Kevin Gilliland: An offer for Ben Carson

I want to make a deal with Dr. Ben Carson, the current GOP presidential frontrunner. I’ll not practice neurosurgery if he won’t speak again about addiction and recovery. Please.

Recently, Dr. Carson told a Sunday morning news show host:

“[U]sually, addictions occur in people who are vulnerable, who are lacking something in their lives. And so we have to really start asking ourselves, what have we taken out of our lives in America? What are some of those values and principles that allowed us to ascend the ladder of success so rapidly to the very pinnacle of the world and the highest pinnacle anyone else had ever reached?

“And why are we in the process of throwing away all of our values and principles for the sake of political correctness?”

Huh? So, the problem of drug abuse and addiction is caused by a lack of “values and principles” and can be traced back to an over-emphasis on “political correctness.”



Honestly, I’m not really sure what point Ben Carson is trying to make. His logic begs these follow-up questions, “How does he view patients who struggle with obesity? With hypertension related to diet, exercise and stress? With adult-onset diabetes? With politicians who lie and cheat on their spouse?”

He must think his answer about drug abuse and addiction explains all that ails America. Actually, it explains nothing when it comes to addiction.

I’m not singling out Dr. Carson for his politics. I am singling him out for his lack of reasoning and factual knowledge when it comes to addiction.

A number of people, including physicians, unfortunately, still often consider psychiatric illnesses and mental health struggles a moral issue or a “weakness” rather than a biological, social, or neurochemical issue that affect us in ways that other illnesses affect us.

Unfortunately, Dr. Carson’s all too common view interferes with individuals seeking and receiving treatment – treatment that is truly changing lives.

What we know about addictions is that they often take over the lives of good people with good marriages and good jobs, and people who live in wonderful communities.

Why is it that one brother develops an addiction and the other doesn’t?

Why is the reward experience from alcohol so completely all-consuming for some individuals that they cannot imagine life without alcohol, but not for others?

We do know this: when you ask alcohol or drugs to do something for you, it’s a path that can lead to destruction.

If you use alcohol (or another drug of choice) to help you relax after a long day with the kids or at the office; if you use alcohol or drugs because you want to be less nervous at a business meeting; if you use to forget about the troubles in your marriage by overindulging, you are asking for trouble.

And, if you really like the way it makes you feel, the rush of the pleasure, and you indulge frequently and in large amounts, you could end up on a long, difficult road.

Every day, it seems we are learning something new about the complexities of addiction.

Lest, anyone think differently, remind them of H.L. Mencken’s truism: “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.”

Oh, and as a values and morals guy myself — and I hope it’s politically correct for me to say so — I promise not to perform neurosurgery. I’ll stick with addiction treatment and recovery.

-Kevin Gilliland, PsyD [email protected].


Music expresses what words cannot

“Music when healthy, is the teacher of perfect order, and when depraved, the teacher of perfect disorder.” – John Ruskin

Not everyone can speak the language of music, but we can all understand it. It has a way of evoking emotion and become the expression of feelings for which we do not have words. Music is around us so frequently that we are often unaware of it. It is playing in the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, at work, and even in the elevator. We find music everywhere because it is so effective at influencing our mood.

Pay attention next time you are in a grocery store. Chances are you will hear soft and slow music playing in the background. Soft and slow music tends to put a person at ease. It slows our breathing and heart rate as well as our physical movement. Slower physical movement through the store often means more products in your cart.

Now think of the last time you were at a football game. Even if you are not a fan of the game, you can’t help but feel the energy in the air. The marching band plays loud and upbeat music to unite and energize the crowd to enthusiastically support their team.

When we have the opportunity to listen to music of our own choice, we often choose music to match our mood. Whether or not we aware of it, we are attempting to regulate our emotions by choosing music that helps us express what we are feeling. If you are heading out with your friends on a Friday night, you are going to play music that gets everyone excited. If you just finished a hard day at work where your boss reprimanded you, you will likely choose music with an aggressive or sad tone to it.

Regardless of what mood you are in, the music you choose can have a dramatic effect on your mental health. Recent studies have used MRI technology to see the brain’s unconscious emotion regulation processes and record neural activity as the participant listened to various kinds of music (see link below for specific study results). If music can have that kind of effect on our brains, it is very powerful indeed. As Bono famously said, “Music can change the world because it can change people.”

