Using Emotions vs Talk Therapy to Heal Addiction

expressing emotion

Have you received counseling or therapy to address addiction and still struggle? If so, you are not alone. When I consult with clients who have done lots of treatment, one of the first questions I always ask is: How much was talk therapy? This often leads to the deer-in-the-headlights look, because many believe there is… [Continue Reading]

Learning From Robin and Philip: Hope For Those Struggling

What are we to make of the recent deaths of two of Hollywood’s Greats: Philip Seymour Hoffman and now, Robin Williams? While they both died at the top of their professional careers, their deaths hit home that fame and fortune are not ingredients of a fulfilled life, and that we don’t have all the answers… [Continue Reading]

Why You Should Care About Addiction Treatment Outcomes

getting where you want to go

Outcomes are important because they ultimately provide accountability for those who deliver treatment, and for your own actions. There is a wide continuum of addiction treatment services available depending on severity of symptoms, ranging from outpatient options to residential or hospital stays. As you might imagine, there is a huge range in cost for these services as… [Continue Reading]

Unlocking the Mystery of Vivian Maier

picture of vivian maier

If you have seen the acclaimed documentary, Finding Vivian Maier, than you know she was somewhat of an enigma. For those who have not seen it, it’s the story of a mysterious nanny who spent much of her life taking pictures, but never showed them to anyone. Only when a young historian and collector, John… [Continue Reading]

Improving Effectiveness of DUII Treatment

man-drinking

This past Friday I had the honor of speaking to the Oregon house and senate committees on Judiciary about the effectiveness of Oregon’s DUII reduction approach. My friend and colleague, Heidi Brockman-Astrue, joined me to also share her experience as someone working in the trenches daily treating DUII offenders. One reason for our testimony, is that… [Continue Reading]

Prison Treatment and Education

prison-graph-inmates

As a society we should be embarrassed by how many of our citizens are in prison due to problems associated with untreated addiction. We have the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world with approximately 2.3 million people behind bars. If we add those on probation and parole the number jumps to almost… [Continue Reading]

Healing Through the Arts

intricate-architecture

I am big believer in balancing our efforts to intervene on the pathological side of the equation of life issues, with efforts to enhance individual strengths, talents, and creative life energy. When we solely focus on problems, like addiction, depression, and trauma, we often – quite surprisingly and opposite to what you may think –… [Continue Reading]

College on Problems of Drug Dependence

san-diego-harbor

For the past half-dozen years, I have been attending The College on Problems of Drug Dependence, better known as CPDD. The conference has been in existence since 1929 and this year is celebrating 75 years! It is the longest running conference on drug addiction problems in the US and is attended by the brightest minds in the… [Continue Reading]

Hitting Rock Bottom: Addiction Stories

hitting-rock-bottom

Not long ago I was contacted by some folks who have been working hard on a show called Hitting Rock Bottom. It tells the real stories of people who have struggled with addiction, hit rock bottom, and found a way out. Unlike reality television that often turns tragic stories about addiction into entertainment, this show has… [Continue Reading]

Focusing to Move Beyond Addiction

couple silhoutte beach

Not long after my wife and I were married, we decided to proactively increase our chances of staying together by enrolling in one of Dr. John Gottman’s weekend couples workshops in Seattle. At the time I was deeply immersed in my graduate studies in counseling and was excited to spend some time with the world-famous marriage guru. What I had… [Continue Reading]