Loading
Todays Date:
Inspiring Success on the Road to Recovery

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Out of the Darkness:

A Different Approach to Depression Treatment

By Michelle Chacon, RN, Certified TMS Clinical Operator, Sierra Tucson

Depression (also called Major Depressive Disorder or MDD) is a common but severe mood disorder that affects approximately 14 million people in the United States. 


It is a pervasive disorder that not only involves those who suffer from the condition, but impacts families and communities as well. Historically, depression has been overlooked, under-diagnosed and, sadly, under-treated. Current research suggests that depression is caused by a complex combination of factors. Biology is most certainly involved; the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that a person with depressive disorder often exhibits a brain that is structurally different than someone without depression. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies reveal that the areas of the brain that are responsible for mood, cognition, metabolic function and sleeping have a unique appearance in people who have serious mood disorders.

Neurologists and pharmacologists have long pursued the connection between brain chemistry and depression in an effort to offer solutions to this disabling condition. Depression has been linked to imbalances in neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), which regulate emotion, mood, energy level and appetite, and involve serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Genetics are also thought to play a role. Genetic research has revealed that people who have a close relative, like a parent or sibling, with depression are 20-30 percent more likely to experience depression. Environmental factors contribute to depression as well; a history of abuse, trauma or neglect in childhood can increase the chances of developing depression in adolescence or adulthood. 

What Leads to Depression?

Many of the factors that can lead to depression are also associated with substance use disorder. Imbalances in brain chemistry, family history and past trauma, for instance, are frequently involved in both depression and addiction. Substance abuse is all too common among people who are battling depression

Many depressed individuals, if not properly treated, reach for drugs and/or alcohol as a way to lift their mood. These chemicals become a form of self-medication for soothing the feelings of low self-worth, hopelessness and despair that characterize MDD. As a result, depression and substance abuse feed into each other, and one condition will often make the other worse. As depressive episodes become more severe, the frequency and intensity of negative thoughts and self-destructive behavior may increase. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry estimates that a third of adults who struggle with alcohol or drug abuse also have clinical depression. Depression is often an entry into substance use, and without qualified treatment, substance use can transition into full-blown addiction.

Those who experience severe symptoms of depression use alcohol and drugs to escape their negative emotions; however, substance use only worsens MDD. There are some individuals whose depression symptoms will worsen even in recovery. In cases where drugs or alcohol have been used for years to suppress symptoms, the individual may realize that depression looms ever larger as they enter sobriety. Adequate treatment in a setting that is qualified to treat individuals with a dual diagnosis is critical. Without treating the depression that drives addiction, or vice versa, the individual is likely to return to substance use or experience a return of depressive symptoms. Sadly, conventional treatment centers that do not provide adequate therapeutic support for both mood and addiction may see limited success among participants. Research shows that persons with addiction and depression have poorer treatment adherence, higher relapse rates with either disorder, higher re-hospitalization rates, and are at a higher risk for suicidal and homicidal behaviors.

TMS Therapy in Residential Treatment

Sierra Tucson, a residential treatment facility in Tucson, Arizona, has long been renowned for its integrative approach to mental health, including co-occurring disorders. Treatment for depression is provided through its Mood & Anxiety Program, the foundation of which is medication management and individual and group therapy, combined with innovative modalities such as biofeedback, mindfulness meditation and EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). In this tradition of innovation and clinical excellence, Sierra Tucson has added NeuroStar TMS Therapy® to the Mood & Anxiety Program’s comprehensive list of services. TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, provides a different approach to treatment for depression. This safe, well-tolerated, non-invasive and non-pharmacological treatment is offered in physicians’ offices across the country. 

While TMS is innovative, it isn’t novel. It was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008 for the treatment of MDD, and more than 25,000 patients have benefitted. 
TMS uses magnet technology similar to that of an MRI, but the therapy is precisely targeted toward the brain. For each treatment, a magnetic coil is placed gently against the scalp, whereby a pulsed magnetic field is generated, thus stimulating nerve cells in the brain that are involved with mood regulation. The procedure can normalize and restore balance in areas of abnormal or decreased activity, resulting in a significant reduction of symptoms or complete remission from depression—all without the systemic side effects caused by antidepressant medication. Each session takes less than an hour; treatment is administered five days a week for approximately 4-6 weeks, with no sedation or anesthesia needed.

What sets transcranial magnetic stimulation at Sierra Tucson apart from outpatient TMS Therapy is the therapeutic environment. Patients are engaged daily in process groups, therapeutic recreational activities, and integrative services, in addition to having the benefit of 24-hour staff care. Typically, an individual who undergoes TMS treatment for depression will have to drive to his or her psychiatrist’s office, five days per week, for 4-6 weeks. In some instances, it may be difficult for someone with Major Depressive Disorder to take that kind of time out of his or her daily life and negotiate 20 to 30 psychiatry appointments around work, school or family obligations. For individuals who have already taken the time out of their lives for residential treatment, TMS sessions can be completed during their stay. Sierra Tucson is pioneering the concept of transcranial magnetic stimulation in the residential treatment setting. Because TMS involves a time commitment, Sierra Tucson simply streamlines the process by utilizing a person’s commitment to participate in residential treatment. 

TMS treatment begins with a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation by one of Sierra Tucson’s board certified psychiatrists. TMS is a medical procedure that requires a prescription. One of the functions of Sierra Tucson’s TMS coordinators is to meet with each patient prior to treatment for a consultation, where the procedure is explained in detail and any questions can be answered. 

Additionally, the patient provides signed consent for treatment. Some of the most common questions include “What are the side effects?” and “Does the treatment hurt?” The potential side effects are minimal and localized, with scalp discomfort or headache being the most prevalent. Additionally, the pain or discomfort is generally transient, lasting only for about the first week of treatment. Patients are generally surprised to hear this, and most of them, at this point, are able to chronicle their medication history, reviewing antidepressants that caused adverse effects or had no effect at all. 

Some will further explain how they found themselves taking multiple medications to treat their depression, with little symptom relief and a host of new problems related to this complex medication regimen. Others may have even considered ECT, or electroconvulsive therapy. ECT is a treatment for depression in which electric current is passed through the brain, inducing a seizure. While ECT can be an effective treatment for depression, it is much more extreme. Performed in a hospital under general anesthesia, electroconvulsive therapy has the potential for causing memory loss, which can impact the individual’s daily functioning. 

The TMS consultation is only the beginning of a therapeutic relationship between each patient and the provider. Following the consultation, the initial session is scheduled. Treatment sessions are one-on-one, five days a week, which gives patients time to develop a rapport with their TMS coordinator; throughout the process, they share their journey and celebrate triumphs together. A significant percentage of Sierra Tucson patients have reported major improvement, and many have experienced remission from depression symptoms altogether.

From a Clinician’s Perspective

For patients receiving transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression, safety is a priority. TMS is performed under the supervision of Sierra Tucson psychiatrists, and as the primary clinical operator, I am a registered nurse who is TMS-certified. Treatment takes place in a calming and comfortable suite. I assist each patient with continuing care during treatment by providing the individual with locations of NeuroStar TMS providers in his or her area to contact once they leave. Since many individuals stay at Sierra Tucson for approximately four weeks, we may begin TMS treatment in the residential setting and assist with transition to a local outpatient practitioner to complete the last few treatments. When we started offering TMS several months ago, I treated a patient who was from North Dakota, and I located the nearest TMS provider to his hometown. Because it was 300 miles away, he wanted to undergo as many sessions as possible during his time at Sierra Tucson. (I even came to Sierra Tucson on Saturdays to administer treatments in order to achieve this goal.) Upon discharge he said, “I never imagined this would work, but I feel like there isn’t even a trace of depression left.” There is nothing more rewarding than to bear witness to this sort of transformation, and it is the reason I am grateful for the chance to participate in someone’s recovery. 

“Depression can severely affect social activities and relationships with others. Symptoms associated with depression have a huge impact on quality of life.”

TMS Therapy Quick Facts:

NeuroStar TMS Therapy is an FDA-cleared, non-drug depression treatment for patients with depression who are not satisfied with the results of standard antidepressant medication
Over 650 NeuroStar® physicians provide therapy across the country

Noninvasive and requires no anesthesia or sedation

Patients may return to normal activities immediately after treatment

Daily treatments performed 5 days a week for 4 to 6 weeks

TMS is included in the 2010 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Major Depression

Many insurance companies have established medical coverage policies for NeuroStar TMS Therapy

For many patients, depression symptoms significantly improved or went away after 4 to 6 weeks of treatment with NeuroStar TMS Therapy:  1 in 2 patients experienced significant improvement -  1 in 3 patients were symptom free

Everyone has Bad Days 

Whether it’s due to problems at home, at work or in relationships, everyone experiences down periods in his or her life. For most people, however, these phases come and go in a reasonable, ordinary fashion and can be remedied by things that make them happy.
Major Depressive Disorder is different. For those who have been diagnosed with MDD, symptoms are usually debilitating enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work and school. Depression can severely affect social activities and relationships with others. Symptoms associated with depression have a huge impact on quality of life, and may appear as changes in mood, including feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness. Anger, irritability or frustration may be present. Depression may be accompanied by anxiety or feelings of worthlessness or guilt. 

