Recovery Unplugged

Recovery Unplugged

I’m pleased today to be joined with Rob Lohman with Recovery Unplugged out of Fort Lauderdale Florida and Virginia. You guys are growing exponentially. Well it’s really nice to have you here and I’m excited to hear about your background, but as well as what is Recovery Unplugged all about and how people can access services. But before we get into the actual program itself, tell me a little bit about your background. What got you into the field? Continue reading “Recovery Unplugged”

On Having Fun Without Alcohol

Bar Zero

When I stopped drinking in April of 2005, I wondered if I would ever be able to have fun again outside of the bar scene. I feared I would never enjoy a live concert again, one of my greatest joys in life. As a single person, I had no idea how I’d ever go on a date again. “Who goes on a date and doesn’t drink?” For that matter, “Who goes out to eat at a nice restaurant (date or no date) and doesn’t have a glass of wine with their meal!?” (Did I mention the aperitif, the bottle of wine at dinner, and the after-dinner drinks that turned into shots towards the end of the evening?) I’d ruined all prospects of fun in my life! I determined I would always be, from that day forward; bored, boring, and surrounded by other bored and boring people. I was working in a bar. Most of my friends worked in bars and restaurants. Almost all my friends drank alcohol.

In those first few years as a non-drinker, I struggled to find activities that didn’t involve alcohol. However, more often than not, I participated in events that were drenched in alcohol and drug use and risked my new lifestyle and trajectory towards wellness. As a therapist, I would never have advised this to any of my clients. Why hang out in a candy shop if you are trying not to eat any added sugar? It seems the obvious choice would be to find a broccoli shop instead. But, broccoli shop? How bland, how boring, and how nonexistent! We needed a place that still felt like the candy shop without the candy! Still sweet, still vibrant, still FUN! Ok, enough with the metaphors. I wanted a nonalcoholic bar! A place for connection with other people making similar life decisions, a place without the risk but still social. I pondered that idea for a while, and then let it drop. It took several more years until that thought became a reality, in fact, it wasn’t until 2018 that I told this idea to a friend and she encouraged me not to ponder it anymore but to do it. Thank you, Allison! And, Bar Zero started to become a reality.

Once I started sharing this idea, I learned that so many others in recovery were longing for a space like this. I definitely was not the only one, and several people even mentioned calling it “SoBar,” which was our original name! I heard stories of friends in recovery having discussions about building a space just like this, a place for connection and community building for people in recovery. Many had the same questions I did in early recovery with the general theme being, “Will I ever have fun again?”

Just as this concept was forming and becoming something more than a shared idea, the sober curious movement started catching on. What timing! Now it’s not only those of us who consider ourselves “in recovery” looking for safe spaces, it’s also a new group of people looking for fun and for fewer hangovers yet still going out and enjoying a Friday night on the town! And, the press, the bar and restaurant industry and the general public are talking about not drinking! And, about drinking really tasty, alternative nonalcoholic drinks! They’re calling them “mocktails,” “zero-proof beverages,” “spirit-frees.” They’re being sold by Coca-Cola in a new line of nonalcoholic drinks called Bar None They’re being made by distilleries, even! Non-alcoholic distilled beverages are made by Seedlip and starting to become more and more popular across the US after originating in the UK. And, the most fun part, local bartenders are starting to get excited and inspired to make high-end and delicious drinks without alcohol in them! Creativity and talent are showcased by the top bartenders in town and they are getting written up by local publications!

I’ve happily given interviews to the Denver Post (coming soon), Westword (twice!), and Dining Out (also coming soon!) People are interested and getting involved with this new way of looking at drinking, or rather, not drinking and it is so thrilling to watch and experience!

Whatever they are calling these new drinks and establishments popping up across the country, I’m so excited to be a part of this shift, this movement! Without shame, without stigma, a lot more people are speaking clearly about what makes so much more sense, connection and a “life” without the booze yet still having a social outlet and space that includes delicious food and DRINKS!

Bar Zero is the space we’ve been craving. We are going to make it a reality. We need help doing that. Bar Zero is a 510 (c) 3 nonprofit organization and we have a long way to go before opening a brick and mortar restaurant. We are creating space for connection and community building. AND, also very excitingly, we are offering on the job training for people in early recovery from substance use problems. We know the “sober curious,” the “gray area drinkers,” those of us in recovery, and our communities at large need a place like this. Please help us bring this to Denver!

Our first Fundraiser is planned for September 11th, 2019 at Dazzle Jazz in downtown Denver. In partnership with Friends and Family, a Colorado nonprofit group for people who work in the hospitality industry, we are putting on a Zero-Proof Beverage Mix-Off! See the details on this amazing event on our website on the event page and join us for a unique and fun evening. Denver’s top mixologists will compete for a spot on the Bar Zero beverage menu. A panel of guest celebrity judges will taste and rate original eye-catching, mouthwatering nonalcoholic drink recipes. And you’ll get to be the judge too, by tasting a collection of awesome Zero-Proof Beverages and helping to pick the People’s Choice Award winner, all while enjoying new food menu creations and pairings by Chef Paul Rose.

Bar Zero’s Mission: Connection through food, intentional community, and professional collaboration for a continued life worth living in recovery.

