Mindful Smoking in the Community!


Day One of Mindful Smoking out in the community!

Today I will meet with four individuals in their home.  I went to bed early 8 pm.  I woke up early 4:30 am.  I made a nice breakfast of shredded wheat, slivered almonds, ½ a banana and organic milk.  I also had a cup of coffee with one of my remaining guilty pleasures 1 teaspoon of heavy whipping cream.  (No Sugar)

If I am going to do this – helping others reconnect with their tobacco/nicotine use – in the form of life coaching – I am going to do my best to live the life I wish for others.

My daughter Sherry said “Mom, You had an idea – Mindful Smoking.  You put the process together and now you’re teaching it at PCC.”  This will be another part of that!

So now a lovely person and one of my dear friends and colleagues have made it possible for me to begin this work in the community!  It appears the universe is coming together nicely!  And well – I am showing up!!!

Today I will be meeting with four beautiful young adults in their home.  They all use tobacco/nicotine of some form and they have all agreed to be an integral part of this adventure we call life!

And now I will be sharing this adventure with you.  I will be adding a tab titled In The Community where I will post the evolution of Mindful Smoking as it evolves and jells!

I welcome questions, comments and feedback – So let’s do this.

My Grace-Filled Life Truly Is!


Posted in Addiction, Grace On You, Mindful Smoking, Mindful Smoking In The Community, Reconnect with self!, Tobacco Reduce Your Use, Wellness

Treating the Personality in the Addictive Personality: A Neuroplastic Approach

Friday, April 14, 2017 8:00 am to 12:00 pm @ the Double Tree Hotel – Lloyd Center


Presented by: Anthony J. Mele, Psy.D

 The co-occurrence of borderline personality disorder and substance abuse disorders are well-documented and pose specific treatment challenges. While borderline personality disorder is often conceptualized as the behavioral manifestation of early life events amenable to intensive psychotherapy rather than biological approaches, more recent research suggests that BPD is a disabling brain disease as well as a personality disorder. Neglecting the neurobiological underpinnings of BPD may render psychotherapeutic intervention only partially successful, thereby reinforcing the cycle of affective instability that often characterizes BPD. This presentation suggests that some individuals with BPD who also have specific deficits in certain brain structure and function might benefit from a neuroplastic approach to BPD and substance abuse treatment.

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Dr. Gabor Maté is a medical doctor recently retired from active practice. He was a family physician for two decades and for seven years he served as Medical Coordinator of the Palliative Care Unit at Vancouver Hospital. For twelve years he worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hard core addiction, mental illness, HIV and related conditions. For two years he was the onsite physician at Vancouver’s unique Supervised Injection Site, North America’s only such facility. He is internationally known for his work on the mind/body unity in health and illness on attention deficit disorder and other childhood developmental issues, and his breakthrough analysis of addiction as a psychophysiological response to childhood trauma and emotional loss. He is the author of four best-selling books published in twenty languages on five continents, including When The Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection and the award winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction. Gabor is the recipient of an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Simon Fraser University and an Honorary Degree of Law from the University of Northern British Columbia, among other awards. He frequently addresses professional and lay audiences in North America and internationally on issues related to childhood development and parenting, physical and mental health and wellness, and addiction. He is Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Criminology, Simon Fraser University. His next book, Toxic Culture: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a World of Materialism will be published in 2016.63786_gabormate-colour-low-3

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Dr. Gabor Mate Is Coming!!!

Dr. Mate Is Coming!!!

I feel like the Beatles of Mental Health and Substance Use are coming!!!

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Posted in Addiction, Brain Pathways, Mental Health, Neurobiology, Opiate Use, Reconnect with self!, Wellness


This website is currently under construction!  If all goes well we will be connecting again soon!!!

My Grace Filled Life After Addiction!!!


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David Whyte Is So Far Out!!! I could not resist sharing him with you!!!

In a Grace-Filled Life after Addiction We Are Truly Never Alone!!!



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Annette, DayBreak Youth Services Director and Tara, Former Miss USA!