Additionally, there is often loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal, everyday activities. Physical symptoms of depression may include sleep disturbances, fatigue and lethargy, changes in appetite and unexplained pain or headaches. There may be cognitive symptoms as well: slowed thinking and speech, or difficulty concentrating, making decisions and remembering things. Finally, frequent or recurring thoughts of death, suicidal ideation or suicide attempts may manifest.

As patients return for TMS treatment sessions on a daily basis, I gradually see the light return to their eyes. They become more active, conversation with others becomes easier, and there is a renewed interest in what’s going on around them. They experience a desire to re-engage with a life that they had given up on—to reconnect with people and loved ones from whom they once retreated during their depressive episode. One patient’s experience stands out in my memory and I often share this story with individuals who are considering TMS treatment. The patient, Beth*, had some trouble adjusting to treatment initially. She progressed through 10 treatments and stated that she did not feel any different than before. When I came back to work on a Monday following a weekend off, Beth smiled at me. “Do you notice anything different?” she asked. “I made an appointment at the salon over the weekend. This is the first time in two years that I’ve colored my hair. My husband is coming for Family Week.” That subtle shift was the beginning of a major change in her depression symptoms. She completed four weeks of TMS—20 treatments total — and was thrilled with the results.

Into the Light

Depression has no known cure, but is treatable; and today, there are more options than ever to manage symptoms. Fortunately, treatments exist that allow patients to lead normal, symptom-free lives. Depression is often initially treated with psychotherapy and antidepressant medication administered together. Antidepressants can be effective for some patients, but they do not work for everyone. Furthermore, antidepressants frequently result in unwanted side effects due to their systemic nature. Many patients do not experience symptom relief from antidepressant medication and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. With transcranial magnetic stimulation, individuals suffering from depression now have a solution beyond traditional medication. Sierra Tucson is pleased to add this non-invasive treatment to its already comprehensive list of integrative services that addresses and treats MDD. 

The reality of depression is that it’s so much more than mere sorrow or unhappiness; it is a debilitating condition that prevents the sufferer from functioning normally. At its worst, depression can be fatal, resulting in thousands of deaths each year from suicide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year—one person every 40 seconds. What’s more, depression is the leading cause of disability the world over. If you are having thoughts about harming yourself or attempting suicide, reach out for help immediately. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). To reach the Veterans Crisis Line, call the same number and press "1.” If a loved one or friend is in danger of attempting suicide or has made a previous attempt, make sure someone stays with him or her, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately or, if you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.

For more information on Sierra Tucson’s Mood & Anxiety Program, as well as transcranial magnetic stimulation, call 844-209-3372 or visit SierraTucson.com. *Name has been changed for privacy purposes.


About the Author

Michelle Chacon is a certified TMS clinical operator and has been a nurse for 19 years. She has worked in behavioral health the past 6 years and is passionate about mental health and wellness for all individuals. 






















Are We Listening?

By Dr. Dina Evan

      On June 13th, fifty mighty warriors laid down their lives to wake us up. This was an amazing sacrifice. 


Are We Listening? 

It's time to hold each other tight, so tight that the maddening rhetoric about hate and separation cannot sneak in. So tight that we all remember that the answer to every question and concern is always and only love. I thank all the brave souls and master teachers who gave their lives or limbs in Orlando, FL. that we might learn what that level of pain and hatred is capable of causing.

They are asking us to search our own hearts and decide whether we will respond with more hatred or love, love for each of them....and, yes, even love for a tortured soul who gave in to his hatred and fear. There is only one answer and we must choose it together.

There have been master teachers throughout history. Hitler taught us what atrocities man is capable of inflicting on others. The terrorists are teaching us what killing looks like when religion or patriotism is an excuse. Politicians and some police are teaching us what the misuse of power looks like. People who lie are teaching us how we lie to ourselves and each other. People who betray us are teaching us how we betray ourselves.

Every person who betrays his or her integrity, who leaves his or her honor and truth to lie or harm is a grand teacher for us. That person has sacrificed this incarnation to be a bad guy, which takes infinitely more courage than being the good guy. 

Jesus went to Judas and thanked him for betraying him so that he could fulfill his purpose. These teachers who we often label evil, will return to work off their karma, or release the impact of their actions and decisions. And, they do this for us. 

But have we been listening?

What we have been dawn to, is the misuse of power, the illusion of control and the betrayal of boundaries and respect. We have seen this bad behavior as power itself, when in fact it’s not. 

Force is never power. True power does not require force. True power stands in integrity and chooses to do no harm. True power is not quiet, nor loud, it is gentle, compassionate and safe. It is not raucous and vile, accusatory or shaming. It does not create separation, instead it creates healing and unity. Any teaching or teacher filled with judgment, contempt or separation is not teaching from spirit or love. He or she is teaching from fear.

The way to silence that teaching is to stop giving it life and energy. Stop promoting it, supporting it or idolizing it. As my wise supervisor once said, “When you see trouble coming through the door, shut it if you don’t want trouble in your life.” 

We have no “fairness” obligation to support terror or violence in any way. 

We need to shut the door. Let these masters have their say. We get to stop listening. We get to empower that which we know is honorable and loving. Gandhi free a nation of 350 million people without a single act of violence. So can we.

The Daddy or the Mommy, the warrior or the savior who we keep looking for is in us. That is what all these teachers are trying to teach us. None of them have ever saved anyone. We can only save ourselves. How? By returning to the true character of our souls and standing in our integrity. We can’t play small any more. The stakes are simply too great. You know what truth, courage and integrity is and does. I know what truth courage and integrity is and does. 
Now we can stand with the spirits, all those throughout time, all those in Orlando, Paris, New York and everywhere in the world, who have role-modeled what courage looks like and how it acts and we can be their voice. Listen...the silence in the void of their lost voice is deafening, now we must fill it with ours. 

We must prove we are listening, and their divine sacrifice is not in vain. 


Dr. Evan specializes in relationships, personal and professional empowerment, compassion and consciousness. 602-997-1200, email DrDinaEvan@cox.net and www.DrDinaEvan.com  

#22Pushups To Honor Those Who Serve

How to participate

Help reach the goal to get 22 Million pushups – To honor those who serve and to raise awareness for veteran suicide prevention through education and empowerment. Every pushup counts so don’t be shy to show your support for our veterans. You can do as many or few pushups as you can or choose. Whether it’s 1 or 100 in a row, we will accept them however they come. They can be assisted (on your knees), incline (on a desk/wall), or if you physically are unable to do any, we’ll even take air pushups. 
They all count towards the goal as long as you follow the instructions below.
1. Record a video of yourself doing the pushups In the beginning of the video, make an introduction stating: Your NAME (and name of any organization that you may want to represent) WHY are you pushing or WHO are you are pushing for? Example intro: “Hi my name is Curtis Granderson, outfielder for the NY Mets, 3 time All Star, and founder of Grand Kids Foundation helping youth development through education and fitness. I’m about to do my 22 pushups for 22Kill, to honor those who serve.”

2. Upload the video directly on our Facebook page, YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram

3. Add the hashtags “#” in your post! #(insert number here)pushups #22KILL
Add these two hashtags into your “public” post on Facebook /Twitter/Instagram/ or in the video title on YouTube. Examples:facebook post, Youtube post, Instagram post, Twitter post.
For 5 pushups you would enter: “#5pushups for #22KILL”
22 pushups enter: “#22pushups for #22KILL”
If a group of 10 people that did 22 each: “#220pushups for #22KILL“

*Make sure you set your post to a “public” setting so that our counter can pick it up!

4. Post it!
Things you can do:
Do the pushups by yourself
Get a group together to do the pushups; companies, sports teams, schools, etc.
Be creative; Use unique settings, styles, props, etc. Include whatever or whomever you want.
Post as many videos as frequently as you’d like, as long as they are not duplicates and you follow the same rules/guidelines for each video.

Veteran Crisis Hotline

For veterans and families in an immediate crisis, please call 1-800-273-8255 and Press “1”, or send a text message to 838255. You can also chat with someone online through www.veteranscrisisline.net
These are the people who care and want to listen if you reach out. It is never too late. Even when you feel that you are at your absolute lowest, there is always hope. Please don’t give up. We are all here for you, we love you, and we care.

If you just feel like you want someone to talk to, you can connect with a battle buddy in your area or anywhere around the country by searching below. These are people just like you and me who support you and want to listen. No judgment is passed.
22KILL is a global movement bridging the gap between veterans and civilians to build a community of support. 22KILL works to raise awareness to the suicide epidemic that is plaguing our country, and educate the public on mental health issues such as PTS.

Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. started the #22KILL movement in 2013 after learning about the staggering statistic that an average of 22 veterans are killed by suicide every day.  #22KILL is a platform to raise awareness not just towards veteran suicide, but also to the mental health issues that can lead to suicide.
For more information please visit https://www.22kill.com

Lucy in the Sky with Consciousness

by Cary Bayer   www.carybayer.com

In 1967, a British rock band that you might have heard of called the Beatles, sang a song with phantasmagorical imagery called “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” In 2014, a French film director named Luc Besson made a motion picture with similar kind of electric visuals called Lucy. The two have quite a bit in common.

