“See, some are smaller, some are fatter, some grow to the left, some to the right, some even have lost some petals. All kinds of observable differences. You see, Harold, I feel that much of the world’s sorrow comes from people who are this, [pointing to a single daisy] yet allow themselves to be treated as that [gesturing to a field of daisies].” – Maude from Harold and Maude
What I Believe
I was particularly drawn to substance abuse counseling because there are so many misconceptions about addiction. Unfortunately, even within the field of addiction counseling, many counselors work from a more rigid, cookie-cutter perspective. So, allow me to set the record straight from my point of view:
- Not everyone who struggles with their use of alcohol or drugs needs total abstinence or a 12-step program to make the changes they need to.
- You don’t need to self-identify as an addict or alcoholic to be willing and ready to change your behaviors.
- Though cultural stigma is real and can be painful, substance abuse is ultimately your psyche’s way of coping with underlying challenges— whether that entails past trauma, difficult family dynamics, negative beliefs about yourself, or other mental health issues that need to be more effectively addressed.
- Addiction does not discriminate based on age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, or intelligence— we are all susceptible. And if we wouldn’t call an affluent college professor a “junkie” because he’s gotten addicted to his prescribed Xanax, we should treat the person who’s an IV drug user and experiencing homelessness with the same dignity and respect.
I bring years of training and professional experience to my client work— but more importantly, I bring my humanity and an open-minded, genuine, and non-judgmental approach.
When I’m not working, I’m hanging out with my wife and our dog, hiking and bouldering with friends, listening to podcasts and books, or pondering my next tattoo— a huge part of my personal expression.
Gage Blanck-Singer is a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) and National Certified Counselor (NCC). After completing his BS in Psychology from Lycoming College, he received his MS from Walden University in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with a specialty in Trauma and Crisis. Gage has almost a decade of experience working in community mental health, with a focus on addiction counseling. He recently opened a private practice and is working toward licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Gage’s clinical approach is eclectic, humanistic, trauma-informed, and person-centered.