Sober Perspectives from the Lake

Sober Perspectives from the Lake

Season 2, Episode 4

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

Guest(s): Suzanne Thistle: author, addiction treatment and recovery consultant based in New Hampshire

The INTERSECTIONS Exchange team is joined by author and consultant Suzanne Thistle (MA, MLADC) to hear her perspectives on natural recovery. Thistle shares her personal experiences in the recovery world as well as her journey interviewing 101 individuals in New Hampshire about their recovery for her book. In tandem with the INTERSECTIONS philosophy of interdisciplinary treatment, Thistle’s work illustrates the power of holistic recovery and peer support.

Topics Discussed

  • Suzanne Thistle’s personal recovery experience and authorship journey
  • Importance of peer support in recovery
  • Discussion of medicated and medication-free sobriety
  • Difficulties faced by individuals in early recovery (physical, mental emotional)
  • Summary of the INTERSECTIONS Program


Resources Mentioned

  • “Recovery has to work for the individual person so what we’re trying to accomplish here is we’re just putting out all different possibilities, all different ways that you can find your recovery if you’re struggling with addiction.” – Andrew O’Grady
  • “There’s so much hope out there for people today and I love that you guys are talking about recovery support workers and case managers…it’s good to see that we’re integrating mental health and addiction.” – Suzanne Thistle
  • “We can’t medicate our way out and we can’t arrest our way out [of treating substance abuse], we really need to look at the underlying issues and work on those one step at a time.” – Suzanne Thistle
  • “You have mental health over here with a little entry door, and you have addictions over here with a separate entry door, and the idea is: let’s make that entry door wider so that everybody can come in.” – Dr. Larry Force


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.