How will you let it change you?


Fitness: A Journey

During my time in recovery and working at i360, I’ve come to realize the importance of giving attention to the  different facets of health. One area of my life that anyone could see was deficient was my physical health. My potential seemed poor at best after several fractures in my back at the age of eighteen and my prior lack of physical activity. Yet here I was with a newfound interest and motivation to experience new things in life. So I set out on a course to explore the world of fitness.

After a few years of being the lone wolf at a local corporate gym, trying my best to emulate what other people were doing around me, I started to really enjoy myself. Exercise offered me a mental oasis. It was a time for me to just “do” and not “think.” It was an opportunity for me to continue to push myself and grow in a new and exciting way. Yes, I was sore; and yes, doing the same old thing gets boring after a while. But I was sleeping better than I had in years. I was gaining confidence both inside and outside of the gym. And most of all I felt good! I know it sounds backwards, but experiencing these brief periods of discomfort, which most people refer to as “workouts,” seemed to give me a little more joy in my life; and then life took a turn as it often does.

One September night after leaving work, the front wheel of my motorcycle got wedged in a trolley track while I was traveling 30 miles an hour and I went face first over the handlebars, effectively totaling my bike and leaving me with injuries which would keep me from returning to weightlifting for well over a year. I truly believe that these types of events hold such purpose in our lives. My “therapy” had been taken from me, and yet again I learned to live without something that I loved, and found joy in other places in my life. This was, as painful as it may have been, a Godsend.

As I regained mobility and enough strength to return to my hobby of picking up heavy things, I met a guy named Kevin. Now this was no normal introduction as I walked up to my bearded, tattooed, across-the-street neighbor while he was throwing around large cement stones, and running down his driveway with what looked like a thousand pounds on his back. Needless to say I was intrigued… Kevin and I became fast friends and he shared his passion for the sport of Strongman with me, offering me instruction, a training program and free use of his equipment, day or night. After training for the last 10 months, I recently took second place in North Texas Strongest Man, and I plan on continuing to train and compete in the years to come as I have much to learn about the sport and myself.

I know that this will likely never become more than a hobby for me. When I look at this sport, it would be easy for me to get discouraged by comparing myself to the many out there who are bigger, stronger, or faster than I. But then that’s not what this is all about. For me, competing Strongman is about pushing myself to new limits. It is a tangible way for me to enjoy making progress and sharing my passion for fitness and fun with others around me. It is a place to enjoy community. It has taught me discipline, and respect. And it has given me the opportunity to dream… More than all of that is has taught me that with hard work one can do what they never thought possible. This is hope. And this hard work can be applied to my marriage, my recovery, my work, my friendships, my spiritual life; the list goes on.

I want to challenge all of you to get out there and try something new. Get out of your comfort zone and enjoy some being active in a new way. Do it alone or do it with someone you care about. You just might find open a new and exciting chapter in your life that you never would have imagined.

– David Mullins, Life Development


How play can change your life!

“The opposite of play is not work—the opposite of play is depression. Our inherent need for variety and challenge can be buried by an overwhelming sense of responsibility. Over the long haul, when these spice-of-life elements are missing, what is left is a dulled soul.” – Stuart Brown, M.D.

Play is an integral part of every child’s development. Through trial and error, imagination, and creativity, play provides a safe process for children to learn about themselves, how the world works, and how to engage in relationships. They test limits and begin to understand how to set and respect boundaries, and learn how to work through conflict. They experience failure at reaching an objective and begin to grasp the life lessons of determination, endurance, and resilience. Something changes, however, as we grow up. Many of us think to ourselves, “I’m an adult—adults don’t play.” “Fun, who has time for fun… I’ve got work, the kids, and I need a couple of hours to zone out in front of the TV before I go to bed and do it all over again tomorrow.” I’m guilty of that last one.

Recently, I read the book Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown, M.D., and it has inspired me to re-prioritize play and fun as a value that I seek to pursue on a daily basis. In the book, Dr. Brown makes the case that even though there is a purposelessness to play on the surface, there are serious benefits for children and adults. On the National Institute for Play’s website it states that play has profound benefits for all stages of life: “play is the gateway to vitality. By its nature it is uniquely and intrinsically rewarding. It generates optimism, seeks out novelty, makes perseverance fun, leads to mastery, gives the immune system a bounce, fosters empathy and promotes a sense of belonging and community.” Through activities like sports, creative writing, painting, traveling, board games, and movies we can in turn impact other areas of our lives like work, relationships, and physical, mental and spiritual health.

