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The Beyond Belief Sobriety Podcast features stories of interest to people seeking a secular path to addiction recovery. We post episodes each week featuring a personal recovery story or an interview with an author or expert in addiction science. In addition to the audio podcast episodes posted here, we also live stream every Saturday at 11:00 am Central time. You can support our podcast by becoming a member of our YouTube Channel or a supporter on Patreon.
 
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Everyone’s recovery story is unique, but in the case of my guest for this episode, there are some unmistakable parallels that resonate with us both. Matt Gardiner is a certified recovery coach, sound therapist and podcast host whose journey has been marked by turning points that share some similarities with John’s, as their conversation illuminates…
 
Are you ready to meet a secular force of nature? Then you won’t want to miss this episode. Our guest, LaDawn, shares with us the harrowing passage she made from hardened alcoholic to master of a YouTube channel that regularly delights, inspires and informs viewers on a range of mental health, lifestyle and sobriety-related topics. A woman unafraid …
 
The following essay was authored by John Huey for the purpose of outlining the discussion of our third episode in the Atheism and Sobriety series. Abstinence and The Purity of Atheist Thought By John Huey As Atheists we see things not only as they are in personal terms without the veneer of belief, but, as we look at ideas and states of being as th…
 
Although relapse is often a source of shame, it needn’t be. As we learn on this episode, there are ways to understand such stumbles as part of the larger process that is recovery. This livestream conversation features co-hosts John Sheldon and Mary C., who together explore the healing opportunities available to us when we respond to, reflect on and…
 
Highjacked by trauma and a profound desire for validation, Martin Lockett attached himself early on to gangs, drugs and violence – all in the name of fitting in. It was a path that took him into a world of trouble, including a DUI accident that resulted in the death of two people. Sentenced by the state of Oregon to 17.5 years in prison at the age …
 
Today, July 20, 2022 marks thirty-four years since my last drink, so in the spirit of sobriety anniversaries, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my recovery story. It’s a story I’ve told many times over the years, but each telling is a little different as I continually gain additional insight and learn from my past. In this talk, I didn’t …
 
Anyone who has any experience with AA has heard the saying, “fake it ’til you make it.” Often, the statement is made to someone who isn’t buying the concept of needing a higher power to stay sober. They are told to just pretend and sooner or later, they will come along. But is there another way to think about this saying? In this livestream, Angela…
 
Every Tuesday at 7:00 PM Central, we have a meeting for listeners of the podcast, that you are free to join anytime. Typically, we’ll have a guest from a previous episode speak or we’ll play a clip from one of our episodes to use as a basis of conversation. This week, I needed to get an episode published and I was having a hard time. So, I asked th…
 
Is it possible that the “higher power” concept that animates Bill W.’s framework for Alcoholics Anonymous is based on an overly narrow reading of William James, a preeminent psychologist and intellectual giant of the early 20th century? On this episode of The Beyond Belief Sobriety Podcast, author Peg O’Connor unpacks a compelling theory as well as…
 
Things could have played out very differently for Leonard Lee Buschel. A powerful combo of early-childhood trauma, a “professional” opportunity, and luck combined to foster a 27-year drug dealing career that might have gone disastrously wrong. In fact, a great many things did go wrong, which became undeniably clear when Leonard looked at the Top 10…
 
Today, I want to talk about recovery. What is it anyway? To answer the question, I am borrowing heavily from the pamphlet “SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery” published in 2012 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. I start each episode introducing Beyond Belief Sobriety as a podcast and community for people who […]…
 
Can you become addicted to a person and if so, how can you become unaddicted? With her book, UnAddicted to You: Loving Yourself Through the Darkness, Etel Leit answers these questions through the sharing of her own personal story and the lessons learned. Etel is a PhD. candidate, a best-selling author, motivator, public speaker, and […]…
 
In this episode, I speak with Sam Arsenault Wilson, the Chief Quality Officer, and Co-founder of Confidant Health, an app-based hub of resources and clinical providers that help people with mental health and substance use problems. I was happy to feature Confidant Health on this podcast because I believe their model, which is grounded in […]…
 
Danny grew up in a religious household and drinking was considered a sin. When he was around sixteen, he began to question the teachings of his religion. One question: Where does it say in the bible that you can’t drink? He waited until he was twenty-one before he has his first drink. In this episode, Danny […]…
 