The great Beatles classic from their “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band” album is said to be a musical trip about a psychedelic trip — the initials of Lucy, sky, and diamonds lends credibility to the idea that it’s about LSD. Interestingly, the song’s lyricist John Lennon claimed that it was inspired by a nursery school drawing made by his son Julian who, titled his work just that. John also claimed the song was inspired by Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland books, a report consistently confirmed by Paul McCartney.

The movie Lucy, while featuring a potent mind-altering chemical that accidentally leaks into the body of the eponymous heroine (Scarlett Johanssen), seems to be more about the unfolding of the full mental potential of human beings than mere “cellophane flowers of yellow and green.’ She doesn’t go on a several-hour trip along the lines of Timothy Leary Airlines, but stays up and doesn’t come down.

While the Fab Four song speaks of “tangerine trees and marmalade skies,” and “rocking horse people (who) eat marshmallow pies,” the movie portrays a young woman awakening the kinds of latent mental powers as telepathy and telekinesis, the ability to control matter through the mind alone, that were depicted about 1,700 years ago by the great yogi Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

The great sage wrote of the many sleeping abilities within each and every one of us; talents like clairvoyance, clairaudience, knowledge of far away places like the heavens, knowledge of the future, the past (including past lives), invisibility, superhuman strength, conquest of hunger and of the body, and omnipotence and omniscience, among others. In other words, the stuff that caped superheroes are made of. And Lucy is clearly of that group, albeit minus the cape and using her mind rather than her body to accomplish all manner of miracles.

This Lucy experiences time travel, wormholes, psychedelic-like visions, and much more. After tapping much of this mental potential, she phones her mother and thanks her for “a thousand kisses that I can feel on my face.” She can still taste the breast milk with which her mother fed her as a baby. Such is her extraordinary sensory powers and memory.
Her connection to all that is deepens as she awakens one hundred percent of her mind. Her time travels, however, are quite elaborate: based in New York City, she confronts those who have trod the same space that she occupies, including Native Americans and even dinosaurs.
She transforms her consciousness into a computer and, though disembodied, presents a thumb drive to a team of neuroscientists who are on the vanguard of evolutionary human potential. They’re led by—who else?—Morgan Freeman, taking time off from portraying God to portray a scientist hoping to understand all that human beings can be, and thus our connection to God. Spoiler alert: at the end,

Lucy is shot and, instead of dying, she mysteriously vanishes into thin air. To which a witness asks where’d she go. She has become disembodied, yet somehow sends a text that says, “I am everywhere.”
While Lucy is a film about an evil Asian drug cartel looking to push a highly potent drug onto the streets, and features way too much gun play and killing, it’s also a film about what we are capable of, including oneness with all that is.


Community Calendar

FREE  Professional Networking Luncheon — Psychological Counseling Services (PCS)  invites you to join us for a free networking luncheon experience from 12:15 pm to 1:45pm. Mark your calendar: AUG. 16. If you have attended in the past,  join us anytime. If you are new, please send your email request for an invitation to pcs@pcsearle.com or call 480-947-5739 to speak to Ellen Hamilton for details.

RIO RETREAT CENTER — A Man’s Way™ Intensive.   Upcoming October 3-7.
Using the powerful curriculum developed by Dan Griffin, The Meadows Senior Fellow and based on his two groundbreaking books A Man’s Way through the Twelve Steps and A Man’s Way through Relationships, we will provide a five day intensive and challenging experience for you to transform your understanding of what it means to be a man in recovery. Register: 800-244-4949.

Friday July 15. 9:00 AM to 11:00. Professional Lecture Series by Meadows Behavioral Healthcare. The Meadows Outpatient Center 19120 N. Pima Road, Ste. 125, Scottsdale
It’s Not Us, It’s Them: How We Are Failing Men in Treatment, by Dan Griffin, MA. Presentation offers practical guidance and tools for professionals working with men in navigating challenging areas.

Clinical Breakfast Series — First Wednesday of the month 8:00-9:00 a.m. St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Trends and treatments in the behavioral health field, 1 CEU. St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center Auditorium. 1800 East Van Buren Street.

Mondays– Scottsdale – FAMILY RECOVERY GROUP at The Meadows Outpatient Center. Facilitated by Brough Stewart, LPC. 5:30 -7:30 p.m. Group designed to help begin and continue family recovery. Stop enabling behaviors and learn how to set healthy boundaries based on Pia Mellody’s Model. No reservations or charge. The Meadows Outpatient Center, 19120 N. Pima Rd., Ste. 125, Scottsdale. Contact: Jim Corrington LCSW, 602-740-8403.

Every Week – Tucson – Cottonwood Tucson – InnerPath Developing Healthy Families Workshop. Five-day workshop is for families impacted by addictions, psychiatric disorders, anger & rage, and trauma. Facilitated by Cottonwood staff. Visit www.cottonwoodtucson.com or call Jana at 520-743 2141 or email jmartin@cottonwoodtucson.com for information.

SIERRA TUCSON— Alumni Groups. Scottsdale, Tuesdays, 6:00- 7:00 p.m.Valley Presbyterian Church. 6947 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley. 480-991-4267. Alumni meet in the Counseling Center (Parlor Room). Park in the west parking lot, follow signs to the Counseling Center, located in the chapel complex. Contact: Rob L. at 602-339-4244 or stscottsdalealumni@gmail.com.


SIERRA TUCSON— Continuing Care Groups in Phoenix.Wednesdays — for Family Member Alumni (18 years and over). (PCS) Psychological Counseling Services, 7530 E. Angus Drive, Scottsdale. 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Thursdays — for Patient Alumni, PCS, 3302 N. Miller Road, Scottsdale, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Facilitated by the clinical staff of Psychological Counseling Services. No charge for Patient and Family Member Alumni.

On Going Support
Valley Hospital— IOP Group for Chemical Dependency/Co-Occuring. Mon., Tues., Thurs. 6-9:00 P.M. Call intake for details: 602-952-3939. 3550 E. Pinchot Avenue, Phoenix. www.valleyhospital-phoenix.com

Open Hearts Open Minds Counseling Services — Women’s Therapeutic Group for Partners of Sex Addicts. Find comfort, strength and hope while exploring intimacy issues. Shea/Tatum area. Men’s Therapeutic Group for Sex Addiction— work through a task-centered model with a certified sex addiction therapist.  Call Cynthia A. Criss, LPC, CSAT 602-677-3557 for details.

Families Anonymous—12 step program for family members of addicted individuals. Phoenix -Mon. 7:00 P.M., First Methodist Church, 5510 N. Central Ave.  602-647-5800. Scottsdale Sun. 4:00 p.m., 10427 N. Scottsdale Rd., North Scottsdale Fellowship Hall  480-225-1555 or 602-647-5800

Thursdays— Men’s General Therapy Group empowering work through blockages to living. Dennis Ryan, M.C., L.P.C.  5-6:30 p.m. and 6:30-8:00 p.m. Transformation Institute. 4202 N. 32nd St., Suite J, Phoenix. 602-381-8003.

Chronic Pain Sufferers “Harvesting Support for Chronic Pain,” third Saturday of month, 12—1:00 p.m.  Harvest of Tempe, 710 W. Elliot Rd., Suite 103, Tempe.  Carol  480-246-7029.

Hope, Strength, Support —Jewish Alcoholics, Addicts, Families and Friends (JACS*) 1st / 3rd Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, 2nd floor conference room. 12701 N. Scottsdale Rd. 602-971-1234 ext. 280 or at JACSarizona@gmail.com

PSA Behavioral Health  “The Guild”  Monday 5:30 -7:30 pm. A fun-filled, educational, supportive get-together. Guild is open to the community and brings the community together in raising awareness of mental illness and recovery. PSA North, 2255 W. Northern Ave. in B109. Barbara 602-995-1967 x 207.

COSA (12-step recovery program for men and women whose lives have been affected by another person’s compulsive sexual behavior)— Being in Balance. Thursday 11:00 am-Noon. 2210 W. Southern Ave. Mesa, 85202. Information 602-793-4120.

Women For Sobriety — www.womenforsobriety.org Meeting every Saturday —10-11:30am. All Saints of the Desert Episcopal Church-9502 W. Hutton Drive. Sun City. Christy (602) 316-5136

Co-Anon Family Support Group - Carrying the message of hope and personal recovery to family members and friends of someone who is addicted to cocaine or other mind altering substances. “Off the RollerCoaster” Thurs., 6:30 - 7:45 pm, 2121 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. Donna 602-697-9550 or Maggie 480-567-8002

Gamblers Anonymous — ACT Counseling & Education. 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. 602-569-4328 for details. 5010 E. Shea Blvd. D202, Phoenix.

