Voice of Reason

Voice of Reason

Season 1, Episode 13

Host(s): Dr. Larry Force, Andrew O’Grady, Elisa Gwilliam

Guest(s): Gerry Cooney: former professional boxer

The INTERSECTIONS Exchange team is joined by Gerry Cooney, a retired professional boxer who challenged twice for world heavyweight titles in 1982 and 1987. Cooney is also a strong advocate for recovery from addiction and alcoholism. The team discusses relapse and recovery as well as the importance of giving back to one’s community. At 17:00, Cooney describes his tumultuous upbringing in Manhattan and Long Island, and how these circumstances affected his career and his addiction.

Topics Discussed

  • Alcoholism passed down through generations
  • Gerry’s career and recovery journey
  • Relapse as part of the recovery process
  • Giving back to the recovery community
  • Importance of movement in recovery
  • Influences of family dynamics on recovery


Key Quote(s)

  • “When you get sober, you become available” – Gerry Cooney
  • “Relapse is very much a part of the recovery process.” – Dr. Larry Force
  • “It’s a lonely scary world being out there by ourselves, especially with not the greatest upbringing. You’ve got to find a way.” – Gerry Cooney
  • “You have to instill positivity in your kids and believe in them, because if you put them down and put them down no matter how successful they are, that’s the tape that’s going to play over and over in their head.” – Andrew O’Grady


INTERSECTIONS is an innovative, peer delivered, modular self-care program developed by the National Organization of Adult Addictions and Recovery (NOAAR) and Mental Health America of Dutchess County.

Addiction, chronic illness, and mental health are dimensions in our lives that isolate us. They isolate us from ourselves, from others, and from our spirit. INTERSECTIONS helps us connect and reconnect to reach our full potential.

INTERSECTIONS promotes the reduction of reoccurrence, improved maintenance of recovery plans, and success within family systems and the community.

Modules include:

  • Orientation
  • Meditation
  • Movement
  • Nutrition
  • Mindfulness
  • Personal Visions and Goals
  • Spirituality

INTERSECTIONS is based on a theoretical orientation called The Theory of Dimensionality and is rooted in a Practice-Based Intervention, Dimensional Solution Based Treatment (DSBT).

“We cannot fix you because you are not broken … everybody has stuff. We are all in Recovery from something.”

About MHA Dutchess County

Mental Health America of Dutchess County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making sure nobody gets left behind in our community due to lack of mental health services. Our staff and volunteers work day and night to:

  • Strengthen families
  • Overcome fear
  • Help people dealing with anxiety
  • Link individuals to the supports they need
  • Provide safe spaces to heal
  • Break down stigma
  • …and much, much more.