In this episode Ben and I had a conversation about how to navigate Alcoholics Anonymous as an atheist, agnostic, freethinker, or otherwise secular person. We briefly touched upon what a person can expect to experience at their first AA meeting, and how to handle the overtly religious nature of most AA meetings. Topics covered in […]…
 
In this episode, we meet Robert Stump who has been the Executive Director of LifeRing Secular Recovery since 2012 when the founder, Marty Nicholas stepped down. In this episode Robert shares his personal story of recovery and how he found LifeRing to support him in his sobriety. His journey began in 1997 when the only […]…
 
For this episode, I had a conversation with Jack J. from Bristol England. Jack is a recovered sex addict who has created a new peer support group called Secular Organizations for Sexual Sobriety (SOSS). In this interesting conversation, Jack explains how his experience with other mutual aid groups inspired him to start this new secular […]…
 
Kimiko values inclusion and believes the best way to help people is to meet them where they are. Though, she may prefer a more secular and practical approach to recovery for herself; she can easily adjust and relate to someone who values spirituality, and who is comfortable using spiritual language to describe their experience. As […]…
 
This episode highlights a website that has been a welcome refuge for alcoholics seeking to decouple religious faith and sobriety. Roger C. founded AA Agnostica a decade ago to publish the kind of information he could find nowhere else: Narratives about the experiences of secular members of Alcoholics Anonymous. Through his tireless work, Roger has …
 
Our guest for this episode has built a unique online addiction treatment program that features many modalities because – as we know – recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Dr. Daniel Hochman, a psychiatrist and founder of SelfRecovery.org, shares a platform that weaves together science, behavioral change and self-knowledge to sustain not …
 
I just wanted to take a few minutes to touch base and fill you in on what’s happened on the podcast, livestream and in the Beyond Belief Sobriety community. Podcast The podcast is doing well. I’ve been consistently posting an episode every week. I always post on Wednesday morning. So, if you subscribe to the […]…
 
Gabe Rosales, is a professional musician, and a sobriety and criminal justice advocate from San Juan Capistrano, California. He got sober in 2007 after serving time in prison for crimes committed during the time he was actively drinking and drugging. The experience inspired him to earn a degree in Criminal Justice with the goal to […]…
 
In this episode we meet Katie Lain, an advocate and mentor for the Sinclair Method, which is a means for treating Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) based on the principal of pharmacological extinction. Those who use this method to treat AUD will take the drug Naltrexone one hour prior to drinking. Naltrexone is an opiate blocker […]…
 
When Joanna Conti’s daughter was admitted to the hospital and placed on a 24-hour hold for a life-threatening addiction to alcohol; she wanted to find the most effective rehab for her daughter. After calling several addiction treatment centers, Joanna was surprised that none of them were measuring treatment outcomes and were therefore unable to tel…
 
Weekly Meeting Tuesday March 15th at 8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central, 6:00 PM Mountain, and 5:00 PM Pacific. It’s a Zoom Meeting with ID 883 3035 4802. I’ll open the room about 15 minutes early. No password required. This week our speaker will be Serge Prengle, author of “The Twelve Proactive Steps.” Serge has […]…
 
Weekly Listener Meeting We had our first weekly listener meeting on Tuesday, March the 1st. The meeting was a success. Beth Aich, the author of “We’re Not All Egomaniacs” spoke for about thirty minutes, and then we opened the floor for comments and questions. There were 27 people at that first meeting. This Tuesday, March […]…
 
John Huey discusses the second essay in his five-part series on Atheism and Sobriety. This episode focuses on personal responsibility and recovery from the perspective of an atheist, and how John’s atheism was a primary driver of his recovery. Personal Responsibility and Recovery – An Atheists View By John Huey To be yourself in a […]…
 
Anne Porter has been a listener of this podcast for a number of years, but recently she felt compelled to contact me after listening to “Episode 208: Ibby A”, and “Episode 250: Atheism and Sobriety”. In these episodes, I expressed a reluctance to serve as a sponsor, and I spoke derisively about the concept of […]…
 
This episode features a conversation with RJ Zimmerman and Montee Ball from the Untapped Keg podcast. RJ and Montee share their personal stories and talk about how and why they started their podcast. An interesting conversation develops covering topics such as; the difficulty many men have with expressing their feelings, being open about our recove…
 
