Winter 2016

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to All!

Winter is always such a joy here in Palm Springs, but we hope that our friends in colder parts of the country are keeping cozy. We are looking forward to spending time with our children and grandchildren this Christmas which falls on the same day as Hanukkah. What a blessed day!  We are also feeling especially blessed to start off 2017, the year of manifestations and new beginnings, with our new and improved website design for! and Hired Power recently hosted the 4th Annual Admissions & Marketing Symposium in Beverly Hills, CA.  We were thrilled to see people from myriad parts of the industry sharing information with each other, learning from experts in the industry, and having a great time overall. Since then, Jim and I have also hosted a wonderful Holiday Party at Addiction Therapeutic Services, co-sponsored by Dynamic Labs, and want to extend a warm thank you to our guests for attending. We are thankful to the CEO of Dynamic Labs, Stampp Corbin, who spoke at the event and helped to get recovery professionals and business owners up to speed on some of the insurance-related challenges in our industry.

At the moment, we are looking ahead to the Impact Behavioral Health Conference which will take place on January 29th and 30th, 2017 as well as the Woman’s Desert Show on January 14th. When you come to the educational and empowering Show, look for the “Heartbreak of Addiction” Panel moderated by Josie Herndon. Many distinguished individuals who have claimed their sobriety will share their stories.  

And now, to the Holiday 2016 Edition which has been prepared by a team led by Creative Editor Richard Noble! He comes to us with a background in photography (Hollywood syndicated!), journalism, spiritual awakening and recovery. Read more about him here and learn more about his life as an activist on Wikipedia.

We are happy to have his insight, passion and expertise reflected in this superbly diverse edition featuring educational articles, inspiring interviews, creative pieces, and mini memoirs.  We hope it inspires YOU to join the dialogue! If you have been thinking about writing an article or preparing a creative piece like a poem, story, or artwork, we encourage you to go for it! If you have an idea in mind and would like some assistance working through the details, please contact our Creative Editor for helpful resources.

In the Spotlight this month is Jessica Rodriguez, PhD, MAC, CATC-V, CTRTC, CAI, CIP, CSC, FSS!  In her article “Christmas Holiday: Forgiveness and Resiliency” Dr. Rodriguez shares her own story. A story of recurring pain and suffering during the holidays that we know many people can relate to.  But her story is also one of transformation. Read the piece to find out how Dr. Rodriguez’s change of perspective completely changed her experience.

Lee McCormick, a loved member of the treatment community well known for his Spirit Recovery journeys, has provided a great piece for this edition called, “A New Covenant - Children of the Sun.”  The article brings light to the many spiritual mysteries and questions that often keep many of us embroiled in confusion for one major purpose: to demonstrate how we can make “a deeper commitment,” in recovery and really build a strong relationship with the self!

“Government Helps Those Who Help Themselves,” is Stampp Corbin’s, MBA, valuable contribution to this month.  We thank Corbin, the President of Addiction Treatment Advocacy Coalition, for keeping us abreast of what is going on in our industry with regards to insurance companies and their often unfair treatment of addiction treatment providers. Corbin’s article encourages us to join in the fight and level the playing field so that we can stay focused on what we do best… provide excellent clinical care for those in need!

Cali Estes’, MS, ICADC, CAP, CPT, CYT, IMAC, wrote “Staying Sober Through the Holidays” to tell you in advance what could cause Holiday stress and to help you prepare for the inevitable. With tips, an action plan and a new perspective on the holiday “state of mind,” this piece will lay out a framework for not only dealing with the holidays, but actually enjoying this wonderful season.

Many of our authors are known for telling it to you straight. But Ricardo Whyte, M.D. has put his ideas into outline format so that readers can really understand his important topic. “Can Addiction Rehabilitation Be Holistic, Comprehensive and Practical?” explains the answer to a big question that treatment providers struggle with through a method of assessment that Dr. Whyte calls “the 7 Vital Areas of Wholeness.”

“Three Short Stories” by Ray Montella, Ph.D., MFT, provides three little slices of life about growing up in a dysfunctional, abusive family system.  We love it when our authors get creative, and we especially love it when they give us a sweet ending!

Rev. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D., DCC, DDVA, DLC, DD, NCIP, NCAMP, IMAC

highlights a much less talked about issue in the recovery field.  A “Pathological Gambling: A Growing Problem” tells us, right off the bat, that gambling is significantly more serious than we have ever realized. Please read this one and consider how you, your loved ones, or your clients might be affected by this issue.   

Our contributors come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds. This time around, we are grateful to feature U.S. Senator Cory Booker who has written a piece called “Fairness in the Criminal Justice System.” We all know that many people in recovery come to us with legal issues among other problems. It’s time to follow Senator Booker’s lead and stay on top criminal justice reform movements so that people who need a second chance, can actually get one.

While we often use legality as a standard for making decisions in our lives, that may not not be appropriate some cases according to Darryl S. Inaba, PharmD, CADC-V, CADC III.  “If Cannabis is legal, does that mean it’s safe?” touches upon the many dangers of marijuana usage that many users overlook in this day and age due to its availability and legality. has been keeping a close eye on regulatory issues. “The New Normal? Avoiding Risk and Preparing for Growing Scrutiny of Addiction Treatment” by Harry Nelson, Esq.  contains information that every recovery facility needs to know in order to both stay out of legal trouble as well as operate by higher ethical standards.

This edition’s featured members is Agapi Stassinopoulos.

This remarkable woman is an accomplished writer, speaker and overall inspirer!   Read the exclusive interview featured in this Holiday Edition to find out what it is that makes Agapi’s inspiration so unique, and how those in recovery can apply her wisdom to live the kind of life they’ve been praying for.  You will walk away from this interview in awe of the positive and loving energy that comes through.

Among the many resources you will find within the Holiday Edition is a heartwarming book by Stassinopoulos. “Unbinding the Heart” features snippets from Stassinopoulos’ life as a child, an actress, writer, and so much more.   The wisdom she shares in this page-turner will surely buoy your spirits and inspire you in new ways.  

We are also pleased to present the third episode of Reef Madness called \"Exercise vs. Anti-Depressants\" which is our Featured Video for this edition. Reef Madness is an entertaining online show hosted by Reef Karim, D.O. geared at getting people to talk honestly and openly about behavioral health care.  Dr. Reef blends expert with comedy when he breaks down a study showing exercise to be as effective as antidepressant medication. Dr. Reef also mentions America\'s reliance on taking prescription pills because it\'s \"so much easier.\"

We want to take this opportunity to thank our members, our readers and the sponsor of the current edition, Impact Behavioral Health Conference.

Finally, we thank our incredible authors for supporting our efforts and send a special message for our Readers: now is the time to become writers and send us your research, your creativity, your perspective, as we continue to offer even more useful content for treatment providers and individuals seeking recovery in 2017.   Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Happy Holidays and Blessed Holy Days!

In Love and Light,

Josie and Jim Herndon

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