I began working in the fields of Addiction and Dual Diagnosis more than 35 years ago. Graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Psychology and then completed a master’s program at Appalachian State University in Clinical Psychology. Later, I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Masters in Social Work. Have had extensive training and experience with family systems, addiction, dual diagnosis, expressive arts, grief/bereavement therapy, clinical supervision and relapse prevention.
I currently hold certificates and/or licenses in Social Work, Addictions, Bereavement and Clinical Supervision; including LCSW, LCAS and MAC.
All individuals need to be treated with respect and dignity. Using a systems approach, I use the philosophy that all people are individuals and deserve to be seen as such, and therefore do not repeat past interventions that may have been undertaken. I utilize CBT in unison with gestalt interventions and theories. These approaches utilized together often are very effective with resolving and/or developing a solution to whatever challenge is presented. After a thorough assessment, both client and I determine the next best step to take to help to resolve their discomfort(s). If this means making a referral to a colleague, then together we find a "good fit." In addition to working with people with addiction problems and relapse issues, I also work with individuals who also have other issues that are hindering their progress, whether the co-occurring disorder is due to mental health issues, medical issues or spiritual issues. I believe my approach is innovated, in that I emphasize individuality and personal growth and change, rather than strictly following a traditional treatment model. An individual often needs various concurrent interventions. The services I offer are a special niche that has not yet been available in the Charlotte area. Together with the client and any other adjunct services being received, the client is offered a diverse and comprehensive range of services utilizing whatever others resources, referrals are indicated are indicated for that person.
Ms Leighton has left her mark on every former agency she has worked for by developing and operating various programs including Outpatient Chemical Dependency Treatment, various Family Programs connected with addictions treatment, aftercare programs and most recently focusing on Relapse Prevention.
Deborah enjoys creative challenges and has an innovative approach with her clients that emphasize individuality, personal growth and change.
Relation to the Addiction, SUD, Treatment, Recovery Support Community