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Change: The Only Constant

Change: The Only Constant


Longtime readers of Counselor will recognize that we are smaller, down from sixty-four pages to forty-eight pages. Let me assure you that this will not diminish the quality of content in our independent publication. While we may be thinner, we are committed to provide our loyal readers, in print and online, with content designed to enhance clinical experience and expertise.

In these days of widespread divisiveness, it is noteworthy that many articles in this issue emphasize the need to be inclusive in our approach to treating both behavioral and chemical addictions. We have come to understand, finally, that one size does not fit all.

The world of addiction, treatment, and recovery, and indeed the industry itself, is changing fast. 

Dr. Tom Horvath, the founding president of SMART Recovery, points out (page 22) that the increased use of the “self-empowering approach,” medication-assisted treatment (e.g., Suboxone for opiates), moderation and harm reduction, online mutual aid groups, and even online treatment are among today’s most successful approaches.

In his comprehensive overview, Dr. Horvath acknowledges a role for professionals who take only one approach (e.g., a Twelve Step approach) “provided they refrain from the broader role of assessment, treatment planning, and referral.”

In another important article on treatment professionals (page 32), Dr. Andrea G. Barthwell and Dr. Cherlyne Short Majors point out that the shortage of women in leadership is not unique to the behavioral health field, with less than 10 percent of women retained as CEOs.

Drs. Barthwell and Majors note that the health care industry is in a vulnerable state and ready to accept more women in top leadership positions: “The healer field needs more female talent in order to sustain the innovation, visibility, and quality of its services, as well as its financial success.”

Additionally, in her article titled “Eating Disorders: Separating the Patient from the Disease” (page 28), Dr. Vicki Berkus points out that the comorbidity of substance abuse and eating disorders is common and requires a team approach based on a good understanding of eating disorders as well as substance abuse.

This issue’s adaptation from the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment features an article by Dr. Steven L. Proctor (page 38), who reports on a recent study on continuing care plan adherence after residential addiction treatment. Dr. Proctor writes that a well-thought-out aftercare program is essential for patients to aspire to positive long-term outcomes.

In our columns, we say “Happy Birthday” to the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), now the National Association for Children of Addiction, which is celebrating its thirty-fifth anniversary. Few advocates have made more of a lasting impact than NACoA.

In this retrospective, Dr. Claudia Black, a founding member, writes, “As I look back, I realize this was an emerging time, a tipping point when young professionals were utilizing the strength of their own experiences of being raised with parental substance use disorders to give voice to the experience of those with whom they were working.”

Thirty-five years later, NACoA continues to educate everyone from clergy to social workers and physicians. We owe a debt of gratitude to longtime CEO Sis Wenger, who continues to grace our pages with a regular column.

Turning to Pete Nielsen, the tireless leader of CCAPP and this issue’s CCAPP column author, we get a better understanding of what it means to be “client-centered” and how to really “meet clients where they are.” He points out it is near impossible to be “competent” in any culture, but it is possible to be “sensitive” to a culture that is not our own.

While we bid farewell, with much appreciation, to two of our long-standing columnists—Reverend Leo Booth (From Leo’s Desk) and Sheri Laine (The Integrative Piece)—we forge ahead with our regular contributors: Dr. Dennis C. Daley (Topics in Behavioral Health), Gerald Shulman (Counselor Concerns), Dr. John Newport (Wellness), and Maxim W. Furek (Cultural Trends). And, if we left anything unanswered, you can always refer to Dr. Toni Galardi (Ask the LifeQuake Doctor).

From all of us to all of you, we wish you a happy and healthy year.


Gary Seidler

Consulting Executive Editor
Counselor, The Magazine for Addiction & Behavioral Health Professionals,
A Health Communications, Inc. Publication