PRESENTATION TITLE: What Happens In The Brain of Family Members and Why That Matters

The Refuge Center of Houston

Jamie is the founder and executive director of The Refuge Center of Houston.  The Refuge provides family peer support services, faith-based counseling, and spiritual care and direction.  In addition to her private practice she also engages the recovery community through blogging, workshops, training and advocacy services.  As the mother of a heroin addict Jamie knows firsthand the trauma, heartache, shame, and fear that the disease of addiction can generate.  Therefore, she strives to provide a voice and a space for families to engage in the recovery process as they seek to recover, rebuild, and be restored.

Jamie has a B.S. in Education and an M.A. in Christian Leadership with an emphasis in Family Addiction Ministry.   She is also a certified Family Recovery Coach (NCFRC), Christian Life Coach (NCCLC), and Christian and Family Recovery Coach (NCCFRC).  

Prior to opening The Refuge Jamie spent 21 years in secondary education.  She uses her experience as a former educator to speak on behalf of families and believes education is a powerful component in decreasing the shame and stigma associated with substance use disorder.  She has spoken at numerous conferences and symposiums on the role of Family Recovery and has been interviewed by Fox news on her work with families and as the mother of a person with substance use disorder.

Jamie believes firmly that the family is an integral and important component in the recovery process.   Her philosophy is that “no one is left unaffected when there is substance use disorder in the family system, but that there is hope for healing amidst the difficult times.”  She has committed years working both personally and professionally to attain a peaceful relationship with her daughter’s addiction. “Not all days are good, not all days do I do it perfectly; but, I know there is hope.”

Jamie serves on the board of The Coalition of Behavioral Health Services in Houston.  She also serves as part of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Houston Recovery Imitative and she chairs the Family Recovery Committee for the Houston Recovering Oriented System of Care (ROSC). In addition, Jamie has worked with state and local officials advocating for legislation that would increase addiction and peer support services in the state of Texas.  She has testified before the State House Judiciary Committee and is currently working with State officials to develop legislation that would create state funding and accessibility for family peer supports.

The Refuge Center of Houston is a long-standing supporter and community partner to Facing Addiction with NCADD.  Jamie serves as the local collaborating partner with Facing Addiction and her hometown of League City, Texas has been chosen as one of 25 in the nation to participate in the nationwide “Communities Project.”