Letter from the Editor – 30th Edition

September often feels like a second New Year, with a new school year beginning and the change of season ushering in cooler weather and the holidays. It holds the promise of growth and celebration, which is what also makes it the perfect time to commemorate Recovery Month. As its official website (www.recoverymonth.gov) states, “Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.” We dedicate this Recovery Month Special Edition to furthering and celebrating that message.

“Growing up in a family where there is parental addiction shapes relationships, shapes experience, expectations, trust, and quality of connection.” So begins Dr. Tian Dayton’s article about how adult children of alcoholics’ (ACoAs) relationships with others are impacted as a result of growing up alongside addiction. With practical tips on how to recognize and adjust for deeply ingrained negative responses, along with a link to a webinar on the subject, this article is packed with guidance and support.

Eating disorders are notoriously challenging to treat due their multi-faceted and layered nature. Hyla Cass, M.D. prescribes her clients a treatment that may surprise many: food. But it’s not what you might think. Don’t miss this important article.

Dr. Richard Fields faces head-on the topic of relapse in drug and alcohol addiction. Though a serious topic, his approach may surprise you. Especially in its proven effectiveness.

Are you happy? What does that actually mean and how on earth do any of us figure out if we really are? Dr. Brian Luke Seaward has a few ideas, drawing on ancient techniques from wisdom-keepers and sages, in his article “Seasons of the Soul: The Zen of Happiness”.

Award-winning screenwriter, author, and producer, Robert Hammond, gives us a glimpse into how writing his personal story led him to deep healing and lasting recovery. He champions the power of story-telling as an effective tool for recovery in this insightful article.

Growing up gay may not be something one automatically associates with addiction and other self-destructive coping mechanisms. Yet Thomas Mondragon, MFT, offers a glimpse into the unique challenges a child growing up gay often faces, and challenges us to look at the situation and some of its possible outcomes with increased understanding and compassion.

Equine therapy has gained steady recognition of late, particularly in residential treatment settings. Still, many people do not understand how it works or its intended outcome. Gail Hromadko, MFT shares her experience as an equine therapist and breaks down this fascinating treatment approach in the first installment of a two-part series.

Peter Pamela Rose, PCC, has her computer to thank for learning to release past issues that were draining her energy and happiness in the present. She shares her aha moment with us in her article, “Closing Your Emotional Windows”.

From Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to Darth Vader as the allegorical negative counterpart to Luke Skywalker, evidence of shadow selves – those aspects of ourselves that are a bit darker, and perhaps even more frightening than the image we prefer to project – has embedded itself into cultures for generations. Marcia Ullett, MFT, lets us into her personal journey with her shadow self and explains why it’s is important to understand and even embrace our own shadow selves, particularly in the process of recovery.

John Whitaker knows firsthand the challenges of getting and staying clean, especially in a culture that often maligns those trying to do so as less-than, somehow. His experience has propelled him into the world of advocacy. He tells you how you can effectively do the same.

Growing up with addicted parents, becoming addicted yourself, falling into the world of pornography, and finding salvation from it all would be more than a lifetime’s worth of experience for many. But Jennie Ketcham takes the passion she gained from her trials and triumphs to educate and encourage others. Here, she becomes vulnerable to us in her ongoing process of keeping healthy boundaries with her still-alcoholic mother.

For those new to the field of addictions, or those who have just discovered a loved one has an addiction, the language we use to understand it can be confusing. Kelly Bawden, M.A., helps break it down into its simplest form; knowledge is power.

September’s Book Club encourages us to live our best lives yet and dream heaven. Sounds good to us!

Marcia Ullett’s new book, “Your Best Life Yet: A Journey of Purpose and Passion”, walks readers through the steps of her “Best-Life Process” to experience deeper meaning and fulfilment.

In “Dreaming Heaven”, Lee McCormack, along with co-authors, Gini Gentry, Francis Rico, and Kelly Sullivan Walden, call on the ancient Toltec wisdom found in spiritual destination, Teotihuacan, Mexico, to lead readers on a journey to “uncover his or her own true pathway…to discover who he or she is at the very core — unburdened by the conscious and unconscious obstacles that prevent full peace and self-actualization”. An accompanying workbook and dvd make this a full experience.

Finally, we catch up with Lee McCormack and learn more about his personal journey in this month’s Featured Member article. Suffice it to say, this is one interesting man with a fascinating story.

We have packed this issue with articles meant to educate, inspire, and uplift you, in the true spirit of Recovery Month. Take some time to celebrate you and all of your personal accomplishments this month – we’ll be doing the same.


Jim and Josie Herndon

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