I believe that despite our many differences we all have learned a certain constant early in life and that is, you can always expect the unexpected.
A number of years ago I was faced with a huge, much unexpected challenge, A family member was in crisis in the midst of a drug addiction and I was not even remotely prepared to help. I am not sure anyone is equipped to help when they are first brought into the world of addiction. It is a frightful place and I can say that my path through it was difficult to traverse. I liken the experience to arriving on a new planet and having no idea what to do, where to go, or even what language to speak. And yet, I desperately wanted to be a support for this person I loved.
As I searched for answers on how to help, I was struck by how many people were affected by addiction-not only the number of people in active addiction, but by the number of loved ones that were riding the roller coaster of addiction with them. And yet, in so many cases, the stigma of this disease put families in hiding and left them helpless when what they needed was so much support. As I say, Substance Use Disorder (AKA Addiction) is not a casserole disease. Our neighbors and friends are not running over with a helping hand as they do with other illnesses.
As I searched for answers, I began to learn the language of addiction and recovery as well as the resources available. I cannot pinpoint exactly when my metamorphosis occurred but somewhere on this course, I went from feeling powerless and confused to knowledgeable and empowered.
In the most unexpected places, Doors began to open, ideas and knowledge presented themselves, and people came into my path at first providing help and comfort and later looking to me for guidance.
I was not seeking this 180 degree change in my life…It took me some time to realize that the physical, and emotional turmoil that I had been experiencing had actually delivered me to my next role…I became the confidante, the advisor, the shoulder to cry on, the book of resources and the beacon of hope and possibilities for families struggling with addiction issues.
I went back to school, found a whole new career, facilitated a support group became certified in an evidence based program by the Partnership for Drug Free Kids and opened my own private practice with a strong sense of purpose that is fulfilling beyond what I thought possible. Instead of being a victim of this battle, I am now helping to empower others who are challenged with this issue, and have found purpose… which I didn’t even know I was looking for…
I embrace a personalized approach tailored to each client’s individual needs. My approach is diverse, in addition to adhering to Gestalt theory coaching, I also derive my background from an intervention perspective, the scientific and evidence based programs from the Center for Motivation and Change as well as the Partnership for Drug Free Kids where I have been trained in the Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT). My experience, passion and education makes me uniquely qualified to do this work with parents.
After 9 years of coaching parents who have children with substance use disorder, I realigned my program to offer help to those parents who have adult children failing to launch onto their best life journey. The skills, tools and evidence-based practices from my work are associated with how we motivate our children to desire change. We cannot do it for them, but through the program we develop together, we can make strides in forming new pathways for our children.
Robin is the founder of Star Group and graduated from the Gestalt Professional Certified Coaching Institute in 2014.