Shame – Being VS Doing Something Wrong …

I struggle to facilitate conversations about shame. And I’m transparent about that with my clients. This is for a few reasons: shame is difficult to conceptualize. Unlike “coping skills” or “aftercare planning,” shame is nebulous. Open for discourse. Dependent on our unique perspectives and past experiences. Additionally, I’ve yet to master managing shame in my […]

What Men Want (from their Addiction Treatment)

What do men want when they check in at an addiction treatment center? According to Rae Rabideau, Sanford Manager of Clinical Operations, most men enter treatment to “learn how not to relapse”. The details of their stay are not something they’ve really thought about, and the continuum of care and the future is unknown.   […]

Accepting Responsibility for the Things We Invite In (and Regret Later)

What do we invite into our lives only to complain about later?  After a long car ride followed by a short ferry ride, I arrived for a retreat on Bois Blanc Island with other brave adults to explore this question with two seasoned psychotherapists.   Taking Responsibility – Therapist Heal Thyself…  It’s far easier to […]

Artist In the Art Therapist: Sanford Excursions

  Over the weekend, Sanford residents attended the local art show Artist in the Art Therapist. The show features artwork by Sanford Art Therapist Leara Glinzak. And examines Leara’s varied roles as artist, Art Therapist, and business woman.   I noticed a difference in my personal art and the art I made in my role […]

The Role of Nurse Practitioner in Addiction Treatment: Limelight Interview

Amy Bukala (with Medical Director Dr. Dosanjh above) is not easy to pin down for an interview. She’s busy. And mobile – moving from Sanford Outpatient Center to the residential Sanford Houses, the back of her white coat flapping. As a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Amy works autonomously as well as in collaboration […]

Gracefully Welcoming Change: Recovery in an Ever-Changing World

Change. Many of us struggle to navigate it gracefully. To create meaningful change, we have to do things differently. We must engage in some self-reflection. And practice self-awareness. And admit our shortcomings… It’s a lot of work.   I could draw a metaphor, here, about the changing seasons (it’s finally starting to feel like spring […]

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 […]