program of recovery is perhaps the hardest thing a person will ever
have to do. It requires changing
Fred J. Hansen
How Finding Hope can help you or a loved one with alcohol or drug addiction.
Finding Hope, a sobriety video created by a board certified psychotherapist and licensed professional counselor with decades of experience in helping people cope with chemical dependency, is a recovery tool that can be utilized by individuals, families, clinics, treatment programs, and the like. Watching from the comfort and safety of home, anyone can witness addiction counseling and become informed about substance abuse treatment.
One will discover life changing information about overcoming addiction, such as:
This sobriety video takes you on an emotional and powerful journey from addiction to recovery, and allows you to walk in the shoes of someone seeking addiction help. It is a conversation that will touch your heart, fill your eyes with tears, your heart with hope, and lead you to a place of joy.
Finding Hope is not a brief overview – it is a sobriety video containing almost two hours of one on one conversation between someone with a substance abuse problem and Fred Hansen, a chemical dependency counselor, discussing drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Many testimonies are included in the film – the words of former patients who found joyous lives in recovery.
The Message of Finding Hope has helped thousands free themselves from the insanity of alcoholism and drug abuse. Read below a heart felt account from the film's creator, describing why he decided to make it available to the world.
Twelve weeks ago, I received a call from Marcia L., her son had been taken to a local hospital overdosed from heroin. He’ll survive this one, today he’s lucky. Not an uncommon call, sadly I get these frequently. What is troubling is that he, like so many others, had been “flirting” with an overdose for sometime – pushing the limit of how much he used as his brain worked to compensate for the quantities he was ingesting and not allowing him the high he once experienced.
She was, as you can quite image, distraught. Moms and Dads are the worst; wives and husbands are angry. In common, they are all fearful. They fear the loss of someone they love. It’s not just Eric the heroin addict – it’s Matthew, the alcoholic executive of a large local corporation; it’s Sharon, the pharmaceutical representative; it’s Elaine, the head of purchasing of a national department store chain; it’s David, whose wife Lynn, mourns the loss of the relationship she once had with him since he began to stay at the bar after work with his workmates for happy hour after work five days a week – anything but “happy” for Lynn.
I asked Marcia to bring her son Eric over to my office the day he discharged; I like to have the opportunity to visit with them while they are still feeling the physical and psychological effects of what they have done. We had a great visit; I was able to help Eric understand that he did have a problem with drugs (you ask of course why that wouldn’t be obvious). I helped him understand why “denial” kept him from confronting the disease he suffered from. I helped him understand that drugs and alcohol were not the problem – that they were the solution! Yes, drugs and alcohol were the solution to the difficulties he faced each day, the fears of the past he faced, the trauma he perceived he experienced when his mom and dad divorced 8 years ago.
I explained to Eric that for me to ask him to quit drinking and drugging, without giving him the skills, support, and counseling to confront the issues he faces, would be like asking a police officer to take off his Kevlar vest and go out onto the streets without it. Certainly no one in their right mind would do such a thing.
No wonder Eric is so fearful of quitting. No wonder his mother’s admonition to quit, “Eric, if you would just quit using drugs everything would be OK,” doesn’t work. If Eric quit using drugs, he fears he would be totally overwhelmed and probably die from the experience.
Finally I talked to Eric about the tools I could teach him. I helped him understand the way working on his self-esteem would allow him to take a more confident stand against the difficulties he faced. I helped him understand the way learning better communication skills would enable him to ask for and receive more of what he wanted and needed from other people.
I helped him understand the way conflict management and anger management would lessen the emotional swings he experiences that lead him back to a feeling of defeat and ultimately to relapse.
I helped him understand the way a daily stress management program would keep his life better balanced – physically, mentally and spiritually.
I helped him understand that the resentments he carried around with him, the burden of the offenses of other people against him – only served to weigh him down and keep him from becoming the man he could be. I helped him understand what “forgiveness” meant. That forgiving was for him, not for others. That he could learn to forgive and by doing so could learn to live a life that was happy, joyful and free.
I helped his mother understand how some of her behaviors contributed to enabling Eric and that those behaviors would need to change. I helped her understand that the family becomes as sick as the one we call the “identified patient.”
Finally I helped Eric understand the value of the support he could get and would benefit from by participating in a 12-Step program like AA or NA, not to mention the benefit from participating in spiritual activities at his church.
Eric understood. Eric knew it was time. Eric started in the program.
A program of recovery is perhaps the hardest thing a person will ever have to do. It requires changing the way we think, feel and behave. None of which come easy. Yet people do it everyday!
Eric participated in the program for over three months and grew stronger day by day. He graduated a month ago and has three months of sobriety. He is working at Starbucks and starts training at a vocational school in a couple of months. His mother is beginning to feel the peace she deserves. Eric is feeling the peace he worked for.
I am fortunate I had an hour to talk with Eric and his mom. I get to do this several hundred times a year. I am thankful to God for what He allows me to do. I am thankful for the hundreds of lives we get to save each year.
Yet I am just one person, operating one substance abuse treatment program, in one small city, in a huge country where 35,000,000 are suffering from chemical dependency. Only 5-6% of them will ever walk into a drug and alcohol rehab center for help, and so I wondered, “if they won’t come me (or one the other 10,000 or so drug and alcohol treatment programs around our great country) maybe I can go to them!” So I decided to write a book about my counseling sessions with those seeking addiction therapy, which proved to be very effective in getting them to participate in a chemical dependency treatment. But a friend of mine suggested that I make it into a sobriety video about overcoming addiction, so anyone could sit and watch from the comfort and serenity of their own home. I totally agreed (thanks Carol).
And so, a simple therapist in a small town, with the help and support of dozens of friends and family, began to make such a movie.
A friend once told me to set great goals and then just get started – “don’t try and work out all the details, those will find a way to take care of themselves in time.” Lots of details came up and answers were found as soon as they arose. I live in the knowledge that my life is being directed by the God I serve. I live in the knowledge that whatever my needs are, God will answer. I live in the knowledge that when I devote myself to a life of service, blessings will follow.
And so with the help of my beloved wife Marieta, my friends Martin, Bryan, Randy, Michael, Meagan, Cindy, Kimberly (my daughter and administrator of our program), Trent, Universe, Dan, Randy M., Miss Ann, Frederick, Christy, Mark, and the kids who helped - my grandson Spencer and my little friend Katie in Texarkana, we made a movie.
Finding Hope is wonderful! It is joyful!
It is the conversation I had with Eric and his mom – complete with the testimony of dozens of others who have so successfully overcome addiction.
It is a conversation that will touch your heart, fill your eyes with tears, fill your heart with hope, and lead you to a place of joy.
Finding Hope is “Finding Hope.”
Fred J. Hansen