Life Altering Decisions

At church on Easter Sunday, the minister asked “what decisions have you made in your life that turned your life in a different direction?” For me the first one was easy – taking a job that led me to meeting my future husband. The second life changing decision was when we took the advice of an educational consultant and ultimately … Read More

Lessons From the Autism Symposium

Karyn Kaminski, May Peach, and Louise Slater attended the Autism Symposium held in Sundance, Utah the first week of April.  Karyn sat on a panel, “When ASD and SUD Combine: A Panel Discussion” and shared her advocacy for more cross training between substance use and autism programs and therapists, as well as thoughts on how diagnostically autism can be missed … Read More

Girls Autism Diagnosis Frequently Missed

April is Autism Awareness Month so we are writing about Autism. At the Autism Symposium, there was a session that really helped me understand why girls with autism are diagnosed much less frequently and later than same-aged boys.  The presentation was titled “Hidden in Plain Sight… Women’s Camouflage of Autism” led by Jillian Allen, M.A. and Bayley Mays, J.D..  Brightstone … Read More

Importance of Peer Groups and Young Adults

I have just finished reading the book Tribe.  The author, Sebastian Junger, makes the key point that we, as a species, were made to live in community with each other.  He spent much of his adult life in the military and quasi-military operations that put his life and others’ lives in danger.  It would seem that these time periods when … Read More

Travels in Utah Day Two & Three

We began our second day at Ascend Recovery with Guy Hardcastle in American Fork. Guy explained to us that Ascend was for adults who realized they needed help with their substance use issues or a process issue and were ready to do the clinical work necessary to begin a life of recovery. Ascend is truly competent with clients who have … Read More

Utah Travels Day One

Our trip to Utah is totally packed with program visits, as usual!  We visited New Roads Treatment Center in Provo, Utah.  They have 3 distinct programs within their residential treatment program:  one for men with primary substance and co-occurring mental illness issues called “Path”, one for men with more of a mental health diagnosis but with some substance use called … Read More

Sharing Your Story

Jared Murray is a friend and colleague of mine that works at The Reprieve for Men in Alabama. He was asked recently to give his testimony at his home church in Alabama about addiction, recovery and his life story. The preacher used a Bible translation that made some of the words in Romans chapters 6-8 fresh and new for me. … Read More

The “Contagion” of Suicidal Ideation and How to Interrupt These Thoughts

On October 18th, at the Young Adult Transition Association (YATA) conference, I heard a lecture by an author, Lee Daniel Kravetz, about his book, Strange Contagion: Inside the Surprising Science of Infectious Behaviors and Viral Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves.  He studied “contagion” of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and wrote a book about it. His idea and … Read More

ARISE Intervention Conference

I had the pleasure of attending the ARISE Intervention workshop at Cumberland Heights Lodge in Nashville, Tennessee last week along with about 50 other people from all over the US. Louise went with me to get re-certified since she did the workshop about this same time last year. The key workshop presenters were Dr. Judith Landau, Sarah Hills, and Kevin … Read More