At i360, we hold a value for play. We are intentional to play together as a staff, always looking for creative activities to do together to develop the team’s bond. We’ve been indoor skydiving, played trampoline dodge ball, and even ridden a donkey… don’t ask, you had to be there.

As part of our holistic approach with clients, we also want to help clients discover play again. For someone struggling with anxiety, depression or addiction, therapy can be a helpful tool to gain insight, self-awareness, and healthy coping skills. We provide individual, couples, family, and group therapy. However, we also realize that therapy is limited. As a co-worker once told me, “knowledge or insight is great, but if you don’t make actual changes in your life to meet your stated goals, then what’s the point?” In addition to the traditional therapies, we also offer a service called Life Development. Through Life Development, we walk with clients outside the office and in their everyday environment to help them translate their insights into behavior change. One benefit of this program is to practice the value of learning how to enjoy life again through meaningful relationship and healthy activity.

In his book, Dr. Brown describes the following 8 different play personalities. He states that typically each of us connects with a mix of a few of these and sometimes it depends on the environment or situation. Take a look below. Which types do you identify for yourself?

    • The Joker – You enjoy making people laugh, crack practical jokes, and engage in nonsense.
    • The Kinesthete – You are happy when engaged in physical activity, but not for competitive purposes. You feel alive pushing yourself to physical limits.
    • The Explorer – You love exploring the physical, emotional, mental or spiritual world through traveling, researching, listening to music or meeting new people.
    • The Competitor – You enjoy games with rules and play to win. You strive to be the top dog.
    • The Director – You live to plan, organize, and execute scenes or events.
    • The Collector – You desire to have the best of particular objects or experiences.
    • The Artist / Creator – You find joy in making unique things or experiences.
    • The Storyteller – You use your imagination through acting, dance, music, or teaching to tell a story.


Now that you’ve identified with one or more, take a moment to reminisce on that time of your life when that part of yourself thrived. How was that time? What activities did you enjoy? What was your mood like? How were your relationships? Finally, how can you incorporate these activities back into your life on a consistent basis? I encourage you to take play seriously, and learn how to have fun again. It just may change your life.

If you’d like to learn more about play and its benefits, check out the following resources:

Written By: Mitchell Isle, MA, LPC, CSAT – Clinical Coordinator and Therapist


Inside Out: One of the keys to lasting change

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
– Francis of Assisi

It’s one of those unique qualities of being human — regardless of what it looks like to the outside world — the majority of people have a deeply rooted desire to improve, to get better at something, to transform an area of their lives. Whether that’s related to work, relationships,or our health — some things we need to stop doing and some things we want to start doing. Change is one of the key ingredients that allow us to grow and mature.

It’s only taken me about 20 years to get that idea settled into my life. It’s rather embarrassing to say what I originally thought about change when I started working with people. I actually thought that if someone took the time out of their schedule and paid me to talk about things that are very difficult in their lives,then they must be ready to change. I began to realize over time that it actually told me very little about their desire to change, their motivation to change, or even their belief about the possibility of change.

I’ve learned a few things about the process of change from therapy and research, and I’ll share some of them in the blogs to come. But first, we need to be more honest with ourselves. We need to start the process of change with where we “are”, not where we think we “should” be.

Take, for instance, New Year’s resolutions. A lot of people think they need to get healthy in the New Year, probably because of the excessive eating and lack of exercise during the holidays, so every health club in the month of January is packed to the brim. But most of the newcomers at the gym don’t really want to change; they just feel bad about the choices made over the past couple of weeks. Rather than over-committing, it would be better if they would start walking or jogging a couple of times a week.

Second, there is a difference between compliance and change. Usually, compliance is somebody trying to change us. I often say “I’m not sure where in the city my wife is right now, but if she’s talking to a friend about something that she thinks I need to change, I can feel that conversation 20 miles away and I’ll start my resistance.” People hate being forced to change, and compliance is just a strategy to get them to quit talking to me about what they think I should do. But if I’m actually open to change, if I’m the one doing the work, then I just might end up starting a change process that lasts. Compliance and change are two very different things. For lasting change, at some point, there has to be something that happens internally as well as externally.

