Areas of competence in wellness & recovery featuring a change oriented approach in

Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a very destructive disabler and destroyer of people’s lives and the community’s welfare. I have been working with this population for more than twenty years, both from a place of getting people into treatment as well as helping them apply the lessons learned to the tasks of forming a new and better life. The challenge is to live life without the substances that they depended on while these were destroying them. I know the Twelve Step model and can talk their new-found recovery language and help them with the Steps. As I’ve heard said, “treatment is discovery and post-treatment help with life is recovery.” Back to top

Structured Intervention with Families For The Benefit Of Addicted Members

The family of the addicted person knows there is trouble and that some form of treatment is needed. But, over time, their best efforts to get their loved one to move towards help have repeatedly failed. Nagging, threats, ultimatums, work problems and damaged cars haven’t worked. The addict is fighting the very thing that will save his life and wants to maintain the addiction. A trained and experienced guide can create a structured intervention skillfully orchestrating the family members to encourage the person to seek help. The key is the power of the family which, when properly structured and directed, will promote movement to accepting help. Back to top


Some people have described anxiety as a slowly enveloping cloud of fear and apprehension. Some have described it as an out of the blue panic attack without anything different having happened in life. Because it is a spectrum disorder with various degrees of severity, it requires an approach that is more than the “one-size-fits-all” agenda. The fact that people respond differently to life has to be a cornerstone of designing treatment. Back to top

Gambling Addiction

Gambling is a very destructive addiction that is often under the radar because, initially, there are few warning signs. It always starts out as fun. No one gets a ticket or jail for gambling- now called “gaming.” The destruction to money and property ownership, relationship trust, misuse of friends and relatives, productivity loss, only takes a toll after a period of time: time in which the addiction has gotten firmly imbedded. People suffer huge losses all the while believing that some magic will occur and they will be made whole again. As the addiction becomes more powerful and damaging, it can lead to child neglect and sometimes to the addict running away, or even suicide. Fortunately, there is help available in the form of therapy specifically designed for this very destructive addiction. Back to top

Internet Habituation/Addiction

The internet is changing how we think, communicate and relate to others as well as how we think of ourselves. It is changing our self-management standards and fostering risky behaviors. People are spending hours playing games and texting, often walking around with their heads down, all the while missing real life. There is a fine line between too much and addiction, where the internet becomes a powerful attractant. Unfortunately, increasing numbers of people are crossing this line. I find that folks need help in freeing themselves from the very tools they thought would make them freer and more efficient. Back to top

Sex Addiction

Sex is one of our most powerful natural drives and attractants. This is a complex process addiction that poses the question: “What is too much and what is an addiction?” Unfortunately, often the person is addicted and experiences severe life consequences before seeking help. Relationships suffer and are sometimes irretrievably damaged. Sex addiction is potentially dangerous from a health perspective, which could also open the person to legal repercussions. The good news is that there are specific interventions that promote recovery to a healthier life. Back to top

Pornography Addiction

As a result of internet prevalence and the solitary nature of the activity, this addiction often takes root long before it is viewed as debilitating. The harm comes to relationships, time lost, and isolation of the participant. It harms relationships by becoming a substitute for them. Often, time passes before the concerned partner realizes what is happening, and then they experience mistrust, pain and sometimes revulsion. Pornography addiction is particularly damaging to single people because it drives them further into isolation. Back to top

Veterans Issues: Recovery & Life Reintegration

We ask our military to serve in harm’s way and often do not provide sufficient services when they return to civilian life. Veterans have their own personal issues as well as new family and work challenges that emerge, when a different/changed-person-than-the-one-who-left returns after one or several tours. Reintegration is made more challenging because many well-intentioned helpers are talking psychology instead of how to deal with life. Not having much experience with the military, they are unable to help reframe thinking and feeling from a very hostile environment to civilian life. Veterans need to learn the “how” of getting along. I am a war veteran and have a sense of what our people are experiencing and how to relate to them. Back to top

Anger & Abuse Counseling

Years ago, I was trained in a clinic that had a specially designed program for angry and abusive people. The damage is to relationships, the negative modeling/teaching of children, life partners, property and the community. Our clients were heartened to learn that help is available for their destructive life patterns and that generations-deep behaviors could be changed. There is a wholesome alternative, besides jail, available. Back to top

Couples Counseling

Couples counseling is one of the most challenging endeavors because it encompasses unraveling the knot of love, expectations, disappointments, disagreements, anger and sometimes secrets. It’s rarely just about “communication problems,” which most people walk in with. The challenge is discovering what is really happening. The process can be demanding, but it often results in a payoff of tremendous relief, healing and the possibility of a new, revitalized relationship. Back to top

