month was like putting that into practice. And then, in 2012, they went and got licensed as a non hospital inpatient, or equivalent to an inpatient program, but without the detox, you're still the 90 day model. In 2015, we started to work with insurance, you know,
Joe Van Wie 57:14
I'm filling out provider agreements now. It's awful. Yeah.
Katie McKendry 57:17
And, and then we opened up, I came on board in 2015, we opened up our outpatient office as a step down, you know, that 90 day model kind of dissipated, I would say, around 2018 or so it's really, yeah. What do you mean, dissipate it? So it's so hard with the amount of relapsing and how many times people are going to treatment? And then what, you know, managed care is willing to pay for Yeah, it was really hard to figure out how to provide someone with that 90 Day opportunity. It's at such a structured level,
Joe Van Wie 57:51
just for context, if someone's listening that 90 days at that point of those phases, you described, this is 90 days. What would historically just be described as transitional living, but you're you have a clinical component weekly. That could be 12 hours of clinical a week, six hours of kind of programming while living there. Yeah, for 90 days.
Katie McKendry 58:15
Yeah. But we offer adventure tracking. It used to be three days a week, so three days a week, they're going out. Sorry. They're adventurous. Yeah, yeah. Kayaking, so on those days, it's less clinically intense.
Joe Van Wie 58:27
Yeah. I always like to, I'm not endorsing Jordan Peterson but you know, he's, he's a voice you you can't hide from out there. He did say something really interesting. You know, he's he had a struggle with addiction. He starts to speak about it on some, I don't even remember the podcast, but he said something that resonated with me. alcoholics are adventurous. Like, even in the midst of just having the adventure on your couch, or in a bar. There's a sense of piracy in that and fun and improvisation. I don't have to live an orderly life out of the square. You can take adventure away from the alcoholic, especially when they're sober. Or your there's going to be this rising of a shadow self. That's having the adventurer quietly privately in the head until you can't take it anymore, and it'll show up in your real life. It's yeah. I always looked at the adventure track poetically as that sense in the place was just always appealing to the approach, how it doesn't look like an institution. And I'd only want to say one thing is context. I mean, that seems common somewhat today. Oh, that doesn't displace have that. Well, that wasn't when I grew up. Right. And, you know, the last 100 years kind of the rise of institution of the 12 step models almost would look punitive to a person today an 18 year old they wouldn't know what they were looking at. It will look like a state endorsed punishment. Put the only offering of treatment was. So that's a special place. And it's one of the first in this area to offer it that way, I guess. In that order program.
Katie McKendry 1:00:11
Yeah, they really pioneered that concept. And they were very courageous in doing that and trying to make it work and creating their own model that they wholeheartedly we're committed to delivering then.
Joe Van Wie 1:00:26
Yeah. And they have a music therapy. It's not a guitar in some random room that has broken strings. Right. And he's a musician.
Katie McKendry 1:00:34
Yeah. So we have the studio. This is what he built a whole studio up there. Yeah. So he built a room inside a room in, you know, so that it's soundproof, and there's recording equipment and a drum set and guitars and
Joe Van Wie 1:00:48
is that always in use? People are just constantly.
Katie McKendry 1:00:51
Yeah, so it depends on really the community at the time. It's really neat when we get a few musicians in the community, and they go out and they jam and we've recorded some, some feelings for them. And yeah, so it's, it's neat. And it's, it's really interesting to watch them be able to create music without being under the influence.
Joe Van Wie 1:01:10
So you come in 2015. That's kind of the half life of what we're talking about this time. You you have your graduate studies completed. You have stability, you have a family.
Katie McKendry 1:01:23
Yeah. So I had my first daughter, Claire. Yeah. And I was doing private practice primarily at that point. And I thought that was my end goal at that time was over practice. Yeah, I can make my own hours, you know, work for myself. And then I started working part time at Little Creek as the clinical director. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, this is so special. You know, and I was part of a team again.