COTTONWOOD TUCSON. Alumni—First Wednesday of month 6:00-7:30 p.m. Cottonwood campus in Tucson. 4110 W. Sweetwater Drive. 5:00 p.m. dinner.  800-877-4520 x2141. cottonwoodtucson.com

ACOA Thurs., 7:00 p.m., North Scottsdale United Methodist Church, 11735 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale.www.aca.arizona.org

ACA. Tucson. Wed. 5:30-7:00 p.m Streams In the Desert Church 5360 E. Pima Street. West of Craycroft. Room A. (Follow signs). Michael 520-419-6723.

Overeaters Anonymous - 12 Step program for addictions to food and food behaviors. 18 meetings scheduled per week. 520-733-0880 or www.oasouthernaz.org.

Pills Anonymous—Glendale Tues. 7-8:00 pm. HealthSouth Stroke Rehab 13460 N. 67th Ave. Rosalie 602-540-2540. Mesa Tues. 7-8:00 pm, St. Matthew United Methodist Church. 2540 W. Baseline. B-14.  Jim, 480-813-3406. Meggan 480-603-8892. Scottsdale, Wed. 5:30-6:30 pm, N. Scottsdale Fellowship, 10427 N. Scottsdale Rd., Room 3.  Tom N. 602-290-0998. Phoenix, Thurs. 7-8:00 pm. First Mennonite Church 1612 W. Northern. Marc 623-217-9495, Pam 602-944-0834. Janice 602-909-8937.

Celebrate Recovery—Chandler Christian Church. Weekly Fridays 7 p.m. Room B-200. For men and women dealing with chemical or sexual addictions, co-dependency and other Hurts, Hang-ups and Habits. 1825 S. Alma School Rd. Chandler. 480-963-3997. Pastor Larry Daily, E: larrydaily@chandlercc.org.

GA Meetings —ACT Counseling & Education. Phoenix/Glendale. Tuesday, Spanish (men) 7:00 -9:00 pm. 4480 W. Peoria Ave., Ste. 203, Glendale. Thursday, Spanish 7:00 - 9:00 pm 4480 W. Peoria Ave., Ste. 203, Glendale. Sunday, Spanish 6:00 - 8:00 pm 4480 W. Peoria Ave. Ste. 203, Glendale. Sunday, English 6:30 - 8:00 pm 5010 E. Shea Blvd., Ste. D-202, Contact Sue F. 602-349-0372

SAA www.saa-phoenix.org 602-735-1681 or 520-745-0775.

Tempe Valley Hope Alumni Support Groups, Thursdays 6-7:00 p.m., 2115 E. Southern Ave. Phoenix. Tues. 8-9:00 p.m., 3233 W. Peoria Ave. Ste. 203, Open to anyone in recovery.

Special Needs — AA Meetings. Cynthia SN/AC Coordinator 480-946-1384, email Mike at mphaes@mac.com

Survivors of Incest Anonymous. 12-step recovery for survivors. Tucson Survivors Meeting, Sundays 6:00 to 7:15pm. St. Francis in the Foothills, 4625 E. River Road (west of Swan). Carlos 520-881-3400

OA—Teen Meeting, Saturdays 4:00 p.m. 1219 E. Glendale Ave. #23 Phoenix. www.oaphoenix.org/ 602-234-1195.

SLAA—Sex and Love Addict Anonymous 602-337-7117. slaa-arizona.org

GAM-ANON: Sun. 7:30 p.m. Desert Cross Lutheran Church, 8600 S. McClintock, Tempe. Mon. 7:30 p.m., Cross in the Desert Church, 12835 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, Tues. 7:00 p.m., First Christian Church, 6750 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, Tues. 7:15 p.m. Desert Cross Lutheran Church, Education Building, 8600 S. McClintock, Tempe, Thurs. 7:30 p.m.

DEBTORS Anonymous—Mon., 7-8:00 p.m., St. Phillip’s Church, 4440 N. Campbell Ave., Palo Verde Room. Thurs. 6-7:00 p.m., University Medical Center, 1501 N. Campbell. 520-570-7990, www.arizonada.org.

Crystal Meth Anonymous www.cmaaz.org or CMA Hotline 602-235-0955. Tues. and Thurs.Stepping Stone Place 1311 N 14th St. cmaaz.org/god-zombies-the-awakening.

Hot Topics

New westside location for The River Source  

The River Source has opened their newest IOP treatment center in the center of Phoenix on Peoria Avenue directly off the 1-17. Due to the Peoria Avenue address the center has been nicknamed the “Peoria Campus.”

The River Source provides professional, caring, affordable treatment that treats the whole person to heal and restore balance to the mind, body and spirit and has a strong, proven track record of success since their founding in 2003.

Peoria Campus, 2432 W. Peoria is conveniently located off Phoenix area freeways for all Phoenix-area patients, and it is a good mid-point for all patients from both the West Valley and North Phoenix areas.

The IOP consists of 24 sessions over a two month period — 3 hour sessions, 3 times a week, and provides individualized treatment plans, regular drug screenings and breathalyzers for the well-being and safety of all patients.

MHN/Health Net and most Out of Network Plans are accepted. The cash pay rate is affordable and reasonable. The River Source provides free phone consultations for professional pre-assessment, benefits checks, and potential payment plan options.

The River Source IOP is a treatment service and support program used primarily to treatment chemical dependency in situations when intensive residential services are not required. Call 1-866-251-0639 and visit www.theriversource.org


Insurance Plans not Covering Necessary Services for People with Addiction

A new report finds insurance plans around the country are not covering the necessary services for people with addiction. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse reviewed addiction benefits offered in the 2017 Essential Health Benefits benchmark plans and found more than two-thirds violate the Affordable Care Act.

None of the plans are adequate, the report concluded. “Our findings reveal that people with addiction may not be receiving effective treatment because insurance plans aren’t covering the full range of evidence-based care,” Lindsey Vuolo, JD, MPH, Associate Director of Health Law and Policy at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, and lead author of the report, said in a news release. “For example, our review did not find a single state that covers all of the approved medications used to treat opioid addiction.”

The Essential Health Benefits benchmark plans determine which addiction benefits are available to the 12.7 million people who are insured under Affordable Care Act plans. Substance use disorder services must be covered under the law, since they are designated as an Essential Health Benefit.

“We’e still a long way from treating addiction like a disease,” said Samuel A. Ball, PhD, President and CEO at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. “Insurers are still not providing the same level of benefits for addiction treatment and services as they do for medical or surgical care. The absence of sufficient coverage for medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction is particularly alarming given the number of people dying or suffering on a daily basis. This kind of health care discrimination would never be tolerated during an epidemic for any other life-threatening disease.”

Opioid Epidemic puts new focus on Sober Housing on College Campuses

The opioid epidemic is increasing interest in college sober housing, PBS News Hour reported. Sober dorms offer substance-free housing and activities for students in recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Rutgers University in New Jersey pioneered the concept of sober housing in 1988, the article notes. Governor Chris Christie (NJ) signed legislation last year requiring all state college and universities to offer sober housing if at least one-quarter of students live on campus. Schools have four years to comply.

Texas Tech has had substance-free housing since 2011, while Oregon State University will offer sober housing this coming school year. The University of Vermont launched a recovery program in 2010, which includes sober housing.

Sober dorms are a “major new development in the recovery movement. They’re unique because they get to the heart of the beast,” said Dr. Robert DuPont, who heads the drug policy think tank the Institute for Behavior and Health, and served as White House Drug Chief from 1973 to 1977. In college, he said, “You’re surrounded by people who are using alcohol and drugs in addictive ways. Someone else is paying the bills and there’s no supervision.”

More than 35 percent of American college students say they have had more than five drinks in one sitting in the past two weeks, and 43 percent of college students say they have been drunk in the past month, the article notes. Daily marijuana use has more than tripled in the past 20 years among full-time college students.

The Grace Factor

By Alan Cohen

A woman phoned my radio show and reported that years ago when she became pregnant, her doctors told her the baby would not survive. She and her husband prayed fervently for the child’s well-being, and the baby was born healthy and went on to live a happy life. Since that time she had a few miscarriages, and now the couple very much wants another child. “Do you think we each get a certain allotment of miracles, and when we use it up, we get no more?” she asked.

“That’s not how it works,” I told her firmly. “Miracles and well-being are our natural state, given freely without limit forever. Only the human mind lays bounds over the good available to us. It is not God’s Grace we need to beg for. It is our own. And we don’t need to beg. We just need to claim it.”
In celebration of the release of my new book The Grace Factor, I would like to cite three acts of grace that ultimately affected many people:

When Julio Diaz stepped off the No. 6 subway train in the Bronx, he was faced with a teenager pointing a knife at him. The mugger demanded Julio’s wallet, which he gave willingly.  As the robber began to flee into the night, Julio called to him, “Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you’re going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.”

Stunned, the boy turned and asked Diaz, “Why are you doing this?”

“If you're willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner. If you really want to join me . . . Hey, you’re more than welcome.”

In a real-life scene that would strain credibility as fiction, the two made their way to a diner where they sat in a booth, shared a meal, and talked about their lives.  When Diaz asked the teen what he wanted out of life, he couldn’t answer. He just displayed a sad face.

