Check out this interview with Gabor Maté, MD, Canadian Doctor and Addiction Specialist.
I recently helped a father to get sober after years of addiction to opioids and alcohol. He said “it feels SO GOOD to get honest…. um, kinda sorted, well mostly honest, well okay there is some stuff I left out because I’m too ashamed to talk about it.” We all need someone on our side, especially if we need to get honest with ourselves before we get honest with others.
It’s bad ass when clients see articles like this in my waiting room, or online, then come in to therapy appointments ready to face their pain, learn, and change patterns of thinking and behaving.
You might have heard that we “can’t save our ass and save our face at the same time,” (thank you NA), but that sure the hell doesn’t stop brilliant addict brains 🧠 from trying.
We learn the most from the people we serve. Mostly from teenagers, I’ve that we can’t criticize ourselves into positive and lasting change. We can’t criticize ourselves out of criticizing ourselves. The trap of negativity creates the illusion of growth and change.
When I was a younger therapist, I would say things like, “Don’t beat yourself up…give yourself a break….”. Now that I’m a little more um seasoned, I say things like, “You can go ahead and beat yourself up, I can’t stop you, just not all day.”’
In therapy (along with concurrent programs like AA and NA), many clients reduce the negative thinking that comes with addiction by 50% and then, when the time is right, we walk through that fire 🔥 together.
James Wogan, MFT, LCSW, is a child and family therapist in Rockridge Oakland, CA. James brings a unique combination of experience, knowledge and skills into his private practice counseling office. James also teaches, leads trainings / professional development, and works for equity and community health as a school administrator in public education. James developed and administered highly successful and state-recognized programs such as School-based Wellness Centers, Foster Youth Services, the Homeless Outreach Program for Education (HOPE), Interagency Collaboration / Integrated Care, Expulsion Diversion / District Positive Behavior Team, and Youth Employment Services (WIOA YES) to strengthen workforce readiness for people beginning rewarding careers after high school. James wrote the framework and has trained hundreds of staff members in trauma informed practice through the lens of equity and School Coordinated Care Teams, the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) used for the delivery of support services in school settings. James lived in Tokyo, Japan where he was a child and family therapist serving students who attended international schools. James’ career in family therapy, social work and public education has included program development, publications and workshops on adolescent mental health, suicide prevention, parenting, expatriate family dynamics, interagency collaboration, LGBTQ youth, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), and trauma-informed practices.
James brings stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to the table and engages openly in conversations about race and privilege. His work has earned recognition from the United States Congress, California Senate and Assembly, and awards from the PTA Association of California, and NASW Northern California for developing outstanding internship / field placement training for BSW and MSW candidates at San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, CSU East Bay, and UC Berkeley. James is an active advocate for equity and inclusion, bringing youth, parent, and caregiver voice to local and state government.
James graduated from UC Berkeley (MSW) and Guilford College in North Carolina (B.S. with honors). He also studied at CSU-East Bay, the California School of Professional Psychology, San Francisco State University, and the University of North Carolina (UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Greensboro). James provides clinical supervision for candidates pursuing licensure as LCSW or LMFT. He enjoys time with his amazing wife and two boys in the Bay Area, CA.
Email: email@example.com i-mobile: 925.250.5500 Twitter: @jameswogan
LinkedIn: jameswogan FlipBoard® Magazines: Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Suicide Prevention, Interagency Collaboration, Foster Youth Education
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