Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Bridge To Recovery

For those of you who are avid readers, I apologize for the lack of posting for the last couple of weeks. I've been on the road for work and haven't had access to wireless internet. Here's the first of a few updates.

I spent a long weekend in Bowling Green, KY doing a referent weekend at The Bridge to Recovery, a residential treatment center with a focus on codependency. With tracks starting a 14 days and going up through 90, The Bridge can do treatment like I've never seen, focusing almost solely on family members of addicts as well as addicts themselves. Carol Cannon, one of the founders and a pioneer in the field of codependence (and published a couple of books, most notably "Hooked on Unhappiness") provided one of the best definitions of codependence I've ever heard:

“Codependence is the pain in adulthood that comes from being wounded in childhood, which leads to a high probability of relationship problems and addictive disorders in later life.”

With a huge focus on trauma and codependency, I was really impressed with The Bridge. This was also an amazing weekend to be there, as it was both the 35th anniversary of The Bridge AND the retirement celebration for the founders, Paul and Carol Cannon. I got the opportunity to meet and speak with alumni from all the back in the late 80s, and really got a feel for the work that they were doing. In addition, Dr. Stephen Grinstead of Addiction Free Pain Management , who also works with Terry Gorski doing Relapse Prevention training, told his story and lead a workshop on "Identifying and Managing the Inner Saboteur." He took the clients through his workshop, as well as the visitors (like myself), staff, and alumni. A really powerful experience to do some difficult group work and look at how denial manifests in our daily lives. Also got the opportunity to hear stories from Josie Ramirez-Herndon and Dr. Jeff Seat over the weekend, a truly great experience.

Overall, a fantastic visit. I wouldn't hesitate to send a family member to treatment at the Bridge, and I'm looking forward to doing some work with them in the future. Such a diamond in the rough; it's weird to think that they've been around for 35 years and yet are not really known about on the West Coast. Hopefully we can spread the word; long term treatment for family members of addicts can only provide a healthier, more supportive network for people trying to maintain their recovery.

Here's a video about The Bridge to Recovery:

In the next blog: my trip to Nashville.

Here's something funny, Will Ferrell's video about health insurance.

As always, follow me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. Become a fan of the blog on Facebook. And see you tomorrow.

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