Talking About Food with Your Child – Dr. Anna Flores

Notes from Dr, Anna Flores’s presentation “Talking About Food with Your Child” Language matters. Children are wildly impressionable and there is a strong connection between what we say about food, how we eat, and how we feed ourselves as adults, and what the young people around us are going to say about food, how they […]

What to Expect From a Loved One in Early Recovery

“What can I expect?” is a question many therapists hear from families when their loved one enters treatment. The thing is, there is no clear answer to that question. Many different statistics float around the internet on addiction recovery, but there is no ironclad rule book on what to expect from a newly sober family […]

Trust and Mistrust in Addiction Recovery

The concepts of trust and mistrust are important to recovery from addiction. The family of a loved one in treatment must “trust” the process. However, mistrust has ruled the roost during their family member’s active addiction. When a family loses trust, the sense of connection as a family is also lost. And for the family […]

Addiction Defenses: Denial, Justification, Deception, Manipulation

I wrote the complete series on people’s dynamics and defenses as they develop a substance use disorder (SUD) for the Sanford Behavioral Health Family Program. The primary defenses used as addiction progresses are denial, justification, deception, and manipulation.   Denial, Justification, Deception, Manipulation For the family members of an individual developing an SUD, these defenses […]

Summer Holidays – Tips for Recovering Families

The 4th of July is upon us – the apex of the summer holidays. And although we love the sun and water fun, we understand that families managing substance use disorders can experience heightened anxiety levels during this time. The sound of fireworks can trigger those with PTSD and anxiety. The coolers stocked with cold […]

10 Recovery Slogans – Why They Work

  Much of my writing is intense (e.g., Family Guide to Understanding Relapse). So, I’m ready to try something a little lighter yet equally informative. For example, a part of the recovery dialogue revealed to me over the years is the use of slogans in recovery. At first, I thought they were silly. I couldn’t […]

Man holding sign with a recovery slogan

5 Family Therapy Goals

If your loved one is struggling with substance abuse, you likely have a good idea of how impactful the disease of addiction can be on the broader family unit. Rarely if ever, does only one person suffer when addiction is present. Instead, entire family or friend groups typically feel the effects of an individual’s addiction […]

a therapist takes notes on a notepad while discussing with the family sitting on the couch about family therapy goals

10 Family Communication Questions

What do you hope to gain from treatment? If you have a loved one working to recover from addiction, you may face challenges in multiple areas. From broad communication to daily responsibilities, all facets of life can change when loved ones transition from actively using an addictive substance to a sober lifestyle. Know that you […]

adult male and an older adult male drink coffee outside discussing family communication questions

101 Sober Things to Do to Beat the Winter Blues

  Are you feeling the winter blues? There are many wonderful things about living in Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan. But, and there is a but, the winters are long. Many of the awesome things to do are currently buried beneath a crazy quilt of variations on the color white.  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real […]

New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work? Implementing Change with GUSTO

  Welcome to 2023! In your social circles, the “buzz” is probably about New Year’s resolutions. Did you make any? I want to share some perspectives with you on how humans make behavioral changes like resolutions or adjustments to our relationships and lives.   Resolutions & Change When it comes to a resolution for a […]