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]

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]

Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT)

family on beach

At a training not long ago on CRAFT, the presenter, Dr. Robert Meyers, told a story that I want to pass on to you. But first, if you have never heard of CRAFT, it stands for Community Reinforcement and Family Training which is an evidence-based approach that family members (or friends) can use to facilitate getting… [Continue Reading]

Mark Girard Working with Altered States

sea-mist

For the past few years I have taught a foundations course on addiction treatment to graduate students. An important aspect of the course is helping students understand that longterm successful outcomes  necessitate resolving underlying drivers of addictive behavior, namely, adverse childhood experiences. In an effort to illustrate concretely how this may be done, I enlisted… [Continue Reading]

Root Causes of Addiction: Part 1

adult-alcoholism-graph-ace-score

In my life there have been many times when I felt isolated, disconnected, and alone. These times have never  been pleasant, and in the absence of nurturing relationships, close friends to call on, or a tribe of my own, I coped by engaging in substitute relationships with work, money, entertainment, food, hobbies, and exercise – just to name a… [Continue Reading]