Recovery, Renewal and Growth

From Pain to Love with Paint and Canvas

Brushstrokes on Matt Moberg’s artwork reflect a kinetic energy. Addiction’s bared teeth show up in the fangs of the wolf, the jaws of the bear, the wild-eyed terror of the horse. The animals and people reveal intensity, edginess, tension. In one piece, his wife’s body bends taut with anxiety. In yet another, his grandpa’s eyes …

Minnesota North College: Meeting a Need, Transforming Lives

Minnesota North College nets funding for training counselors, changing lives of students in recovery The shortage of mental health professionals in Minnesota, including those working as licensed alcohol and drug counselors (LADCs), has been well documented. One in four jobs in the field is currently vacant, according to an April Minnesota legislative report. At the …

Ask the Expert: Robyn Alliah of River Valley Behavioral Health and Wellness Center

We feature an expert in the mental health and substance use disorder field to answer questions. This issue we talk to Robyn Alliah of River Valley Behavioral Health and Wellness Center about using art therapy in recovery and mental health. What is art therapy? Art therapy uses art media, the creative process, and the resulting …

The Rewards of Returning to School as an Adult

Returning to school as an adult posed a serious threat to my mental health. Balancing a full-time career, full-time university, and full-time recovery was a significant challenge. For five years, I focused primarily on surviving the process of obtaining my master’s degree. Late nights, lack of sleep, and excessive procrastination all made the road to …

A Moral Compass: What Is It? How Is It Built? Why Do We Need It?

You know, about thirty years ago I had a big decision to make while dating my wife-to-be. I could either hide the fact that I had a son that I had never seen before or else tell her the whole truth and risk losing her by paying back child support that I owed my son …

Friends Forever

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust She looked interesting. Unconventional in dress, not afraid of dirty garden hands as she worked the soil of her urban terrain. She propped plants on imaginative metal sculptures. Her pure white hair was …

Creativity: One Response to Addiction and Recovery

An on-going issue for all of us who are aware of our addictions is simply how to continue to live in recovery. This really is a life-long challenge, isn’t it? It is for me, as addictive triggers can burst upon my life at any moment. In this article, I am sharing the importance of expressing …

Where is My Special Someone?

Like no other time of the year; the Christmas holidays bring out our yearnings for love and prompts many of us to ask, “Where is my special someone?” Implied in our questions are feelings of discouragement and resignation since our particular special someone has simply not showed up. If you are in this fix, realize …

Hiking Her Way to Healing

The entry point into our best selves, as addicts, starts with sobriety, but it doesn’t end there. The Phoenix Spirit interviewed Kara Frahm, Director of Business Development at Horowitz Health, to capture her story of how the Superior Hiking Trail healed her. In her words, “Hiking has given me back so much of myself. I’ve …

The Mistake of Choosing a Person Who Doesn’t Have a Conscience

Some of us are not aware of people who lack a conscience—those who lack empathy for others and cannot tolerate differences between themselves and others. Our lack of awareness is sometimes prompted by a misguided fear of being judgmental of others and an over willingness to give others the benefit of the doubt.  The fact …