Joe Van Wie 1:01:48
And you're working. This is men. Yeah. You're You're not afraid of men. You You've been a comp competitor your whole life. We just heard your story. What was that like to just now there's not women, you've been around women, women supporting you in your recovery? Now you're intervening and you're the clinical giving the clinical direction to young men? Was the
Katie McKendry 1:02:15
word or no, no. And primarily working with men? Yeah, the texts are their manual, there was a lot of men, how do
Joe Van Wie 1:02:22
you establish? Did you feel any sense that the your gender, I'm gonna have to establish that that's all gone, then? No,
Katie McKendry 1:02:30
no, yeah, I don't feel that way. In fact, I thought it was a unique opportunity to help them address things that may be are best addressed with a female clinician, yeah. You know, in terms of gender role, stereotypes, and expectations of what a male should be? Or is or whatever the case is? Sure. You know, when I really dug into doing that, from a group perspective, individual perspective, you know, I, I liked that. And I, you know, quickly, I think, in their minds somewhat became one of the guys too, because I'm not that typical, you know, don't like I don't want guys to apologizing for cursing around me. Tality, or, or saying certain things, I think that, you know, I tried to create a persona, not create, but present with this.
Joe Van Wie 1:03:24
created every morning I wake up, I'm like, What's shown with Joe woke up? What am I working with?
Katie McKendry 1:03:31
You know, but give them an opportunity to really be able to work with a female on maybe some of those things that they're self conscious about, or, you know, haven't felt like they can be vulnerable with someone else with, it seems
Joe Van Wie 1:03:42
like it should be the standard, like when I see what you do, and what little creek does, from where I could observe it from that, of course, this should be the way it is, because of how it works. But I was just curious, if that was you had to push or establish anything, and it doesn't seem to work in there. When you're on the site, and a lot of sites are like this, you start seeing patterns on PHPs or treatment sites, but you'll always see an association with addiction treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT. And then you'll see dialectic behavioral therapy. And it's always kind of if 90% of the therapies were described on all the rehabs North America, you'd see those two, what are they? What would you how would you separate them? How do you define them?
Katie McKendry 1:04:36
So I think with you know, the alcoholic and they come in with as as it pertains to our clientele. You know, I think CBT lends itself well to helping what you and I were talking about Off mic, you know, where we're actually identifying like, what our thoughts and what our thoughts are, what our underlying beliefs are that result in those automatic thoughts and then how we react And, and it gives us an opportunity to intervene. Yeah, in that irrational belief system in that irrational schema that we have that results in thinking, I need to drink in order to make it through the day.
Joe Van Wie 1:05:11
And you said schema? Yeah. So cognitive behavioral therapy, thoughts, auto thoughts? Yes. lost in thoughts, this rumination 12 Step communities called resentment, this is happening. But if you're sick, you're not aware of it, you think it's you? Or you're not sure why, like when we were describing anxiety, it just just showed up. But was it preceded by thoughts you're not consciously giving attention to you're constantly thinking, hopefully in language, telling yourself a story. Cognitive behavioral therapy would be exercises, approaches to individual or groups to work with tools to interrupt that autopilot? Yeah,
Katie McKendry 1:05:57
so I think there's the you know, at the beginning, it's providing clients with like, the insight and the awareness of what they're actually thinking and why what is that underlying belief, you know, there's pen to paper to see, okay, this is why I think this way, this is why I respond this way. And then practicing that in the group setting after after doing that individually, I think dialectical behavioral therapy really helps us with in the moment tools for remaining grounded, remaining present, and working through, you know, things that are otherwise overwhelming or make our lives unmanageable. And so some of you know, some of that brings us back down to earth, and gives us real life practical solutions to whether it be, you know, a personality disorder, or a mood disorder, or struggles with how we get along with people. So
Joe Van Wie 1:06:47
if you say,
Katie McKendry 1:06:52
I plead the fifth, no. And, and I am very relational in nature. So I really, really put a lot of emphasis on developing a trusting relationship with these guys. So that when I'm sitting with them, when all of our staff is sitting with them, or interacting with them, whether it be formal or informally, when when there comes a time where we need to say, you know, you're acting like a jerk, you don't have to be this way. Yeah, you know, like, You're so much better than this, let's raise the bar, you can say that, and I think Little Creek is so small, you know, Max 16, guys at the lodge that were around each other in the mix so much we eat together with the clients, you know, we check with them. Yeah,
Joe Van Wie 1:07:35
it's a log cabin. Beautiful home, right. And, yeah,
Katie McKendry 1:07:39
and they do chores, we're trying to teach them how to live again. So they're, they're taking pride in their living space and, and stuff like that. And, you know, we really develop relationships with them at a deeper level, I think, than a traditional larger scale facility where it's just that you can't manage that with so many clients, you know,
Joe Van Wie 1:07:59
and not only being the pioneers of this level of care, we describe the 90 days in IOP, PHP, whatever, you know, acronym, it is for the decade, but it's 90 days of this is important neurologically, because 90 days means that's a magic number four neural net pathways to recover from pause, right. So within this window, huge changes can happen without your permission. If you're sober for 90 days, we're not saying that we'll solve it. But there's something else happening outside of the cognitive behavioral therapy. you're participating in that. And Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, your brains trying to find another homeostasis without alcohol naturally. Right. Well, would that be accurate to describe?
