Addiction and Recovery

Addiction and trauma have been primary aspects of my professional practice for more than 30 years. I’ve worked with thousands of clients and hundreds of organizations. I provide consulting services for the development of addictions programs, clinical supervision for counsellors, psychotherapists, and front-line staff, and education for the wider community. The complex landscape of recovery is my neighbourhood. The resources on these pages are drawn from my experience and reflect my interest in the deeply creative aspects of addiction and trauma. As a result, these pages relate the unique stories of individual clients which, in turn, reflect the broader landscape. Recovery is an odyssey that reaches back as well as forward. It weaves together childhood development, adolescent vulnerability, mental health, and trauma. It’s a complex and layered experience that cannot be understood by reducing the process to substance use or behaviour. Addiction is more than that. It’s deeper. These pages describe what this means, and, in turn, how to seek healing.

The Essence of Addiction

Layers upon layers, ever inward

June 20, 2021, 1:12 p.m. • Ross Laird

Addiction is not the primary problem. It does not spring from nothing. This is perhaps the most important — and most difficult — insight to make. Parents resist it. Communities deny it. And the a...


Inward: Addictions of Retreat

The inward seeker yearns for stillness and solace, for the end of pain. But they drift ever deeper, ever farther away.

June 20, 2021, 1:19 a.m. • Ross Laird

A narrow bridge of crumbling steel stretches across the inlet from upscale neighborhoods on the south shore to strip clubs and run-down stores on the north side. Beneath both ends of the bridge, ...