I was reminded of this piece by an article posted recently on Face Book about the relationship between childhood abuse and trauma, and addiction.

What is this “dissipation” thing? Well, first, the setting. a long-term (18-24 months) substance abuse rehab program for teen-agers based on the Treatment Community model. The residents, 10 boys and 9 girls, were all placed by the juvenile court and probation. Most had failed in other, shorter, programs, or re-offended, or relapsed, or violated probation. Some, if they failed there would face incarceration until they aged out of the juvenile system. In background they ranged from a young man whose father was a vice president of a Fortune 500 company, to second and third generation addicts and gang members from some of the worst neighborhoods around the San Francisco Bay.

Dissipation was a marathon group process with periods of group process and individual work in a variety of modes. Some type of art work was usually included, and music was a major part of the process. Much of the work, by plan or stories just coming out was about abuse and trauma in childhood or in their using carriers, or all through their lives to then. It was an intense journey into the heart of pain and back out again. After one I wrote this:




As you might guess, greeting that sunrise was part of the process.


8 thoughts on “DISSIPATION – 12/87

  1. Thank you for sharing your powerful words. Your poem reminded me of many experiences I shared with teens when I worked at a residential treatment center. Precious children, transformative moments, and wonderful memories. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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