Katie McKendry 1:08:49
Yes, yes. And I think we're trying to give these guys an opportunity to develop new meaningful connections, because ultimately, that's what the research shows helps people stay sober. And I think that that's what Alcoholics Anonymous has gotten right from such an early time, is the concept of one alcoholic helping another and how powerful that is in and of itself. Yeah. And, you know, I think as neuroscience has progressed over the years, and they're doing more studies on the alcoholic brain or the addicted brain, they're seeing that really the part of the brain that is stimulated is that part that is also stimulated when people are having real human connection when they're under the influence. And so if we can help these guys, provide them a safe environment as their brain is settling, help them develop new thought patterns so that they're building new neural networks that are healthier, simultaneously providing them with an environment where they're developing new human connections, and a sense of purpose. I think that gives them a fighting chance.
Joe Van Wie 1:09:52
I just had an image of when the parlor trick we could rip the tablecloth and everything's still there. The place Yeah. There's a tablecloth between alcohol and your connections. Like, if you can remove it, you realize it's an illusion, it's not really working, it stopped working, you're paying consequences. Because alcohol seemingly seems to help you in the beginning, right now you get this window, what's going to replace that? And what's always been missing? And What haven't you recognized about your mind? That's kind of if I had to describe it, I've been put into a propulsion, like before eight, whatever these scenarios are, for all of us say the first eight years of your life. Like, I just had a, you know, Mike arc Angeletti. Yeah, he was on we had a whole discussion about freewill. When does it begin? Is it the same for everyone doesn't even fucking exist. But I'm thinking you're in this propulsion. And I didn't realize how much I think about 90% cent of the day I'm not active or present for because I'm lost in this thought. And my thoughts produced addiction, like addiction showed up to save me from what that thought process is, would you call be the approach at 12 Step? Fellowships and stuff CBT. In itself, he had a strip the spirituality away from it, what's happening in trying to exercise the steps? Let's say we can do the thought exercise take away the definition of is that CBT?
Katie McKendry 1:11:28
You know, I think there is because I think that CBT in its purest form, and the 12 steps in their purest form are designed to help us help us examine ourselves, you know, and then create something new, like, kind of clean that up and create a new, a new experience. Right? Yeah. And that's kind of like what, you know, the first few steps are giving up steps. And then the middle steps are, you know, clean up, and then it's keep up and maintain. And so when you're doing CBT, those processes parallel that that 12 step process, right, because you're you're kind of giving up by identifying exactly like what the map of your brain is right now with the underlying beliefs and cognitions. And then the behaviors and what that map looks like, and then you're creating a new map, you know, and so I do think that there's a lot of parallels there. Yeah.
Joe Van Wie 1:12:15
Yeah. So you see this pattern? And I guess the pattern? What you're exactly looking at is relationships. How do these relationships why they why am I making my identity from the failure of all these relationships? I guess in a, is there any scenarios where dialectic behavioral their therapy? I'm not too versed in it in the sense, besides being the product of that you isolate it and use it without CBT? I'm not from Is there any scenarios that come up? How would that work? Because I'm always I guess, I maybe I don't understand enough that what proceeds dialectic wouldn't be cognition? What proceeds? Correct? Like how do they you separate them?
