About The Site
First off, I want to graciously thank you for visiting my I.D.E.A.L. Recovery Coaching website. If you or someone close to you is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, I sincerely hope you find something worthwhile here. I invite you to contact me as you may see fit — whether by email, telephone or other means— to discuss your relevant concerns.
This site reflects my primary desire to offer hope, encouragement, support and assistance to attorneys and others dealing with their own unhealthy relationship with alcohol, drugs or addictive behaviors like gambling or pornography, for example.
It also reflects an effort to make sense of my own ongoing life experience as a professional attorney in recovery working with other professionals seeking to overcome their own specific challenges. My final objective is to raise the level of knowledge and awareness concerning addiction as a disease that, although not yet curable, can be managed, and those affected ultimately restored to health, happiness and well being.
Educational & Career Background:
Following high school, I worked in a number of retail and fast food environments. However, my first budding “career” was in sales. I’ve sold computers and related peripherals, insurance and investment products, and I found my early professional niche in the auto industry in sales, sales-management and finance. In career roles, I’ve struggled both to build and to be a part of strong, independent teams of persons who set and achieve goals. At the same time, I battled the progressive disease of alcohol and drug addiction as it slowly but completely took over my thinking, judgment and ambitions.
Despite my own voracious addictions, I worked to put myself through college and law school. I began at my local community college driven by the motivation to become something more. But despite my academic success, I was continually dragged down by behavioral and legal problems related to my addictions and childhood experiences.
I received undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Philosophy from Santa Clara University, was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and went on to obtain a law degree from U.C. Davis before passing the California State Bar Exam in 2001.
Lacking real confidence that I would actually reach my stated goal of becoming an attorney, when I passed the bar, I then spent the next 3 years waiting for my moral character certification to come through before being admitted to practice in April of 2004, just 7 months after voluntarily joining the 12-step fellowship of A.A. on September 29, 2003. I don’t stump for AA, as there are multiple pathways to recovery and we each must find the pathway(s) that are ideally suited to our personal circumstances and recovery needs. But the fellowship of AA was and remains a regular tool in my recovery plan.
Treatment & Abstinence Was Not Enough
I had voluntarily undertaken clinical, in-patient treatment in 1989. However, within the first 90 days of “graduating” from that program, I was drinking again.
I have seen several colleagues succumb to practice pressures and addictive self-medicating behavior that ultimately leads to professional discipline. A majority have been suspended or disbarred; a few resigned with charges or disciplinary proceedings pending, and one committed suicide rather than face the music.
As a lawyer, I was “publicly reproved” early in recovery, just a few years after my admission to practice and my introduction to “recovery” through A.A. I allowed my anger in a former relationship to overcome my better judgment and sustained misdemeanor convictions. You can read about it on my State Bar website by accessing my profile. Although unrelated to the practice of law, California attorneys who suffer criminal convictions are generally subject to professional discipline. This forever serves as a reminder that sobriety is more than abstinence from our substances of choice. Sobriety also refers to a certain state of mind that promotes and nurtures self-care and harmony in our interpersonal relationships.
I fervently believed my career and all I had worked for were over, that all the time and money invested in pulling myself out of my earlier life circumstances was wasted. Yet, in the midst of an almost impenetrable darkness, I found the grace to move forward through it all without drinking or using.
Providentially, that period and the ensuing rehabilitative efforts it required of me opened my eyes to a deeper reality– the real and actual workings of the guiding hand of the God of my childhood faith working in my own life. The “reality” of God was something I’d paid lip service to as an adult, non-practicing former member of the Catholic faith. It was also a “reality” I didn’t truly hold in my heart or believe in my mind. However, the circumstances ultimately joined me to my wife and family and fostered a “spiritual awakening” described in many 12-step recovery circles and an eventual return to the faith of my childhood.
A little closer to the Earth, the circumstances also demonstrated the care and support of the law firm that employed me. The total experience expanded my understanding of what it means to be standing at a critical turning point in life, forced to make a decision that truly carries with it life or death consequences, and trusting in people and forces over which I had no control and little faith.
These circumstances opened up a deeper willingness inside of my heart– a willingness that allowed me to admit that an inner, emotional transformation was necessary or I would undoubtedly create similar circumstances in the future– perhaps sober, perhaps not. In short shrift, I became proactive rather than reactive.
And while the 12-Step framework of Alcoholics Anonymous and the “Other Bar” saw me through remission from the mental and physical cravings of my former addictions, I needed stronger interventions and support structures to unpack and heal the effects of the disease on my broken mind and devastated spirit. Stronger tools were required, not to replace, but to complement the steps and principles I was putting into practice in my life. A Life Coach who had personal experience in Recovery helped me access and make the best of those tools and my life continues to transform as a result.
Since that time, while continuing my personal journey of self-exploration and evolution, I successfully completed a program recognized by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and became a Certified Life Coach. I then launched I.D.E.A.L. Recovery Coaching to work specifically with professionals in recovery, their families, firms and related organizations, as an adjunct to my legal practice.
To learn more about by personal background and recovery journey, you might also take a look at my bio blog in the blog section of this site. I am also happy to answer any questions or concerns my history raises for you. But this means you will have to contact me so we can meet and become acquainted!