Annette, DayBreak Youth Services Director and Tara, Former Miss USA!

Daybreak Youth Services delivered today!!! Tara spoke eloquently about her

visit with the youth – their stories, her past, the need to listen to young people

at their level to truly understand that addiction is not a choice. How could we

shame a 14 year old for having a disease? Tara reports the youth at Daybreak

are brilliant. “They saved my life yesterday.” She was so impacted she

returned to her hotel room cried for an hour, prayed for 30 minutes and wrote 5


Annette, Director of Daybreak added that addiction among other things is an

outcome of the stress filled lives young people are faced with on a daily basis!

Tears welled up in Tara’s eyes as she pleaded with us to meet youth where they

are at and above all listen to what they have to say and we will hear what they

go through – if you dare you will hear stories of emotional and physical abuse

they endured and the cutting and using substances a feeble attempt to self-

medicate in order to cope with the pain. The immeasurable shame that follows

is palpable…Tara goes on stating “I dare anyone to accuse another of choosing

to be an addict when at tender age of 14 years young they are exposed to

trauma and being asked to keep it a secret – hence the muzzle.

Tara was asked about Donald Trump – She expressed her gratitude for helping

her get into treatment. “He saved my life.” It allowed her to move forward.

When he referred to people as “druggies and rapists” Tara shared how she felt

he set us backward many years.

Tara shares a final thought – “I needed someone to validate my pain so I could

move forward.”

Tara, Former Miss USA with Shelby, Aspiring to be Miss USA!!!

Tara, Former Miss USA with Shelby, Aspiring to be Miss USA!!!

The Director of Daybreak added the history of how Daybreak came to be with a

vision and not a clue of how they were going to make it happen. It is cheaper to

pay for someone’s college than prison. Let’s right this wrong!

It costs $309 dollars a day to incarcerate someone – Daybreak receives

approximately $188 – they depend on beautiful people – philanthropy to keep

providing services to their youth!

56 million people are affected by addiction.

Daybreak lost 4 treatment providers.

If it costs $500 billion a year – the money will come from the savings we recoup

from preventing addiction.

Treating adolescents at 15 is much more feasible than an adult deep into their


Talking to youth in middle school is the best – they will still open up about

their alcoholic parent. If we wait until they are in high school it is too late

because they have had “the shame muzzle put on them.”

Addiction kills three times more than cancer.

Anonymous People a great film that reminds us we need to shift our focus from

thinking of addiction as a man under a bridge to the need to talk to our kids.

Early intervention empowers our youth.

80% of prisoners were addicts – there is also a need for services as they get


My heart was so delighted to see one of my all time favorite people, Shane!!!

It was so groovy to catch up with each other!!!  Shane thank you for all that

you do My Friend!!!  You continue to impress the heck out of me!!!

I was so blessed to see my great friend and mentor - Shane!!!

I was so blessed to see my great friend and mentor – Shane!!!

I met with Tara afterward and thanked her – she was very kind.

Squeal!!! Tara takes time out to share her heartfelt passion to empower young people!

Squeal!!! Tara takes time out to share her heartfelt passion to empower young people!

She demonstrated with her actions her passion to inspire others as she spoke

with Shelby a beautiful young person who is also aspiring to be a Miss  USA.

As I left with a huge smile in my heart to enjoy this amazing meal that fed my

hunger on so many levels I got a little lost and Shelby was so gracious to help

me find my way!!!  We walked out into the parking lot together – Shelby shared her

thoughts on substance use – “I never considered using because it would get in

the way” of everything she hopes to achieve!!! 23 years young as she waved

goodbye and climbed into her hummer…picture perfect…

Shelby Future Miss USA!!! Thank you for being such a role model to our youth!!!

Shelby Future Miss USA!!! Thank you for being such a role model to our youth!!!

Squeal… thank you

Daybreak Youth Services!!!

My Grace-Filled Life After Addiction Is!!!


