“Sobriety, Without the Sermon,” by Rebecca Rosen Blum, in RedwoodAge.com, a website of news and opinion for baby boomers. The story features Craig W., a bookstore owner in the Pacific Northwest who is sober in LifeRing. (12/24/08).
Comment: A professional production that packages high-impact sound bytes for a broad audience. Excellent audio quality.
Recovery Coast to Coast, Neil Scott, producer, Oct. 14, 2005. Interview with Marty N. A late night talk show effort produced in Seattle, broadcast over a small local Christian evangelical AM station and sometimes streamed over the web. No archive available.
Port Angeles bookseller leaves to run recovery organization, in the (Washington State) Peninsula Daily News, July 27 2010. Features newly elected LifeRing Executive Director Craig Whalley and gives basic description of what LifeRing is about. Read the story on the paper’s website here, or as a PDF here.
Talk Shop, by Joseph Potocki, in the North Bay Bohemian, Sept. 17 2008. “LifeRing seems birthed from the prototypic world of the rugged Western individualist. Religion isn’t really the issue. In fact, a significant number of its members are regular churchgoers…. Likewise, 12 Step programs aren’t at issue. Some ardent LifeRingers also regularly attend 12 Step meetings. Rather, it’s LifeRing’s emphasis on envisioning, building and traveling down one’s very own life path which sets it apart. This seems in harmony with that old-fashioned American notion of DIY adventurism and mythic questing. But instead of Lewis and Clark conquering a vast Western wilderness, or some modern-day Horatio Alger striving to build financial empires, LifeRing embraces broken-down folks who are questing to conquer their addictions.” — Read full article as PDF.
Secular Program Tackles Addiction, by Sara Stroud, in the Vallejo Times-Herald, March 13 2008. “How was your week? It’s a simple question, but for one substance abuse recovery group with meetings in Benicia and Vallejo, it’s also a touchstone that keeps members coming back to share their small victories and setbacks in their struggles with addiction …” Click to see whole article.
LifeRing Offers Secular Recovery.“Hardly anybody knows about that program, but those guys totally saved my ass.” So begins an article about LifeRing by columnist Tom Moon, MFT, in the San Francisco Bay Times, issue of August 23 2007.
Moon introduces LifeRing through the eyes of Brad, a man in his thirties recovering from alcohol and methamphetamine, who tried valiantly to fit himself into the mold of 12-step programs but felt totally alienated and couldn’t stay sober. Then a friend told him about LifeRing.
“For the first time I felt relaxed in a recovery meeting. There were no ‘drunkalogues,’ no 12 steps, and – yay! – no God talk. The focus was on what’s happening in our lives now. We just went around the room and checked in about how our week had gone. You could talk about any drug you were trying to quit, not just alcohol. And ‘cross talk’ was fine. We were allowed to ask questions and make comments on what each other said. At the end of the meeting, we gave ourselves a round of applause for staying clean and sober. That was all there was to it. I loved it.” Complete article here. PDF copy here
“List of Recovery Groups, Programs and Services,” in the Peoria (IL) Star-Journal, Aug. 6, 2006: “”LifeRing Secular Recovery, 1440 Broadway, Suite 312, Oakland, CA 94612-2023; (510) 763-0779 or (800) 811-4142; www.unhooked.com: A California nonprofit that promotes an alternative to spiritual 12-step programs, with groups worldwide. Meetings are led by peer volunteers and give-and-take dialogue is encouraged, as opposed to the 12-step’s uninterrupted monologue.” [Sorry, link expired and no PDF]
“Recovery for the Rest of Us,” East Bay Express, 1/18/06.”Despite all assurances that ‘higher power’ can mean anything they want it to mean, some still find the twelve-step language chillingly churchy.” Describes LifeRing as “a non-twelve step program based on cooperative positive reinforcement with no religious dimension and with dozens of weekly local meetings.” PDF. The Express is a weekly freebie published in the San Francisco Bay Area and owned by Village Voice Media Inc.
“LifeRing offers an option in recovery,” Contra Costa (CA) Times 12/23/04. “In the Bay Area, hundreds of men and women in recovery have found help getting through the holidays — and the rest of the year — through LifeRing, a support group that offers a nonreligious alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous.” The Times is a daily newspaper, a member of the Knight-Ridder chain, serving a large, mainly suburban area east of San Francisco.
Nanaimo Daily News Nov. 11 2006. Story on local LifeRing meeting featuring Jack McNeil and other LifeRing participants. PDF.
Media coverage for the 2005 LifeRing Congress held in Guelph, Ontario, was very good. Unlike most of the US media, the Guelph media recognized a news story with a human interest angle when they saw it.
Guelph Tribune, Jan. 5 2005. Advance story featuring Guelph LifeRing convenors Rev. Gordon Hill and Jason Kelly. PDF
Guelph Mercury, Jan. 17 2005: Advance story featuring interview with Congress organizer Jason Kelly. PDF.
Guelph Mercury, May 2 2005: Post-Congress story featuring LifeRing convenor Gillian E. and speaker Charlotte Kasl. PDF
Guelph Mercury, May 3 2005: Post-Congress story by columnist Virginia McDonald flaying chief of Homewood addiction recovery program for threatening to fire any staff member who attended LifeRing Congress. A gem! PDF
Guelph TV. Interview with Guelph LifeRing convenor Jason Kelly, Jan. 2004. [Sorry, file is lost.]
“Styles of Secular Recovery,” by William L. White and Martin Nicolaus, Counselor Magazine, Aug. 05. Discussion of secular recovery concepts, with the focus on Lifering.
“Bridging the Gap” by John Salter, Counselor Magazine, April 05. Research shows that the 12-step approach helps only a minority of alcoholics, but more than 90 per cent of treatment facilities offer the 12-step approach exclusively. Refers to LifeRing as a secular option.