Skye Anfield PMHC-A ’24 (professional mental health counselor of addiction) was awarded fellow of the month for February by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
Anfield is a member of the 2022-23 class for NBCC’s Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) which funds his enrollment as part of Lewis & Clark graduate school’s addictions counseling program. He is also the owner and founder of Arbor House, which is a sober living facility for women and nonbinary individuals in Northeast Portland. Anfield received word of his award through NBCC’s monthly email on Feb.1.
“It was pretty exciting stuff, a cool win for me to celebrate,” Anfield said. “I’m in recovery myself, so it definitely brought things full circle which was pretty cool. And of course, I sent it to my parents.”
According to the graduate school’s newsroom, “His professional interests include improving culturally sensitive mental health services and advancing equitable and accessible addictions treatment for marginalized groups, especially for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, women, LGBTQ+ women, first-generation women, and immigrant women in recovery from substance use disorders and other comorbid disorders.”
Anfield first came to Portland in 2016 after completing his bachelors from New York University.
“I was in sober living myself,” Anfield said. “I actually moved to Portland to get sober and had an experience in sober living here that inspired me to open up a facility of my own.”
Arbor House is located in the Laurelhurst/North Tabor neighborhood. Residents are required, “to attend
2 outside 12-step or recovery-based meetings a week, in addition to attending house meetings. Residents must be either participating in (1) an Intensive Outpatient Program, (2) working/ volunteering at least 25 hours a week, or (3) taking 8 or more credit hours at a college or university,” according to their website.
While operating Arbor House, Anfield wanted to continue his education. He knew Arbor House was successful, but he wanted the educational background to know why.
However, Anfield had been to LC before enrolling. He was hired by Bon Appétit through a temp agency to work at Fields Dining Hall in 2016. While at LC, his advisor urged him to apply to the MFP fellowship.
“I work two jobs, in addition to going to school,” Anfield said. “So getting funding for school is something that I was trying to be on the ball with from the beginning, looking for scholarship opportunities and grant opportunities. My advisor, who I love, Dr. Alexia de León, turned me on to the fellowship program.”
As part of his fellowship, Anfield attends conferences, including the Bridging the Gap Symposium and the Association for Addictions Professionals Conference. These conferences have influenced how he views his program at LC.
“Part of this fellowship program is going to these conventions where bridging the gap, as far as inequities in mental health services, is a big part of it,” Anfield said. “The stuff they’re talking about at these conventions often isn’t even as progressive as what we’re doing in class. So I have a lot of respect for what we’re doing in our program.”
After graduating, Anfield plans to continue operating Arbor House but hopes to serve the house in a licensed professional counselor capacity. He would also like to bring his approach to the inpatient care field.
Despite the challenges of his profession and studies, Anfield is proud to reflect on the impact he has had. Anfield is motivated by the progress of those who have left the house.
“At this point where we’ve been open for four or five years, it’s being able to see people who are now in long-term recovery,” Anfield said. “And some of them are working in treatment centers. That’s it that’s also absurdly rewarding.”