Katie McKendry 1:13:05
So I guess from from our perspective, we wouldn't really have that experience, but I guess other therapeutic approaches or if someone's in private practice? Sure. You know, I think that there's a lot of clinicians that would say there's really not a role for CBT in addressing certain disorders, you know, yeah.
Joe Van Wie 1:13:26
What would be one because like, historically, behavioral modification kind of approaches to juvenile delinquency or deviant deviance, and even addiction seems like a monumental failure, like for long term sobriety or, or rising up with a new personality, like you said, After confronting these things. So if you're changing the behavior, we'll just in its title, like what is changing, like, what are you what are we on Tom Natanz that have to change what we're like what precedes them? Because I think he has the liberty of not being or NA, or even refuge or dharma, not smart recovery. I wouldn't put that in there. But the ones that are saying that spirituality is where we're gonna find the answer this existential, this, this, catch all phrase, God, or whatever you would want to call if you have a higher power, say you're secular this, what's that going to be for you? That seems to be a different, a completely different approach than changing someone's behavior.
Katie McKendry 1:14:33
Yeah. And I think that a lot of times, and again, I think it's all about what your therapeutic approaches and I think it's important to be able to fit the approach to the individual rather than put the individual in a situation you're trying to force an approach on them, you know, and so,
Joe Van Wie 1:14:55
when did you come to understand that school? Because I don't think That's something you understand by being in a recovery community a specific one.
Katie McKendry 1:15:03
I think they teach you that in school, but I don't think you've come to understand that until you're doing the work. Ya know, and you realize that especially in AAA, because folks that are
Joe Van Wie 1:15:15
like, blends Yes, exactly a real tight lines of what your definition of recovery is.
Katie McKendry 1:15:20
And when you start to see people that you really love and care about struggle. It's hard to say, well, they just didn't do what they should have done when you know that they they tried their best
Joe Van Wie 1:15:33
bottom line is he doesn't fail people, you people fail a well, he's not a thing that you could What the fuck are you talking about?
Katie McKendry 1:15:41
That's so short sighted.
Joe Van Wie 1:15:42
What about quality of life? What about quality of life? So I'm going to brand someone that, you know, I always said, what if someone endured the first 10 years of life, they were a hostage of severe mental sexual violence, abuse, and you're gonna tell them their pathway to recovery is yours. You're gonna kill that person. Yeah, when they could be on an MA T. And the quality of life there. It's just it's such a glim perspective. And I don't hold them in harsh judgment. It's just a product of being taught. There's 3 million people in a there's 22 million people in recovery. And in the United States, like we'll extrapolate that number of people you're talking about,
Katie McKendry 1:16:23
right? And I think that that's, you know, especially with the opioid epidemic, and the drugs that are being, you know, created in labs nowadays, like we've had to be more creative and meaningful in our approaches, you know, and collaborative and not so, you know, singularly focused. So there is a role for MIT, certainly, and there is a role for some, you know, other more spiritual practices, you know, whether that's yoga, meditation, Heart Math, like we were talking about
Joe Van Wie 1:16:50
helped me tremendously. You used to have just put a, maybe I could put a footnote in there, but HeartMath was this. How would you describe it? Because I'll butcher it. I've used it for a year,
Katie McKendry 1:17:02
yikes. So the way it's described to me by the nurse on our staff, who leads those groups is it's an opportunity to connect the brain and the and the heart, or your soul in order to enact a sense of safety or mortgage crisis? And yes, exactly. And being in the moment,
Joe Van Wie 1:17:26
and you guys do that at Little Creek, as I just found that out today, while we're talking. My wife got me HeartMath a module, and there's two different or three, you know, multiple different modules, connect to your computer, get a certified person, you could get credentials to like, upgrade it, but what it does is match like exactly what you said, my breathing, my heart rate, my conscious attention into balance are they matched. And it's like a series of things I would go through on the website, that's how I got really, a deeper understanding that meditation was gonna help me stay where I feel my recovery should be, was through hard math. And I'm just blown away that you guys are using that up there.