When the time came to pay the bill, Diaz told the fellow, “I guess that since you have my wallet, you’re going to have to treat.” 

The young man gave Diaz back his wallet, Diaz paid for dinner, and gave the fellow $20. Diaz asked for something in return — the kid’s knife — and he gave it to him.  “If you treat people right, you can only hope they treat you right,” Diaz later concluded. “It’s as simple as it gets in this complicated world.” (To watch a touching dramatization of this encounter, go to YouTube, “Hey, You Forgot Something.”)

Fifty-year-old Wesley Autrey stood on a Bronx subway platform and watched a young man succumb to an epileptic seizure, and then fall off the platform into the path of an oncoming train. To onlookers’ astonishment, Autrey jumped onto the tracks, covered the man’s body, and pressed him into the gutter between the tracks while the train hurtled above both of them. Miraculously, when the train had passed, neither man was injured. The train’s undercarriage passed so close to Autrey’s head that he emerged with grease marks on his knit cap. People who believe they are bodies only do not jump onto subway tracks to save a stranger’s life. Only someone imbued with an awareness of his nature as an immortal spirit would effect such altruism.

When Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger III piloted his U.S. Airways airplane to take off from New York’s LaGuardia airport on a cold January morning, he had no idea where that flight would take him.  Shortly after takeoff, the Airbus 320 encountered a flock of birds that were sucked into its jets, instantly disabling flight. With no landing strip in range, Sullenberger’s only option was to set the plane down on the Hudson River. As the pilot executed a skilled landing on the icy waters, the crews of nearby ferry boats saw the crash and motored to the plane to rescue the passengers. Sullenberger’s true bravery came forth when he made his way through the aisle of the sinking aircraft to be sure no one was left aboard. When he was certain that all of the 150 passengers and 5 crew members had exited safely, he stepped across a wing to helping hands.

The movie Starman tells of an extraterrestrial who visits Earth by cloning the body of a man who has recently died. The cosmic visitor meets the man’s widow, who, although initially petrified, proceeds to help him. Starman spends the larger part of his earthly visit fleeing from authorities attempting to capture him. Smarter than his pursuers, he eventually engineers a rendezvous with a rescue starship. Moments before he departs, he confides in a human companion, “Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? . . . You are at your very best when things are worst.”

Alan Cohen is the author the new bestseller A Course in Miracles Made Easy: Mastering the Journey from Fear to Love.  Become a certified professional life coach though Alan’s transformational Life Coach Training beginning September 1. For more information about this program, his free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit www.AlanCohen.com.

Save the Date for the 11th Annual Art of Recovery Expo


Recovery month is a few months away and my colleagues and I encourage you, your family and friends to attend the 11th Annual Art of Recovery Expo, Saturday, September 17 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

With a focus on Young Adult and Adolescent Recovery our keynote speaker Greg Williams will discuss his journey from addiction to recovery and new film Generation Found, a powerful story of young people, families, and their community believing not just in the individual process of recovery – but the community’s power to fertilize the soil of change. Join us let’s be part of the change together.

For details visit www.artofrecoveryexpo.com 

Barbara Nicholson-Brown
Founder

Friday, June 3, 2016

Remembering a Gentle Giant

By Carrie Steffensen

I had the incredible opportunity of traveling with John Bradshaw as we put on presentations for The Meadows across the U.S.  I’m so grateful for that experience. John influenced me, encouraged me, and was a genuine and generous friend. 

“When death finds you hope it finds you alive.” John regularly shared this African proverb with his audiences, urging and imploring us all to accept ourselves, trust ourselves and believe in ourselves. He asked us, “What is the water of your life? What is the work you like to do, the work that makes you graceful? Who are the people that bring you vitality, who make you feel the most alive? Where do you find a context that gives you a sense of yourself, a purpose for living?”

John was a prolific scholar with an almost photographic memory. He would stop mid-sentence when referencing an idea from a book to mention the author (including the correct spelling!), title, and even page number. He was an amazing teacher synthesizing psychology , philosophy, and theology, and helping each of us to explore our family system and our inner child. 

 He was also very funny. If you’ve heard him speak before, you’ve heard about Sister Ida and her actual pictures of hell! He was transparent and charismatic, weaving his story into our story, from innocence to dysfunction to recovery. 

 In one of our last conversations, he spoke of being enormously happy in spite of his physical decline and still incredibly excited about learning. He loved poetry and shared this poem by Derek Walcott with me: 
The time will come 
when, with elation 
you will greet yourself arriving 
at your own door, in your own mirror 
and each will smile at the other's welcome, 
and say, sit here. Eat. 
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
When death finds you hope it finds you alive. RIP Johnny Bradshaw.

By Jim Dredge, Meadows Behavioral Healthcare CEO

John Bradshaw’s presence looms large at The Meadows. His seminal works on toxic shame, dysfunctional families and reclaiming one’s inner child are central to our model for treating emotional trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, and other behavioral health disorders. We were heartbroken to hear of his passing earlier this week.
He was a Senior Fellow whose work influenced many of our other senior fellows. Dr. Claudia Black said recently in a Facebook post that John “has left a great legacy. For me personally, he was a dear friend. I have many poignant memories.”

Part of his legacy includes an ability to connect with people on a deeply personal level, even when he was delivering his message to an audience of thousands or through a television screen. “Everything I write about I struggle with myself,” he once said in The Observer of London. Perhaps that very personal understanding of the struggles faced by those with addiction, childhood trauma, and other mental health issues is one of the things that allowed him to speak about complex psychological concepts in a way that was relatable and deeply meaningful to so many.

This amazing gift of his lead him to become a household name in the 1990s through appearances on PBS—for which he received an Emmy nomination— and on popular talk shows like “Oprah” and “Sally Jessy Raphael.” He also led workshops all over the world and wrote many best-selling books, including Healing the Shame That Binds You, Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child and Post-Romantic Stress Disorder: What to Do When the Honeymoon is Over.
His aim through all of his work was to help people improve their lives by learning to love and accept themselves. He helped a great many people overcome the shame, rage, resentment, and despair that fueled their addictions and self-destructive behaviors and encouraged them to live more purposeful, fulfilling lives.

Above and beyond his professional accomplishments, his joy, his compassion, and his spirit of kindness were an inspiration and guiding light to us all. “The number of people John helped over the decades has to be in the six figures,” said Shannon Spollen, Director of Community Partnerships at The Meadows. “I couldn’t help but smile whenever I was with him these last couple of years…”
John’s presence will continue to loom large at The Meadows, and our continued commitment to helping people heal from trauma and addiction will be our never-ending tribute to his work and his life. He will be terribly missed.

“John Bradshaw was a corner stone in my building a new life. I'm sad for his passing and grateful for his message.”
— Judy Nagle

 I was first introduced to John when I started therapy seeking help to set appropriate boundaries with an acting out teenager. What I discovered along the way was I needed to change things on how I looked at life and heal from childhood traumas and wounds. My therapist recommended I read Healing the Shame That Binds You. This book saved my life. I was able to discover the wounds which did not belong to me and what I was passing on to my children, which resulted in acting out behavior by my oldest daughter and my co-dependence. I worked very hard to change the old messages of shame, not being enough; as well as having to be perfect in order to be loved because of the healing messages in this book. I had the opportunity to participate in Survivors Week at The Meadows, which catapulted my recovery with co-dependence on the fast track. I attended lectures by John at Unity of Phoenix and alumni reunions at The Meadows. I honestly don’t know where I would be today without receiving his messages and guidance from his books, lectures, and tapes. Today, both daughters are wonderful, powerful young women. One celebrated 19 years sober on March 21, 2016. I am now a licensed master level social worker providing substance abuse counseling and I facilitate a parent group weekly. I love passing on the messages and recommend Bradshaw’s works to my clients. I will forever be grateful for receiving the his gifts. He will be missed.  
— Linda Williamson, Clinician

His books are awesome. I went to his workshops. RIP John thanks for being an inspiration AND HELPING so many. Prayers to his family. 
— Chris Wudarski 
A huge loss to the field but his contributions and legacy will carry on!
— Sean Walsh, CEO,The Meadows

John was an innovator in the field of recovery.  
— Rick Baney, Dir. of Business Development SOL Recovery 


The Art of Self-Care

By Adrian Fletcher, Psy.D.

What is self-care exactly? Good question right? This is a question many people struggle to answer. I have heard clients say anything from… “It’s selfish to take care of myself”…OR…. “I have to help other people then I will create time for me”… “I’ll get to it, I promise”… so herein lies the problem...we never really get to it unless we are forced too. 

Perhaps a traumatic experience requires us to look at things in a new way or forces us to slow down and say wait a minute, I have got to change something in order to feel better. Self-care really encompasses much more than just taking yourself to a good movie (although it is a great first start). Self-care consists of a few different components… physical self-care, emotional self-care, workplace and professional self-care, psychological self-care, relationship self-care and spiritual self-care. 

