Recovery Workshops & Presentations

A New Paradigm of Trauma, Codependency, Addiction and Chronic Relapse.

Why do some people seem to engage in recovery and experience a deep sense of freedom from addiction to alcohol and drugs more easily than others? Why do some struggle with repeated relapses over and over, revolving in and out of programs and treatment centers over weeks, months and years? Current research in neuorscience has offered valuable insights into the connection between early trauma, codependency, addiction and chronic relapse and has provided guidance for effective treatment.

The Adverse Childhood Events (ACE) Study is very large (26,000 participants) longitudinal research study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente, beginning in the mid 1980’s. The results of this study found that growing up in neglectful, abusive or high stress environments shape our brains for future addiction, mental illness, chronic disease and premature death. Experiencing early neglect and relational trauma is a normal part of growing up in an addicted family system. No huge surprise. But understanding how unresolved early trauma can sabotage our ability to attune to what is most authentic within ourselves and others, is key to finding our way into a program of recovery from addiction. It is hard to hear the message when your nervous system is always turned-on in a state of fight or flight: “I just don’t get what these people are talking about… this isn’t for me.”

Identifying the shame and self-defeating messages that are still operating under the surface of awareness which fuel our defenses and compulsive urges to escape, is necessary to effectively recover from addictions and to find our authentic voice. The development of  “false” codependent roles (the controller and dependent) helped us survive under harsh or neglectful conditions as children, but in adulthood, these same self-protective “bonding behaviors” will destroy authenticity, vitality and connection with everyone and everything around us. Learning and practicing radical self-acceptance and self-compassion are key to facing and tolerating the underlying vulnerable and shameful feelings that the codependent roles were designed to protect. Making boundaries is just a small part of reversing old patterns and beginning to trust yourself and others. Creating a personal sense of safety, softening toward our experience and identifying and sharing one’s inner world creates the capacity for true emotional attunement and intimacy. It requires courage to be in touch with your inner experience and vulnerability, and it requires love and skill to share yourself sincerely with significant others. The payoff is what we all appear to want and need; a sense of home within ourselves, belonging, self-trust and a full, embodied life of recovery from addiction.


  • Identify how early relational trauma and lack of secure attachment are at the core of codependent and addictive behaviors in adulthood and are triggers for ongoing relationship problems and chronic relapse.
  • Understand how unresolved trauma imprints the past onto present interactions resulting in over-reactivity, resentments and difficulties in connecting, expressing and getting our needs met.
  • Identify the two codependent roles that addicts and alcoholics often unconsciously act out in relationship that eventually destroy the intimacy, joy and connection.
  • Learn how practicing mindfulness, self-compassion and communication techniques can begin to unravel the trance of  codependent bonding patterns and early shame, for greater intimacy/personal fulfillment and ongoing sobriety.

Praise for the Workshop:

“I have had four [treatment] attempts at getting sober and I feel this workshop has enlightened me in a way that I have never experienced… I feel [it] will make ALL the difference!” —A.L.

“This experience was ground breaking, earth shattering, … it helped to put the pieces in place that I had been missing. Thank you!” —K.W.

“Robyn is phenomenal… so engaging, informed, caring and just plain awesome!” K.S.

“I feel empowered, enlightened and excited!”  —R.W.

“This [workshop] was by far the most helpful piece for me in my treatment…It ties in so eloquently every other thing I’ve learned here…It connects the dots. Fantastic teacher/counselor!” —K.P.

“I can’t imagine a better facilitator. Robyn is excellent at getting to the source and presenting the material.” —J.S.

“I think every person struggling with codependency or relapse should attend! I enjoyed every minute!”  —S.A.

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

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.

Please contact me for the dates and locations of the next available Recovery Workshop.