My Commitment to The Practice: A Fully Transparent Recovery Resource
As a practicing lawyer and firm partner, I am not only committed to preserving the image and integrity of a profession my own record of discipline helped taint; I am dedicated to submitting myself and my experience as a fully transparent recovery resource to attorneys and other professionals struggling– whether publicly or privately– to overcome the progressive debilitation of addiction.
I am intimately familiar with the stresses, pressures and uncertainties of both solo and firm life. I am equally acquainted with the emotional tightrope we walk — balancing shame against denial, denial against grudging acceptance of our condition, acceptance against fear of stigma and backlash, and progress against the agony of relapse and defeatism.
I also am living proof that the Phoenix will rise from the ashes as many times as we earnestly and honestly commit ourselves to a recovery plan that works for us and that we can return to or adjust to the ever evolving circumstances of our lives and practices.
If you, or someone closely connected to you, are in the midst of, or recovering from, the bondage of addiction and its related behaviors, I’d like you to know that there is hope, that broken careers and relationships are salvageable, and that a better life is both possible and achievable. The pressures and uncertainties the lie before you are NOT so overwhelming and insurmountable that they should rob you of the enjoyment of pursuing your various callings.
Recovery Coaching has given me an opportunity to give something back — to individuals, to groups and to organizations– in a way that promotes long-term well being and lifelong success. But it also gives YOU that necessary time and opportunity to critically evaluate your circumstances and options on an ongoing basis– and to do so with someone who likely understands your personal circumstances more than you know.
I find it especially rewarding to work with attorneys and other professionals in recovery because some of the greatest and most profound personal changes arise in the lives of these courageous people.
Many of us seek new and meaningful ways to apply our evolving strengths, and insights in extraordinary ways in our homes, workplaces and local communities.
If you are in recovery from the bondage of addiction and its related behaviors, if you are closely connected with someone who is, or if you are simply evaluating the health of your relationship to one or more substances or behaviors, I can help you access the answers that are right for you.
And if you ARE struggling, I want you to know that there is hope. Broken careers and relationships are salvageable. A better, more meaningful and truly fulfilling life is both possible and achievable for YOU!
Coaching Background and Practice:
I am a certified Coach through the Coach Training Alliance. I presently provide Recovery Coaching services, MCLE presentations, and workshops to individuals, firms and organizations emphasizing issues of recovery and long term well being. I have been acquainted with Coaching principles and practices since the early 1990’s and have read extensively in the areas of transpersonal and positive psychology, personal, spiritual, recovery and leadership coaching, and bodies of literature specifically relevant to Coaching within the recovery community.
I have worked with a personal Recovery Coach and I regularly use coaching principles in my professional and interpersonal relationships with friends, colleagues and clients. Coaching generally describes an emerging paradigm in learning and Recovery Coaching is particularly suited to sustaining long term well being for those of us in the Recovery Community.
Recovery Coaching Motivation & Orientation:
We are each gifted with intentionality and purpose. As there are innumerable pathways to recovery from substance abuse and addiction, there are many spots on each pathway where we might want to slow the pace of things, to stop for an hour or so a couple times per month and take stock of our overall situation.
I work with people who are still using and deciding, those who have just left a treatment program and don’t know what to do next, as well as those having many years of complete abstinence and personal serenity but want to expand the contours of their personal and professional lives. Recovery is great! But it is still only a means to living the one life that we’re gifted with in a personally meaningful and fulfilling way.
Please allow me to be a catalyst of growth, healing, support and self-insight for you regardless of where you may on your personal recovery pathway. I will help facilitate your recovery goals on the terms that you find meaningful and right for your circumstances.
Personal Activities & Motivations:
While lawyering describes my “role” in the economic marketplace, I am a dedicated husband to a beautiful, educated and well-adjusted wife, Jules, and the inept-but-slowly-progressing father of the two astonishing, independently-motivated and equally beautiful children she brought into our marriage and who I have adopted.
However, underneath it all, I am a human being recovering from decades of addiction and addiction-related criminal and other dysfunctional behavior. I have a sobriety date; I have racked up over 14 years of abstinence suiting up, showing up and standing up “one day at a time.”
I remain thankful for opportunities to live, work, love and give something back. Individually, and as a family, we’ve been blessed to visit Mexico and Central America, Africa, the U.A.E. and multiple European countries. We have been privileged to perform missionary, relief and cultural exchange work with many divergent and fascinating people and cultures.
At home in Redding, California, we assist in various faith formation and outreach ministries. I work with inmates in our local county jail and our prison system. I work and support numerous folks from all backgrounds in local 12-step and cross-denominational programs and I am a member in the 4th Degree of the Knights of Columbus.
Each day, my wife and I rise to the occasion to give something back to our community and attempt to remain true to our own values. Like everyone, I am a work in progress. I have overcome tremendous adversity to become the person I am today. Yet, I know there is still much more for me to evolve into.
Come to me with your personal recovery agenda and together we will co-create your long term RECOVERY SUCCESS! I want to be your Recovery Coach.
Phone: (530) 515-5198
Link with me on LinkedIn.