Even though we are well versed on the subject, it’s still both fascinating and mysterious to not only observe the process in others, but to experience it first hand. If you’re willing to risk, then you will never be, as Teddy Roosevelt once said “A cold and timid soul that knows neither victory nor defeat. ”


Working From the Inside Out: A Key to Unlocking Lasting Change

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Francis of Assisi

It’s one of those unique qualities of being human — even if it doesn’t always look like this to others: The majority of us have a deeply-rooted desire to improve, to get better at something, to transform an area of our lives. Whether it’s related to work, relationships or our health, there’s almost invariably some things we need to stop doing and some things we want to start doing. Change is one of the key ingredients that allows us to grow and mature.

It’s only taken me about 20 years to get that idea settled into my life. I’m embarrassed to admit what I originally thought about change when I first started working with people as a therapist: I actually thought that if someone took the time out of their schedule and paid me to talk about the difficult things in their lives, that meant they were ready to change. I began to realize over time that seeing a therapist (meaning me) actually told me very little about their desire to change, their motivation to change or even their belief about the possibility of change.

I’ve learned a few things about the process of change from therapy and research (I’ll share more about that in the blogs to come). But the first thing that needs to happen if we want to change, in big ways or small, is that we need to be more honest with ourselves. We have to start the process of change with where we are, not where we think we should be. Take, for instance, New Year’s resolutions. A lot of people think they need to get healthy at the start of a new year, in part because of the excessive eating and lack of exercise during the holidays. So every January, every health club is packed. But most of those newcomers at the gym don’t really want to change; they just feel bad about the choices they made over the previous couple of weeks (or even the previous months or year). Rather than over-committing to work out, say, five times a week for an hour at a time, it would be better if they started walking or jogging for a short time once a week.


Compliance vs. Change

It’s worth noting that there’s a difference between compliance and change. Usually, compliance is somebody trying to change us. I often joke, “I’m not sure where in the city my wife is right now, but if she’s talking to a friend about something that she thinks I need to change, I can feel that conversation 20 miles away and I’ll start my resistance.”

People hate being forced to change, and compliance — giving in, agreeing to do what’s asked of us — is simply a strategy we’ve all used to get someone to quit talking to us about what they think we should do. But the truth is, if I’m open to change and if I’m the one doing the work, then I just might end up starting a change process that lasts. So compliance and change are two very different things. While compliance usually originates from someone else or something else, change, on the other hand, must become personal to us if it is grow. Put another way, for lasting change to happen, at some point there has to be something that happens internally, not just externally.

Even though therapists and researchers are well-versed on the subject how change happens, it’s still both fascinating and mysterious to not only observe the process in others, but to experience it first-hand. If you’re willing to risk changing yourself from the inside out then you will never be, as Teddy Roosevelt once said, “a cold and timid soul that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

–Written by Kevin Gilliland, PsyD for the website. For more from their expert bloggers, please follow this link.


“Exploring our Diet from the Inside Out: Why Gut Health Affects our Mental Health” Guest Blog by Alicia Galvin Smith

We often think too narrowly about what success in treatment looks like. Whether you are struggling with mental health or substance abuse, it’s a common mistake to think that the only goal is treating the primary problem – and getting that to disappear. At Innovation360, we don’t just focus solely on the presenting issue. i360 intervenes in all areas of life to rebuild a healthy foundation. One of those areas is physical wellness, which includes taking a deeper look at our diet. Today we are bringing in an expert in this area, someone we have collaborated with frequently to help our clients uncover some of the issues they might be experiencing in the realm of diet, so that we can address wellness from a bigger picture. Alicia Galvin Smith, MEd, RD, LD, CLT was generous enough to share her expert insights, talking about why gut health matters:

“All disease begins in the gut” was a statement spoken by Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, over 2000 years ago, but recent research is confirming that this is very true. Your gut houses 70-80% of your immune system and you have over 10 trillion bacteria that call your intestines  home. In fact, there are 10 times more bacterial cells in your body than there are human cells. It therefore makes sense, and research is emerging to show, that when there is an imbalance in the gut it can directly impact and throw off the rest of the body. Research showed significantly altered behavior when one mouse’s gut bacteria was swapped with that of another. Researchers transplanted microbes from one group of mice, which were characterized by timidity, into the guts of mice who tended to take more risks. What they observed was a complete personality shift: timid mice became outgoing, while outgoing mice became timid.  What’s happening in our gut can truly determine how we move through life.

