• Past Articles

An Open Letter to 12-Step Members on Touch and Trauma – Jamie Marich, Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, REAT, RMT

I walked into a typical 12-step meeting on a Sunday morning during my tenth year of recovery. The coffee, donuts, literature and 50/50 raffle were setup in the back of the room. At the front stood the podium where the guest speaker would be sharing their experience, strength, and hope. Four long rows of folding tables and clanky metal chairs filled the room. A group of stereotypical “oldtimer” men sat at the table closest to the entrance. Most of them are kind and accept a hello and a handshake. Respecting the fact that not everyone likes to be hugged, it’s long been my protocol at meetings to extend my hand, and then if the person extends or gestures me in for a hug, I oblige. Setting this boundary keeps me safe as well. But not on this day. After I extended my hand to one of the oldtimers at the… Continue reading

40 Symptoms of a Healthy Woman – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

  In a recent session with a client who is struggling with depression, we were discussing some healthy things she could begin to do for herself. She was well aware of the symptoms of depression but she wondered, aside from the obvious, about the “symptoms” or signs of a healthy woman. She asked me if there was a list I could compile for her, and I thought I would share what I came up with. If you notice something I left out, feel free to let me know! P.S. I asked my husband, Steve Legallet (who is also a psychotherapist), how he thought this list could work for men. He said that I could basically exchange the “shes” with “hes” and it would totally hold up. 40 Symptoms of a Healthy Woman 1) She takes care of her body and treats it with respect. 2) She eats well and doesn’t… Continue reading

Walking Barefoot Through Hell – By Mark Masserant

  sometimes i see medusa wearing my face, with my dreams dangling like an ominous crown of complex and cunning serpents. the horizon, dormant and riddled with salt-sculptured icons, is emblazoned with the history of mega-apocalypse.   sometimes i see a chained prometheus, wildly waving a strangled eagle, delicately taunting the gods. his mountainside looms in the northernmost regions of my mind.   sometimes i see the ferryman, but he is a cautious one, wary of the stowaway. sneering harpies flank his approach.   sometimes i see bosch, painting infinite murals in unison with my narratives wrought with melancholy.   sometimes i see dante, and hand-in-hand i guide him, walking barefoot through hell, the devil’s winds whistling our bones.   hell is a time in a place in my mind.   yet in a suddenly shimmering distance, Jonah brushes himself off, liberated at the edge of the foul and festering… Continue reading

Preparing our Relationships for the Holidays – Jackie Stein, BALM Family Recovery Life Coach

    The Norman Rockwell version of the family holiday party exudes warmth, peace and connection. In a family with a loved one in early recovery, the mere idea of a family gathering can cause enormous stress. Before our loved one entered recovery, their method for dealing with this stress likely involved drinking or drugging. While intoxicated they could deal with the insanity surrounding preparation for and engaging in holiday parties. For those who are now in the early stages of recovery, especially in the first year, attending these functions will likely involve a great of fear, regarding how they can manage these festivities and stay clean and sober, while still enjoying the family time together. Several ideas come to mind. First, both the person in recovery and the family need to have a plan for how they will handle the holidays for themselves and for the family as a… Continue reading

RECOVERY CHALLENGES AMONG OLDER ADULTS – BY BILL WHITE AND RANDALL WEBBER

Multiple factors can interact to increase vulnerability for the development of alcohol and other drug-related (AOD) problems in older adults. Those same factors can pose threats to older adults in long-term addiction recovery. In the former situation, older adults who did not experience such problems during their formative and maturing years develop AOD problems late in life. In the latter situation, individuals with years or decades of stable recovery experience a recurrence of such problems with potentially profound or fatal consequences. (The shame from losing long-held sobriety and elder status within a recovery community can be a significant obstacle to recovery re-stabilization.) We have observed four root causes of such vulnerabilities in both circumstances. Physiological factors: Changes in drug metabolism (e.g. decreased tissue tolerance, atypical drug actions and interactions), co-occurring medical/psychiatric conditions, and the use of multiple medications have the potential to amplify untoward effects of alcohol and other drug… Continue reading