Savannah Lunt is a direct care counselor at our Monterey program. She is a natural at building relationships with clients and walking alongside them on their path to recovery. We are so grateful to have Savannah on our team and excited to share a little about her in our Alsana staff spotlight series.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in the bay area of California. I have always called Monterey my “happy place,” so it is a joy to spend my days here.
Why do you work for Alsana?
After working in the beauty industry for 10 years, I was searching for something with more meaning. I wanted a career with real human interaction, where I could connect with people on a deeper level. The healing and strength that I get to witness every day with our clients at Alsana is what keeps me so excited about direct care. This work humbles me. It is an honor to witness people on the path to recovery.
What is your role at Alsana?
I am a direct care counselor. When friends and family come to visit their loved ones at Monarch Cove, I like to explain my title as a friend or ally. I spend my days in support of our clients, making sure they are getting the most out of our program.
What is your favorite part of helping clients?
Witnessing people rise above moments where they would normally engage in behaviors has been such an honor. I get to experience growth and new-found strength from our clients every day and it fills me with hope.
When clients see you, what are you most likely to be doing?
I’m usually sitting beside them having a conversation. I like to stay connected with clients throughout the day. I want to feel in community, rather than “at work.”
When did you start working for Alsana?
I began my journey with Alsana in August of 2018, right after my husband and I moved to the beautiful Monterey, California. The opportunity to work in direct care almost serendipitously fell into my lap.
What would you tell your 13-year-old self?
Love yourself and every unique quality you have. You are beautiful. Be a child as long as you can. Just do your chores and get them over with.
What were 3 of your favorite childhood activities?
My dream job as a child was to be a singer, so naturally, my favorite activities were singing, dancing, and dressing up. There was always a Disney soundtrack on.
How do you help individuals struggling with eating disorders?
I am always here to listen and available to hold space for whatever emotions or thoughts are coming up for clients. I believe that allowing clients to be heard and express themselves is crucial to the healing process.
What three words would you use to describe treatment at Alsana?
Community, Compassion, Refuge
What do you do on the weekends?
You will usually find me hanging out with my dog Arrow, trying out a new restaurant in town, or having a dance party while I clean the house. I’ve been learning macramé too, which has been a therapeutic project.
Where do you see clients get stuck in recovery?
I feel that one of the biggest challenges during recovery is a willingness to feel things that have been numbed for so long. A lot of people use their eating disorder to cope with uncomfortable emotions. I see clients get stuck once those emotions start rising to the surface again. Once clients are able to sit with these emotions, things start to get a lot easier.
What do you look forward to at work?
Aside from all the laughter, I look forward to watching our clients progress and challenge themselves in new ways. It’s an honor to witness people in their healing process.
Do you have any pets?
I have a Siberian Husky named Arrow, who is more of a child than a pet. We adopted her four years ago and have been in love with her ever since.
What should clients expect at Alsana?
Clients can always expect a warm welcome, a therapeutic environment, and lots to learn! As a direct care counselor, I make sure that clients can maintain this experience throughout their entire stay with us.
What is unique about the way you work with clients?
I am extremely intuitive. Without clients having to say much, I can see what they are feeling. Empathy is why this job has felt so natural to me. It is easy for me to connect and meet clients where they are at.
What’s your favorite hobby?
I love being outside. Whether it’s walking my dog with my husband or sitting by myself for some quiet time at the beach, nature is my recharge button.
What word or phrase do you find yourself frequently saying at Alsana?
“You got this.” I love this phrase because it is a quick affirmation with a punch. I use this at the dining table, during groups, and check-ins throughout the day.
What changes do you see in clients from their first to last day?
Confidence and assertiveness. I see a huge difference in clients’ willingness to communicate. We do a lot of work on asking for what you need and expressing your emotions. I’ve seen that in every client that has been through our program.
“Let your light shine” is a foundational principle of Alsana’s culture. We expect employees to come as they are and bring their whole selves to work, just as we want our clients to feel comfortable bringing their whole selves—exactly as they are—to their eating disorder treatment.
Alsana’s staff spotlight series highlights the way our employees let their light shine and the unique attributes only they can add to our clients’ recovery experience.