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Rock to Recovery: Resiliency in Loss

Constance Scharff, Caroline Heldman
Published: 25 November 2021
 by  Emerald

Abstract: When Dr Constance Scharff met Wes Geer, founding member of the band Hed PE and former touring guitarist for Korn, she was already a recognized figure in the addiction and mental health treatment field. In particular, she is known for her insight and leadership assisting healthcare professionals working at the nexus of addiction and trauma. It was not a surprise to her when Geer asked her to join Rock to Recovery, to help expand its business. As she stepped into her leadership role with the charity, she faced a unique set of challenges. One of the musicians she worked with overdosed and died, and changes in regulations hurt accessibility to addiction treatment. Almost overnight, the company lost a significant amount of business, but more damaging was the potential for the groups’ mental health to be undermined. This chapter describes Dr Scharff’s evolving leadership during those losses and how she helped the group develop and ultimately thrive. Dr Caroline Heldman, Chair of the Critical Theory and Social Justice Department at Occidental College, analyzes Dr Scharff’s experiences. She reveals how it is crucial in organizations like Rock to Recovery for leaders to embrace a compassionate leadership model. She also details the ways inwhich Dr Scharff had to overcome gendered leadership stereotypes to be an effective member of the Rock to Recovery team. Dr Heldman holds special insight into Rock to Recovery, as it was her brother, Christian, who died in 2018.
Keywords: leadership / Recovery / treatment / model / Rock / addiction / member / Dr Scharff

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