Journey Inspired Counseling

I’m really excited today to be joined with Jessica Joiner with Journey Inspired Counseling out of Parker, Colorado. Welcome Jessica. So good to have you here. We’re looking forward to hearing a little bit more about your practice and the work that you do in behavioral health. I loved reading your philosophy on your website. You talk about advocating for social justice issues and equality. How has this played into the career path you’ve chosen? It seems like a really interesting journey that you’ve taken in getting started. Continue reading “Journey Inspired Counseling”

Purpose House Sober Living

Terin De Voto Noonan

I’m pleased today to be joined with Terin DeVoto Noonan who is the owner and founder of Purpose House Sober Living in Fort Collins, Colorado. Thanks for taking the time to come up to Harmony and to share your new program with us. We’re excited about talking about it to others so that folks can learn about you. You’ve got quite a story about your recovery journey, you’re a person in long-term recovery. I’m just kind of curious, what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

Right now, a whole lot actually. This sober house has been a dream of mine for a really long time, so that’s a huge motivator. Like I was talking with you earlier about, I mean I’m a dad, so being a father is the coolest and most rewarding thing I’ve probably ever done, probably the biggest miracle of my recovery. Really, just the fact of, I don’t know, the ability in recovery to grow on a daily basis is really cool to me, that just getting out of bed and just giving every day everything I’ve got and being able to grow mentally, physically, spiritually on a daily basis is just, it’s a miracle to me honestly. Yes, 100%. Continue reading “Purpose House Sober Living”

Young People in Recovery


I’m pleased today to be joined with Young People in Recovery, Ell Fabricius, who’s the Denver chapter leader, and Emily Burks, Colorado program coordinator. Welcome. So good to have you both here on a beautiful summer day in Estes Park, Colorado. Really glad that you’re here and really happy to talk to you all about YPR and what you all do. I just learned today at lunch that it’s a Colorado-based organization. I had no idea. You all are national, which is even cooler. We’re going to get into learning about YPR in a minute, but we want to learn a little bit about both of you. Let’s start with you first, Ell. What is it that got you connected with YPR?

EF: I am currently enrolled for school in human services with addiction studies. I actually started with YPR as an intern. Then, about a month into my internship, there was an opening for the Denver chapter lead. I applied for that position and it’s been awesome since. I just have been planning all the events and everything like that. For just Denver. Then the all recovery meetings as well. Continue reading “Young People in Recovery”

Lilley Consulting

Lilley Consulting

I’m really excited today to have Joanna Lilley with Lilley Consulting out of Gunnison? Colorado, We’re really grateful that you took the time to drive over the mountain to come and visit with us here in Estes. We’re looking forward to talking with you a little bit about your consulting practice, but before we do, let’s talk a little bit about you. How’d you get into this field?

It’s truly a like 12 plus year journey and to try to sum it up quickly, I worked in wilderness therapy for six years as field staff mostly, and then course directing, wanted to become a therapist, went back to school to get my masters in counseling, which I did, but it was while I was getting my degree that I had my first exposure to what are now college students, the young adults, that population and realizing how thick this epidemic was. Continue reading “Lilley Consulting”

Connections – Health District of Northern Larimer County

Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Harmony Foundation podcast series. I’m pleased today to be joined with Kristen Cochran, program manager for Connections, part of the Health District of Larimer County. Welcome. Really happy that you and your team came up for the day to spend some time with us, and we’re going to spend some time getting to know more about you and a little bit more about Connections. We want folks to recognize you all as a resource in Larimer County and how people can access your services. Before we get into the program, let’s talk a little bit about you. How did you get into this field? Continue reading “Connections – Health District of Northern Larimer County”

Zen Mountian Sober Living

Hi everyone. Welcome to the Harmony Foundation podcast series. It’s my pleasure today to be joined with Erin Rasmussen, with Zen Mountain Sober Living for Women in Centennial, Colorado. Welcome! So good to have on campus, and on a beautiful day.

Good to be here. It’s beautiful up here. I’ve never been up here before, and I’m just blown away by the beauty. It’s really great. Continue reading “Zen Mountian Sober Living”

Courageous Paths Counseling

Courageous Paths Counseling

It’s my pleasure today to be joined with Paulina Seigel with Courageous Paths Counseling out of Denver, Colorado. Welcome, Paulina. So good to have you here particularly You’ve had the opportunity to spend the day with us or at least the morning just learning about our program and so we really want to take this opportunity to learn more about your practice and the work that you all do. I’m specifically interested in learning about the research that you’ve done with Millennials. I had a chance to actually sit in on your presentation that you did at the winter symposium this last January and great job by the way. I mean it was, you’re very good at public speaking and the message was really compelling. Continue reading “Courageous Paths Counseling”

Arbor Counseling

Erin Flynn

It’s so good to have you on campus and I know it’s your first time here at Harmony, so we want to learn a little more about you and understand more about your background. But also kind of hear what your thoughts are about Harmony as well. So let’s kind of kick off first this idea of the work that you do. So you’re in private practice, and the area of focus that you work on is somatic body based work. So can you describe how this is different from what other therapies are? Continue reading “Arbor Counseling”