Can You Work the Steps in Therapy, Too? – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

    Many recovering addicts choose to seek help in therapy as well as twelve step rooms. Sometimes this begins with a stay at an inpatient rehab followed by standard outpatient therapy. Other times addicts skip rehab and seek standard outpatient treatment right away. Either way, therapists who specialize in addiction treatment (and even those who don’t) nearly always steer their addicted clients toward twelve step meetings, encouraging them to get a sponsor and to work the twelve steps as originated by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and adapted for use by other recovery programs. Generally, the twelve steps are worked with guidance from a sponsor—a fellow recovering addict who has worked the steps already as part of his or her own recovery. Therapists, even those who are in recovery themselves, should NOT serve as a client’s sponsor. The therapeutic alliance is unique, and it should not be conflated with sponsorship. A… Continue reading

    What is Your Theme for 2017? – By Tsgoyna Tanzman

    Theme parks. Party themes. Theme songs. Are you catching the theme? Themes are a way of organizing a big picture category, a vibe, a value, a guiding principle. Disney chose the theme “The Happiest Place on Earth” and everything associated with this franchise is driven to fulfill that experience. Resolutions are the typical theme of the New Year, but I recently read a blog post suggesting swapping out resolutions for choosing a theme for your year. What if you viewed your life as a PARTY. What kind of theme would you choose? What’s the party you would want to go to? Suppose you chose the theme of health and well being. Think of how many choices you would have each and every day to see if your actions fit your theme: from food to exercise to sleep to healthy thoughts? What if Gratitude were your theme?  How many different ways could you express gratitude from… Continue reading

    The Sting – By Alana Haase

     A few weeks ago, I got up early on a gorgeous Sunday morning. My plans were to take a nice long hike with my dogs, enjoy a cup of hot coffee on the deck then head off to church. My old lab was sniffing a bush, poking her big in and then suddenly she was completely tangled in thorns. I crawled into the thicket to untangle her and the leash and I felt a sudden burning hot pain in my butt. I shot up, tangling myself in the thorns, as I felt another burning pain, then another. As I tried to get free I saw the yellow jackets on my sleeve and it all made horrible sense. I had disturbed a nest of highly venomous and now very angry hornets. I am deathly allergic to stings. My plans now changed. I desperately fought my way free, unhooked my dogs leash and… Continue reading

    Does Advocacy Like Carrie Fishers Really Reach The Ordinary Person? – By Nicola O’Hanlon

    Despite being born into movie star fame and wealth, Carrie Fisher still didn’t manage to escape addiction and ill mental health. She was an outspoken advocate for both throughout her life and wrote books and screenplays about the issues. Carrie Fisher was the daughter of movie star Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, some of Hollywoods most elite. The often associated situations seen as contributing factors towards addiction and ill mental health, such as poverty, lack of health care and access to life’s basic needs, were not present in Fishers life. Of course there were other issues, most notably the breakup of her parents, apparently because of Eddie Fishers affair with Liz Taylor. A line from one of her books, Postcards from The Edge, a semi-autobiographical and comic story of a girl in rehab stood out for me in relation to the false notion that certain conditions need to be… Continue reading

    How Will You Cross The 2016 Finish Line – By Tsgoyna Tanzman

    Have you ever noticed the best runners cross the finish line with a flourish? They save a burst for the end. They cross the line as winners. As we approach the finish line of 2016, do you find yourself looking at the goals you wanted to achieve while thinking or saying, “What’s the use, it’s all over now anyway. I’ll start fresh in the New Year. What’s the point? I might as well let it slide. ” While it might be true you didn’t hit the targets you wished, the image, taste and feel of what you’ve done or not done comes with you. You can’t really start fresh until you make peace with the past. Derek Rydall, a prominent life coach and spiritual leader, whose book Emergence, Seven Steps for a Radical Life Change (and podcasts) are well worth putting on your reading/listening list for 2017, says, “Every unfinished pattern of the… Continue reading