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Spring 2013

Newsletter for past clients and friends

Love, Sex and Relationships

Lorraine Wood, Co-Founder and Chair of SPP

grew up in the 1950s, spending my teens and early adulthood watching the world expand in the post-war era that nurtured the beginnings of the global village that the world has become today. At the bottom of the earth, in New Zealand, there was an increased awareness of the wider world as: 1. Communication technology improved, we got a private phone after years of a party line! 2. Social awareness grew through newspapers, which at boarding school we werent allowed to read in case we read something not nice 3. Magazines, movie stars, royal family. 4. Television, in 1964 we got our first TV, a small box on rickety legs, which the neighbours came over to watch! 5. Music trends, even my fairly liberal parents were shocked by Elvis! Despite this, the concepts of love, sex and relationships remained nave, romanticised and fueled by fantasy, idealism, and mystery on the one hand, secrecy and shame on the other. The main goal of life for my friends and I was to get married, be a wonderful wife, and have beautiful children who would adore us! Growing up in a family full of addictions and depression that were fueled by low self- esteem, I felt relief when my Grandma reassured me that there is a lid for every pot. I felt a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, Prince Charming would beat a path to my door, and we would ride off together toward the setting sun, to live a life of married bliss. continued...

Self-worth and Relationships Components of a Healthy Relationship

Consumer & Carer Committee

Recommended Reading Volunteers Consumer and Carer Advisory Committee The Value of Consumer Engagement

Alumni Support
Let us know how you are going Book Review

Upcoming Events
Alumni Workshop

SPP Update
Accreditation achieved with flying colours!

Well sure enough I found a Prince Charming, married and had 4 daughters then found another Prince Charming and had another daughter As for the fairytale ending of married bliss well ... what I did discover is that we are often sent in life what we need and that is not necessarily what we want! One of the wonderful gifts of relationships is that they bring up those underlying issues that we all have and provide us with choices. We can try ignoring the issues, we can medicate to cope with substances or processes, we can buy into it all and spiral down into disaster, or we can face and deal with the issues. I tried all of these approaches over the years - and it still astounds me that, when I finally surrendered and faced the issues and went into Treatment, not only did I find the path to happiness in my relationships, but I also found my purpose in life when Bill and I founded South Pacific Private 20 years ago. Despite the progress in education and openness in discussing sexuality, this can still remain an area shrouded in shame, secrecy, compulsion, trauma and myth, which are often addressed for the first time when someone comes for treatment at SPP. To have a healthy relationship - we need a healthy self. This means looking at our core issues, assessing our self esteem, boundaries, reality, dependency and moderation challenges, and doing whatever it takes to grow ourselves us into a mature functioning adult, who can accommodate the pain and the powerlessness of the past into our life story, and then get on with the rest of our journey, not only living life but having fun and enjoyment. To build a relationship based in healthy physical, sexual, emotional, intellectual and spiritual intimacy we need to be open, honest, willing and committed to a shared set of values. Have you discussed your relationship values with your partner? If you dont have a partner what are the values you would like to share with someone in relationship? Finally here is one of my favourite poems that I think says it all: ACCEPT YOUR QUIETNESS When I can accept your quietness And not assume its because of me When I can accept your anger And not react as if you are angry with me When I can allow you to be indifferent And not take it as an insult When I can be with you in company And see not your behaviour as a reflection on me When I can accept your mood swings Without needing to understand or control When I can allow you to be I will be beyond ownership Then not only will you feel my love But I will have found freedom within me. Author unknown.

So many people live life full of fear, pain, powerlessness & negativity rather than face their pain, do their work and miracle of all miracles, grow, discover their authentic self, embrace recovery and find healing, happiness and purpose.

To have a healthy relationship we need a healthy self.

12 Step programs tell us if you follow the guidelines we set out you will find a life beyond your wildest dreams. So many of us in Recovery recognize the truth of this - a noble goal and one well worth pursuing. Where do we start? Letting go of the knight in shining armor fantasy that I grew up with, and accepting that relationships are a personal growth experience and opportunity, is the reframing needed to take that first step into accountability for creating the type of relationships we most wish for. Generally we will find ourselves in relationship with someone at the same emotional level as ourselves, though this can be very hard to face when our partner is acting in ways that mortify us! These relationships create dynamics that are often an unconscious effort to heal childhood wounds. Attitudes to sexuality in relationships have shifted significantly from the ignorance, shame and secrecy common in my youth.


Self-worth and Relationships

If we have a healthy sense of self-worth we are more likely to have a healthy relationship. When we feel better abut ourselves we are: More likely to require that our partner treats us with respect More likely to treat our partners with respect More likely to work through problems in our relationships and feel that we can successfully resolve conflicts when they occur Less distrustful of our partners and more willing to go to them for support when we need it

Remember to practice self-care and look after yourself. We can often take very good care of others and put our own self-care last. Looking after yourself spiritually, mentally and physically works wonders for self-worth and self-esteem.

