Defects or Defenses? A Woman’s Way Through the 12 Steps

  At Sanford House at Cherry Street, we are not a 12 step based program, but we do take women to meetings in the community daily and incorporate 12 step wisdom in our programming.  Each woman receives a copy of A Woman’s Way through the Twelve Steps, by Dr. Stephanie Covington, along with the companion workbook. Both […]

Calm & Courageous – Learning to Overcome Anxiety

  At Sanford House, we believe in peer support, which is why we take residents to mutual aid support groups like AA and NA in the community every day. I have found that sometimes clients are more compelled to hear peer support advice about a specific aspect of their addiction, such as anxiety.   Overcoming […]


Valentine’s Day Self Love!

  I read this social media post that suggested you should find a person who loves you for exactly all the reasons you love yourself. My initial reaction was, “Wow that is incredibly unrealistic,” then I realized, “Well, no, in fact I’ve already done that. That person is me!”   Realistic Expectations… In recovery we […]


Reflecting on the Holidays and Parenting in Recovery

For many of us in recovery, the holidays offered an opportunity to reflect on the passing-down of intergenerational wisdom. We were able to reunite with parents who live at a distance and spend quality time with the kids.   Some agonize over what they feel is missing in their family. Others have moved on to repair or […]


The Girl on the Train – The Addiction Counselor’s Movie Review

  I was blessed to see The Girl on the Train with some of the Sanford House residents, in the comfy seats at AMC Grand Rapids 18.  The book won superb reviews by the rest of the Sanford House clinical team, as an excellent portrayal of alcoholism, power and control, and domestic violence. The film version […]


Parenting in Recovery

  I regularly go to a meeting, where once a month we have a “fireball” format in which the sharer picks someone from the group and gives them a topic. It seems I have been given the topic of “being a parent in recovery” multiple times.  I always get the feeling that everyone is expecting me […]


What is Reiki?

What Is Reiki Healing? I offer Reiki treatments at Sanford House. Reiki is a simple Japanese technique for relaxation, stress reduction and healing. Reiki can heal a variety of mental, spiritual, and physical ails. It is often called “the healing touch,” because it is usually practiced by laying hands gently on the body. However, a full treatment can actually […]