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Promoting individual, Family and Community Wellness...


Tana Howtopat
Co-Executive Director
Medicine wheel recovery services

In 2015,  I co-founded Medicine Wheel Recovery Services with my friend and colleague, Pam Daniel.  My journey here, however, has been a lifetime in the making.  Recovery in my personal life has brought me hope and inspiration for helping others.  I have been blessed with an amazing educational path, having received an Associates in Alcohol and Drug Counseling  from Portland Community College, a Bachelors of Science in Social Work from Portland State University, and a Masters of Social Work from Humboldt State University, specializing in working in rural communities and with Indigenous populations.  I  have served in a variety of roles,  including substance abuse, co-occurring, and mental health clinical work, providing problem gambling treatment services, program development, supervision, and quality management.  I have developed a relational perspective that guides me in developing therapeutic relationships, and in aligning with individuals on their roads to wellness and recovery.  As an advocate for social justice, my goal is to be part of--and guide others to-- the recovery revolution that is bringing positive change to our world.  My entire experience in the field of Social Work has been from a place of cultural awareness. I have come to understand that all groups of people (both communities and individuals) have experienced horrific forms of trauma that affect not only those who endured said trauma, but all generations since, and those to come.  In the counseling work that I do, I have learned that culture and spirituality, and other elements of diversity can be amazing supports and strengths.  In my work, I am committed to the MHACBO and NASW ethical codes, and to the basic principles of counseling (beneficence, autonomy, non-maleficence, fidelity, justice, and veracity) that guide how I engage the people I work with.  I use an approach of recognizing the individual as the expert on one’s own life, and I value the individual narrative as evidence of this truth.  I also believe that one’s personal story includes the experiences of ancestors, the culture(s) and communities to which one belongs, and the connection to every other being. I have worked to conceptualize how colonialism has always ended in the oppression of groups of people, and I am committed to working to “de-colonize” social work and counseling practices in my agency and the work I do. 



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