Katie McKendry 1:18:09
Yeah, it's a really nice intervention, because it's non medicinal. And when someone's trained in it, they can go off and, and utilize it independently, whether it's on site or even after treatment. And, you know, I think that there's a role for medication, whether it's, you know, medication assisted treatment for the addiction, or, you know, psychotropic medications for mental health illness, you know, but I think that early on, the alcoholic, you know, when stripped of their comfort blanket basically, is so uncomfortable that any of those immediate non medicinal tools that they can utilize to gain a sense of empowerment in their own recovery can be very helpful in giving them some hope.
Joe Van Wie 1:18:52
It was for me, and I was blown away you're using because I'm up here fiddling through trying to understand how to work this thing for a month in my attic. I'm losing my mind. HeartMath helped me
Katie McKendry 1:19:04
it's funny, because I'll see really angry tightly wound guys, you know, come in signed, you know, the little device out and they'll go somewhere quiet, and they'll attach it to there, you know, you're trapped now. And it's so, you know, we talked about the role that feeling out of control played in my life, no one likes that. Right. And I want really little creek strives to help empower these guys to choose a life in recovery. Right, rather than being pushed and, you know, forced into it. You know, I think a lot of times people enter the room for those reasons, but it's got to become their idea. It had to become mine.
Joe Van Wie 1:19:38
Yeah. Yeah. I didn't realize how deep and it's not over for me. I can't be still what? Where I'm at my recovery has to be this constant March. That's where it failed a couple times, but winding down in some sense. And that ends the episode. Thank you, Katie. So little creeks acquired, and by a new company, and the he's gone.
Katie McKendry 1:20:09
So now he's now gone, but he's finally been able to enter, you know,
Joe Van Wie 1:20:14
a semi retirement get some time. But
Katie McKendry 1:20:17
yeah, because he and his wife Barbara had, you know, pretty intense careers in the musical industry in New York for years before they came out to Pennsylvania, and had a whole nother career.
Joe Van Wie 1:20:28
Yeah, he's a nationally professional musician. And,
Katie McKendry 1:20:32
and, you know, she worked in production and worked with some pretty neat artists over the years. So I think that they were so you know, exhausted, it's such an emotionally draining field, and they had a vision, and they executed it. And they've created this wonderful environment that they want to see carried forward. And, and this experience, and, you know, they're still involved, they sit on the board of the little creek Foundation, which is associated with little creek Lodge. And, you know, they opened a sober house in Dickson city, and, you know, they're still very much involved, but they're finally able to travel and do the things that they've learned to do.
Joe Van Wie 1:21:15
And upon selling it now to a, you know, a place he trust, and I've been on the website, I was looking at the other two and the brochure, I'm like, wow, this is a perfect match. Was that kind of the terms? And he set forth like, Hey, guys, this is what, uh, this is my legacy? Yes, you're keeping this the way that kind of is. So if there is any changes, or there has been, how would you describe them? Did they fall in the terms of what AMD wanted?
Katie McKendry 1:21:43
Yeah. All positive? Yeah, I would say, um, you know, we went from being a mom and pop program to still having that intimate, small feel, but we have the support on the back end, you know, so that, I think, you know, all the major players there every day, we can really focus on our roles and not necessarily have to be so consumed with, you know, the business piece and things like that. And we had that support. I, I think
Joe Van Wie 1:22:11
it's nice. So yeah, now I understand what you're saying. So, you know, when it was mom and pop, there was still you guys had to wear two hats, you're wondering a beautiful place clinically, but you guys are washing the bottles to back. And so now there's a an apparatus of business component that is out of sight, and almost not your responsibility. It's a shared responsibility of a bigger organization,
Katie McKendry 1:22:35
like basic stuff, you know, like billing and missions and things like
Joe Van Wie 1:22:39
that sucks to have to be involved in that when you're in the middle of clinical day. It
Katie McKendry 1:22:42
is, is and so you know, and we, I would say we have that like underlying support of those business features. That's awesome. But still the autonomy to run little creek the way little creek should be run. And I really appreciate the way Andy and his wife Barbara went through this process of selling it, they took their time. They didn't take the first off or necessarily, you know, sure, the most shiny offer and they really, really, yeah, they really found the right fit. And I think everyone who we still
Joe Van Wie 1:23:13
menubar and fired. No, but it's great that the team is the same. And and I've just always been interested in a sense. I'm ashamed of how little I've paid attention to anything the last 15 years. And even the executive director and clinical director and you know, getting sober this time, I'm paying attention. I'm like, she says Katie does like like, that only makes sense to me from the way I hear you speak. And it's just I don't know, I'm just interested in to see where it's going. What's going to become what are you going to add on? Because it's a really special place? Yeah. What? What would you say the future holds that might might be different to what changes or additions would you make?
