At Alo House, our staff understands that addiction extends far beyond the individual. Watching a loved one struggle with addiction and walking alongside them during recovery has the power to change the friends and family of those with substance use disorders.
In the case of Dr. Deena, Alo House’s Chief Clinical Officer, it was her husband’s sobriety that lead her to work in addiction recovery.
Early Years and Education
Long before she met her husband, Dr. Deena demonstrated interest in helping others.
At age ten, rather than building a lemonade stand, she once chose to set up a therapy stand and offer people advice.
These early signs of her future destiny bloomed when she signed up for classes in human sexuality and abnormal psychology her freshman year in college. Through the experience of observing panels and discussing psychological issues, Dr. Deena knew that she was meant to pursue the field of psychology.
Upon her graduation from Pace University with a degree in human relations, Dr. Deena continued her education at Columbia University, where she pursued her masters in social work.
After receiving her degree, Dr. Deena worked with addicted adults and their families in the Bronx, until she decided it was time to continue her education and pursue her dream of working at a teaching hospital.
It was this dream that brought Dr. Deena to the New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she worked with dual diagnosed and mentally ill adults, children, and adolescents, and participated in training opportunities lead by leaders in the field of therapy.
During this time, she also completed a postgraduate training program in family therapy at Ackerman Institute.
The Move to California
In the midst of her training and education, Dr. Deena met her now-husband of 27 years, a sober alcoholic who began his recovery journey as a teenager. While Dr. Deena had experience working with addiction in the past, her relationship with her husband gave her a personal perspective on substance use disorders.
After a move to California in 1999, Dr. Deena chose to focus her work efforts on addiction treatment. While she knew this path would be difficult due to the nature of the disease, she also trusted that it would be the most rewarding.
She began her journey at a prominent dual diagnosis treatment center in Malibu. During her 18 years at this facility, she received her doctorate in psychology from Ryokan College (PysD 2002), went from therapist to clinical director, and helped the center grow from six beds to 40.
During this time Dr. Deena began an equine therapy program and took on the role of scouting horses that were in need of rescuing themselves. By bringing in horses that need a safe home, therapists are able to use human/animal connection as a tool for recovery and healing from trauma.
Chief Clinical Officer, Alo House Recovery Centers
When Dr. Deena was offered the position of Chief Clinical Officer at Alo House Recovery Centers in November 2018, she happily accepted.
“Alo fits me like a glove. For my entire career I have wanted to work somewhere where the true essence of the place is connection with the clients and offering a real client-centered approach. I found this at Alo!”
Dr. Deena now holds of the role of Chief Clinical Officer. She plays a crucial role on our team as she oversees all aspects of the clinical program, supervises the therapists and staff, and oversees the clients’ treatment plans.
Reflections and Motivations
Over the years spent working in addiction and recovery, Dr. Deena has found her motivation through each and every one of her clients.
While her work hasn’t always been easy, watching a client going through treatment and transform into a better, sober version of themselves makes all the hard work worth it.
Above all, Dr. Deena has learned the importance of patience and hope in recovery. She believes that everyone can recover, no matter how hard it seems, and has witnessed the power of addiction treatment.
Through her personal experience with her husband’s sobriety and years of education in the mental health field, she can encourage the friends and family of those struggling with substance use disorders to surrender to the process and have faith.
In recent years, it’s become Dr. Deena’s mission to educate the public about mental health and addiction through the media.
In addition to making appearances on shows such as the Dr. Phil Show, Dr. Drew’s Life Chargers, Intervention, and the Ricki Lake Show, Dr. Deena is now in the process of starting her own podcast and television show. Stay tuned!
Find out more about Dr. Deena Manion on her Alo House staff page.