Women in Recovery Resources
Past Women in Recovery Speakers
July 27, 2022 6:30-8:30 P.M. CT
CULTIVATING A PEACEFUL JOURNEY by Karen Casey
Author and teacher Karen Casey describes her session this way: “I wholeheartedly believe that each one of us has multiple opportunities, every single day, to not only live our lives more peacefully but to also model for others what a peaceful life looks like; which in turn, just might influence those we journey among to live more peaceful lives, too.
“As Margaret Mead said so many years ago, ‘Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’ I believe we can change the world, one person at a time by how we greet and then interact with the very special men and women we encounter. They are not accidental visitors on our path. Certainly, in this time of worldwide strife, making even one tiny gesture of love every day can ultimately make a profound difference, not only ‘out there,’ but within too. The time is now to do our part.”
Don’t miss this inspirational talk!
KAREN CASEY, PH.D., has been an active member of AA and Al-Anon for more than 46 years. She has been a student and a teacher of A Course in Miracles for more than 30 years. Her work as a writer and workshop leader in the U.S. and abroad has expanded to include books for people on any spiritual path. Her first book, Each Day A New Beginning: Daily Meditations For Women, was published in 1982. It has sold nearly 4 million copies and has been followed by an additional 30 books. Her more recent books have focused on relationships and how to live more peacefully within them, including Each Day A Renewed Beginning: Meditations For A Peaceful Journey, published in 2021.
June 22, 2022, 7-8:30 P.M., CT
BODYFULNESS: MINDFULNESS UNLEASHED AND A TOOL FOR INNER HEALING by Nell Hurley“Bodyfulness” is part of the renaissance of body-mind based healing styles, which recognize the ways stress and trauma can get stuck in the body. When we have tools to release them and regulate ourselves, we can feel freer to live and express our truth. Bodyfulness is unique in also helping people reclaim all of life’s healthy pleasures within a culture that has historically encouraged repression and suppression, much to our detriment. You’ll learn about the three D’s of bodyfulness (diving in, discharging, and delighting) and how it can free you from repression, reactive patterns, and your “issues living in your tissues.”
RACHEL ALLYN, PHD, has been a licensed holistic psychologist for almost 20 years specializing in mind-body medicine, relationships, and intimacy issues. She helps individuals and couples cope with their mood, life transitions, and all types of relationship challenges. As a certified yoga teacher, Dr. Allyn incorporates the body into her sessions at times and leads therapeutic mind-body workshops and retreats. She recently released a book called, The Pleasure Is All Yours: Reclaim Your Body’s Bliss and Reignite Your Passion for Life. The book is based on the same topic as her 2019 TEDx talk focusing on her method of “bodyfulness,” which integrates mindfulness, movement to release stress and trauma stuck in the body, and reclaiming healing healthy pleasures within a repressed, over-worked culture. Her motto is “Pleasure to the People”! When she’s not spreading this message, you can find her skiing, surfing, or singing karaoke.
May 25, 2022, 7-8:30 P.M., CT
“TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE”: DATING AND INTIMACY IN RECOVERY by Nell Hurley
Nell addresses the necessary elements of healthy dating and intimacy in recovery. She draws on her own experiences of struggling with relationships in early (and not so early) sobriety, and how she practices connecting deeply with herself and her Higher Power to connect with others.
Participants will learn:
- The role self-awareness plays in healthy dating and intimacy.
- The importance of setting boundaries while dating in recovery.
- How identifying your values empowers you to attract safe, healthy experiences around dating and intimacy in recovery.
She served as executive director of Minnesota Recovery Connection from 2010 to 2014 where she co-created the Recovery Coach Academy to train peer recovery coaches throughout Minnesota. She also served as the director of Alumni Relations at the Hazelden, Betty Ford Foundation, and as a national director for The Phoenix, a nonprofit that builds recovery communities through fitness. Today Nell serves as a consultant for SAMHSA's national Peer Recovery Center of Excellence and helps build Recovery Oriented Systems of Care in the State of Illinois. Nell is the founder of Hurley Health, where she combines fitness and recovery coaching to help people achieve long-term recovery from substance use disorders.
April 27, 2022, 7-8:30 P.M., CT
TTHRIVING IN THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE: UNLOCKING YOUR RESILIENCE IN OUR TURBULENT TIMES AND IN RECOVERY byJoseph Bailey
Joe will share from his new book Thriving in the Eye of the Hurricane, a guide to finding true serenity in recovery and being resilient in the face of all the challenges we face in our turbulent world today. He will share principles that guide us to the hope of transformation and awakening to our true spiritual nature.
JOSEPH BAILEY, M.A., L.P. is a licensed psychologist, author, seminar leader, consultant, public speaker, and psychotherapist. His work has included co-founding The Minneapolis Institute of Mental Health, developing programs for numerous hospitals, and working extensively in treatment centers for addictions.
He is the author of six books with over a half million in print, including the best seller Slowing Down to the Speed of Life with Dr. Richard Carlson, The Serenity Principle, The Speed Trap, Slowing Down to the Speed of Love, Fearproof Your Life: How to Thrive in a World Addicted to Fear, and the newly released Thriving in the Eye of the Hurricane: Finding Your Resilience in Our Challenging Times. You can learn more about Joe and his work at joebaileyandassociates.com.
Wednesday March 23, 2022, 7-8:30 P.M., CT
FIERCE SELF-COMPASSION by Ellie Hyatt
Self-compassion is considered a caring force. When in balance, it involves enderness and fierceness. Based on the research of educational psychologist and author Kristin Neff, this session describes the three foundations of self-compassion. We will explore the fierce aspect of self-compassion as a source of protection and self-respect. As women, we have been socialized to be nice and not get angry. We will learn practices that allow us to keep our hearts open and protect ourselves forcefully.
