suicide prevention sunset

Healing After Suicide – i understand Book Interview

What better time than National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month to speak to Vonnie Woodrick about her new book? Vonnie and her children created the nonprofit organization, i understand in 2014 to change the way we talk about suicide. And to address the stigma and language surrounding what is the terminal effect of a mental illness. […]

Judy Garland & the Pervasive Stigma of Addiction

I went to see the movie Judy recently. There was a moment toward the end of the film when I thought to myself, Oh for God’s sake – why doesn’t she just get her act together? While a thousand ticket holders waited at a venue in London to hear her sing, Judy Garland was drinking […]

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When is Self-Disclosure Appropriate in Recovery Support?

For a host of good reasons, addiction treatment centers hire, educate and promote some employees who are in long-term recovery. This hiring practice fosters an accepting environment. And hiring those in long-term recovery helps to end stigma in the workplace. When Self-Disclosure Serves as a Template Clients at a treatment facility may view employees in […]

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Neuro-Reflexive Therapy – Dry Needling for Addiction Aftercare

  I am lying on a wide padded table breathing in through a “hole in my head”. I am breathing out through my hands and feet. There are neuro-reflexive needles in my face, hands, ankles, hips, and the top of my head. And behind my eyes I see cobalt blue squares. When I tell the […]

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A Well Designed (Grand Rapids) Chair Can be your Friend in Rehab!

This one feels JUST right… The lobby of Grand Rapids Chair Company.   Here’s something you don’t think about when you are getting ready to enter treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) – the chairs. But it should be on your priority list. With 6 to 8 hours of rigorous programming per day, there […]

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Body and Mindfulness Treatment for Trauma

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the “Somatic and Mindfulness Treatment for Trauma” panel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This event was led by Bethany Ackley DeBlaay, Dr. Jessica Gladden, Dr. Brittnie Finkbeiner, Raechel Morrow, April Kaiserlain, and Beth Mellema. It was hosted by The Body Mind Being Project and Grand Rapids Healing Yoga. The panelists spoke about […]

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Reviewing the Controversial Dr. Jordan B. Peterson

According to clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, global change begins with self-awareness and self-improvement. “If you can’t even clean up your room, who the hell are you to give advice to the world?” Peterson writes and lectures on personal responsibility, mythology, and mental health.   I had the opportunity to see Dr. Peterson speak […]

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Navigating Grace – Sailing, Survival and Spirituality…

  The true test of a good book is when you glean something new every time you read it. And so it goes with Jeff Jay’s beautifully written, memoir Navigating Grace. The book is an intensely personal account of  Mr. Jay’s solo, sea adventure aboard the sloop Lifeboat. But, it is also a tale of redemption. And for anyone […]

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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 […]

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3 Life Lessons I Learned While Working at an Addiction Treatment Center

  When I accepted the internship I felt like Cinderella. My fairy godmother Marilyn, the Director of Marketing, replaced the rags of a summer working at a call-center with the glamour of an internship that qualified for college credit. And because I was Cinderella, I decided to celebrate my transformation by going to a party […]

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