Relationship Counseling

There are all kinds of relationships that can be challenging: marriage, living together, work, extended family, former partners, and the terminally ill. The list is endless. It could be about asking for a raise or dealing with difficult family members. Career change or seeking additional education can be disruptive. What if one person is more of a pusher and the other is more laid back? There are pressure tactics at work and work-place bullying. People need input from someone outside the heated action zone in order to think more skillfully. Back to top

Family Therapy for Families with ADD/ADHD Children

Because the identified patient is the child, with real diagnosable difficulties, it is often overlooked that the family is suffering and has been severely disrupted. The child’s behaviors have sometimes hurt the marital relationship and the well-being of the other children or even pets. For successful recovery of the child, a proven method is to treat the family as a whole, with simultaneous modules addressing the child, the adults, and the parenting structure. I developed a highly successful program for families with children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD that has been used by metropolitan counties for many years. Back to top

Parent Coaching

The environment for child rearing has changed significantly in the last few years and parents now need help, more than ever, with developing a unified parenting structure, a set of family values, and constructive ways of modifying disruptive behaviors. It’s amazing how many parents could benefit from some coaching help when it comes to child rearing. They usually do whatever seems appropriate, drawing from their own childhoods and hoping for the best. Unfortunately, parent coaching is often sought only after there are significant problems in the family. Our agency developed a very effective parenting program for families with difficult children. Our approach was tracked and found to have a high success rate in restoring family cohesion and reducing family chaos. Back to top

Empowerment & Transformational Guidance for Women & Men

For years I’ve worked with women who are in the process of changing their lives by taking steps that may seem risky or unfamiliar. Our society still has the glass ceiling, sexism, unfair employment and pay practices and various forms of harassment. There is oppression by husbands, employers or the expectations of the extended family. Sometimes the client needs encouragement, advice or to be connected with resource specialists. Sometimes they just need a safe space to unburden, and to know that it’s OK to step out of their pre-assigned roles and to say no to others’ expectations- that it’s OK to put themselves first.

Men have a real challenge in showing their vulnerability or feelings while trying to maintain their sense of mastery. Dealing with fear and aging is difficult because they see themselves losing their powers and their control, and attribute it to their own weakness. Men carry the weight of society’s success definition and expectation. Often, they are their worst critic. Successful men often come to counseling reluctantly because they “know” everything and can fix it themselves; or they deny that they need counseling; or they feel shame in asking for help. They’re relieved to find that everyone needs help and guidance and that the counseling experience can be freeing, transformative and life expanding. Back to top

Clinical Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a very effective adjunct for enhancing the efficacy of therapy. It is very different than the entertainment silliness that we see on TV which goes by the same name. As a powerful tool to assist the client to more effectively focus on their agenda and goals for change, it also teaches/models breathing, relaxation and self-management. Used in conjunction with therapy, it empowers the client to realize that they can be the manager of their change process. Back to top

Meditation in Wellness & Personal Growth

When we talk about wellness and recovery, this is an aspect that is often ignored because of emphasis on the one solution myth. Meditation and mindfulness are key factors in improving physical health, achieving higher functioning, and learning skillful self-management. It’s no wonder that some of the Twelve Step programs have incorporated this effective practice in their recovery programs. Back to top

Life Skills Coach

Let’s face it: not everything is clinical and about mental health. Everyone needs guidance at some time in their lives. I have counseled clients about decision making, work direction, child rearing, relationship improvement, spiritual growth, and intimacy issues. People sometimes need direction. Is deciding whether or not to ask for a divorce a psychological issue? Maybe or maybe not. Well-functioning individuals sometimes benefit from help in cutting through the confusion of conflicting ideas, changing circumstances and corrosive self-doubts. Back to top

Psychedelic Drug Recovery Counseling

Psychedelic drug use after-effects can sometimes be disorienting and frightening. The unbalancing may be so severe that people can end up in hospital emergency rooms. Our society doesn’t know what to do with this phenomenon and often either medicates patients or gives them severe diagnostic labels. Sometimes, unfortunately, acute treatment for bizarre reactions can cause even more disorientation and contribute to people believing that they have been damaged or are crazy. The net result sometimes is to drive people who have had a difficult experience deeper into despair. By providing experiences with an emotionally safe environment and encouraging them to relate their experiences, it is possible to reframe what happened from pathology and psychotic disorder to a more transpersonal framework. In so doing, it is possible to de-pathologize psychedelic experiences and help free them of the conviction that they are somehow marked or harmed. Back to top

Public Speaker, Community Outreach

Mr. Grauds is available to present talks to the community on the various topics listed here. Our practice has done numerous parenting workshops with the families that have difficult children. Back to top