Often times the role of nutrition and gut health is overlooked when working with depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD/ADHD, bipolar disorder, and various other mental health conditions. Yet it can make all the difference in the world. For instance, about 90% of serotonin (yes, the same neurotransmitter found in the brain) is actually made in the digestive tract by specialized cells.  And a deficit in that same chemical can lead to depression. So yes, there is a link between our gut health and our mood, memory, sleep, etc.

Additionally, specific vitamins and minerals are required to produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. For instance, vitamin D, iron, vitamin B6, and omega fatty acids should be at optimal levels for the body to efficiently make serotonin. A deficiency in any of these can inhibit the pathway and production.  In addition, deficiencies in zinc, magnesium, vitamin B12, and folate have been linked with conditions such as depression and anxiety.  Evaluating for vitamin and mineral deficiencies is important, as is the consideration of a nutrient dense diet. What we eat influences the balance of gut bacteria – the proper foods and a nutrient dense diet will shift the balance toward good bacteria. As we examine our overall physical and mental health, these are critical factors to consider.

There is a lot to consider beyond therapy and medication when it comes to helping people overcome mental health issues. If you are struggling with mental health or addiction, it’s important to address the essential areas of life which often impact the primary issues. And diet, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, and gut health should not be overlooked. There is a two-way street between what’s going on in the gut and what’s happening in the brain.  So reflect on what you are putting into your body, and maybe what you aren’t.  And see if a change in that area leads to change elsewhere. Because “my gut” says it will.


To learn more about Alicia Galvin Smith, visit her website here. She can be reached at [email protected] or 469.340.8449. She can help you experiment with some changes in diet and nutrition that could lead to positive changes in mental health.


1. Yano, Jessica M. et al(2015) Indigenous Bacteria from the Gut Microbiota Regulate Host Serotonin Biosynthesis. Cell, 161 (2). pp. 264-276.

2. Bercik, Premysl et al. The Intestinal Microbiota Affect Central Levels of Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor and Behavior in Mice. Gastroenterology , Volume 141 , Issue 2 , 599 – 609.e3

3. Patrick, R.P., & Ames, B. N. (2015). Vitamin D and the omega 3 fatty acid control serotonin synthesis and action, part 2: relevance for ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia, and impulsive behavior. The FASEB Journal, 29, 1-16

4. Swardfager. Depression Linked to low Zinc Levels in the blood. Biol Psychiatry. 2013;74:872-878

5. Hector M, Burton JR. What are the psychiatric manifestations of vitamin B12 deficiency? J Am Geriatr Soc 1988;36:1105–1112.

6. Coppen A, Bailey J. Enhancement of the antidepressant action of fluoxetine by folic acid: a randomised, placebo controlled trial. J Affect Disord 2000;60:121–130.

7. Skarupski, K. A., Tangney, C., Li, H., Ouyang, B., Evans, D. A., & Morris, M. C. (2010). Longitudinal association of vitamin B-6, folate, and vitamin B-12 with depressive symptoms among older adults over time. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 92(2), 330–335.

8. Sartori, S. B., Whittle, N., Hetzenauer, A., & Singewald, N. (2012). Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: Modulation by therapeutic drug treatment. Neuropharmacology, 62(1), 304–312.


“Where do CEOs with addictions go when they hit bottom?” Fortune Magazine article features Innovation360 expanding on this topic

Anna David, Editor-in-Chief of, is a recovering addict, and she said that in her experience, the CEO with an addiction is by no means a rarity, and neither is the treatment facility catering to his or her needs.

“Rehabs targeting this demographic have started popping up seemingly every second,” she said. “Many of these rehab owners are addicts who got sober, became quite successful as a result, and know exactly how to treat these people, because they are these people.”

These facilities aren’t exactly cheap — David said that at the high end, the $100,000-a-month inpatient facility is not unheard of — but she also said that they’re ideal for easing a chief executive officer into recovery.

