The “Been There, Done That” Connection

November 9, 2020
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Les Waite is a veteran and a clinical psychologist at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany, New York.  His struggles with addiction lead him to SMART Recovery.  Now, he uses the SMART tools daily in his practice for veterans.   

In this podcast, Les talks about:

  • His educational resume that includes learning the teachings of Alfred Adler
  • Serving in the military during the first Gulf War 
  • Seeing his comrades come back from deployment with trauma issues and finding limited professional resources to help them
  • How trauma and substance use disorders are linked 
  • His owns struggles with addiction
  • Being introduced to SMART and why he fell in love with the program 
  • Why the VA hospitals’ programs dovetail beautifully with SMART’s teachings 
  • His “been there, done that” connection with patients 
  • Why the structure and order of the SMART program is effective for veterans  
  • Playing Jonny Appleseed in the VA hospitals by starting SMART meetings everywhere he goes 
  • Motivational interviewing and the stages of change model 
  • Having honest, genuine dialog with his patients about the reasons they are seeing him 
  • Reconnecting a veteran to their own values using the hierarchy of values tool
  • His post-COVID goals of launching more SMART meetings for veterans and in his community  

Additional references:

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