At PCH, we prefer to put names and faces to the philosophy guiding our approach whenever possible. To better accomplish that, we will begin sharing the firsthand perspectives of the people behind our treatment programs with monthly staff interviews.
Read more of our conversation with Group Therapist, Dr. Angelina Zarokian, PsyD, and the twelve questions about her guiding philosophy and principles.
1. What does “mental health” mean to you?
To me mental health means our emotional, psychological, social, and physical well-being. Our life is being regulated by our mental health. It affects how we think, how we feel, and how we act. It also helps determine how we handle situations and overall our life and how we make decisions based upon our interpretations, beliefs, and expectations.
2. What’s your favorite mental health or well being quote?
“Problems are not the problem; coping is the problem.” by Virginia Satir
3. What do you think is the most useful wellness resources?
Human connection and attachment
4. What do you do to take care of your own mental health needs?
Meditate, walk my dog, read, spend time with my family and children
5. How would you describe PCH Treatment Center to a family or friend in need?
If I were to describe PCH to a friend or a family in need I would start by saying that PCH is a place where we help people reclaim a sense of personal strength and purpose. We help them gain adequate tools to function independently and responsibly post-treatment. In other words, our mission here at PCH is to remove all barriers to recovery and transform individuals, and their families with treatment that works. In PCH it is not a one size fits all approach, we custom tailor every single treatment to fit specific needs of specific individuals.
6. What inspires you most at PCH?
Teamwork and connection between team members and how we all have only one goal; client welfare.
7. How have you coped with Covid in the last few years?
It was not easy I will be honest. But just like all human beings, eventually we adjust to anything that comes our way. I determined that if I am not mindful of what is going on around me I will not be able to learn how to live with the changes that are being implemented into our lives and into our lifestyle. Change is always scary, but change is what helps us grow and become more resilient and capable. Mindfulness and knowing that I am not alone in this helped me cope with COVID’s uncertainties.
8. What’s your superpower?
I love to help and I am a very good listener. I can listen without giving an advise or any form of interference, because sometimes that is all what people need; someone who can just be there and listen.
9. Top three book recommendations and why?
“The Road Less Travelled” by M. Scott Peck
“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl
“Love’s Executioner” by Irvin D. Yalom
What all these books have in common is that they all represent the truth about human life, suffering, and acceptance.
10. How do you balance your job and PCH and time family/community time?
The most important thing PCH has, that most employers don’t, is their care for the staff members’ well being. That is why we have a method set where if we are unable to conduct our group therapy sessions for some reason, we help each other out by taking over and helping a fellow colleague out by conducting the group session. We are a true definition of a TEAM here and that helps tremendously not only for our duties at work but also helps us have that peaceful mind of knowing that if we need help PCH is there for us. Now that is a healthy balance between work and family. Human connection in a nutshell.
11. What’s your favorite modality of treatment and why?
My favorite modalities of treatment are evidence-based treatments which have yielded positive outcomes. My got to modality is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, however based on who I am working with I customize my sessions to meet the person’s individual needs and can switch to ACT, DBT, IPT, Exposure and other modalities upon need. I do not believe in one size fits all and I believe in custom tailoring treatments to meet each individual’s unique needs.
12. If you can invite anyone alive or no longer living to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
I would invite my grandfather who passed away 5 years ago. He is the reason I am alive when my parents for some family reasons were forced to abort me when my mom was 7 months pregnant with me in my hometown. I owe him my life and I am who I am because he gave me the chance of living and becoming.