“Having the best therapists around, 1000-count sheets and an all-organic, ‘paleo,’ vegetarian, what-have-you meal plan… will encourage more of them to go to treatment, and ultimately to thrive there,” she said. “I’ve seen amazing transformations… people who come into rehab with the most entitled, obnoxious personalities imaginable, who end up having spiritual awakenings that cause them to check out as different people.”

There are different treatment options available to executives, all with different approaches, philosophies and costs. Fortunespoke to some of the professionals who offer them, and got their observations.


Situated in Texas, Innovation360 is an outpatient facility with locations in Dallas and Fort Worth. Clinical psychologist Kevin Gilliland operates out of the Dallas facility, and he estimated that patients pay between $15,000 and $25,000 for their first month of treatment at the center. He said that alcohol is the substance that he most frequently sees executives struggling with.

“It’s legal, it’s accepted as part of entertainment and business, and even expected by some clients,” he said.

For many of these patients, the barriers to treatment that they encounter are also signs of their success. They often can’t be fired, they’re too wealthy for anyone to force them into treatment by threatening to cut them off, and although “lonely at the top” is a well-worn cliché, it’s no less true of the CEO with an addiction.

“People will choose alcohol or drugs over developing significant relationships that can help them manage the challenges of the position,” he said. This is especially true of executives who are too image-conscious to seek treatment.

“CEOs and senior executives are all concerned about perception, and rightly so,” he said. “How well would you sleep if you knew your hedge fund manager watching over your hard-earned money and retirement has an alcohol addiction?”

Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is the world’s largest nonprofit treatment provider. According to public relations representative Christine Anderson, one month of inpatient treatment costs approximately $33,000.

Chief Medical Officer Marvin D. Seppala, M.D. said that the biggest hurdle in treating the executive is the alpha dog mentality – ironically the very thing that made him or her successful in the first place.

“Our treatment is primarily accomplished with group therapy, which requires that people share their problems and express their feelings,” he said. “As you can imagine, this does not come naturally for most high-powered executives.”

It may not be an easy sell, but he said that the group setting is essential to the way the Foundation provides treatment.

“It is much easier for those with addiction to recognize problems in others than to see the exact same problem manifesting in their own lives,” he said. “Group therapy allows for initial recognition of someone else’s shortcomings — ultimately the individual begins to see and admit to their own problems as well.”

The Foundation also looks ahead to what happens when a patient has finished treatment, and offers a variety of resources to help when the going gets tough, as it inevitably will.

“We offer assessments, residential and outpatient treatment, structured living, continuing care, family programs, social communities, parent recovery groups, parent coaching, children’s programs, and prevention programs,” he said. “We integrate addiction and mental health treatment so that both issues are addressed at the same time.”

Coaching Through Chaos

Coaching Through Chaos is a private practice located in San Diego and run by Colleen Mullen, Psy.D., LMFT. She said that her executive patients frequently present with addictions to opiates that were prescribed for pain management.

“Their tolerance to the medication has built up, but the pain is still there, so they begin taking more than prescribed,” she said. Eventually, the pills just don’t do the trick any more, and she said that it’s not uncommon for someone in that situation to move on to a drug such as heroin.

“By that time, no matter what position in life the person started out in, they often look like any other addict, except maybe they still have a nicer home to use in,” she said.

Whatever their appearance, they have reputations to protect and businesses to run, so she’s tailored certain aspects of her practice to suit those needs.

“In addition to traditional insurance-covered therapy services, I offer a cash option, should they want to fully protect their anonymity,” she said. “I also provide concierge therapy services in which I can come and meet with them in their office or provide extra support by way of coaching phone calls or video-conference sessions when they may be traveling.”

As an outpatient provider, the costs for Dr. Mullen’s monthly services don’t reach the heights of those of a high-end, residential inpatient facility.

“My hourly in-office rate is $120,” she said. “The average person comes at least one time per week. If someone hires me for concierge services, ranging from meeting with them outside of my office or extra coaching calls, we could be looking at $600 or more per week. So the average range is about $500 to $4,000 a month.”

Seasons in Malibu

Dr. Nancy Irwin is staff therapist at Seasons in Malibu, an inpatient facility. She said that the average 30-day stay costs approximately $55,000, but patients get a lot of bang for their buck. In fact, the center offers treatment options so enticing that even the utterly lucid might briefly entertain the prospect of checking in.

