Episode 9: Margo Talbot on canaries in the coal mine, 100th monkey’s and a lot more


This week on Turning Point we sit down with Margo Talbot.

Margo is a writer, speaker and climber based in Canmore Alberta. Her twin goals are to visit the remaining wilderness of the planet while sharing her story of healing and redemption.

As a keynote speaker, Margo has given presentations of her adventures in Canada, the United States, and Australia.

She is the author of All That Glitters, A Climber’s Journey Through Addiction and Depression.

Enjoy, and make sure you check out the show notes for links to interesting and useful resources.

Show Notes:
2:15 Margo's message to the addiction and mental health field
3:45 What Margo didn't find helpful in her journey
4:35 Margo's turning points
5:45 What drug addiction is really about (hint: it's not about getting high)
6:30 Meeting Karen McNeil, Margo's climbing partner and best friend
7:00 What Karen, Elaine and ice climbing have in common
9:45 Margo's deep beliefs about addiction and mental health
12:00 Margo's "gestalt" approach to healing modalities
13:00 All That Glitters, Margo's book on her healing journey
16:30 Margo's advice to young professionals
18:20 How Margo cultivates presence in her own life
21:00 Holding space for your clients
23:15 We learn through our bodies
25:00 You're helping people whether they stay off drugs or not
27:00 The hundredth monkey
28:50 The #1 thing Margo would change about the system
31:20 Drug addiction saved her life
32:45 Myths and misconceptions about mental health
36:30 Canaries in the coal mine
39:00 Planting seeds in the system
41:00 Margo's favourite books and resources
43:30 Self belief as the fast track to healing


Episode 8: Jann Arden on golf, charity and Kentucky Fried Chicken


Today we caught up with none other than Jann Arden, singer, songwriter, musician, author and philanthropist. In this short conversation we explore why she supports the organization, as well as some of her thoughts on addiction and mental health.


Episode 7: Lisa Arsenault on addictions treatment and the magic of witnessing change


Today we caught up with Lisa Arsenault, program supervisor at Enviros Base Camp. Lisa has spent almost 10 years at Enviros in a range of roles at both Base Camp and with our Hifidelity Wraparound program. Lisa talks about a wide range of things related to supervising and guiding a remote, wilderness based addictions treatment program. Make sure you check out the great resources at the end of the show notes!

Show Notes
3:00 What brought Lisa back to Base Camp after a few years away
4:15 The magic of witnessing change in people
6:30 It's about the relationship and being human with your clients
7:00 A time Lisa saw all the pieces coming together for a young person
8:30 Lisa's thoughts on how to let clients take ownership of their process
12:15 Lisa discusses what she believes is the most active ingredient in treatment
16:30 The role of ritual and ceremony in the Base Camp program and the impact of witnessing celebration
20:30 The importance of establishing distinct ceremonial space and consistencies around ceremonies
24:00 Lisa on parallel processes, shared journey's and staff development
30:00 Lisa discusses hiring youth workers and what she looks for in excellent staff
32:00 The importance of self care
35:00 Lisa talks about the program and managing and embracing change within a program, and what the rwe did to accelerate change
41:00 Lisa describes Non Violent Communication and why it's a powerful tool at camp
45:00 Lisa on addictions treatment and the range of issues that clients present with, along with her hopes for clients at the end of treatment.
50:30 What drives Lisa nuts about addiction treatment
52:00 Lisa's go to resources;
Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg

Episode 6: Dr. Lee Gillis on Experiential Learning, Outcomes and Evaluation and his journey into psychology


This episode we catch up with Dr. Lee Gillis, a psychologist, author and academic practitioner who specializes in experiential, wilderness and adventure based therapies. Dr. Gillis has been absolutely instrumental in forwarding the field of experiential therapy in North America and beyond. He's the co-author of Adventure Therapy: Theory, Research, and Practice, one of the most comprehensive texts that's been published in the field.

Enviros is lucky enough to have connected with Lee a few years ago and he's been heavily involved in the evaluation projects at both our Shunda Creek and Base Camp programs. Lee has a wealth of experience and some great advice for professionals and the field in general.

2:00 Lee on his seminal moments that put him on the path to psychology
8:00 Lee describes the evaluation projects he's working on with Enviros
12:30 The usefulness of valid and reliable instruments to the clinician
14:00 The development of the Adventure Therapy Experience Scale
22:00 The myths and misconceptions of experiential learning and the importance of reflection on the experience
26:00 Lee on what we should stop doing in the addiction and mental health sector
31:00 Lee's book recommendations. Gary Ferguson's "Shouting at the Sky: Troubled Teens and the Promise of the Wild" , a powerful read that captures the good and the bad of wilderness youth work. "The Carry Home", by the same author, about his journey to return his wife's ashes to places they'd visited as a couple. Also, "The Defining Decade" by by Meg Jay (and here's a link to her TED talk)
36:00 Lee's advice to young professionals.
40:00 Lee talks about what he's currently up to in the research and evaluation field.
42:00 The importance of measuring what matters.