There is a lot more to self-care than people realize and here’s the deal— it doesn’t have to be hard, or a pain in the butt, it can be exciting, rewarding, fun and delightful.  We could spend our days telling ourselves, maybe next week I will take up that hobby I’ve been dying to try, maybe in 6 months I will take a day off for me, maybe next year I will save enough to take a trip somewhere… and again my question is why not start right now? I know, I know, you’ll want to make up excuses or reasons as to why it cannot happen right now and I know, because I have been there too. I am here to remind you that you deserve to take care of yourself. When we take care of ourselves we open the door to things like…joy, gratitude, rest, play, peace, comfort, fun, and enjoyment and when we close the door on self-care we will get more of the same…fatigue, headaches, interpersonal problems, difficulty in regulating our emotions, perhaps more conflict at work, not wanting to go to work, insomnia, anxiety, depression, physical problems, pain, you get the gist…the list goes on and on and on.  I wonder what it would be like if people/ you granted yourself the gift of self-care. 

The Challenges

BrenĂ© Brown, researcher storyteller, someone I admire and gear a lot work with my clients from, talks about how we must learn to challenge perfectionism, people pleasing and performance. So many of us, whether we are a working professional, an addict in recovery and/or a trauma survivor in recovery, we are working hard, really hard! Recovery is a full-time job, our regular careers are usually full-time jobs, being a parent is a full-time job, etc..etc.. When I work with clients one of the first homework assignments I give them for the week is two self-care related activities, this can look different for each client for one it might be a pedicure and lunch with a friend, another might be to turn the electronics off in the evening/ journal and have playtime with their children. Simple every day things that get lost in the hustle and bustle of life and we lose ourselves to our careers, our relationships, sometimes even recovery, etc and when we lose ourselves we have depleted our emotional capacity to show up for who really matters, OURSELVES. 

So why is it that we/so many people feel guilty taking care of ourselves? 

Could be cultural, could be old family of origin messages, could be that at heart we like to give rather than to receive, for whatever the reason we/people must challenge the guilt and practice kindness and compassion and treat ourselves how we would want/do treat other people. If you buy flowers for a friend for their birthday, why not buy some flowers for yourself? If you have always wanted to visit another state, country, or town and you would encourage your friend to go, why wouldn’t you? What I am getting at here is that we must be a friend to ourselves. This can be a foreign concept for some; in fact it was for me personally for a really long-time. Growing up in an Italian family, we did everything for everyone within and outside the family. I learned early to be a self-sacrificer and in the last two years that has changed, it has changed my life so dramatically in fact that it inspired me to open my own practice which I named SelfWorks, “Create Your Best Self”.  
I am truly passionate about helping people take care of themselves. It’s that old airplane analogy that so many of us therapists use…when the flight attendant says to put your oxygen mask on first before you assist others; this is the same concept regarding self-care. It is okay, to want to help people, to go above and beyond, however; you must do it from a place of a full well. If our well is depleted we are again setting ourselves up for pain, anguish, fatigue, and in the worst of cases, relapse. Relapse back to alcohol and drugs, or relapse back into our old patterns of self-negligence. 

The Art of Self-Care requires willingness, courage, acceptance, and curiosity, with these components you’ll /people will likely feel a lot better about who you/they are and challenge yourself to try that new hobby, or pick up a paint brush and just see what happens.  Some questions I believe people might want to ask themselves  are…

Physical Self-Care
Do I eat regular meals?
Do I make time to exercise?
Do I select healthier food options?
Do I participate in a fun physical activity?

Emotional Self-Care
Do I spend time with people I enjoy?
Do I practice SELF affirmations?
Do I allow myself to cry/feel?
Do I find things that make me laugh?
Do I stay connected with important people in my life?
Psychological Self-Care
Do I take day trips or mini vacations?
Do I take time to disconnect from technology?
Do I say “NO” to extra responsibilities? 
Do I take time to journal/self-reflect?
Do I engage my intellect in new interests?
Have I tried a new hobby in which I am not an expert?

Relationship Self-Care
Do I schedule regular dates with my partner/spouse?
Do I make time to spend with my children?
Do I make time to see my friends?
Have I shared my fear/vulnerabilities with a safe person?
Do I ask for help when I need it?
Do I stay in contact with those that live out of the area?
Do I honor my pets by spending time with them?
Do I make time to check-in with relatives that are supportive of me?

Spiritual Self-Care
Do I create time to connect with my higher power?
Do I spend time in nature?
Do I have a spiritual connection OR community?
Do I make time to meditate?
Do I contribute/volunteer my time to causes that are important to me?

Workplace Self-Care
Do I take a lunch break?
Do I take 2 additional 15 minute breaks?
Do I take time to connect/catch up with coworkers?
Do I balance my project/caseload?
Do I have a peer support group?
Is my workspace comfortable?
Do I set self boundaries/limits around working hours?
Do I take time to consult?
Do I make quiet time for complex tasks?

If you/people can start by picking one or two things from one area and move in the direction to create more time for you, you will find that taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be daunting and gives you an idea of what might be lacking and some direction as to where to channel your energy.  As a good friend of mine says and teaches to her clients, “You deserve a life of BALANCE, now go Create it”-Shanna Larson-Paola, LMFT Owner/Founder of Creating Balance in Scottsdale, Arizona.  
Honoring yourself, taking care of yourself and learning how to meet your own needs is the biggest and most incredible gift you can give yourself. There is no time like the present, my hope is that in reading this article, you have an idea of what areas in your life feel depleted and need watering. Us, our lives, and our experiences cannot grow and blossom without water. “Self-care is not about self-indulgence it is about self-preservation”-Audrey-Lorde



Dr. Fletcher specializes in PTSD/Trauma, anxiety, interpersonal relationships, personal and professional self-care and compassion. 480-448-5547, email Selfworks@drfletch.com and www.drfletch.com

LIFE 101 with Coach Cary Bayer

Wise Guy/Wise Man — JIM CARREY

By Coach Cary Bayer  www.carybayer.com
Among the most enlightening graduation addresses I’ve heard was Jim Carrey’s at Maharishi University of Management. Having received my Masters degree from this bastion of higher learning that awakens your higher Self, I proud share its highlights.
The comedian/mystic says: “I thought Jim Carrey is all that I was… The great nothing masquerading as something you can name. You didn’t think I could be serious did ya’? I don’t think you understand who you’re dealing with! I have no limits! I cannot be contained because I’m the container.”

He then fuses spirituality with laughter:
“I believed I ended at the edge of my skin…(in) this little vehicle called a body to experience creation, and though I couldn’t have asked for a sportier model, it was after all a loaner and would have to be returned.”

Those familiar with affirmations recognize Carrey’s seriousness and comedy:
“Many people choose their path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we dare not ask the universe for it…I’m proof you can ask for it!...If it doesn’t happen right away, it’s because the universe is busy fulfilling my order. It’s party size!”

He discourages livelihoods to tolerate for lovelihoods to adore.
“My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that was possible...Instead, he (became) an accountant. (until) he was let go from that safe job…I learned great lessons from him…that you can fail at what you don’t want, so take a chance doing what you love. I watched the affect his love and humor had on the world, and I thought, ‘That’s something…worth my time.’”

Here’s a portrait of the comic as a young boy…
“People would come to my house and they’d be greeted by a 7 year-old throwing himself down a flight of stairs. They’d say, ‘What happened?’ And I’d say, ‘I don’t know — let’s check the replay.’ And I’d go back to the top and come back down in slow motion.” 

…and young man:
“My father bragged that I wasn’t a ham — I was the whole pig. He treated my talent as his second chance…After a decade as a comedian, I realized the purpose of my life had always been to free people from concern…I dubbed my new devotion, The Church of Freedom From Concern—and dedicated myself to that ministry.”
Doing his dharma (calling) helped Carrey command eight-figure deals, but then there’s spirituality…
“My choosing to free people from concern got me to the top of a mountain. … (but) the only one I hadn’t freed was myself and that’s when my search for identity deepened.”

He applauds those who’ve applauded him.
“But you…already know who you are and that peace that we’re after, lies beyond personality… Risk being seen in all your glory…You’re not the pictures on the film stock, you’re the light that shines through it.” 

He encourages tapping the Source of success.
“If people could realize their dreams of wealth and fame they’d see that it’s not completion...I went into the world to do something bigger than myself, until someone smarter than myself made me realize there is nothing bigger than myself!” 

The comic/mystic speaks:
“My soul is not contained within the limits of my body. My body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul —one unified field of nothing dancing for no particular reason, except maybe to…entertain itself.”

Then addresses your ego which, 
“will tell you that you cannot stop until you’ve left an indelible mark on the earth, until you’ve achieved immortality. How tricky is the ego that it would tempt us with the promise of something we already possess.”
The minister who teaches freedom from concern concludes:

“I just want you to relax—that’s my job—and dream up a good life! It’s about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it while letting go of how it might come to pass. Your job is not to figure out how it’s going to happen, but to open the door in your head and when the doors open in real life, just walk through….You’re ready and able to do beautiful things in this world.”

The Face of Your Father

Today we live in world with a potpourri of diverse families. 