“Our holistic modalities include art therapy, massage, cranial-sacral work, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, spiritual counseling… and a host of groups — trauma, men’s, women’s, dream interpretation, family systems, and more,” she said. She also noted the physical exercise options, which include surfing, yoga and Muy Thai.

If business simply won’t wait, Seasons in Malibu offers “Executive Track,” a plan that allows patients to attend to company matters via video-conferencing while they’re still on the facility’s grounds. “We don’t want people to think their business is going to tank if they’re here for 30 days,” Dr. Irwin said.

She said that stress and unresolved trauma were common triggers that cause these kinds of patients to relapse after leaving the facility. However, she objected to the negative connotation associated with the word “relapse.”

“Most addicts do relapse, but we view that as a stepping stone to success,” she said. “Wise people learn from a relapse, like any other mistake, and use that to empower their success, versus viewing it as proof of the limiting belief, ‘Once an addict, always an addict.’”

Original Article Found at Fortune Magazine online here.

By Daniel Bukszpan. 

Daniel Bukszpan is a New York-based freelance writer.


Support for Parents

We often feel so isolated when our kids are struggling. It’s so easy to withdraw and not stay plugged in with other people who can help give us perspective. At i360, we encourage parents to be connected with other parents who have been there, and who are going through it, so you have that validation that you are not all alone in this. When you plug into Parent Support Group you realize you are not alone, you are not crazy, and there are other families struggling with the same things. And there is so much hope that comes with that.

When your son or daughter struggles with mood disorders, psychiatric illnesses, and/or substance abuse, it can be a very tough time for the whole family. During challenging times, healing can be found through connecting with others who share similar experiences.

Join us at Innovation360’s Parent Support Group each Monday night. Parent Support Group offers education, encouragement, and support. It’s a time when parents can hear others voice the same concerns about parenting teens or young adults who are struggling with chronic emotional struggles, substance abuse, and/or psychiatric illnesses.

When: Mondays from 7pm-8:30pm.

Where: 6600 LBJ FWY #240 in Dallas, Texas 75240

Contact: John Wilson at 214.733.9565

Topics may include:

  • Clearing communication lines
  • Reclaiming your life from fear and shame
  • Enjoying balanced family relationships
  • How to help a loved one who is struggling
  • Rediscovering intimacy
  • Learning to discern lack of ability vs. lack of willingness


For more information on parent advice, see our video below or click this link. We hope to see you soon at our Parent Support Group.



When our counselors read that “Palcohol” won federal approval this month, we just thought, “Wonderful. One more thing to look out for now.” Palcohol is a controversial powdered alcohol product that is packaged in a small, portable pouch. And though originally designed with the idea that hikers can enjoy a refreshing beverage after their sweaty adventures without having to carry heavy bottles, I’m not so sure that this target market will be the ones lining up to purchase it.  Something about “Pargaritas” and “Partinis” don’t seem to go hand and hand with outdoor enthusiasts. But that could just be me.

What would concern me is that powdered alcohol – with it’s discreet pouch and ability to be so easily transported – could exacerbate underage alcohol abuse. Underage drinking is a growing epidemic and at i360 we often see the aftermath of the affiliated tragic consequences. It’s not a problem just for some families – it’s a concern that affects the nation as a whole.


Here are some warning signs of underage drinking:

  • Academic and/or behavioral problems in school or after-school activities
  • Changing groups of friends
  • Less interest in activities such as sports, music, and other hobbies
  • Change in appearance or clothing style
  • Slurred speech
  • Lower energy
  • Memory and/or concentration problems


By the age of 15, over 50% of teens have had at least one drink (ref: NIAAA). By the age of 18, more than 70% of teens have had at least one drink. And when young people drink, more than 90% of the time they consume their alcohol by binge drinking. And that’s scary. Our duty at i360 goes beyond the four walls of therapy; we are here to educate, bring awareness, and provide advice when we are able. Parents, we encourage you to be as actively involved in your child’s life as you can. Have conversations with them about the dangers of drinking and about life in general. Get to know their friends. Provide a good example. And watch out for “Palcohol”…!

For more on the new Palcohol approval, read this CBS News Article here from March 11, 2015, 11:46 AM.


Written by Lauren Barnett, Marketing Director