Episode 5: Candace Windisch on what makes clients successful and the power of building community.


Today's guest is Candace Windisch. She's has been with Enviros for more than 15 years, first joining one of our residential programs and then making her way into community based services. Candace is currently the manager of a our FASD, HiFidelity Wraparound and Youth Transitions to Adulthood programs. We talk about a wide range of topics related to the work of helping youth and families be successful in their healing journeys, including the importance of building natural supports and getting professionals to work together with clarity and alignment.  She also shares some great stories of success, the kind of stories that you don't get in the mainstream media, stories of communities coming together to support each other in simple, yet powerful ways. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. Make sure you check out the show notes for links to some of the books and resources that Candace mentions.

4:00 Candace talks about making the switch from adult justice to early intervention and FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder)
6:30 Some of the differences between residential youth work and community based
12:00 FASD, Trauma and the developmental implications
13:30 A big turning point in Candace's career
14:30 Candace joins the HiFidelity Wraparound team
16:45 The importance of insatiable curiousity when working with kids with FASD
18:15 The importance of having an assessment for FASD, not just a diagnosis
21:00 There's no quick fixes and you should always start with questions
22:00 Candace's perspective on the "shared journey"
25:00 The importance of frameworks and models to guide the work
28:45 What Candace loves about HiFidelity Wraparound
32:00 Candace reflects on some memorable clients and their journeys, a mom who fought tooth and nail to get her kids back, an inspiring pair of grandparents 
46:30 Candace discusses the Youth Transition to Adulthood program and a young man with a lot of hidden talent
52:15 Candace's advice for young professionals
56:15 What Candace would change about the sector
102:30 Candace's recommended reading. Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues, Gabor Mate's work, including Candace's favourite Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers, and the work of Dr. Bruce Perry and childtraumaacademy.org. Also check out the HiFi model at http://highfidelitywraparound.ca/
1:05:30 What are the pieces that make us successful?
1:13:30 A kid who fell through the cracks
1:18:00 Candace talks about the importance of perseverance and not giving up on kids

Episode 4: Liam Law on youth work and progress monitoring


liam This week we sat down to chat with Liam Law. Liam's held a number of positions with our Base Camp program, first as a Youth and Family Support Worker, then as a Shift Supervisor, and more recently as the Outcomes and Evaluation Lead. 

We talk about Liam's thoughts on youth work, the treatment journey for youth and the importance of routine outcome monitoring to the field.


2:50 A bit about the Base Camp program
4:00 Liam perspective on the treatment journey and the role of a youth worker
7:00 The core attributes that separate excellent youth workers from the rest
10:15 What drew Liam to Enviros and the helping profession
14:10: Liam talks about the Base Camp Evaluation Project
16:30 A bit more about the Youth Outcome Questionnaire
19:00 Amplifying client voice in the treatment process
23:20 What we should stop doing in addictions treatment
27:00 Disrupting what "success" looks like in addictions treatment
27:40 What we should do more of in the helping profession
30:00 Resources to check out on progress monitoring (Particularly the work of Scott Miller and feedback informed treatment and Lambert & Burlingame with the development of the Outcome Questionnaire family of instruments)
32:30 Liam talks about barriers to implementation of a routine outcome monitoring system

Episode 3: Stephen de Groot on Transforming the System through Responsive Leadership


This episode we caught up with Stephen de Groot, an author, consultant and transformation architect who works across systems in the helping professions (education, social services, justice) to help create positive outcomes for kids and families, and improve the working lives of professionals in the field.

Click here for more information about our 1-day workshop with Stephen de Groot on April 28th, 2015 in Calgary.

Steve’s approach to helping has been informed by a multitude of philosophical, theoretical and technical orientations and developed out of his successful practice experiences and life stories from thousands of children, youth and families and; thousands of frontline workers, supervisors, managers and executives. For the last 20 years Steve has worked with more than 200 organizations in a variety of fields and helping sectors.

responsiveleadershipHe has provided support, education and training to caring and helping professionals who live and work with children in child welfare, child and youth care, youth homelessness, justice, education and health. Steve has instructed in both Bachelor and Masters Programs at the University of Manitoba for more than 7 years. He has occupied and continues to operate in a myriad of roles such as mentor, consultant, trainer, supervisor, author, facilitator, strategic planner and international speaker.

Have a listen and definitely grab a copy of Steve's Responsive Leadership In Social Services!

