Interview with Addiction Specialist and Haven Hills* Director Dr. Reya Kost, LMFT

It’s so hard to be in San Diego and appreciate the beauty while you can’t stop thinking about food and your body. It’s even harder to be grappling with eating disorder behaviors AND drinking or drug use. It can feel at times like your life is spinning out of control. Not sure where to turn for help? I have a great San Diego resource who provides treatment for both eating disorders and substance abuse, which is often called co-occurring disorders. The co-occurring guru in San Diego is Dr. Reya Kost, and she is the director of Haven Hills Recovery Center for women. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) who has a doctorate in psychology. PLUS, she’s a former doctoral student of mine who is definitely a star! Reya is incredibly intelligent and has over 10 years of experience in treating addictions. I especially appreciate her acknowledgement that addressing trauma history is such an important part of recovery. She also has a great sense of humor! :)

*[Updated 4/3/19—Haven Hills has unfortunately closed. You can find out more about Reya and her outpatient treatment for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders at her private practice website here, and you can email her at reya@connectedseenheard.com).

Why did you choose to become an addiction specialist in San Diego?

I always joke that I didn't choose addiction—it chose me. I always said I wanted to work with any population other than substance users because of my own family history. My very first experience with clients as a trainee was at the San Diego Rescue Mission, where the majority of my clients had substance histories. I found working with clients at the Mission fascinating and that their way of thinking about substances really made sense to me. Those clients were the best teachers I have had as a therapist, and I have worked with substance use since that experience 10 years ago.

What kind of treatment do you provide for eating disorders?

At Haven Hills, our focus is on the underlying cause of the disordered eating behavior. We view disordered eating as a symptom of something else like trauma, relationship injury, or a mental health diagnosis. We treat these issues therapeutically. We also provide weekly sessions with a registered dietitian and meal support. We really want to empower our clients to be in control of their recoveries, so they feel included in all aspects of their treatment process.

How long has Haven Hills been treating eating disorders in San Diego?

Haven Hills Recovery opened in January of 2017.

Besides eating disorders, what other issues do you treat?

Our focus is on trauma and the behavioral and mental health disorders that often result from traumatic experiences. We work with disordered eating, substance use, and other mental health diagnoses.

What does it look like to treat people who struggle with substance abuse and an eating disorder?

When someone struggles with both substance use and disordered eating, it can be a very complex treatment plan. Often when one of the issues subsides, the other intensifies. That is why I believe Haven Hills is so special. We have clinicians, counselors, dietitians, and a psychiatrist who are experienced in working with both sets of symptoms so they can be treated concurrently. We offer a very safe, authentic, and compassionate environment where clients are allowed to go through the difficult feelings and hard work of recovery.

Who are your favorite types of clients to work with?

I really appreciate the complexities of developmental trauma and the symptoms it brings as clients learn to cope. I view it as an honor to share space with the strength, bravery, and courage it takes to work on years of hurt and pain.

What do you wish people knew about getting treatment for eating disorders and addictions?

I wish more people knew that there were alternatives to "traditional" treatment. I love being a part of treatment center that truly values the women we serve. It is so important to have a treatment plan and therapeutic services that are meaningful for you specifically.

How can people learn more and contact you?

People can visit the Haven Hills Recovery website (www.havenhillsrecovery.com) or contact me directly with questions at reya@havenhillsrecovery.com. You can also learn more about me as a clinician at www.connectedseenheard.com.

Share one fun fact about you.

I am a gangster rap aficionado.

I love it!!! :)

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Hey everyone, thanks so much for reading my blog!  Have a wonderful day. :)  

Marianne 

If you are struggling to find eating disorder treatment in San Diego, give me a call for your free 15-minute phone consultation at (858) 699-3754, and I will help you get where you need to be! 

You can find more information about me on Instagram @drmariannemiller or on my Facebook page.