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Well Wishes As Visions’ Joseph Rogers Moves On

Joseph Rogers has been with Visions since 2005, first as a recovery mentor at our Mulholland facility and later becoming the Director of Education at the Outpatient Day School. Joseph has run the Mindfulness Meditation/11th Step, Spirituality group since 2007, exploring how developing spiritual practice is applicable to recovery. He also co-facilitates the Outpatient DBT Skills group with Jesse Engdahl on Wednesdays. Two and a half years ago, Joseph stepped down from the Director position in order to pursue a Masters of Divinity degree and begin the process of stepping into his new role of Chaplain. This has been a …

Highlights from Celebrating Fiona Ray

Fiona Ray has stepped into her new role as Clinical Director and we wanted to kick things off with a bang. We do love to celebrate our team and their accomplishments! Last Friday, the Recovery community had the opportunity to come and congratulate Fiona, see what we are doing as a company, and check out the digs in Brentwood.   It was so wonderful to see so many familiar and new faces, share great food (which included Pink Berry), and  mingle with so many wonderful members of this community. Major kudos go to Angela Carrillo, our Los Angeles Outreach Coordinator, …

Strengthening our Adolescent Friendships

Adolescence is the time when long-standing friendships are developed and refined. Friendships can also take a real beating in adolescence as a result of several mitigating factors, which can include:   Different stages of maturation Bullying Perception of popularity or lack thereof Emotional and physical changes Mood swings   Friendships require a commitment from both people involved to be active participants in the relationship, and they require reciprocation in order to be successful. In other words, they need to be a two-way street. Reciprocation requires active listening and compassion. It means showing up for each other even when things are …

Be of Service, Ask For Help: Repeat

Be of service, do the steps, ask for help. Repeat. Recovery and sobriety is something that we have to work for; it doesn’t come wrapped in a beautiful package with a bow and rainbows. It takes work: hard, dedicated, committed work. You’ll have to start feeling those feelings you may have used as fodder for your drinking and using.  You’ll have to be present for your own life and start taking responsibility for not only your actions but for your feelings as well.   “I am responsible . . . When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the …

Cultivating Gratitude and Being of Service

Gratitude. It’s a feeling that runs deep in our bones and one that warms the skin and opens the heart. Gratitude is something we can cultivate through kind acts and positive intentions. When I work with new people in recovery, and even when I work with people who have been in recovery for a while, I ask them to write gratitude lists. We are faced with frustrating challenges, difficult people, illnesses, loss, sadness, and it’s easy to get lost in that dark, sticky stuff. Life can be difficult; it is less so when we can pay attention to the good …

Acknowledging and Honoring Grief

With addiction and mental illness comes something that we often don’t want to look at, which is grief and the deep sense of loss that arrives when we or a family member steps into recovery. Drugs and alcohol and/or mental illness are often viewed as the villains in the aftermath of addiction. But the underlying weight of grief often gets shoved to the side or bypassed entirely.   The truth is, grief can be crippling. It can take the wind out of us and make us feel like we’ve landed flat on our faces, gasping for air. When we ignore …

Foundations in Recovery: Being of Service

What is evident in any recovery practice is the encouragement and urging to be of service. The call to be of service starts in treatment and continues into aftercare and beyond.  Service work is a foundational piece in recovery, and it is something that provides a salient way to recognize we are not alone.   Often times, someone comes into recovery with a sense of feeling alone, unheard, empty, vulnerable, and emotionally and sometimes physically shattered. Parents and loved ones are often worn down from the negative impact of their child’s poor actions and disruptive behavior that resulted from their …

How Do You and Your Teen Deal with Conflict?

Conflict comes up frequently in the adolescent years, almost as though drama and discord are part of the growing-up process. But how our kids learn to deal with conflict is often a result of watching the way the adults around them deal with it. Parents, teachers, mentors, influential adults: all are their mirrors.   Where conflict becomes problematic is in the unskillful ways in which it’s managed. Teens need to develop self-regulation skills so they can A: recognize what has triggered their anger, and B: respond to it skillfully.   Try any of these 5 suggestions to help manage conflict: …

My Child is Emotionally Disconnected – Is it Alexithymia?

There is a clinical term for someone with the inability to correctly identify or describe his or her feelings.  It’s called Alexithymia, a term introduced in 1972 by Peter Sifneos. It’s important to recognize that alexithymia isn’t a diagnosis, but rather a construct used to describe someone that demonstrates the inability to understand or articulate his or her feelings.  Someone affected by alexithymia literally cannot put words to their feelings, despite the desire to do so. It’s difficult for someone with alexithymia to relate to his or her own experiences or even grasp the experiences of others. This can be …

Willingness: A Condition of Recovery

Willingness means: “The quality or state of being prepared to do something.”    Finding willingness to take a leap into the unknown is a feat that is often met with great resistance. Early on, one is asked how willing they are to change their behaviors, their circle of friends, or their reactions to difficulty. They are asked to find the willingness to take that first step toward healing, because the truth is, no one can make you take that step—you have to do it yourself. It takes the willingness of the person seeking change. And it’s scary. There is a …

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