Curiosities & Creations...

Articles related to wellness, behavior change, addictive behaviors, community, and growth are fascinating to me.  Whether it's something I've read or something I've made, here's what has caught my eye recently... 

A Meditation by Dr. Kelly Wilson for Clinicians and Family Members of Someone Struggling with Substance Abuse

Originally from his webinar titled “ACT for Overcoming Substance Abuse”, this piece written by Dr. Kelly Wilson provides an experiential answer to the question asked by exasperated family members everywhere: ”Why can’t my loved one just stop?”

Source:, 2/8/2017

A relatively short article from the Family section of the New York Times that looks at the ubiquitous parental response that is yelling, examines its long-term effectiveness, and raises the questions, “What do I do instead?” and “How do I stop?”

Although neither CRAFT nor the Invitation to Change model is mentioned in this article, the perspective and skills alluded to here strongly overlap with the skills offered within Helping with Words and Helping with Actions sections of the Invitation to Change model.

Are you curious about how we might apply these skills to your life? How effective has yelling been in your experience? Let’s talk!

Source: New York Times, 9/5/2018

Whether we are talking about the practice of taking risks in the moment for long-term gain or experiencing the back and forth pull of ambivalence...either way, this squirrel takes the (nut) cake.

Click on the photo to watch the video here or select the title to bring you to Youtube. (Risk for me posting cute squirrel video? R=5.)

Source: YouTube, 2/12/2015

An informative and humorous article by Amy Sutherland, featured in the Modern Love section of the New York Times, that effectively illustrates the subtle use of reinforcement to encourage different behaviors from our loved ones. Although she may be talking about targeting something as simple as reducing a tirade in the wake of having lost keys, the same principles apply to more complex and potentially difficult situations.

Source: NY Times, dated 6/25/2006

A 3-minute video demonstrating one of my favorites: this is a quick tool to use when feeling stuck, from the perspective of a parent of teens and/or adults, that combines the control circle tool with the wisdom of the "Invitation to Change" model. 

I talk a bit fast in this; if it is helpful, you can reduce the video speed by clicking on the gear icon available on the lower right. 

This is my first video...any comments or feedback would be welcome! 

Source: Uploaded to YouTube on April 12, 2018

A bit of a longer video, at about 14 minutes, but I really appreciate Michael Rogan's description of attention, how it gets captured, and the differences between focused and open attention. I watched this a few months ago, and it really stuck with me.

You can watch this one right here or click on the title above to be taken to YouTube.

Source: YouTube, dated 12/11/2017

Micro-progress and the Magic of Just Getting Started

This short article, written by Tim Herrera in the Smarter Living newsletter section of the New York Times, encourages us to just get started.

For me, the practice of creating micro-goals can make the difference between getting outside for a walk and sitting on my butt, checking "just one more thing" online. On those days when taking a walk seems too much, then I tell myself "I'm not taking a walk, I'm just walking out the front door." If that is too big, then "I'm just putting on my shoes." If that seems overwhelming, then "I am just putting my left toe into the elastic opening of a sock." At some point the goal becomes ridiculously small enough that my exasperated brain finally gives up and says "fine!"...and I start moving. Mr. Herrera's article is a more elegantly presented version of this...with research references to back it up.

Source: New York Times, dated 1/22/2018

Co-authored by Drs. Michael Ascher, Jeff Foote, and Elana Rosof, posted in Psychology Today, and promoted by SMART Recovery (via their Facebook group), this article describes the potential influence a concerned family member can have on an addicted loved one's decision to go into treatment, and touches on many of the important points along the way.

Source: Psychology Today, dated 6/16/2017

A 2.5 minute-long video of a poem by Portland's own Dr. Jason Luoma and Dr. Jenna LeJeune, directors of Portland Psychotherapy. If you start it, please commit to watching it the entire way through. 

Source: YouTube, dated 3/20/2013

Why Self-Compassion Isn't Self Indulgent

A short 3-minute article by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. that introduces the important distinction between self-compassion and self-indulgence.

Source: PsychCentral, dated 6/5/2016

Excellent 6-minute video that explores the sustaining elements of addictive behaviors as explained by Bruce Alexander's "Rat Park".

Source: Kurzgesagt (on Youtube), dated 10/29/2015

State of the addiction treatment field: where we are and where we need to go

Article by Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, one of the leaders in the field, discussing his perspective of how to successfully shift addictions treatment in the United States to be more effective and humane via 4 major avenues: decriminalization, harm reduction, multiple pathways to recovery, and support for families.

Source:, dated 3/13/2017


How to Practice Effectively, according to science

A 5-minute, animated Ted Talk that illustrates the connection between repeated actions and physical changes in the well as how to harness this power!

Source: NPR, dated 3/6/2017


Have you run across something you think I should check out?