From the Heart

From the Heart

Season 2, Episode 16

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

Guest(s): Vance Larson: case manager, life coach

The INTERSECTIONS Exchange team is joined again by case manager and life coach Vance Larson to discuss the current opioid epidemic in the United States. Each member of the panel shares their personal stories of bearing witness to the effects of the opioid crisis and the holistic approaches to healing and recovery that have the potential to make a positive impact. 

Topics Discussed

  • Vance Larson’s personal experience being affected by the opioid epidemic
  • Relationship between trauma and addiction
  • Stigma of addiction and recovery
  • Dr. Larry Force’s personal experiences with people struggling with addiction
  • Andrew O’Grady’s personal experience being affected by the opioid epidemic
  • Impact of addiction on families
  • Holistic approaches to healing


Key Quote(s)

  • “Addiction is real. It’s demoralizing, people have been through trauma, it’s a hard camp and a hard life. For me as a provider, as a clinician, as a case manager, as a chaplain, I just want to give them an opportunity to be themselves and know that this time is sacred and that they are loved and there’s no judgment.” – Vance Larson
  • “You have to find your own path, you have to find what works for you and will keep you clean and sober…and you have to find a balance. There are many programs, and our agency [MHA Dutchess] runs a number of them, that you can walk into and we will start that journey with you.” – Andrew O’Grady
  • “Fail, fail again, fail better, but don’t stop trying. It’s never one thing, like a sauna and meditation for a week. It’s the layering effect…as you begin to change, over time you will realize how far you’ve come.” – Elisa Gwilliam


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.