By Dr. Dina Evan


We have a tapestry of who makes up the family, who plays what role and and how we survive with missing pieces. Yep, this is the month to celebrate fathers...but who are they? Most reports today say that between 40% to 68% of women are heads of households depending upon the community and the numbers are on the rise.
In gay families, a woman or two guys can take on the responsibilities of Dad. 

In the homes where Mom is working several jobs, often the oldest sibling, male or female, is sadly the default father. So here is a big thank you, first to the fathers who gladly embraced the responsibility and provide the presence, teaching and love that sacred position invites. And also, big applause to all the other beloved siblings, sponsors, grandparents, mentors, teachers, partners, extended family members and others who do as well.

No longer is the gift of acting as Dad or Mom confined to gender, birth right or yang energy. Being a Dad is about an open heart, open hand, compassion and commitment. The teachers of old decided God should a male figure because more folks would relate. Today, many realize that special Spirit or Energy is both yin and yang, male and female. Could it be that we are realizing that is true for all of us? Whether you are male or female, to whom could you give the gift of supporting someone like a Dad or role model? If you are still looking for your purpose, consider changing a life.

My fourth grade, four-foot, five-inch, sixty-something plus teacher, Ms. Franklin was the epitome of spinster teachery, in high top shoes, long skirts and tiny glasses. She was strict and meant business. At the time, my mom was home drunk all the time and my Dad was missing in action. Ms. Franklin noticed I had lost confidence in myself and one day in the Phoenix heat, she maneuvered her way out on the playground where I was sitting alone and she sat down beside me. In her soft, reverberating voice she said, “So, how long are you going to pretend you are not smart?” 

Thinking I was in trouble I looked at her anticipating her disapproval. She put her little wrinkled hand on mine and said, “You know I have this feeling you are having a hard time at home, but I see something in you that you might be having trouble seeing because of all that mess. So I just wanted to tell you that you can stop playing dumb because we both know that you are a very smart girl inside and I don’t want to see you hiding that no matter how silly your parents are. Do we have a deal here?” I nodded and she simply got up and left me with many future little nods and winks when she passed out my greatly improved grades. She was my Dad, so to speak, and she changed my life.

Then there was the beautiful French opera singer in our church who told me at age ten I had a good voice and should sing on the talent show at school. She gave me soft leather gloves and French combs for my hair when we moved. She took my face in her hands and loving looked into my eyes and said, “Never forget who you are and that you are special.” There was a couple next door, Paul and Bobbi Malone, who invited me for dinner on the nights my mom forgot to make one. They had four kids but treated me as one of their own, with so much support and love there were moments of sanity in my life. My favorite spiritual mentor was  80 year old Irene Thorstad. I sat for hours at her feet just soaking in all the wisdom she lovingly shared. I often feel she’s an angel on my shoulder today.

After raising four kids alone and working two jobs most of my life, I was shocked when the admissions counselor and V.P of the college stopped me mid-sentence as I was lauding his amazing books. He, said, “Oh no, young lady it is I who am amazed with you! How in the name of heaven did you fast for thirty-seven days on water for the Equal Rights Amendment and raise four kids by yourself?” I welled up in tears at his unexpected comment and in that moment, the fear left and I knew I would succeed at this over-whelming adventure I was about to begin in my early forties. So many mom-dads and dad dads. So many gifts. This whole article could be filled with the names of the people in my life who cared enough to be mother or Dad when I needed them most. Don’t miss your chance to be an indelible gift on the character and spirit of someone you love. Happy father’s day from all of us!


Dr. Evan specializes in relationships, personal and professional empowerment, compassion and consciousness. 602-997-1200, email DrDinaEvan@cox.net and www.DrDinaEvan.com

C H A N G E


“That’s not the girl I fell in love with.”  “He’s nothing like he used to be.”

“I don’t even know who you are anymore.”


By Dr. Marlo Archer

“When I hear spouses say these sorts of things about each other, I bristle and every fiber in my body wants to scream out, “Of course! What did you expect?”

Let’s take this to its most obvious point. Consider a 16-year-old kid named Kelly, just got a drivers’ license and the first job, just learning about how much taxes are going to come out of a paycheck, and enjoying the frantic attention of another 16-year-old kid with the same raging hormones. What is Kelly like? Optimistic? Responsible? Monogamous? Thoughtful? Impulsive? Funny? Annoying? Dangerous?

Now consider an 82-year old named Chris whose spouse of 52 years just died of cancer. Chris has 13 grand-children and 3 greats and one more on the way. Chris has lived in 12 U.S. States and one foreign country. Chris owns a home, two cars, and is thinking it may be time to get rid of both cars because it’s hard to see to drive.  What is Chris like? Depressed? Centered? Well-Rounded? Happy? Angry? Mature? Horny? Spontaneous?

Now consider what if Kelly and Chris are just the same person, Kelly at age 16 and Kelly again at age 82. Is it possible for the 16-year-old who was described to turn into exactly the 82-year-old that was described? Of course it is. Would we say the 82-year-old is anything like the 16-year-old version of him/herself? I should hope not. What if Kelly hadn’t changed in 66 years and still acted like they did when they were 16. Is that reasonable? Is that even advisable? No, of course not.

When we lay it out in the extreme, it seems obvious that people change drastically over time and with major life events. However, that starts happening right from Day 1. It doesn’t happen magically overnight at age 52.  It happens each and every day that we walk the planet and have experiences. It happens in leaps and bounds when major things happen like going to college, graduating, buying a car, getting pregnant, moving to follow a job, losing high school friends, cutting down on social activities, changing the amount of drugs or alcohol we use, when our income goes up, or down, when we change climates, cultures, put a large amount of debt on a credit card….

People who are in relationships need to quit thinking that it’s reasonable for their partner to be the same as they were even 5 or 10 years ago, particularly if they’ve made any life changes, and especially if they’ve made big ones. It doesn’t even matter if the changes are all positive and desired. We wanted to get married, start a family, and buy a house… Yes, and you did, and that changed you both. Forever. Irreversibly. 

Change is not inherently bad or good. Rather, change is inevitable and constant. To partner with someone and then expect them to be a happy-go-lucky 16-year-old while you’re also expecting them to hold a stressful job and pay a mortgage and raise children is ridiculous and is an absolute recipe for failure and disappointment.

The Takeaway

Do not partner with someone that you worship just the way they are. Partner with someone who looks like they have what it takes to morph and change and adapt to life’s challenges and still be someone you like who likes you.

Dr. Marlo Archer is a licensed psychologist; treating kids, teens and families in Tempe, Arizona. www.DrMarlo.com. A certified psychodramatist, Dr. Archer co-founded the Arizona Psychodrama Institute which unites creative individuals from across Arizona under the common mission of teaching Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy to organizations, professionals, and students whose practices would be enhanced by using action methods. www.AzPsychodrama.com. She was also the 2013 winner of the Zerka T. Moreno award from the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama.

Passion & Prayer

by Alan Cohen


The powerful movie Dangerous Beauty recounts the story of Veronica Frankl, a 16th century Venetian courtesan (prostitute for noblemen) who wins the hearts of her clients. Veronica is beautiful, witty, and full of passion for life and her profession. Her clients feel her terrific life force, and they are lifted from the grayness of their lives.

The Great Inquisition overtakes Venice, and Veronica is brought to trial on charges of witchcraft. The judge sternly tells her that if she confesses to being a witch, her life will be spared. In a stirring courtroom soliloquy, Veronica declares, “I confess. . .I confess that I find more ecstasy in passion than in prayer. Such passion is prayer.”

For those of us who have been taught that prayer or spirituality requires denying our passion, Veronica’s statement may come as a shock. But, as Phillip Brooks noted, “Prayer is not the overcoming of God’s reluctance, but the taking hold of God’s willingness.” And what is God’s willingness, but the experience of joy and abundance in every area of life?
While giving a talk at a church in a conservative area of the country, I noticed that nearly everyone in the church looked the same. The women had the same hairdos, the men wore the same suits, and most of the conversations fell within the middle of the bell curve of what is socially acceptable. If you saw the movie Pleasantville, you get the picture. Congenial but not exciting.

Then a teenage fellow with orange hair walked into the church. Now I confess that I have had judgments about people who dye their hair weird colors and have metal objects inserted in various bodily orifices. But that day I was really glad to see that guy. He was the only person in that church, as far as I could tell, who was making a statement for individual expression.

At another time I sat through a fairly boring church Christmas service. As soon as the service was over and people were milling out, some upbeat music came over the loudspeaker. I looked up into the balcony and saw two teenagers who came alive and started dancing to this music. Suddenly my heart lifted. It was the first shred of aliveness I felt during the service. I think Jesus would have appreciated it, too.

Then there was the time I spoke at a small church in the Midwest. That day the Sunday school teacher didn’t show up, so the church elders took the class, which consisted of a half- dozen boys about the age of 10, and stuck them in the first row of the church, hoping this would keep the kids in line. My talk was on making the most of wherever you are. You can imagine my surprise when I looked over to see all of these boys sitting there with quarters in their eye sockets! At first I was jarred, then I had to hand it to them. They were the only people in the church who put my lesson into practice immediately!

