David Lubbers at Sanford House

David Lubbers and the Significance of Change

  David Lubbers is a photographer. His black and white photographs are hung in group rooms, bedrooms, and common spaces at Sanford House at John Street. Lubbers’ images are provoking, thoughtful, and incredibly significant. His work is part of the healing environment of Sanford House.   And not only is David Lubbers a gifted photographer, […]

ArtPrize – A Powerful Environment for Healing

  Art is healing. Looking at art, creating art, being in the room while others create art… is healing. And I’ve made it my professional mission to share this idea with others.     As an art therapist at Sanford House, my role is to encourage clients to explore alternative modalities of treatment. (Modalities outside […]

Healing Artprize artwork

Artists and Craftsmen: At The Custom Cottage, Furniture Can Be “Redemptive”

  I had the pleasure of speaking with Ross Graveling, manager of The Custom Cottage, last week. The Custom Cottage is a Grand Rapids manufacturer that designs and builds custom furniture from locally sourced wood. Each piece is built by hand, by a craftsmen at the Grand Rapids or Milwaukee location.   Over the course of […]

Rehab process at Custom Cottage

Artists and Craftsmen: We Say “Restore” Not “Repair”

Summer has been a busy season for Sanford House Addiction Treatment Centers. Our men’s facility, Sanford House at John Street, is opening its doors in September. For the past year, craftsmen, artisans, planners and surveyors have dedicated themselves to restoring the 20-resident home to it’s original, iconic beauty. The enormous home at John Street has […]

Sanford House at John Street

What Vogue Magazine Taught me About Recovery “Stylishness”…

  Vogue Magazine recently wrote an article about the benefits of sobriety. Instead of using the term “sobriety,” Vogue called it “abstaining from alcohol.” And appropriately so… there’s a big difference between a non-drinker and a person-in-recovery. The article was about folks who’ve made a provisional, somewhat casual decision to abstain from drugs and alcohol […]

Health benefits of a sober lifestyle

Who is The Highly Sensitive Addict?

  One of the wonderful things about working (and playing) with fellow mental health professionals is that I’m constantly learning. Recently, I was introduced to the Highly Sensitive People theory (or “HSP,” or “sensory processing sensitivity”).   Have you ever heard of Elaine Aron? I think you’re highly sensitive. It might help explain some things […]

Group of sharp cactus spines

The Persistent Myth of Moderation…

Moderation (noun): the avoidance of excess or extremes. The quality of being moderate. Restraint. Temperance.   I grew up in a predominantly White, predominantly Christian suburb outside of Ann Arbor. Moderation is a familiar notion… moderation for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Moderation in all things. I was brought up to believe that moderating our behavior, […]

The Moment of Action – A Guide to Creating Meaningful Change

  How do I know when I’m ready for change? How do I enact change in my life? When we anticipate profound change, we believe the moment will come to us in an equally profound way.We want the moment. We expect it. I’ll change when the moment presents itself to me… someday… when it’s right. […]

Is Therapy Vain? I Think NOT – The Power of Rigorous Introspection…

  I’m an art therapist. I process my ideas in pictures, and help other folks do the same. I’m also a human being. I take my “work” hat off when I get home at night, and I eat pizza in my sweatpants. I struggle, get annoyed, become impatient. Sometimes the two worlds intersect. I use […]

Let’s Stop Misusing this Word “Addiction”

And take a closer look at our language (it’s more than just PC and it’s not just for millennials).   I have a serious problem with coffee.   It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up, and it’s the first thing I grab when I get to work (or get home from […]