Discipline in Recovery – Staying the Distance

Would you pair the word “discipline” with the words “controlling” or “intense”? I certainly would and have. As a self-identified Type B individual, my concern regarding the practice of healthy discipline in my life has been non-existent. That is until I started working in substance use and mental health. Now I understand the need for […]

Clinical Therapist Advice – Work With a Team Before Going Solo

  I started my career as a therapist in the Intern Program at Sanford Behavioral Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was called “Sanford House” in early 2018, and we were managing outpatient addiction treatment in the carriage house at Sanford House at Cherry Street for Women. I was fortunate enough to shadow an amazing […]

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Working from Home – A Mental Health Battlefield

  It’s almost always an uncomfortable experience to be at the whim of something out of our control. It leaves us feeling vulnerable, hopeful, and stressed all at once. Like most others, I had anticipated this COVID-19 situation would last a few months, maybe more. As we approach the year-mark since the first few cases […]

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Discipline and Motivation – Practices in Early Recovery

A discipline is any activity that I can do by direct effort that will eventually enable me to do that which, currently, I cannot do by direct effort.  John Mark Comer   Would you pair the word “discipline” with the words “controlling” or “intense”? I certainly would and have. As a self-identified Type B individual, […]


Power of Pets in Virtual Addiction Treatment

  Updated March 2024 Floofer. Doggo. Pupper. Good Boy. These are some of the most cringe-worthy but intensely heartfelt phrases I find flying out of my mouth whenever I see a dog. It can get very embarrassing for those around me whenever I fail to regulate my reaction to pets. All of a sudden, my […]


Adjusting to Change – Curve-balls in Addiction Recovery

I started to write this article about a week and a half before public safety and public health became part of the global news. The article originally started with “Rigid thinking can be the reason we struggle to move freely through the mundane aspects of life”. Surely, that is even more true today as it […]

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Managing Stress – Slow Down, Take Stock, Make Choices

I am sitting at my desk, typing away, and my head is pounding. The coffee I had this morning didn’t fix it. The gallon of water I am halfway to drinking hasn’t done anything. Maybe I am grinding my teeth at night? Or maybe something else is going on?    My instinct? To push through. […]


Why does the Milieu Matter in Addiction Treatment?

The “milieu” is defined as a person’s social environment. One’s general surroundings. In addiction treatment, we use the term to describe the space between clinical activities (individual therapy, group therapy, psychoeducation, etc.) when clients have an opportunity to interact with one another, as well as with the staff. At Sanford Outpatient Center, this means that […]

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Fostering Feelings of Awe in Group Therapy

  Michiganders have always been my favorite group of people for many reasons. First, I LOVE the way that Michiganders love their state. From Detroit to Grand Rapids, Traverse City, to the Upper Peninsula – you would be hard-pressed to find a Michigander who did not endorse and thoroughly enjoy the natural beauty of their […]

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Mindfulness, Manageable Stress & Addiction Treatment

When I started gathering information for my graduate degree research project, it was just getting colder in Michigan. We were inching toward the winter months, and my anxiety spiked with each grey day on the horizon. The stress accompanying literature reviews and all things research in graduate school appeared to double each moment I procrastinated. […]

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