Show Notes

2:15 Stephen articulates what he does as a Transformation Architect
6:00 What drove Steve into the helping profession
7:00 Some important moments in Steve's journey
12:00 Two things we need to change about the social services system
15:30 What terrifies Steve about people who "quit and stay", the disempowered employee and why it's important to help heal wounded warriors
18:00 How responsive leadership is different, and the disconnect between what we ask the frontline to do and how we supervise them to do it.
23:30 Stephen discusses supervision versus therapy when it comes to working with staff and the need to balance supportive supervision with administrative and educative supervision
29:30 Focusing on the human aspect of the work
30:45 Naming values and operationalizing them in your organization and the five pillars of responsive leadership
33:30 How different levels of management go to different types of training, and how that creates confusion and disconnect in your organization
36:00 Using values to make decisions moment to moment
37:30 The 5 L's of great leadership
40:00 Stephen's advice to young professionals
43:45 Stephen tells a story of being told to "go empower a family".
46:30 A few organizations that impressed Stephen with their ability to change and transform their practice
54:00 Stephen's recommendations for books to read
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Becoming a Therapist by Suzanne Bender and Edward Messner
A General Theory of Love by Thomas Lewis and Fari Amini
58:15 The action you should take as a listener, connecting your values to your practice
And don't forget to check out the 1-day workshop with Stephen on April 28, 2015.

Episode 2: Kelly Waters-Radcliffe on program design, therapeutic perspectives, progress monitoring and a lot more


This week we catch up with Kelly Waters-Radcliffe, R. Psych, the family therapist and clinical supervisor at Enviros Base Camp.

Though Kelly spent a number of years away from the study of psychology, his journeys taught him a great deal about the human capacity for change and helped him deepen into his life’s passion: namely, helping to create movement in the lives of people who have for various reasons found themselves ‘stuck.’

Now a registered psychologist, Kelly has provided services to individuals, families and groups presenting with a variety of issues ranging from stress and depression to domestic violence, addiction and eating disorders. Kelly finds that the issues people bring to counseling ‘make sense’ as expressions of human needs. Therapy with Kelly then becomes about locating those needs and working with people to bring forth the inner resources to meet those needs in healthy ways. He is highly influenced by the work of Michael White and Narrative Therapy and has, most recently, become interested in practices of focused attention, such as found in clinical hypnosis and guided meditation, as a way of connecting with inner means for overcoming problems.


5:30 What brought Kelly into the helping profession
9:00 A bit about the Base Camp program
12:00 Kelly's thoughts on a "shared journey" or "parallel process"
16:00 The core philosophical foundations of the program
22:30 Feedback informed treatment and the power dynamic of being a helping professional
25:50 Being the biographers of client's lives
27:50 Kelly discusses the DSM and the issues with labelling and diagnosis
29:30 What makes a "super youth worker"
32:00 Kelly discusses a "successful" client
35:30 The influence of narrative therapy on Kelly's professional growth and philosophy
 37:15 Reality is subjective
40:00 Kelly discusses the practicality of nonviolent communication and taking a stand against trauma and violence
46:00 All violence starts with language
48:20 Kelly's advice to young professionals
53:30 How to overhaul or redesign a program
58:00 How the feedback process can be scary
60:30 Kelly discusses progress monitoring and how it leads to better treatment plans
64:00 Goals are power laden and risky
68:00 A huge obstacle in family therapy, making the invisible visible.

Episode 1: Joe Roberts on his journey from skidrow to CEO, and pushing a shopping cart across Canada.


Welcome to the first episode of "Turning Point", telling the inspiring stories of triumph over adversity in the realm of addiction and mental health.

This week we caught up with Joe Roberts, an inspirational example of overcoming adversity and managing change. In 1989 he was living under a bridge as a homeless skid row addict. Today he is an author, CEO and internationally sought after professional speaker who motivates and inspires audiences worldwide.

And as if that wasn't impressive enough, Joe is embarking on a 9000km journey across the country, pushing a shopping cart, to raise awareness and funds for youth homelessness. We talk about his journey through recovery, as well as what drives him to make a difference today. Enjoy, and make sure you head over to The Push For Change to get involved and make a donation.

Show Notes

4:50: Inspiration hits to walk across Canada pushing a shopping cart
7:00: Joe's story of homelessness and addiction
8:20: Drugs as a solution, a means to cope
11:35: Joe's champion who never gave up on him
12:45: Joe goes from skidrow to CEO
16:40: Joe talks about the invisibility of the issues
17:50: What happens that drives kids to homelessness and addiction?
19:00: What about homelessness makes us uneasy?
20:30: The two most helpful things a professional can do to help clients change.
24:00: Behaving your way into good feelings
25:15: The AIR model
28:30: What excites Joe the most about his upcoming journey across Canada
32:20: What success looks like for The Push for Change
35:15: A Way Home collaborative
36:45: Joe's advice to people currently struggling with addiction, homelessness and mental health concerns
39:00: What you can do to get involved with the Push for Change campaign, both individually and as an organization.

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