This episode features a conversation with Aaron Reed, author of “Another In The Fire”, a book that chronicles Aaron’s addiction to methamphetamine, his experiences as an international drug smuggler, and then finding recovery in a Colombian prison. What we discussed What interested Aaron to work in Cambodia. His first experience using methamphetamin…
 
In this episode, we have a discussion with Ted Perkins about the use of psychedelics to treat addiction and other mental health challenges such as PTSD, and clinical depression. About Ted Perkins When Ted grew up, he was surrounded by alcohol use as something entirely normal and necessary as part of life. His parents worked […]…
 
Welcome to SMART Talk! In this episode Arthur and I spoke with Joe Gerstein, founding President and a current Board Member for SMART Recovery. Joe has facilitated SMART Recovery meetings since its inception. He has developed many of the tools in the SMART toolbox and he helped start SMART meetings in several countries around the […]…
 
In this episode, I have a conversation with John Huey about atheism and sobriety. This is the first in a series of essays that John will be writing about atheism and sobriety, and in this essay, he examines the moral structure of atheism and how that relates to recovery. ‘What is the “Moral Structure” of […]…
 
Arthur Shenker is a certified meeting facilitator for SMART Recovery and works as SMART’s National Outreach Liason to introduce SMART Recovery to treatment facilities. Arthur previously appeared as a guest on Episode 220 where he shared a little of his own personal story and talked about the SMART tools and how to use them. Recently, Arthur […]…
 
Scott’s Story Scott J. was attending AA meetings for seven years and was sober, happy, and doing well. In fact, his life improved so much that he didn’t think he needed as many meetings. Eventually, he stopped going altogether and began playing computer games. Initially, his gaming wasn’t a problem, but this changed when he […]…
 
Dave G. enjoys his sobriety. He runs, dances, and swims in the open sea. He gives back by talking at schools about his experience with addiction and recovery, and through his involvement in Toastmasters, he is working on improving his speaking skills even more. As we talked, I noticed a recurring theme throughout our conversation—language. […]…
 
Jamie Salsburg is the host of “The After Gambling Podcast.” He is a former problem gambler who hasn’t gambled since July 15th, 2010, and he created the website and podcast “After Gambling” to help people who are struggling with compulsive gambling. He also provides peer support for recovering gamblers, as well as their friends and […]…
 
Barb was adopted into a conservative, Catholic family where she had a happy home life with parents who cared and provided for her. There wasn’t anything in her childhood that was especially traumatic, but she did get pregnant in high school and put her baby up for adoption. It was a Catholic school, and though […]…
 
In this episode, we meet Tara Boyce who shares her personal story of recovery and talks about her podcast “Addicted to Recovery: The Interactive Memoir.” Her podcast has a unique format that involves Tara reading from her own memoir and then discussing her feelings about what she wrote. She also responds to listener comments and […]…
 
In this episode, I had an interesting conversation with Dr. Joseph Volpicelli about the idea that some people in the early stages of losing control over their drinking may benefit from therapy and naltrexone as a means of not stopping but instead, moderating their drinking. This may be a controversial topic among those of us […]…
 
Mary Beth O’Connor from Life Ring Secular Recovery and the She Recovers Foundation, teams up with Adrienne Miller from Women for Sobriety to discuss the importance of respecting multiple paths to recovery, and issues specific to women in recovery. Topics Discussed The origins and purpose of Women for Sobriety. Life Ring Secular Recovery. The She Re…
 
The book Alcoholics Anonymous written in 1939 describes alcoholics as power-driving egomaniacs who are self-centered in the extreme. The idea put forth in the book was that recovery from alcoholism would require crushing this oversized ego and learning to live with humility. This may have been an apt description of the less than 100 mostly […]…
 
Serge Prengel is a therapist and life coach, and co-founder of the Integrative Focusing Therapy Online Training Program. He is also the author of The Proactive Twelve Steps: A mindful Program For Lasting Change. The sixth edition of the book was recently published and Serge visited with me to talk about what is new and why. […]…
 
Jan Winhall is a Clinical Social Worker and Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto in the Department of Social Work. She is also the author of Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model: A Bottom-Up Approach. In this episode, Jan explains how and why addiction becomes a way of coping with […]…
 
Timothy Clancy is an independent Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Counselor who specializes in self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse and eating disorders. He is a certified SMART Recovery meeting facilitator and the author of The Road to Sobriety: A Personal Experience. In this episode, Timothy shares his story and discusses alcoholism, tr…
 
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