Components of a Healthy Relationship

Honesty Acceptance Love Trust Healthy boundaries Freedom of expression Shared vision and goals Laughter Time Intimacy
(Physical, sexual, emotional, intellectual, spiritual)

Respect Shared Interests Conflict resolution skills Safety Security Accountability Curiosity Self-care


The Value of Consumer Engagement Consumer & Carer Advisory Committee

Recently SPP staff received valuable training from members of our Consumer & Carer Committee to discuss why meaningful consumer engagement is so important. Our Consumer and Carer Advisory Committee is comprised of past clients and carers who are passionate about ensuring the client experience at SPP is positive and establishes solid foundations for recovery. Committee members either received treatment at SPP or were carers and each have their own personal investment in ensuring the quality and safety of our service. Heres what a few of the Committee members had to say during our training: SPP is much more than a Treatment Centre; its a community with a culture of belief, compassion, and conviction. My ongoing involvement is a way to give back from the bounty I have received since treatment. It is my experience that the Family Program plays a vital role in recovery it is a way for clients and their family/support persons to get on the same page and for the support person to be better equipped to support the client in their re-entry into society. My goal is to encourage the ongoing development and expansion of the Family Program. Through participating in the CACA Committee, I have seen an opportunity to help provide tools for clients to get back to a career or begin a renewed vocational journey. I am grateful that the Committees suggestions are taken onboard and implemented and am amazed at some of the great ideas put forward by Management. The Committee works as per its Charter and I am proud to be a part of it. The value of consumer engagement: creating positive change In the past year we have seen a number of changes implemented because of the Committee, to name a few: A 24 hour alumni support line was established May 2013 Client rights and responsibilities have been re-written with the clients best interests in mind The Changes 2 program was developed and introduced due to feedback received from the Committees annual phone survey Pacific Connections was developed following phone survey feedback A complete revision of our Step Down program resulted in the introduction of our Transitions program Aftercare planning groups and lectures were developed to improve client aftercare knowledge and engagement

SPP extends a huge thank you to the Consumer and Carer Committee for delivering our staff training and their continued valuable contributions. Thanks also to our past clients and carers for taking the time to provide feedback on their SPP experience.


Let us know how you are going, even if you are struggling
We can have trouble contacting people for our 3-month follow-up calls and only generally manage to find out about how less than 50% of alumni are doing after treatment. We are keen to improve our follow-up and hear about how you are doing, whether you are doing well or whether you are struggling. When one of our therapists calls you in the week after discharge or 3 months later, we would really appreciate you having a chat and answering the questions on how you are going. It is a chance for you to check in with us about how your aftercare plan and support systems are doing. If you would prefer to have the questionnaire sent to you by email then contact


CACA Recommended Reading List: Alumni Resources

Below is a list of recommended readings provided by a member of our Consumer & Carer Advisory Committee. The Committee member found that the books resonated with their own personal journey through recovery.

Family of Origin Differentiation of Self related:

You Can Go Home Again: Reconnecting with Your Family, Monica McGoldrick The Family Crucible The Intense Experience of Family Therapy, Augustus Y Napier & Carl Whitaker Family Ties that Bind: A self-help guide to change through Family of Origin therapy, Ronald W. Richardson

Depression Related:
The Depression Workbook A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression, Mary Ellen Copeland Breaking The Patterns Of Depression, Michael Yapko Hand-Me-Down-Blues, Michael Yapko When Living Hurts Directives for Treating Depression, Michael Yapko

Marriage & Relationship (love, intimacy, sex) related:

The Intimacy Factor: The ground Rules for Overcoming the Obstacles to Truth, Respect, and Lasting Love, Pia Mellody Passionate Marriage Keeping Love, Sex & Intimacy Alive in Emotionally Committed Relationships, David Schnarch

Anxiety related:
The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook, Edmund J. Bourne

Grief / Loss / Trauma related:

Men & Grief. A Guide for Men Surviving the Death of a Loved One. A Resource for Caregivers and Mental Health Professionals, Carol Staudacher

Adult Life Cycle / Personal Development:

The Seasons of a Womans Life, Daniel J. Levinson The Seasons of a Mans Life, Daniel J. Levinson Choosing Happiness The Art of Living Unconditionally, Veronica Ray The Self-Esteem Workbook, Glenn R. Schiraldi & Matthew McKay Mapping Your Life across Time, Gail Sheehy

Suicide related:
Hearing the Cry Suicide Prevention (copies available from R.O.S.E. Education Training & Consultancy, NSW, Australia), Margaret Appleby & Margaret Condonis Surviving the Pain After Suicide (copies available from R.O.S.E. Education Training & Consultancy, NSW, Australia), Margaret Appleby


CACA Recommended Reading List: Alumni Resources

Beyond Blue: the national depression initiative working to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety in the community and empowering people to seek help and recovery. Follow the very humorous Brian Ironwood as he takes you through Beyond Blues new Man Therapy website, a Beyond Blue initiative developed to improve mens wellbeing and reduce the higher rate of mail suicide in Australia compare to women. Bowen Center for the Study of the Family offers a theory of human behaviour that views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems of thinking to describe is complex interactions. theory.html Gambling help is a service that assists problem gamblers and their families in NSW.