A fun way to evaluate your activities is by doing “energy scans’ on yourself and others in any given situation. Have you ever seen a magazine or television advertisement for home insulation, where they show a thermograph of a home in the wintertime? The photo shows most of the home as blue, indicating the area that is well-insulated. Some of the areas, especially around doors and windows, are glowing red, indicating the places where heat is leaking out.

Over a long period of time we have been trained to believe that life is about staying insulated, rather than glowing with passion. God, however, is most present and obvious where people are happy and alive. This means that there is more genuine prayer happening at football games than most churches. If churches could work up enthusiasm, presence of attention, and spirit as well as professional football, religion in our country would really rock. But many people walk out of most churches more dead than alive. If next Sunday we made a rule that only those people who would really love to go to church go, I wonder what attendance would look like. But the good news is that the energy in church would be spectacular. I would rather teach to a small group who really want to be there, than to a large group whose mind was on golf. To that group I would say, “Please, go golf. Let the golf course be your church.” Such passion is prayer.

Wherever there is passion, there is church. Wherever there is aliveness, there is God. True prayer is not mumbling a set of words, but energetically expressing what makes you feel most alive. When you love what you are doing, you are God in action.



Alan Cohen is the author the new bestseller A Course in Miracles Made Easy: Mastering the Journey from Fear to Love. Become a certified professional life coach though Alan’s transformational Life Coach Training beginning September 1. For more information about this program, his free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit www.alancohen.com.

Hot Topics

An Important Message about Teen Girls and Suicide


By Jan Hamilton, Doorways

The suicide rate for girls aged 10-14 has tripled from 1999 to 2014. In fact, the CDC has reported the suicide rate has increased by 24% since 1999, and has been increasing by 2% per year since 2006. Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24.
Two-thirds of people who commit suicide suffered from depression and most of them had not sought out or received treatment.
The question to ask is —
What can we do to help these kids?
The first thought that comes to mind is that we need to remove the stigma associated with having depression (or any other mental health issue).  We need to show kids that it’s okay to admit they have struggles and help is available to them.
 How do we do this?
Admitting and seeking treatment for our own mental health concerns.
Speaking openly about our own mental illness or mental illness that runs in our family.
Learning, understanding, and sharing correct and positive information about mental illnesses.
Replacing labels and judgment with inclusion and respect for those who suffer from mental health challenges.
For help addressing the subject with your teen or young adult, give Doorways a call. Consultations are free to any parent seeking help. In addition, we run a DBT Skills Group on Monday nights and a DBT Skills IOP which both can give young people the tools they need to have successful relationships and boundaries.

 With school getting out soon, it would be the perfect time for a student aged 13-17 to get involved in either of these fun and life-changing programs.

For more information: 602-997-2880, E:  Jan@doorwaysarizona.com or visit www.doorwaysarizona.com.


The Meadows Celebrates 40 Years
On Friday, June 24, The Meadows will celebrate 40 years of excellence in helping patients struggling with addiction and behavioral health disorders. The open house event will take place at the Meadows Outpatient Center in Scottsdale, Arizona from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Arizona MST.

The Meadows was one of the first addiction treatment programs in Arizona. When the first patient was admitted on June 18, 1976, the program was focused primarily on alcoholism and was geared toward men.

In the 40 years since, The Meadows has expanded to treat both men and women with a wide variety of addictions, trauma, and disorders.

It has added several specialty programs including Gentle Path at the Meadows for men struggling with sex addiction; The Claudia Black Young Adult Center for people aged 18 – 26 with addiction and behavioral health issues; Remuda Ranch at The Meadows for women and girls with eating disorders; and The Meadows Outpatient Center for those who need treatment in an intensive outpatient setting.

The Meadows recently opened the Rio Retreat Center at the Meadows where they host 5-day intensive workshops exploring a wide range of spiritual and emotional topics.
Throughout the years, The Meadows has also stayed on the cutting edge of treatment modalities. From the beginning, they were one of the first to recognize childhood trauma as a root cause of addiction and behavioral health disorders and pioneered treatment methods for helping patients overcome their trauma and harmful self-beliefs. Still, to this day, they are often among the first to add the latest, scientifically proven methods for helping patients regulate their emotions and overcome their addictions and disorders—methods like EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, and most recently, neurofeedback.

“It is hard to find an area of mental health or addiction recovery that hasn’t been influenced in one way or another by the Meadows,” says Sean Walsh, Chief Executive Officer. “When I think of the thousands upon thousands of patients and families whose lives have been forever changed as a result of the Meadows it is an overwhelming and very humbling experience. The Meadows history and  legacy inspires me to strive every day to ensure we are pursuing excellence and that we do all we can to be a source of hope and light to those we are honored to treat.”  RSVP for the 40th Anniversary celebration: sspollen@themeadows.org.

Senator McCain wants Hearing on Prescription Drug Abuse and Professional Sports
U.S. Senator John McCain of AZ is calling for a Senate hearing on the link between professional sports and prescription drug abuse, ABC News reported.
McCain said he wants the Senate Commerce Committee to convene hearings on drug abuse and addiction in professional sports. The hearings should also cover major injuries such as concussions, he said. “As a specific relation to professional sports, frankly, I don’t think they’ve done enough” to address painkiller addiction, McCain said on the ESPN/ABC podcast “Capital Games.”

“I’d like to see more attention on the [sic] Congress on this whole unique aspect and dangers and hazards that are true in professional sports, especially the contact sports,” McCain said. “Why don’t we make people aware of the dangers of these painkillers, of getting hooked on them? Why don’t we do a better job of awareness?”

According to a blog by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), some professional football players may abuse prescription drugs to cover up the pain that can result from football-related injuries. The National Football League (NFL) bans players from using, possessing or distributing illegal drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, Ecstasy and PCP, as well as painkillers such as opioids.
“NFL players are tested for drugs at certain points throughout the season, and again at other times if a player fails a drug test, or is arrested in connection with drug use, or shows sign of drug abuse,” NIDA notes.

A player who violates the NFL’s drug policy once receives 90 days of treatment and unannounced testing. A second-time violation results in two years of treatment and testing, in addition to a four-game suspension if the player does not stick with the treatment or tests positive. If a player violates the policy three times and does not stay with treatment or has a positive test for marijuana, he gets a 10-game suspension, or a year-long ban from the League for using other drugs.

Medical Experts Raise Alarms About Marijuana “Dabbing”
Medical experts are concerned about marijuana “dabbing,” a potentially dangerous way of using the drug. Dabbing appears to be increasingly popular among young people in New York City, according to The New York Times.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), dabbing is a method used to convert marijuana into a concentrate. It uses butane, which is highly flammable, to extract THC from the cannabis plant. THC is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. This process has resulted in violent explosions, the DEA noted.

While marijuana in its traditional plant form has a THC concentration of about 20 percent, the wax used for dabbing can have a concentration of up to 80 percent, according to the DEA.

“In this process, shredded or ground up plant material is stuffed into a glass, metal, or plastic pipe, with a filter on one end and then the butane is forced in the open end of the pipe,” the DEA explains in a brochure. “As the butane goes through the pipe, the THC within the plant material is extracted and forced through the filter, usually into a receptacle. The receptacle is then heated to burn off the remaining butane, creating a butane gas.”

Dabbing is popular among teenagers, as well as workers on Wall Street, the article notes. Many people use vaporizers and vape pens, which are similar to e-cigarettes. They squeeze the extract into the chamber inside the pen and inhale.

The marijuana extract, also known as shatter, butter and honey, is on the radar of federal law enforcement officials. “We monitor any type of new twist on drug use in order to warn the public of its danger,” James J. Hunt, special agent in charge of the DEA’s New York division. “Not only is the method of production explosive, but the use has serious physical and psychological side effects.”

Congress Focuses on Treatment, Not Restricting Access
Congress is focusing on expanding treatment for opioid addiction instead of restricting access to painkillers in its efforts to address the opioid epidemic, The New York Times reports.
Legislators seem to be willing to allow opioid prescriptions to remain widely accessible, the article notes.

The U.S. House aimed at addressing the nation’s opioid crisis, will work with the Senate to craft compromise legislation. The bills would increase prescription drug monitoring and treatment; fund efforts to dispose of prescription drugs; and assist states that want to expand the availability of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone. The Senate bill would expand the availability of medication-assisted treatment, including in criminal justice settings, and would support treatment as an alternative to incarceration.

Congress passed a measure, signed by President Obama, that limited the powers of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to go after pharmacies and wholesalers the agency believes have contributed to the opioid epidemic.

Chain pharmacies and drug distributors said DEA investigations hurt their businesses when the agency ordered immediate closures of pharmacies determined to be destinations for people addicted to opioids who were looking for more pills.

“The DEA has employed the same disrupt-and-dismantle tactics to take down international drug cartels and other criminals as it does to combat prescription drug abuse,” said John Gray, the President of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association, a trade organization for drug wholesalers.

Current and former DEA officials said a powerful lobby got the law passed. “Under this law, the bad actors simply have to promise to be good, and we won’t take them to court to punish them for what they’ve already done,” said Joseph T. Rannazzisi, former Director of the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control.