Past Workshops

Trauma and Recovery:
A Healing Workshop for Women and Men.


Facilitated by Addiction Specialists Robyn Winks, LMFT, & Jane Gaunt, Ph.D.

It’s no surprise that the experience of trauma and the use of alcohol or drugs are strongly related. Whether it’s an early trauma like childhood abuse, growing up in an addicted family, experiencing a natural disaster or the sudden death of a loved one, traumatic experiences can change the way our brain and nervous systems handle stress. Normal life activities can seem overwhelming, intense feelings of fear and reactivity can surface, and a desire to numb/withdraw from friends and family are just a few of the possible painful effects of traumatic stress or PTSD.

Self-medication through the use of alcohol or drugs can seem like a huge relief. Studies show that 59% of young people who report symptoms of PTSD, go on to develop a substance use disorder. Unfortunately, the “cure” of intoxication perpetuates the chaos and emotional pain. And often creates new, possibly more significant traumatic experiences around the drinking and drug use.

In this experiential workshop, we will mindfully investigate how stored traumatic events may still be influencing your perceptions of yourself and your life choices, even if you are no longer using substances or have been working a long-term program of recovery. We will introduce and begin to experiment with new promising treatments and life habits that can facilitate the integration of mind, body and spirit to heal stuck trauma. Gently beginning to reveal how hidden patterns of fear and self-protection can continue to dampen or even sabotage one’s experience of the “promises” of emotional freedom that are possible by working a sincere program of recovery from alcohol and drugs.

Robyn Winks is a practicing Marriage & Family Therapist in Idyllwild and Palm Desert. She has worked with individuals and families in the recovery field for over 18 years, including as the Director of Inpatient Services at The Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage. She specializes in working with couples in varying stages of recovery and facilitates family/codependency workshops for the Betty Ford Center and other treatment centers in Southern California. She has been practicing Eastern meditation and mindfulness for over 20 years, and incorporates spiritual techniques and traditions with Western neuroscience and principles of family systems theory to help clients examine and reprogram painful patterns from the past for a renewed authentic connection with their life today.

Dr. Jane Gaunt is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist with a Ph.D. in psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She worked at the Betty Ford Center as a counselor, clinical supervisor and residential program manager for a total of 25 years. She helped develop the women’s program at the center in the 1980s, provided groups and workshops related to exploring trauma. Her clinical interests center on addiction recovery and relapse prevention. She views addiction as a complex disorder involving mind, body and spirit and relapse after long term recovery as linked to issues related to emotional triggering of earlier traumatic events that temporarily overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope. She enjoys using creative forms of expression and active imagination in her therapeutic work and is an experienced group and individual therapist. She is a painter and currently resides with her husband and three labradoodles in Yucca Valley, California.