• The Scarlet Sisterhood: Treating Partners of Sex Addicts

    Addiction is a disease, end of discussion . . . right? As practitioners within the field of behavioral health and wellness, we have all heard the message, loud and clear. Many of us subscribe to the concept without question, confident in our convictions that addicts are sick people, not bad people. Some of us have built our careers upon this assertion, while others espouse it personally, within our own lives and family relationships.

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  • Evaluating a Competency-Based Supervision Approach for Motivational Interviewing

    Motivational interviewing (MI) is a well-known, evidence-based, brief counseling approach for substance use disorders (SUDs) that combines person-centered principles with strategies for enhancing motivation for change (Miller & Rollnick, 2012). Counselors using MI help their clients talk themselves into change by exploring and developing their motivations for change and lessening and resolving their arguments against it.

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Jonathan  Aurthur

On November 1, 1996, Charley Aurthur leapt to his death from a freeway overpass in Santa Monica, California. He was twenty-three years old. It was the culmination of five years of heartache for Charley and his family, as he struggled with severe mental illness, numerous hospitalizations and several other suicide attempts. Despite his family's love, intensive therapy and numerous medications, in the end, nothing could save Charley from his own encroaching sense of exhaustion and isolation.

Tragically, Charley's story could be anybody's story. In the United States, more than 30,000 people commit suicide every year; it is the eighth leading cause of death overall and the third among young people aged 15-24. But the effects of suicide are even more far-reaching: Its impact on the family is frequently devastating and lifelong.

Author Jonathan Aurthur knows this firsthand. His account of his son Charley's short life and death is both riveting and compelling. Charley's own letters, poems and journal entries demonstrate the terrible complexity and multidimensionality of mental illness and suicide. In the process, the author addresses his own search to understand mental illness and the inability of many medical treatments to help troubled people like Charley. He also offers an alternative treatment plan known as the "psychosocial rehab" model, which seeks to "treat the person, not the disease."

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