Francine Sims PhD, LPC, CAADA, MAC


Francine Sims is one of A Better Today’s most tenured experts, with over twenty years of experience in Counseling and Substance Abuse Treatment. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Siena University in Michigan, a master’s in Agency Counseling also from Siena University, and a PHD in Counseling Psychology from the Capella University of Minnesota. Her dissertation was taken up as educational material by the University of Australia.

Dr. Sims is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the states of Arizona and Michigan, as well as a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC). She is an Internationally Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (IC&RC) and a member of the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).

Dr. Sims’ specialization training is vast and includes Substance Abuse Education and Prevention, Validation Therapy, Co-Occurring Disorders, Crisis Intervention, Supervision of Counseling, Clinical Supervision, The Science of Addiction, Pathological Gambling and Alcohol Use Disorder, Domestic Violence, Treatment of Persons with HIV, and more.

As Dr. Sims says, she never planned on working in the field of addiction treatment, but it chose her. While she began work in more general psychology, she realized that many of her patients struggled with substance abuse. She went back and took more classes so she would be better equipped to help her patients and eventually found herself working in addiction-specialized care.

She believes that helping patients to build self-esteem and self-concept is paramount in this work. She says it is special when past patients visit and she gets to see how much progress they have made in sobriety. Dr. Sims admits to being type A, enjoys going out to eat in her past time and insists that a linen napkin is a must. She advises to always accept people for who they are, not who you want them to be.

“I always think of the patients as my family members. How would I want my family member to be treated? What type of services would I want them to have? And with that, I try to give them no less than that, if not, more.”

Francine Sims

Francine’s Substance Abuse Video Resources

Francine’s Message of Hope to Loved Ones & Those Still in Active Addiction

At A Better Today Recovery Services, our therapists inherently care about those who come to our substance abuse rehabilitation treatment facility. Therapist Francine Sims truly wants every patient to succeed in life and is prepared to help them do just that during their time here.

Because of certain events from her past, Francine is acutely aware of the pain and disappointment involved in active addiction and uses it as motivation in her mission to help those still struggling in their addiction.

Watching the change unfold in her patients over time inspires her to continue her work in drug & alcohol treatment.

What is Emotional Regulation in Drug & Alcohol Treatment?

Many people view emotions as good or bad but in reality, emotions are just our way of responding to life and the experiences we each share. We start to learn emotional regulation from a very young age, and it can impact many areas of our lives.

For some people, emotions govern our mood, perception and our outlook on life. For those who struggle with substance abuse addictions, emotions can influence both positive and negative behaviors if unregulated.

Therapist Francine Sims is aware that learning to regulate emotions in treatment can help prevent relapse and influence our perception of self-worth and life.

Emotional Regulation Techniques for Relapse Prevention

Because people experience their emotions all the time, many believe that they have them under control. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

When upset or stressed, eating sweet or savory foods may be the coping mechanism to handle those feelings. For those who struggle with a drug and alcohol abuse addiction, they choose their drug of choice to feel better or elevate their mood when stressed, nervous, uncomfortable or sad.

This is considered an unhealthy coping mechanism and it can influence how we handle our emotions in the future.

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