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Healing Shame: The Heart of the Recovery Process

Please excuse my delay – This golden opportunity to gain excellent and useful tools and processes takes place TOMORROW!!!  FRIDAY, October 9, 2015
Tim Craley, MA, Addiction Studies, CADC II, CD Professional II, Hazelden in Newberg

Tim Craley, MA, Addiction Studies, CADC II, CD Professional II, Hazelden in Newberg

“Shame and Addiction” via tTim Craley!!!”
“Addiction and shame go hand in hand. It is hard to understand where one starts and the other ends. Addiction leaves us feeling powerless, isolated, and unworthy. There is a strong sense of secrecy and silence about addiction. It is something that is easier to hide and just not talk about. Understanding our shame allows us to move into self-acceptance and healing.”

Goal of Training
Shame lies at the very heart of the disease of addiction. The goal of this training is to give clinicians, or anyone in a therapeutic relationship with addicts of any kind, the knowledge and tools to both recognize and effectively treat shame. Participants will be able to understand the various synonyms for shame, which they can use in their practice. The trainer will present on the work of Brene Brown as well as the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and all its various iterations. Participants will have the opportunity to demonstrate an awareness of how to provide empathy for their clients and how to direct clients to nurture it within their own relationships. The participants will understand the common belief systems and shame patterns in Adult Children of Alcoholics as well as the concept of “Carried Shame”. Research presented will include but not be limited to Brene Brown, Mark Williams, Jon Kabat Zinn, Ernest Kurtz, Janet Woititz and the AA and NA programs respectively. This training is appropriate for all skill levels and combines elements applicable to each of the NAADAC Eight Counselor Skill Groups.

For Information Contact:
Lisa Westlund
Phone: 503-805-0989
Fax: 1-360-557-5032 (vFax)

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Oh My Gosh!!! The Conference Was So Incredibly Memorable!!!

So the drive was fierce!!! I arrived at 11 pm on Thursday night….I was so impressed with Eric’s presentation – lots of new info and Bless His Heart he agreed to present for us at the Chemical Dependency Training Consortium of the NW!!!  That is one you do not want to miss!!!  More details to come!!!

There was a gentleman Mark who shared the importance of talking to our legislature… or else what ever happens will happen to us!!!  Then another new favorite presenter is Dr. Kelly Olson – she provided a heartfelt presentation on synthetic and emerging drugs!!!  Gosh – An example is young people are taking a string and dipping it in cough syrup that has DXM and sucking on it…It supposedly makes for a greater high…Gosh – Then Susan shared her passion working with people who struggle with addiction and helped us expand on the four square – pros and cons of using and not using!!!

Then I was up and presented on Self Care – and as I put this presentation together and attended a board meeting where we talked about numbers of attendees ebbingg and flowing and it appears there are many reasons for this – however I noticed it kind of pushed my buttons.  I have been with the Consortium for a while and as most of you know I select jobs based on their willingness to allow me to attend the board meeting and educational professional growth opportunities…a lot of the feedback appears to be – the agency won’t allow it because it affects their bottom line – or they won’t pay for it so the employee would need to use their PTO and or own finances to cover the costs.

My button got pushed – because it almost feels unethical – like being kicked out of a residential treatment center for using…if many of our counselors are in recovery…they need that connection with other professionals – All professionals who work with vulnerable populations are vulnerable themselves – for example vulnerable to burnout or compassion fatigue, relapse or even suicide.  Offering their own trainers is a bit better however offering web in-service education is so deficient of the networking, support, camaraderie that promotes and develops the best counselors ever!!!

So – this little video may reflect my thoughts a bit strongly – To keep it on the positive note …Thank you to agencies who do promote mental health wellness to their counselors via supporting their professional growth!!!

A Grace Filled Life After Recovery Includes Continued Education, Networking and Support!!! Right???


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Squeal!!! It is Eric Martin Time!!! I am totally counting down the days!!!

Eric Martin - Making a difference!

Eric Martin – Making a difference!

