"/> Trauma and Addiction Therapist: Andrea Bushman MSW, LADC I - Handel Behavioral Health
Mental Health Blog

Trauma and Addiction Therapist: Andrea Bushman MSW, LADC I

January 3, 2023

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Amy Mauro

Substance use disorders and alcohol addictions are complex and challenging conditions that affect all people, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background. 

Regardless of how the substance use disorder or alcohol addiction begins, Andrea Bushman, Masters of Social Work and Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor with HBH is here to guide clients along the path of recovery and growth.

Andrea also provides individual therapy for clients experiencing a wide range of mental health disorders, and internalized emotions. 

Certified in trauma, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Andrea can help clients clarify the root of traumatic memories, and become aware of how they might be unintentionally delaying their growth. 

Andrea received her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Westfield State University, and she is a Doctorate Candidate at Simmons University in the Social Work Program. 

She is trained in a variety of clinical modalities including,  Cognitive Behavioral, Mindfulness Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Somatic Psychotherapy, and Gestalt Therapy. 

Andrea’s passion to help individuals through their struggles with addiction and mental health disorders has led her to work as a counselor in residential settings, as a parent aid working with children and families that were involved in the Department of Children and Families, and as an individual therapist for children, individuals, and families.

She strives to help people from all backgrounds overcome their struggles and walk on a positive path.

We interviewed Andrea to gain insight into her experience, therapy methods, and what clients can expect from working with her online.

What inspired you to work in the field of addiction and mental health counseling?

I’ve always been a giver. 

Growing up, my family instilled a great sense of purpose and exposed me to a strong sense of spiritual community.

I witnessed many individuals and families struggling in ways I hadn’t experienced; I felt motivated to help and bring positive change to people’s lives.

What experiences did you have prior to working with HBH?

I earned my Master’s Degree in Social Work at Westfield State University. 

I received my certification as a Certified Trauma Professional through Evergreen Certifications. I’m now online taking behavioral health courses through PESI, a company that provides certifications for mental health disorders, substance use, and alcohol addictions.

I’ve worked as a counselor in residential settings, as an intern at the Jericho House working with families and individuals caught in addiction, as a parent aid working with children and families that were involved in the Department of Children and Families, and as an individual therapist for children, individuals, and families. 

I’m now a Doctoral Candidate at Simmons University in the Social Work Program to gain more knowledge and skills in the field. 

Through gaining the knowledge through education, working with different departments and age brackets, and taking trainings and certifications through PESI, I’ve deepened my lens of social work.

What is your treatment style and approach to working with clients?

I employ a trauma-informed approach to help clients with substance abuse disorder, alcohol addiction, internal emotions, and mental health disorders.

I begin treatment by going back to prenatal. I’ll learn about the client’s background when they were in the womb: Did the client’s parents struggle with substance use disorder or alcohol addiction? Did the client’s parents go through a divorce or separation? Was there domestic violence among family members?

From there, I gather more information about the client’s early childhood experiences: Were there any traumatic events in the family? Did they witness traumatic events first-hand? Are there parents still together, or was there a separation or divorce between the parents?

I ask the client about their experiences in elementary school up through secondary education. 

Prenatal alcohol exposure and traumatic childhood experiences can have lasting effects on an infant’s brain, leading to cognitive and behavioral problems. The prenatal or early childhood experiences of trauma must be addressed and worked through in order for the client to move forward with their life.

We know that trauma does not disappear, and will exacerbate any mental health challenge that an individual struggles with.

What mental health conditions do you treat and which clinical modalities do you offer?

I provide individual therapy for adults experiencing a wide range of mental health conditions including:

I utilize a variety of different approaches and clinical modalities including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Mindfulness/Meditation
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Psychodynamic/Psychoanalytic/Psychoanalysis 
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) 
  • Trauma Informed Therapy
  • Exposure Therapy 
  • Somatic Psychotherapy
  • Gestalt Therapy

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is helping clients release their anger and sense of sadness, and see them experience happiness and find joy.

What are your goals for your clients?

  • To be able to control their anger 
  • To know how to use their coping mechanisms that we practice in sessions: journaling, practicing mindfulness, breathing exercises, listening to sound waves
  • To take care of their health through eating clean and exercising 
  • To gain the energy to exercise and release energy 
  • To let sunlight into their homes
  • To feel capable on their own and comfortable in social situations
  • To practice loving their children and other people in their lives, even if they didn’t receive love from their parents
  • To pursue higher education and find a career they’re passionate about

What is one unique quality that you bring to your practice?

I always strive to bring positivity into clients’ lives. 

People who have been consumed by so much negativity in their lives need to find positive outlets. Everyone deserves to have a source of light and happiness in their lives.

What do you like about practicing mental health therapy in Massachusetts?

I feel like there are many different types of treatment modalities and approaches that I can practice in Massachusetts. Some states have stricter laws about practicing certain types of therapies and acquiring certifications. I feel like there’s more therapeutic modalities to choose from, and earn licensure for in Massachusetts.

Interested in scheduling an appointment with Andrea?

Andrea Bushman will support you or your loved one suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, or struggling with internalized emotions or a mental health disorder.

If you’re interested in working with Andrea online, please call us today at  (413) 343-4357. You can also request to schedule an appointment with Andrea online.

About The Author

Nettie Hoagland Headshot

Nettie Hoagland is a writer with experience in local news reporting, nonprofit communications, and community development. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in Media Studies, Journalism, and Digital Arts from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. Nettie believes in the healing power of the arts to create connection and community. She is passionate about using writing as an instrument for personal and social growth in the field of mental health. She is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.

Andrea  Bushman Headshot

Andrea obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Westfield State University. Presently, she is a Doctoral Candidate in the Social Work Program at Simmons University. She has twenty years of experience working with diverse populations of children, adults, and families on mental health disorders, substance use, and alcohol addictions. More About Author →