Things Not to Say During an Intervention

By the time an intervention has been called, the family is almost always at their wits’ end. (Though an intervention usually seems like a last resort, we can easily make the case that it should be called earlier—not after “the last straw.”) Over the years, the family of someone suffering from addiction has probably tried everything they can think of, and certainly all the yelling and guilt-tripping that can be so easy, in these cases, to fall into. However, an intervention should be a loving meeting. We work together to encourage someone into treatment with love, respect, and support—and so we have to break through, and discard, the methods that have tried and failed in the past. Family members may have things they feel they need to say, because they’ve been hurt and they want their loved one to understand that. But a lot of what family members want to say should not be said. Those techniques have not worked in the past, though they’ve probably been tried many times. In our interventions, we don’t enter attack mode: we stay calm. We don’t want to trigger an argument, which is unlikely to lead to change. There are a few things… Read More »Things Not to Say During an Intervention

Coaching for Airline Pilots

When I was struggling, I decided to go it alone—and it was a much harder way to go. Today, I’m here to listen to pilots and help them figure out what is right for them. Despite the restrictions of the system, I advocate for pilots to get help, ask questions, and seek answers.

Four Reasons to Use a Recovery Coach

Recovery coaching can be a fantastic tool for people working to maintain recovery from drugs and alcohol. I like to think of coaching as a way to bring recovery into “real life.” Treatment centers and therapy can also be very useful, but recovery coaching is unique in that it focuses on on-the-ground problem solving for the day-to-day. Here’s what I focus on in my recovery coaching: Future Looking: Therapy and rehabilitation centers tend to focus on trauma and the past—absolutely necessary to recover, but not always actionable today. In contract, recovery coaching looks at what’s happening right now, focuses on ways to navigate the present, and makes plans for the future. As a coach, I know that my job is not to provide therapy—but I can offer consistent check-ins to help maintain sobriety and build a better life. Professional Guidance: As someone who works in recovery, I’ve seen many clients navigate recovery resources in their communities. I have a vast body of knowledge about different outpatient programs, therapists, and 12 Step meetings, and I can help connect clients to the tools that will best meet their needs. Accountability Your Way: A recovery coach can reinforce accountability in a different way… Read More »Four Reasons to Use a Recovery Coach

Close to Relapse: “As Prescribed by a Doctor”

My injuries were so severe that my doctor put me on an opiate painkiller, which I didn’t know much about at the time. Nor did the general population: it was just before the opiate crisis became a national news story.

I Worked an Imperfect 12-Step Program

I don’t know how I got to 12 years, but I do know that I stuck out going to recovery meetings; I have few that I regularly attend, week after week, year after year. My friends are in these meetings. I recognize just about everyone in attendance, and I look forward to going and catching up with them weekly.

Aftercare: Reintegrating the Family

Returning home, after treatment, is where the rubber meets the road in recovery. Most treatment facilities have family programs where clinicians begin working with the family as soon as the patient checks in. This can be key to long-term success, for both the patient and the family.

All I Want is for Them to Stop Drinking

Families often want a lot more than for someone to “just stop using.” New lives take time to build. There will be ups and downs along the way, the family will need to learn to support someone in the process of changing, and the individual will need a lot of support as they take slow steps to build a new way of living.