high risk recovery mountain climber

High-Risk Recovery Situations! What To Do?

  The National Council of Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines high-risk situations as “those that threaten your recovery or trigger a strong craving to use substances.”  One of the easiest ways to identify this is by categorizing situations as to people, places or things.   People, Places and Things … People may be those who you […]

Counselor Self-Care: Protecting the Instruments of Healing

When I was a newly graduated counselor, over thirty years ago, I took my first job in an outpatient alcohol and drug treatment center. I remember my feelings of anxiety upon seeing my first clients. And I wondered, “What treatment modality should I apply?” I also worried, “Are my listening skills adequate and professional?”    […]

Addiction Treatment Alphabet Soup – What Do All Those Letters MEAN?

  I remember using acronyms in grade school to help me recall items for upcoming quizzes and tests. One of my favorites was “HOMES”, the names of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. When I got to college, I still made up acronyms to help me study and memorize for tests. While […]

The Rise of Older Women Seeking Addiction Treatment

    As the Clinical Director of Sanford House, one of my duties is to collect data and put it together in an annual Performance Management Report. Age ranges of the persons served are among the statistics collected. I have found it interesting to note the increasing number of older women entering addiction treatment.   The Older Woman […]

Why Is Group Therapy an Important Part of Addiction Treatment?

  Why is group therapy so prevalent in the treatment of substance use disorders (SUDs)? As demonstrated by self-help groups, and particularly as stated in 12 Step groups, members “share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover.” Groups allow those in treatment opportunity to […]

Relapsed? Here’s Your Addiction Counselor’s Take…

“Don’t stay too long in the shame-filled grounds of relapse. Fertile soil awaits your return and your recovering.”   Holli Kenley   As professional Addiction Counselors, we are well trained to work with clients who relapse during or after completing alcohol and drug treatment. We are taught to view relapse as a clinical issue and make […]

Resident Feedback: What Works in Addiction Treatment?

Group Therapy and Treatment Electives We have several types of group therapy at Sanford House which occur on a daily basis. There are educational or didactic groups; activity groups; recreational groups and process groups. In process groups, the women share feelings and give feedback within the confines of trust, respect and empathy for one another. One of […]

Who Are You? Screening and Assessment in Addiction Treatment

  You may be familiar with the terms “screening and assessment” when it comes to addiction treatment, but people are often confused by the differences between these two processes. Screening occurs when someone who is seeking help for their addiction makes that first call. They are evaluated for the presence of a problem with alcohol and/or […]

Using Dreams as a Tool for Recovery

“Your vision will become clear only when you look inside your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens…” Carl Jung Did you ever wake up and try to sort out what you were dreaming about? Sometimes we wake up from a vivid dream and it takes a few moments to realize these moving […]

How Can a Woman Leave Her Family to Come Into Treatment?

How can a woman leave her family to come into treatment? This is an emotionally loaded question, often asked by family members, friends and neighbors. And most especially, by the woman herself. While the answers to the question can be varied, they may also have many similarities.   Address Feelings With Respect… Women come into […]