I am once again so blessed to be a part of this amazing world!!!  Last I saw Eric he reported he had shown us all he had as one of our favorite presenters at the Chemical Dependency Training Consortium of the Northwest!  Hearing that my immediate response at the time was – then I will have to follow you!!!  Not knowing the hows – I applied The Secret and visualized seeing him present!!! Thank You Scott -you made it happen for me!!!  I will be helping out and I will be the speaker during our lunch!!!  Squeal – I am so incredibly stoked, and nervous!!! And especially tickled how the universe works!!!



Quality Inn and Conference Center

1700 Canyon Road

Ellensburg, WA I-90 exit 109

WSAIOP FALL CONFERENCE Oct 2nd & 3rd, 2015

Chemical Dependency Professionals of Washington State


Topics Include:





Eric Martin, MAC, CADC III, CRM, CPS,

Eric is the Past President and Director Emeritus of the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon (ACCBO). He is an adjunct faculty member with the University of Oregon and a contract instructor with Oregon’s Child welfare Division. Eric is a state and nationally certified addictions counselor with 29 years of clinical experience in Inpatient psychiatric hospitalization, residential and outpatient addictions treatment, and prevention. He is an international presenter, has served on several Governor’s advisory boards, and has produced a number of videos currently being used nationwide. He is the recipient of the Governor’s Council Award of Excellence and the NADAAC Award for sustained and Meritorious service at the national level to the profession of addiction!!!

 Rose Ness, LMHC, CDP

Rose received her MA in Systems Counseling from Bastyr University in 2001, and a BS in Developmental Psychology from Eastern Washington University in 1995. As a consultant, she specializes in SBIRT, Suicide Prevention, Clinical Supervision, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Counselor Ethics. She has received the Pioneer Human Services Dick Hudson award for Outstanding Counselor, is a member of the Skagit Valley County Behavioral Advisory Board, an Adjunct instructor at Skagit Valley College, and was a member of the ITA task force in 2014. She has been a CDP since 1997, and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor since 2005!!!

Kelly Olson, PhD

Kelly is the Associate Director of Clinical Affairs at Millennium Health. She is an experienced researcher in molecular neuro-pharmacology, as well as in clinical biology in the areas of mental illness, sleep, adrenal fatigue, and addictions. Dr. Olson has authored/co-authored a number of peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and presentations, and has lectured extensively internationally, nationally, and locally. Dr. Olson has spent the majority of the past 7 years in integrative medicine, helping to improve patient clinical outcomes!!!

 Mark Loes, MBA, CDP

Mark is the Quality Assurance Manager at Sundown M. Ranch, the president of the Washington Department of Health CDP Advisory Committee, and a CARF surveyor. As a surveyor, he has experienced many treatment modalities in different states, and is well versed in state and federal laws relating to counselors!!!

Sharon Fenton, BSW, CDP

Sharon is the Clinical Director of Assessment & Treatment Associates. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work in 1993 and became certified as a CDP in 1996. She is also an instructor at Bellevue College in the Alcohol and Drug Counseling program teaching classes on DUI assessment, Family Systems, and Introduction to Counseling!!!

Guadalupe Aragon, BA, CADC I, RC, Veterans’ Home Based Navigator, CDPT

Guadalupe received her Bachelor’s Degree from U.C. Berkeley. She is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor 1, President of the Chemical Dependency Training Consortium of the Northwest, a Recovery Coach, Recovery Coach, a Certified Transformative Life Coach and an instructor at Portland Community College – Nicotine Cessation. As the founder of Grace On You, LLC, she specializes in self care, brief intervention, counseling, teaching healthy living skills.  She is the creator of Mindful Smoking – a harm reduction approach for professionals to help individuals reduce their tobacco use!!!

Please Contact

G. Scott Sims BS, CDP 
President, WSAIOP
Program Manager 
Columbia Treatment Services
7017 NE Hwy 99 Suite 114
Vancouver, WA 98665


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Guadalupe Aragon
Grace On You

(360) 334-2626

Self Care Is Imperative For Caring Professionals
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