Addiction – The Power of Prediction and Prevention

  It’s finally July and Grand Rapids has blossomed into the bright, bustling community I love. Families are spending evenings on the porch… watching kids draw with chalk… grilling all manner of meats and veg. These days, it can be easy to slip into a habit of mid-week drinking, what with holidays and get-togethers and […]

Structure, Schedule and Safety in Recovery

  On our website, we describe Sanford House at Cherry Street and Sanford House at John Street as “structured environments in which to recover.” And although this sounds like a small detail, it holds a great deal of weight. Sanford House clients adhere to a busy schedule. And following the chaos and unpredictability of active […]

Enabling VS Empathy – It’s a Fine Line – Interacting With Addiction

  Even if you aren’t familiar with addiction treatment, you’ve probably heard the term “enabler”. Enabling describes how loved ones interact with a person with a substance use disorder (SUD). And although many of us have heard the word, few of us know what it actually means.   Enabling behavior is anything that supports an addict’s […]

To Be… Or Not To Be… Are You Committed to Recovery?

  There’s a question of commitment in addiction treatment… I’ve gotten pretty good at reading body language. We communicate in our silences, we communicate when we shift in our seat. Through practice, I’m learning to recognize the signs of fake commitment. Feigned devotion. A quiet plan to self-destruct that brews behind, “I’ll do whatever it takes!” […]

A Firsthand View – Art Therapy and the Treatment of Anxiety

  In group therapy, I ask members to “keep within their own experience.” No advice giving. No telling others how to feel. This helps create safety within the session. A college mentor of mine once said, “Never assume to understand the experience of someone else. Even if it’s one you’re familiar with, like sadness or […]

Anxiety

2017 Sanford House Roundup

  As the New Year approaches, we find ourselves reflecting. The staff of Sanford House Addiction Treatment Centers hosted events and forged new partnerships in 2017. This year was a big one for us, from the opening of our men’s facility to the development of our alum program. Our treatment team partnered with clients to […]

Spending the Holidays in Treatment – The Best of Excursions Magazine

  This week, we had a visit from clinical interventionist Tom Gilbert of TouchStone. Tom shared his journey of addiction and recovery with our clients and staff… And a part of his journey was to spend the holidays in residential treatment. It’s something our residents could relate to – with Christmas approaching and the festive season […]

Best of Excursions Magazine

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, […]

David Lubbers

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