• Devereux Pennsylvania

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Allie's Journey with Devereux

“I will be forever grateful for my Devereux team who continued to believe in me even when I did not believe in myself, and continued to help me along my journey of recovery and self-discovery .”

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health has been a blessing in my life. I don’t even want to try to picture what my life would look like now, had they not intervened and provided such amazing support through my journey. Prior to Devereux, I had been through many therapists, hospitalizations, and treatment centers without much success. By the time I was 19 I had already been displaced from my home several times, once even ending up in a homeless shelter. I was close to giving up — I didn’t see myself having a future — and then I was referred to Devereux. 

People say your high school years should be some of the best times of your life, but mine were some of the worst. I spent most of high school in either the nurse’s or guidance counselor’s offices to avoid my classes and interactions with other students. I had socially withdrawn from a lot of my friends because I felt I couldn’t relate to them anymore. They were talking about applying to colleges, and I was spending my time in and out of treatment programs. My parents and teachers tried their best to understand, but my problems were rooted deeper than they knew or were able to see. 

Devereux believes in treating the whole person. Their wellness program helped me to
improve my nutrition, time management skills, and build up my confidence. When I first started at Devereux, I was in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program, and I really struggled. It is a six-month community-based program at Devereux that teaches individuals how to live in the moment, cope with stress in a healthy manner, manage their emotions, and improve relationships with others. I desperately needed all of those skills and the Devereux staff worked hard to try to help me attain them. This program was different than other treatments I had tried, because I was held accountable for my actions. However, you have to WANT to get better and be willing to acknowledge that your current way of life is not working, and I was not ready to take this step yet.

Please consider making a gift to Devereux to help individuals like me access high quality therapeutic services and other programs that inspire hope, ensure well-being, and promote meaningful life choices. 

My first Devereux therapist told me that the DBT program was like Harry Potter. The client is Harry Potter, the program is the wand, the therapists are the professors, and the skills are the magic. The therapist could teach me how to utilize my wand to make the magic happen, but they could not pick up the wand and do it for me. These words really made an impact on me and they still stick with me today.

After struggling for five months through the DBT program, I made choices that were not in my best interest and discontinued the program. I began to recognize that I wanted to get better and I was ready to pick up that wand. Thankfully, Devereux never gave up on me and, when there was an opening in the group, I was accepted back into the program. My incredible Devereux team welcomed me back with open arms. This time was different because I was finally ready to be held accountable for my actions and I truly wanted to get better. I wanted to be a part of the program for ME and not because others said it would help.

For several years I studied Animal Science at a tech school, while also volunteering at Main Line Animal Rescue, Aardvark Veterinary Hospital, and Springton Manor Farm. Through my experiences I recognized my love of helping vulnerable populations — animals and children. I received my Animal Care Assistance and Infectious Diseases certifications. I decided to continue my education by pursuing my Bachelor’s in Social Work at West Chester University. I hope to one day pursue work in the foster care system. 

Because of Devereux, I am a COMPLETELY different person than I was when I started this journey. Last year, I was honored with two awards. My determination, drive to succeed, and sense of personal responsibility were recognized through Devereux’s Williams Family Achievement Award. Additionally, I received The Primary Intelligence Scrappers’ Scholarship, which is given to exceptional “scrappers” - fighters who refuse to give up, even in the face of incredible odds, and use grit and determination while pursuing their goals and dreams.

I will be forever grateful for my Devereux team who continued to believe in me even when I did not believe in myself, and continued to help me along my journey of recovery and self-discovery. They helped me get to this place in my life today and helped me to recognize that I have many positive qualities and attributes that I can build upon — and an identity outside of my mental health. I can attribute my successes to the amazing staff that supported my journey of self-discovery: my therapists Jen, Jess, and Molly. My time at Devereux has taught me that it is never too late to get help, and that hope is never lost.

 Thank you for helping Devereux to create some certainty in this uncertain world by supporting their mission to unlock and nurture human potential for people living with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. Please make your gift today by visiting our secure online donation.

With Gratitude,

Allie

Allie Short
Devereux Individual 

PS: Your gift to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health unlocks human potential and is needed now. You have the power to help us nurture children and adults like Allie so that they may be the best they can be.