Smith opens addiction treatment office in FD
In her practice, Heidi Smith strives to help people become better versions of themselves.
A tattoo of a yellow-orange phoenix that she has inked on her left forearm is a continuous reminder that people can overcome trying times in their lives. The words, “Get up & Rise” are tattooed above the phoenix.
“It was something I had before I was even in the field,” Smith said. “For me it is representative of my struggle with mental health growing up. I actually have the”Get up & Rise” on me as a reminder for me to rise above my struggles and rise above. A reminder of what I already have risen above in my life.”
Smith, of Badger, is an addiction counselor. She opened Rise Up Addiction Treatment, 1301 First Ave. N., on Dec. 14.
Smith, who holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Buena Vista University and a master’s degree in forensic psychology from Walden University, is licensed for intensive outpatient treatment, extended outpatient treatment and continuing care.
She treats any alcohol or drug addictions for clients over the age of 18.
“We do individual therapy, group therapy,” Smith said. “Each level of care has the set amount of time for groups as well as the individual. As far as myself, I personally hope to bring an empowerment piece to my practice. I’ve always tried to incorporate that before as a substance abuse counselor but now as a company.”
Smith also offers alternative treatment of Reiki, which is energy healing.
“It is based on law of attraction,” Smith said. “There’s no touching of the client at all. It’s done through placement of your hands over different sections of the body of the client. When clients first withdraw from a substance it can be stressful on the body. It can help with relaxation.”
Smith is considered a Reiki master.
She also incorporates aroma therapy, which she believes creates a more relaxing environment.
“I always have (used aromatherapy),” she said. “Sometimes you get people who don’t like it. But I have had a lot of compliments about how well my office smelled.”
Smith has been a substance abuse counselor for about three years. She decided to she wanted to help people with addictions after she completed an internship in the field.
“I love the brain because I chose psychology, but the idea that the clients — they are kind of at their lowest point and need that feeling of worthiness,” she said. “And I think we have all been there and I want to help. Just like any of us in this field want to do. That was one of the reasons that drew me. The other thing is that it just is a very accepting field and very interesting.”
Smith grew up in Lone Tree, a city of about 1,300 people, south of Iowa City.
She and her husband, Josh, moved to Webster County in 2001 when he found work with Advanced Heating & Air Conditioning.
“We’ve been here ever since,” Smith said.
Fortunately, Smith said, the COVID-19 pandemic has not impacted her business plans.
“I was a little worried when the rise in cases happened in Webster County and then I saw that they were starting to decrease,” she said. “The schools are going back to full-time after break. The other thing is we can do telehealth. So I knew there was some modifications and different options. This industry is something that’s always needed so it’s kind of just always there. I stocked up the masks and hand sanitizer, got my thermometer right away, so I was prepared.”
Other than smoking cigarettes in the past, Smith said she hasn’t suffered from an addiction like alcohol or a hard drug.
It’s a question she’s often asked by clients.
“That is one thing they will ask you is if you have struggled with addiction yourself,” she said. “When you’re a counselor, you don’t always share personal stuff.”
Smith said too often addictions are a label that can shame a client.
“Addictions has always had a shame-based, not just a stigma, but the treatment itself has been shame-based,” she said. “I always have tried to, and I hope my business will show and continue to show that it’s not shame-based. There’s no reason to be shameful. We focus on empowering the client rather than tearing them down. There’s no need to tear them down to build them up, basically.”
Her goal is to help clients feel empowered.
“It is when they gain that self-worth or gaining that empowerment piece,” he said. “Sometimes the clients don’t even know how to advocate for themselves. When you see them start to do that and do it correctly, for me it’s one of the most satisfying things because you know they can apply that to every area of their life.”