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Dr. Paul Meier (Author, Psychiatrist, Speaker, and Founder of Meier Clinics) joins us for our regular round table discussions. Johnnie Calloway joined the crew for this show as we discussed Bipolar Disorder. Counselor Melanie Vann and host Kristin Sunanta Walker open up the topic with Paul and Johnnie to discuss the symptoms of this disorder via case studies and personal histories. What is Bipolar Disorder? What are treatment recommendations?

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We had the pleasure of meeting Randy and Lydia Grimes at the Navigating the World of Addiction conference in Littleton Colorado. Randy and Lydia were there with the treatment center they passionately serve Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches. Sharing the stage to discuss their story as a family was inspiring for all of us.  Randy made sure to invite Lydia to join him to share her part of the journey as well.  Addiction is a family disease and hearing from both husband and wife was powerful. Randy was an American football player who played center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1983 to 1992. He also played for Baylor University during the early 1980’s and was part of the 1980 Southwest Conference Champion Bears. He is now an interventionist, speaker, and part of the team at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches.

Our podcast is known for Keeping it Real and that is exactly what you get with Randy. This was very personal for the entire team at Mental Health News Radio and many of our listeners. A healing took place for all of us since meeting Randy and especially for our host Kristin Walker during this intimate and poignant interview. Our heartfelt thanks go out to him, his wife Lydia, his family and the staff of Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches.

Randy and Lydia continue to share their experience with addiction and recovery using their knowledge to help not only athletes but any family struggling with their road to recovery. We are honored to take part in working with Randy sharing the stories of the many lives saved because of USING YOUR VOICE.

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Our friend and guest on the show, Shahida Arabi, inspired this podcast. Her articles on Daughters of Narcissistic Fathers can be found here. Definitely a trigger warning for listeners – be prepared prior to listening to this one with counselors Melanie Vann and Melissa Richards joined by host Kristin Sunanta Walker.

We highly recommend you visit Shahida’s website.


Tom Horvath joins Kristin Sunanta Walker for a discussion about his panel presentation at The Evolution of Addiction conference in Februrary 2017, Los Angeles CA. Tom is a Past President of the Society on Addiction Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA) and a Fellow of the APA. He is author of Sex, Drugs, Gambling & Chocolate: A Workbook for Overcoming Addictions, and owner of Practical Recovery, an addiction treatment facility in San Diego. He was one of the founders of SMART Recovery (in 1994) and was president for 20 years.  SMART is an international, non-profit network of free, self-empowering, science-based mutual help groups, face-to-face or online, for abstaining from any substance or activity addiction.

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Mick Meagher is a California State Bar member. He represents clients in Federal and State courts. His practice consists of matters related to SLAPP Litigation, Business Litigation and Consumer Protection. His SLAPP representation is primary focused on defense from SLAPP suits. In Business Litigation the focus is on contracts, trade secrets, and unfair business practices. His Consumer Protection Litigation addresses matters related to violations of the federal and state Fair Debt Collection Practices Acts. He holds a business degree, and prior to entering law spent over 17 years in Chemical Dependency Treatment, Intervention training, Treatment facility management and consulting.

Mick wrote the book Beginning of a Miracle: How to Intervene with the Addicted or Alcoholic Person. This book has been described as one of the best books ever written on the subject Intervention. Mick teaches the reader how to develop strategies to overcome the denial present in anyone who suffers from chemical dependence.

His business consulting service ranged from restructuring treatment centers that were failing to provided training for over 5,000 professionals to establish Intervention services. Participants in his programs include Attorneys in MCLE programs, members of Physician Well-Being Committees, Physicians, Therapists, Educators and business leaders.

Mick is one of the presenters at the Evolution of Addiction Treatment conference held in Los Angeles in February 2017.  What an amazing guest and proud, very, to air this show! For more information about Mick, please visit his website.

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Herb Kaighan is one of the presenters at the February 2017 Evolution of Addiction Treatment conference in Los Angeles, CA. He joins us today to talk about his presentation, his life’s work, and why he does what he does!  He was given the gift of freedom from alcohol February 21, 1984. As a result of the application of the Twelve Steps as contained “precisely” in the AA Big Book he experienced a profound spiritual awakening in 1988. Since then he has been very involved in carrying the message of recovery through presentations, facilitating workshops, and leading retreats.

He has authored: Twelve-Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (2004)

Twelve Steps To Spiritual Awakening; Enlightenment for Everyone (2010)

Many have found them helpful for accessing the instructions and confirming the actual process contained in the Big Book for experiencing a spiritual awakening. His personal journey includes seven years in seminary, a graduate education in psychology, and a 40+ year career in human resources consulting, from which he retired in November, 2006. He has conducted workshops on a variety of topics for the LA Department of Mental Health Clergy Academy. He is an adjunct professor at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California teaching a full semester course on Twelve-Step Spirituality. He regularly provides spiritual direction based on the Twelve Steps for anyone seeking help with their spiritual journey.

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A presenter at this years Evolution of Addiction Treatment Conference in Los Angeles, CA, February 2nd through the 5th, Judy Voruz shares her treatment approach using Wise Caring.

She began her career 30 years ago with a passion and interest for working with addicts and their families.  Since 1985, she has worked as a family counselor specializing in helping families and individuals struggling with addiction. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and a Masters Certification in Alcohol and Drug Counseling. For five years, She served as a family counselor at the world-renowned Hazelden/Betty Ford Foundation, where she developed curriculum for their family residential program.

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Jean-Francois Benoist is the creator of Core Belief Restructuring™ (CBR) and the founder of The Exclusive Addiction Treatment Center in Hawaii. He is a certified professional counselor trained at The Option Institute International Learning and Training Center. He began his studies in human development and empowerment in 1983 with Robert Hargrove and Relationships, Inc., and has been deeply involved in mentoring others and training leaders for over twenty years. Jean-Francois is a worldwide leader in the men’s empowerment non-profit ManKind Project, which focuses on shame-release and support systems for healing.
Author of The Exclusive Guide to Becoming Deeply Happy, Jean-Francois has a depth of experience in helping individuals, couples and families address and heal issues involving addictions, physical violence, sexual abuse, relationship concerns, bereavement, critical health challenges, eating disorders, conflict resolution, and depression. He is versed in individual therapy as well as group counseling. The direct correlation between deeply-held beliefs and painful addictions is Jean-Francois’ highly-refined specialty. He is experienced and rigorously trained in a Socratic methodology and deep listening, enabling him to impart powerful life-changing skills that create immediate results.

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Carmen Donato, BA, CATC III has worked with CAADE since 2014. She is currently the Outreach Coordinator for CAADE and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts in Human Services, with a concentration in Mental Health Recovery. She also has a Certificate of Completion in Alcohol & Drug Studies from Long Beach City College, one of CAADE’s accredited programs. She is credentialed as a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor and Certified Prevention Specialist under CAADE’s organization. She is currently at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills, earning her Master’s Degree in Social Work and plans on also earning a Doctorate Degree in Forensics Psychology once completing her MA and after becoming an LCSW. Carmen loves her ministry, hanging with friends, spending time with family, different types of music, and learning new cultures. She wishes to also teach in the field of mental health, substance abuse, and addiction studies. Carmen is currently an Integrated Behavioral Health Clinician at St. John’s. Well Child and Family Center providing direct services to Spanish speaking, under-deserved low SES, Co-Occurring Dx, LGBTQIA+, and/or Dual Dx individuals, while using a holistic approach and working with a Muti-Disciplinary team.
CAADE was a part of The Evolution of Addiction Treatment conference held in Los Angeles  California in 2017.

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