Jonathan Paulding, CTRS
With his calming presence and cheerful demeanor, Jonathan Paulding has been a well-respected staff member at Spring Harbor Hospital since 2004. As a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) he uses a group-based treatment approach to help patients learn skills that will assist them in their mental health recovery.
Jon works primarily with adult patients at the hospital helping them realize and develop their individual strengths. He can be seen carrying his tote bag of group materials most days of the week, including alternating weekends. “Jon provides most of the group programming that we have at the hospital,” said Claudia Henry, RN, OTR/L, Director of Clinical Programming. “He is compassionate, kind, even-keeled and creative in his approach.” She also noted his emphasis on the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is a therapy founded on the idea that changing the way we think can shape our feelings, and subsequently our actions, for the better.
“I use CBT in all of my groups, Jon said. “I usually start with some kind of activity that demonstrates how human behavior works for us but it is usually clear to folks that human behavior doesn't always work for us. I introduce CBT to show people how they can make changes in their thinking to improve their lives.” Jon’s goal at the end of the day is to give patients the skills to improve their perspective on life, "and find a little enjoyment along the way".
“I always try to emphasize the fact that everyone comes to the table with unique skills and strengths that are valuable. I find that people are surprised by the idea [of using CBT] to make the good things in life matter more,” Jon said, “But [treatment] is not just about fixing the bad stuff in your life, it’s about appreciating the good stuff too.”