Mount hosts ‘Recovery Across the Lifespan’ conference

May 08, 2017

Author Mark Bryan was the keynote speaker at “Recovery Across the Lifespan,” May 2 at Mount Saint Mary College. 


Although addiction can begin at any time in life, so can recovery,” noted keynote speaker Mark Bryan at Mount Saint Mary College’s “Recovery Across the Lifespan” event on Tuesday, May 2

The annual conference, hosted by the Mount’s Center for Aging and Policy (CAP) and the Center on Adolescent Research Development (CARD), examined the effects of addiction at all stages of life and what can be done to aid in recovery.

Bryan is an internationally known author, consultant, and coach, helping people from all walks of life to leverage their strengths to achieve work/life balance. He is the co-author of the highly acclaimed book “The Artist’s Way at Work.”

The path to sobriety isn’t an easy one, said Bryan, who stopped drinking and using drugs about 35 years ago, but it is possible. Though it might be difficult for some to understand the motivations of an addict, Bryan said for him, it was simple: “I think we use when we are in despair,” he said.

The actions of an addict affect those around him or her, Bryan noted. He told the story of a woman who had been helping to cover up her husband’s drinking problem for years, but one day, the stress caused her pass out. It would be six weeks before she could walk again, he said.

“Caregiving for addicts – obsessing about someone else’s using – will make you sick,” he explained. “And there can be recovery for that, too.”

The conference was sponsored by Mount Saint Mary College, CAP and CARD, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, and the National Organization of Adult Addictions and Recovery (NOAAR) with a gift from the Kaplan Foundations.

CAP is co-directed by Mount professors Lawrence T. Force, psychology, and Jeffery Kahana, social sciences. Force has worked in the field of aging and disabilities for more than three decades as an administrator, clinician, and educator. Kahana, in addition to his work at the Mount, is the author of “The Unfolding of American Labor Law: Judges, Labor, and Public Policy Across Two Political Generations, 1790-1850.”

CARD is co-directed by professors Frances Spielhagen, education, and Paul Schwartz, psychology. Spielhagen and Schwartz, both prolific writers, recently collaborated on “Adolescence in the 21st Century: Constants and Challenges,” based on past conferences.

Both CAP and CARD provide psychology majors, as well as students of other disciplines, with many opportunities to expand their knowledge and interact with professionals in the field. By enhancing their coursework in social sciences, Mount students are able to participate in real-world experiences through the centers.