Brandy and Danielle

Brandy, Beth, and DanielleMany times I find myself getting up in the morning and expecting the same routine things throughout the day.    However, today I met two amazing young women who taught me more about life in one hour than I have learned over several years.
These young ladies aren’t worrying about having the latest iPhone or getting a new pair of designer jeans.  They are worried about their family being evicted from their home, having food on the table and dealing with tragedy and death in their young lives. 
The two young ladies are Brandy and Danielle, who met in a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group for teenage girls and are both in the Intensive Treatment Team (ITT) program of Bluegrass.  Their stories reflect why Bluegrass and its services are so important to people’s lives and the community.


Brandy has been suffering from depression and anxiety as long as she can remember.  She has had several admissions to Charter Ridge Hospital, has a history of cutting herself, used drugs and alcohol, and in times of severe stress, she would hear voices.  She was traumatized by the unexpected death of her boyfriend and was unable to live with her father.  She was referred to Elizabeth (Beth) Lueking of the Intensive Treatment Team of Anderson/Woodford/Franklin County in December of 2011. 
Beth met with Brandy several times a week and worked with her on ways to deal with and control her anxiety.  They used DBT skills, Radical Acceptance Skills and Mindfulness.  This took a lot of hard work from Brandy, but she was so open to learning these skills and getting better that she flourished.   Brandy states, “Beth saved my life and gave me the encouragement I needed to understand and deal with my negative feelings.”
Brandy is now living with her mom and says they are best friends. She is in the Anderson County High School Band where they won 3rd in the state.  She is doing remarkably well and is very hopeful about her future.


Danielle is 18 years old and has been in a severely abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend for many years.  In addition, she lived in a home lacking any parental stability, was constantly being evicted or moving and was bullied at school. When she was 15- years-old, her older sister became her legal guardian and things seemed to improve for a time; however, in her junior year of high school, she moved back in with her mom and began experiencing severe stress and would often seclude herself.  She suffered from severe guilt, would not open up to anyone and had been in Charter Ridge several times with thoughts of suicide. 
In October 2011 she was referred to Beth Lueking and the Intensive Treatment Team of Anderson/Woodford/Franklin County.  At first, Danielle had little faith in therapy and found it hard to trust.   Fortunately, with Beth’s approach and demeanor, she finally opened up and together they worked on her problems.  It was determined she had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the abusive relationship with her boyfriend.  She attended DBT groups and learned other skills to help her cope with anxiety. 
She moved out of her unstable home atmosphere and is now living in a secure home environment.  She is attending Eastern Kentucky University where she is majoring in Criminal Justice and Psychology. 
Danielle thinks her treatment has been so successful with ITT because she was able to meet with Beth several times a week instead of once a month.  Her treatment helped open her eyes and become more accepting of others.  Danielle states that with the help of Beth and the ITT program she knows  she can have a happy and productive life.
These young women show remarkable strength and courage.  It was a pleasure and an honor to meet them and to listen to  their journey of recovery.
Stephanie Dean


1351 Newtown Pike
Lexington, KY 40511-1277
859.255.4866 (fax)


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