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!” […]

Whack a Mole! When Eating Disorders Pop Up During Addiction Treatment…

  I’ve never liked the carnival game, whack-a-mole. Bashing heads with a cartoon hammer, while an endless succession of new rodents appear, is too stressful and unpredictable. But, I could relate when someone in group said they thought eating disorders popping up during addiction treatment reminded them of whack-a-mole.   Wham! That came out of nowhere! […]

Why is it SO Difficult to Ask for HELP, Guys?

Help, I need somebody… “Won’t you please, please help me? This isn’t a plea you’re likely to hear from most men today. Particularly men in the throes of addiction.  Yet in 1965, a young mop top named John from Liverpool, melodically pleaded for help in the smash hit Help by the Beatles. A “real man” asks for help […]

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

Art & Hope – Reawakening the Newly Sober Senses

  Gerhard Richter once said, “Art is the highest form of hope.” And hope is the message for the men of Sanford House at John Street. As part of a yearlong renovation to this historic site, now serving as a treatment center, art was key to making a house a home. With more than 60 original works on […]

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

Holidays, Togetherness and Recovery at the Family Table

  This is a good time to talk about the role of the family in recovery. It’s the Thanksgiving week and let’s face it – holidays are wonderful, but getting together with far-flung relatives can push every emotional button. Especially for those in early recovery.   Last Sunday I had the pleasure of sitting in […]

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

Why Did You Choose Alcohol and/or Drugs Over Me?

  It’s seven o’clock and the school play is starting. Or it’s your birthday dinner with all the relatives. You could be sitting awkwardly with your boss at an introductory lunch, or waiting at the agreed upon spot for a morning walk. Whatever the commitment, you are looking at your watch with your heart in […]