One of the most influential clinical director's in my life was a man named Cal Boswell. When my husband was given the opportunity to become the head monk at a new buddhist center in Albuquerque- where we received transmission of the dharma and became a Buddhist Roshi, I had to get a life of my own. Gus was gone a lot. I turned a chicken coop into a wood working shop at the house we bought and I began making furniture. More importantly, I was hired to work at St. Martin's Hospitality Center. Cal Boswell hired me to work in the Dual Diagnosis capacity (this is mental health issues in combination with addiction struggles). This Hospitality Center was a huge building to serve the homeless in Albuquerque. I also had housing vouchers. We could people in school, help them find their place again. When I told Cal I didn't have any experience with addiction, he said, "No problem. We will retro-fit you with education." He believed that many issues of the mental health kind, as well as the addiction side, were trauma based. The first thing he did was pay for the very expensive EMDR training so that I could offer our clients trauma recovery to support their healing. Then he invited me to learn about as many alternate addiction recovery models as I could and start implementing whichever one seemed to appeal to clients. Cal thought that, at best, AA was only truly serving about 20-30% of our population and he thought the rest were not interested in this model.
I learned about the following methods of recovery:
- Rational Recovery
- Solution-Focused Approach To Problem Drinking
- Seven Weeks To Sobriety - a nutritional approach
- Women For Sobriety
- The Sixteen Step Canadian Model
- Harm Reduction
Fast forward to today. The book “Chasing The Scream” has addressed why tough love doesn’t work very well. This book validated much of what Cal was naming way back in 1995. The quote from the book that captures all my inspiration is this: “Abstinence isn’t the answer to addiction. Connection is.” After the training I’ve received from Brené Brown and The Daring Way™ I believe this to be the way to get back on the path to “Show Up, Be Seen, Live Brave.”™ When the reasons are outed for why people are numbing themselves, treatment can begin.