Would you like to join our Consumer and Carer Advisory Committee?
We genuinely value the feedback we receive from our SPP clients and carers. To ensure that feedback is heard and channelled appropriately, we have an established Consumer and Carer Advisory Committee. The Committee is comprised of past clients and carers who are involved in and advise on, issues that relate to both clients and carers. Meetings are held on a quarterly basis and include our annual Phone Survey where we collect feedback from clients who have received treatment at SPP within the past year. To be eligible to join the Committee you need to be: Either a past client of SPP and in recovery for at least 1 year A carer / family member of a past SPP client If you are a motivated and passionate individual and you think you would be an excellent candidate for the Committee, then please send your interest through to Leonie by either emailing or calling (02) 9905 3667


Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes from, How It Sabotages Our Lives
by Pia Mellody
One day I was catapulted into the adventure of discovery by a fit of anger (rage) at work. I was in the Directors office talking to him and another counsellor who was standing at the door. I wanted these two important men in my life If you have been struggling throughout your life to make sense of Addiction issues and their origin, this book is for you. If you have been trying to deal with Depression and Anxiety, then this book is for you. If you have been struggling to maintain good healthy adult relationships, then this book is for you. Its an unfortunate reality, that if this book resonates with you, then its bitter sweet that you have undoubtedly come from a family system that functioned at some level in pain. As a result, you likely experienced less than nurturing parenting resulting in the trauma and abuse. A the beginning of the book, Pia very clearly outlines how she stumbled into this recovery process. As you can imagine, Pia left the office even more furious and had the thought that if she couldnt find a way to help herself, and others like her, they were all doomed. It was in that moment of frustration and fear, that the confusion left her in a moment of peace, and she asked herself the question about how the early alcoholics got themselves out of a similar dilemma, and she realised that they started by sharing their Experience, Strength and Hope. This review was written by our Program Director, Steve Stokes who has over 25 years experience in the treatment field. They looked at me and one of them said, Well, why dont you figure out how to treat whatever this is? to know how upset I was that nobody seemed to hear me when I was telling them about my distress. And as I talked, I realized these two extremely intelligent professionals couldnt understand me either. In Facing Co-dependence, Pia, offers a clear, concise and helpful identification tool, as well as easily observed treatment pathways that have changed the lives of many. When you put into practice the tools outlined in this book, and couple it with the accompanying workbook, Breaking Free, you receive a life not only free of addiction and mental health issues, but also a rich recovery process is ignited and leaves you experiencing a life better than you have ever known. This started Pia on an amazing journey that changed the depth and focus of treatment. All of a sudden we were looking at the Alcoholism and Addiction issues as secondary symptoms, as along with Depression, Anxiety and Personality issues. These were the underlying Primary Symptoms, which were a result of childhood trauma.


Alumni Workshop
Taking the SPP model into the real world With Steve Stokes Saturday 7th December, 8:30am 1:00pm Our final alumni workshop for the year will be held with SPPs infamous and humorous, Steve Stokes, our Program Director with over 25 years experience in the field of addiction and co-dependency treatment. This workshop is suitable for all alumni actively working the 12 steps or wanting to know more about how the 12 Step Philosophy can support your Recovery. The workshop will include: The Steps examined and explained Recovery suggestions and support What are 12 Step Programs? Why give 12 Step programs a go? The first 3 steps defining the problem and solution The H.O.W of Recovery Road Blocks to Recovery PAWS: Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms In this 4-hour workshop, Steve takes you through the first three steps and explores the essential principles in-depth, helping you to gain clarity and a deeper understanding of how to best support yourself on the road to recovery.

Attendance is $50 and morning tea is included. To confirm your spot, please email or phone (02) 9905 3667


Accreditation achieved with flying colours!

The National Accreditation Scheme is driven by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care who have National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS) that work to ensure the safety and quality of health care in Australia. All hospitals must meet these standards in order to achieve accreditation. This year, not only did we have to achieve accreditation, but we also had to meet 10 new standards introduced by the NSQHS. Within the 10 new standards were a total of 256 actions that needed to be met. On the 28 and 29 August two surveyors from the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) conducted an extensive survey to ensure all requirements were met as outlined in the standards. South Pacific Private is pleased to announce that not only did we achieve all 256 actions but we also exceeded requirements in two areas and achieved a merit rating. Those two areas were: Consumer Engagement Decision-making around Quality and Safety We were delighted with the results, and are pleased to have the high standard of treatment we have delivered for 20 years endorsed.

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