Katie McKendry 1:24:01
So I would say and, you know, we had started our outpatient program where we serve both men and women. In Lake Ariel at a separate location, we have our sober house, also, in addition to the inpatient program, but I would really love to be able to serve more women at some point out in that area, there's really limited resources. You know, there's limited, safe, supportive living for women in early sobriety
Joe Van Wie 1:24:28
as a separate location or would you comb be coed?
Katie McKendry 1:24:33
I don't think we'd be coed in our current facility. We do have room to build on our property. Yeah. And we have the ability to expand there. I see us staying in Wayne County somewhere. But I don't know that it would necessarily be on our property. It certainly wouldn't be in the same building.
Joe Van Wie 1:24:49
Well, that'd be exciting, especially if it serves the needs of our Wayne County, Lackawanna Monroe. They need more resources. Yeah. Because where you want And he's gone.
Katie McKendry 1:25:01
Joe Van Wie 1:25:02
nothing's filled. Nothing filled that yet. To my understanding
Katie McKendry 1:25:06
of my wrong, no, no.
Joe Van Wie 1:25:10
Well, if you do open that, would you come back please? Or it was great having you, I'm really glad you came on, you know, in 2008, would you ever think your life would be this way?
Katie McKendry 1:25:23
Now, I didn't even want to work in drug and alcohol, even when I decided I want to go into a helping profession. I thought I don't want to work in drug and alcohol. And I really feel like it found me and what went from being, you know, part time kind of supervising the clinical program. Within a short time became, you know, I was so invested, I felt part of a team again, which I think I've yearned for. And it became my full time gig, you know, pretty quickly. And I love what I do that you know, and I know that that's such a cliche, but I don't drive into work dreading going, I love the people that I work with. We're like a family, we're friends. They hold me accountable, I hold them accountable. And it's a beautiful experience. And I try to stop and recognize that every once in a while, because think about how many hours we spend working in our lifetime. And, you know, I like to run a group on this at the lodge too, as people try to pursue healthy careers. And the idea of a vocation rarely exists anymore, you know, something that we're called to do that we could also do as a career. And so I feel like I have that and what a gift because I wouldn't have chosen it for myself. It totally chose me. And it's been such a joy.
Joe Van Wie 1:26:38
It's crazy to say that, I guess the best things that's not humility, it's almost an acceptance of reality, the best things can you kind of happen or you allow them to happen if there is a sense of agency or freewill, you are allowing something to happen that's much more beautiful than what I could plant. So just for the thought exercise, you said, you pull up to work well, you pull up to a rolling little snake driveway with a rock sculptured, beautiful, Pennsylvania bluestone kind of sculpture that says little creek. And you go by us to firepit and all these beautiful little places to sit and have meetings. It's a majestic log cabin. That just looks stunning. Now lighting the change that you pull up to a sea of blacktop and a corporate one level. The car accident center. That's your lawyer. Yeah, that'd be a fucking nightmare.
Katie McKendry 1:27:40
And if I had to leave my three beautiful children every day, you know to go do that, that I would feel so empty, you know?
Joe Van Wie 1:27:46
Well, that's amazing. That happened. I hope that happens to more people. So JT, thanks for coming on.
Katie McKendry 1:27:52
Thanks for having me. Joe. This was great.
Joe Van Wie 1:27:53
No doubt, let's make sure it recorded. I'd like to thank you for listening to another episode of all better. You find us on all better.fm or listen to us on Apple podcasts. Spotify, Google, podcasts, Stitcher, I Heart Radio, and Alexa. Special thanks to our producer John Edwards, an engineering company 570. Drone. Please like or subscribe to us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. And if you're not on social media, you're awesome. Looking forward to seeing you again. Remember, just because you're sober. Doesn't mean you're right.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai