Dear Rae: Why Can My Boyfriend Drink More Than Me?

Dear Rae: I am a currently a Junior and I have been drinking heavily for my entire time at college. Mostly beer, but we also do shots. Lately, after a night of partying, my hangovers seem to be getting worse. If I’m honest, I don’t feel that great most of the time… but it doesn’t […]

Coping with Life’s Ordinary Moments in Recovery…

Are things honestly ever “just fine” in early recovery?   At Sanford House , we begin group therapy sessions with a check-in. Clients are asked to identify how they’re feeling today. (Sure, sometimes therapy is just as on-the-nose as one may imagine.) I challenge my clients to reframe answers like “fine,” “good,” or “I don’t […]

Honoring the Unique – The Life Story Project at Sanford

I visited Seattle recently, and stayed in a hostel for the first time. When I got home, I struggled to describe my trip. “My perspective is a little different now,” I said.   Different names for the same place… honoring the unique, dynamic, peculiar, and predictable In truth, all of our experiences shift our worldview […]

Thoughtful Connections from the Family Program – The Forest & the Trees

  Suppose you have 100 acres full of sick trees who want to get well.  If each tree leaves the forest to find wellness and then returns to the forest, they get sick again from the infection of the rest of the trees.  The Elders taught us that to treat sick trees you must treat […]

The Serenity Prayer – A Gendered Interpretation & Challenge

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change – the humility to sit down and shut up; The courage to change the things I can – the strength it takes to stand up and speak up; And the wisdom to know the difference – the fluidity and discernment to respond to […]

Limelight: The Sanford House Therapist Interview 5

  Our clients (and their families) put their trust in the individual counselors who work with them at Sanford House and the therapists who lead the many groups they attend. These are the first significant connections our clients will make in early recovery. Our goal with the Limelight series, is to demystify addiction treatment. We want to […]

Dear Rae: What Level of Care is Best for My Wife?

Dear Rae: I feel completely helpless. My wife has been drinking heavily for years, but she has a good job and is very active. She runs three times a week and we have a pretty big social life. Here’s the problem – lately, she seems to be drinking more and it is impacting her quality […]

Spend the Holidays in Rehab? I’ll Think About That Tomorrow…

Remember when Scarlett O’Hara said, “I’ll think about that tomorrow”? She was putting aside a difficult decision for a more “convenient” time. That’s the problem with procrastinating about something painful – like addressing a substance use disorder (SUD). There is never a good time, but there’s always a “good” excuse.   No excuses to put […]

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (for Recovery)?

The holidays present a whole slew of stressors, including financial pressure, over-commitment and the expectations of hosting a “perfect” event. For individuals new to recovery, the holidays may also present a surplus of triggers. Celebration of any kind, be it a birthday, promotion, or end of the week meet-up, often includes alcohol. (We’re reminded of […]

Dear Rae: Is My 15-Year Old Using Alcohol & Drugs?

Dear Rae: My teenage son has begun to worry my husband and me. He is sullen and non-communicative – which is very new behavior in our house. We are a close family and he is our only child. In the past, John was open about school, friends and outside activities. But recently, he has been […]