Hi! I'm Dr. Chris Maria--your recovery coach. I work to remove barriers and obstacles to recovery by serving as your personal guide. I've been working on my recovery for over 15 years and today I use my real-life experience, education, and research to lead others along their journey. Through my recovery coaching service, Pills and Skills Recovery, I offer strengths-based coaching for individuals recovering from childhood trauma and those with a mental health condition.
I started Pills and Skills Recovery because this is what I needed when I began to recover and heal over 15 years ago. I needed a place I could go to learn more about recovery and not feel stigmatized by seeking mental health treatment.
I didn't have that place, so I did the only thing I knew to do. I talked to those close to me and their advice was to pray more and read my bible more. I did as much as I could, but I was suffering from major depression, so I couldn't concentrate. As much as I tried, I didn't get better. I continued to get worse. Finally I reached a point where I could no longer function and to live, I reached out for help. When I entered treatment, I started to get better.
Having a recovery coaching service like Pills and Skills Recovery would have helped me and my family. I know there are others and their families who need this service too. So, in August 2020, I started Pills and Skills Recovery. The name Pills and Skills refers to what it takes for me to maintain my recovery: medication (pills) and coping skills (skills). Hence the name, Pills and Skills Recovery.
When I talk about recovery, my battle was not drugs or alcohol. I suffered from the impact of childhood trauma on my mental health. Today I live with a severe mental health condition, and in living with my condition, I've been in individual and group therapy. I've gone through the spiritually-based 12-step program, Celebrate Recovery. I've been in outpatient and inpatient treatment programs. Today, I know how to maintain my recovery and my life's work is helping others maintain their recovery by serving as a personal guide.
Prior to creating Pills and Skills Recovery, I was a teacher and college professor. I taught middle and high school English and held a tenure-track Assistance Professor of Education appointment at Claflin University and USC Upstate. I earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from UNC Charlotte.
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