The Voice and Insight of the Practitioner

The Voice and Insight of the Practitioner

Season 2, Episode 6

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

Guest(s): Wendy Keller: clinical social worker and founder of Behavioral Health Services of the Hudson Valley

The INTERSECTIONS Exchange team is joined by Wendy Keller (LCSW) to discuss recovery from the perspective of clinical practitioners. Along with Andrew O’Grady and Dr. Larry Force, Keller shares her thoughts on changes in recovery treatment throughout the pandemic and the necessity of peer and family support for successful recovery.

Topics Discussed

  • Merging of regulatory bodies for mental health and addiction in New York state
  • Transitions in treatment modes during the pandemic
  • Wendy Keller’s observations of changes over time in the clinical mental health field
  • “Fluency” in the mental health system
  • Abstinence versus harm reduction
  • Natural and medication-assisted recovery
  • Innovative uses of technology
  • Role of the family in addiction and recovery


Key Quote(s)

  • “By the time somebody develops any kind of substance use disorder, the families are fully invested in their enabling and oftentimes dysfunctional patterns. If you don’t get a hold of the family and the other systems that a person struggling with a substance use disorder interfaces with, their chances of success are slim.” – Wendy Keller
  • “None of us are looking to become hologram therapists with everything web-based, but we can’t act as though it doesn’t exist or it can’t add support.” – Dr. Larry Force
  • “Let’s find what works in the middle from how we provide therapy, whether it’s all online or all in-person, there’s got to be something in the middle…find something that works going forward.” – 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.