About Authentic Recovery

John Simoncelli

John Simoncelli

In 2014 I was looking to start the next chapter of my life and career. Searching for job opportunities, I didn’t find anything that would allow me to treat clients in the way that I found to be most beneficial, without being bogged down by administrative burdens. At the same time, changes in Connecticut’s Medicaid (HUSKY) policies allowed individuals covered by Medicaid to be seen in a private practice setting for the first time. With this change, thousands of Connecticut residents could now receive quality, affordable, private, individual psychotherapy. This represented a higher quality of care for individuals that were never able to receive it before.

At the same time I encountered a number of colleagues that were struggling with similar decisions. Agency work did not seem right for them, but they also did not want the responsibility of having a full time private practice. I saw an opportunity to provide high quality care to a population I cared deeply about, and provide a working environment for my colleagues that were looking for something in between agency work and full time private practice. From a business perspective, it made perfect sense to create a group practice to provide better service to an underserved population, and create a working environment that met my colleague’s needs.

From a personal perspective, I had always been frustrated that the clients most in need of quality mental health treatment were rarely able to get it. My specialty has always been working with individuals in recovery from addiction. Many people do not realize that addiction treatment has historically been group oriented. Many clients that wanted, or needed, individual psychotherapy could not get it in many agency settings. My belief is that most addiction is driven by trauma, which is not always appropriate to treat in a group setting. With Authentic Recovery, we could provide individualized treatment offered by licensed, experienced clinicians. While this is a simple idea, for those on Medicaid and struggling with addiction, quality, individual psychotherapy was hard to find.

John Simoncelli & Sara Heller

John Simoncelli & Sara Heller

Utilizing quality therapists to provide services to folks on Medicaid was successful from the start. In 2014, we started the practice with two therapists and a small office in Waterbury. We now have two locations and eight therapists, enabling us to serve individuals struggling with a variety of clinical issues. We are a general mental health practice that will always specialize in addiction treatment. This means that our clinicians are capable of treating a variety of issues from anxiety and depression, to relationship struggles. But what makes us unique is that most of our clinicians also have a specialty in addiction treatment and feel very comfortable working with individuals struggling with substance abuse issues. Our goal is to help people sustain long term recovery and guide them on their journey towards better mental health and emotional wellbeing.

While our growth has been strong and rewarding to experience, Authentic Recovery will always remain client centered and small enough to provide individual attention to every client. I now have an Assistant Director to help manage our day-to-day operations, but clients can always reach me directly through our main phone number. It is important to me that we always remain accessible and clients always feel respected and cared for.

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