Alumni Spotlight: Josh Gotlib

image of Josh Gotlib

Learn more about COE alumni Josh Gotlib, MS, LPC, CADC III, a double duck (’17 & '19), through our Alumni Spotlight series

“Insight Northwest Recovery was created out of my own experience as a patient and mental health professional striving to increase quality and access to care.” – Josh Gotlib

Meet Josh Gotlib, MS, LPC, CADC III, a double duck whose drive to help others led him to opening two businesses to serve his community. Josh’s experience in the Family and Human Services (FHS) program laid the foundation for his journey. He fondly recalls the supportive environment fostered by faculty and peers. With encouragement from professors like Kathy Moxley-South, PhD and Tiffany Brown, PhD he found the confidence to pursue his passion for mental health therapy. 

Josh launched Insight Northwest Counseling in 2019 to provide mental health services to the Eugene community. After a few years of being in business, Josh found himself applying the systems theory training he learned in the Couples and Family Therapy (CFT) program and realized he wanted to do more. Inspired by his own experience in addiction recovery and guided by the holistic approach of the CFT program, Josh opened a wing of his agency to make a difference in the lives of individuals and families impacted by addiction. Integrating mental health, addiction treatment, and psychiatry services, Insight Northwest Recovery fills a crucial gap in care, particularly for young people ages 13-25 facing mental health and substance addiction challenges.

Hometown: Tualatin, Oregon

Favorite Memory from UO:

My favorite memory at UO was building relationships with faculty and fellow students. Growing up I struggled in school with learning disabilities and was placed into special education classes. My attitude around academics was generally lack luster and discouraged. Once I transferred to UO from Lane Community College I entered the FHS program I was lifted up by professors such as Kathy Moxley-South, PhD and Tiffany Brown, PhD, LMFT and encouraged to continue growing and pursuing my career interests. This approach to education was foreign to me and I took every opportunity to succeed as I could.

How did your experience in the FHS program inform your decision to choose the CFT program? 

Prior to entering into the FHS program, I worked in the field of addiction recovery in Lane County. I am a person in long term recovery from addiction and knew prior to attending UO that I wanted to become a mental health therapist. Once entering into the FHS program I was weighing which Master’s program to attend. After being accepted into multiple programs I chose to pursue UO’s Couples and Family Therapy program because it provided me with the widest range of training I could receive before entering the field. I found that most master’s level counselor training programs can be narrowly focused on either social systems of care or only with individual counseling. With my interest of working with those impacted by substance addiction, I wanted to not only be trained to work with individual’s one-on-one but also couples and families; as addiction impacts the entire family.

How did the CFT program prepare you for your career and ultimately launching Insight Northwest Recovery?

The CFT program’s core training is around systems theory and family systems. Systems theory can be applied from micro to macro level of human behavior. As I began scaling my first practice Insight Northwest Counseling in 2019, I began applying this theory to organizational development and understanding. By applying systems theory, it allowed me to understand the individual parts of operating an organization and how to create the best possible environment for patients to receive care in our community. Insight Northwest Recovery was created out of my own experience as a patient and mental health professional striving to increase quality and access to care.

What has your career path looked like since graduating?

Upon graduation I began operating my own private practice in Eugene working with individuals, teens, couples, and families. Within a few months I had a full practice and within a couple years I was a licensed therapist. During this time, I found that referring my patients to other disciplines of care such as psychiatry and psychological testing was difficult due to long waitlists or providers not accepting new patients. I also discovered that due to work schedules between myself and other providers, coordinating care was challenging and I received minimal updates surrounding our patient’s care. This then motivated me to expand Insight Northwest Counseling into an integrated practice providing counseling, psychiatry, and psychological testing to all ages; while having a core group of staff who understand substance addiction and how it pertains to these specific fields of behavioral health. Oregon ranks 48th in the country in access to addiction care and most behavioral health professionals have limited training to treat addiction. As a response I created a space that was not an addiction treatment facility, but an organization where those with many presenting concerns can access care; including those who are impacted by addiction and their loved ones.

What inspired you to start your own business?

Growing up I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. At the age of 14, I began selling sneakers on eBay and by the age of 18 while attending Portland Community College, I created my own dog walking business. As a second-generation holocaust survivor, I regularly heard stories from my father growing up about my grandfather owning and operating his own butcher shop in Los Angeles. I remember internalizing the importance of my family’s struggle to make it to this country and achieving the American dream, by owning their own business.

What impact do you hope Insight Northwest Recovery has for the Eugene community?

Insight Northwest Recovery provides intensive day treatment and intensive outpatient treatment to those ages 13-25 who are experiencing mental health and/or substance addiction challenges. All patients receive intensive group treatment, weekly psychiatry appointments, individual therapy, case management, and peer support. Insight Northwest Recovery is the only integrated (mental health/addiction/psychiatry) intensive treatment program in Eugene serving teens and young adults. My hope for this organization is we can be an asset to young people including college students in Eugene, where they can achieve healing and recovery.