A Conversation With…Monique Snead
Monique Snead is a recent graduate of Frostburg State University and now works as a Residential Substance Abuse Counselor at Hudson Behavioral Health. While she was working towards her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in substance abuse counseling, Monique also interned at Hudson to gain hands-on experience working with patients in recovery.
Hailing from the Eastern Shore, Monique was raised in Pocomoke City. Although her childhood dream was to escape small-town living and move away from the Shore, she is now dedicated to helping as many people as she can who are struggling with addiction, and that starts in her own community.
We spoke with Monique about her passion for helping people, how her internship at Hudson paved the way for her career in counseling, and what she sees for herself in the future.
Q: What inspired you to study psychology in college?
Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and our behaviors. I think there is so much that we don’t know about why people act the way they do. I find that simply taking the time to talk to someone can help me gain a perspective of how their mind works and understand some possible reasons for their behavior. On a more personal level, when I was 14 years old, I was going through some difficult things and I went to a counselor for help. That experience helped me realize that I want to help other people on a professional level.
Q: What was your internship like at Hudson?
My internship at Hudson was very time-intensive and required me to be there 36 hours a week; over time Hudson became my home. I was able to learn so much about how inpatient recovery centers work, and I was given the ability to get to know the patients and help them achieve early recovery. Every Counselor I interacted with was very helpful and understanding and provided incredible mentorship and guidance. Interning at a recovery facility and learning about addiction through textbooks and classroom learning are two very different things. I understood the concepts, but I was able to put them to the test with the hands-on learning experience of my internship.
Q: Where does your drive come from?
In addition to being a full-time student and my 36 hour per week internship at Hudson, I also had a night job at Hardees that required at least 20 hours of my time each week. To say I was constantly tired would be an understatement, however I would never change this experience. It has shown me just how strong I am and given me the motivation to be the best version of myself.
Q: Congratulations on your new position as a counselor at Hudson! Tell us more about your role and responsibilities.
My position as a Residential Substance Abuse Counselor at Hudson means that I spend my days counseling patients, monitoring their progress, providing didactic (educational information) groups, completing case reviews, and setting up appropriate after-care and treatment plans with the After-Care Coordinator.
Q: Is there a particular reason you chose to pursue counseling as a professional career?
Yes, I find that everyone in life deserves as many chances as they need when they are trying to get help. I believe in compassion and showing someone that they are not defined by their behaviors. Everyone deserves to have people in their life that care.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about working with patients at Hudson?
Watching patients grow and progress as they work through the recovery program is very rewarding. Many patients come in hopeless, and they leave with hope and confidence.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
When I was a child, my pediatrician in Salisbury was once featured in the African American Pride Magazine and I remember telling myself that one day I would be too. To have this opportunity so early in my career is a dream come true, and only fuels me to accomplish so much more. In the future, I plan to work towards earning more certifications to continue expanding my knowledge, and ultimately would like to work with adolescents.
Hudson Behavioral Health was formed in 1980 (as Hudson Health Services, Inc.) to bring the first residential recovery program to the Eastern Shore. Today, thousands of patients later, we remain the leader in recovery programs and resources, with our staff of 100 committed to serving each patient as an individual.