Goals for this session:
• Increased awareness of our own relationship to self-compassion
• Understand fierce self-compassion as a source of protection
• Awareness of destructive and constructive anger
ELLIE HYATT is the former Director of Family & Spiritual Recovery at The Retreat in Wayzata, MN. Before joining The Retreat staff, Ellie was an independent businesswoman, a social worker, and worked with the state of Minnesota developing programs and writing legislation. She is a Certified Spiritual Director, a trained teacher of Self-Compassion, has been an active participant in 12-step recovery since 1993, and has significant experience organizing retreats and conferences.
Wednesday February 23, 2022, 7:00-8:30 PM CST
THE PROMISES OF STEPS 8 & 9 by Polly Pistole
Polly will lead us through the process of taking steps 8 and 9: Making a list of those we’ve harmed, becoming willing to make amends to them all, and making direct amends whenever possible.
Her insights will help us understand the ways in which we can harm others, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Polly offers creative ideas on how to make amends that we didn’t think possible.
You don’t want to miss this!
POLLY PISTOLE has been active in 12-step recovery for more than 44 years, including 38 years in Al-Anon. She has been giving talks on steps 8 and 9 for more than 20 years, carrying the message to the recovery community all over the world, including in the U.S., Canada, Iceland, England, and Australia.
Wednesday January 26, 2022, 7:00-8:30 PM CST
LETTERS FROM GOD: INTUITING & EXPERIENCING OUR HIGHER POWER by Michelle Simonsen
Michelle Simonsen is a soma yoga therapist specializing in providing relief from chronic traumatic experiences. She is also a certified recovery coach. Michelle believes that teaching the spiritual nature of yoga combined with the foundations of 12-step recovery creates a safe place for healing to begin. She enjoys building and supporting you on a path of recovery toward a whole you—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
October 27, 2021, 7-8:30 PM CST
HARVESTING CONNECTION & JOY THROUGH MUSIC with Barbara McAfee
Join Women in Recovery for an intimate concert-conversation celebrating recovery, shared journeys, and the joy of being alive. Steeped in themes of community and connection, Barbara McAfee will share her voice of poignancy and clarity, and her enchanting spirit to cap off our 2021 Speaker Series.
Barbara McAfee is a master voice coach, author, keynote speaker, and singer/ songwriter who merges lessons from 12 years in organization development with the transformative power of sound. Her book, Full Voice, is based on her 25-plus years as a voice coach, supporting people from many professions to find their voice, whatever that means to them.
Barbara has produced eight CDs of mostly original music and is founder of the Morning Star Singers, a volunteer hospice choir in the Twin Cities. Barbara lives on the wild and scenic St. Croix River in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. Learn more about Barbara at barbaramcafee.com
- Program Flyer
- Audio: Grown Ass Woman
- Audio: Jewels
- Audio: I Wish That I Could Show You
- Audio: Barbara McAfee
September 22, 2021, 7-8:30 PM CST
BUILDING RESILIENCE DURING TIMES OF STRESS & ANXIETY with Carolyn Suerth Hudson, RDN, LD
At times, we all face stress and anxiety—health concerns, financial issues, and employment or relationship changes. Living during a pandemic compounds them, so it’s no surprise that 60% of adults are experiencing stress and anxiety, according to a 2020 Gallup Report. The good news is that you can build resilience with good nutrition and lifestyle habits. Did you know that food directly affects the structure and function of your brain and your resilience to stress and anxiety? Learn how simple lifestyle habits like getting sufficient sleep, drinking water, and eating real food can help you reduce anxiety from the inside out while living a life of sobriety.
Carolyn understands the impact nutrition has on health and wellbeing, both professionally and personally. Working in a remote town in northern Canada, she saw the impact poor nutrition had on the health of people there. She then became committed to learning more and decided to pursue a degree in nutrition.
While in school, Carolyn became very ill. Doctors thought she had ulcerative colitis and later believed she had irritable bowel syndrome. To restore her health, Carolyn turned to nutrition and began eating real foods such as animal protein, healthy fats, vegetables, homemade yogurt and flax. Within a short period of time, her symptoms cleared and her energy returned.
Carolyn, a nutritionist with Nutritional Weight & Wellness, has over 30 years of experience in the nutrition field in the United States and Canada. A lifelong learner, Carolyn recently completed her certification as a Well Coach to enable her to understand the struggles clients face and to help them make changes. Carolyn is a registered and licensed dietitian through the Minnesota Board of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received her BASc in Nutrition from Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and completed her internship at Toronto General Hospital. Carolyn is a past president of the Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and past director on the board of the Dietitians of Canada.
August 25, 2021 7-8:30 PM CST
UNDERSTANDING RELATIONSHIP EXTREMES: LOVE ADDICTION & LOVE AVOIDANCE with Susan Lessley
Love addicts assign too much time, attention, and value to another person while neglecting themselves. Love avoidants use walls instead of being relational in order to prevent feeling overwhelmed in relationships. Participants will learn how we are set up for both, as well as a greater awareness of how these cycles can show up in adult relationships.
SUSAN LESSLEY (MA) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, working with individuals, couples, groups, and families. She has been in private practice since 2008. Her focus areas include Post Induction Therapy (PIT, trained by Pia Mellody), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), trauma resiliency model (TRM), and Family of Origin Trauma workshops. Susan also has experience treating sexual addiction and sexual offenders. Susan practices from a systemic perspective, believing that our past and present relationships influence how we live our lives. Susan proposes that we all live by a script that governs our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Understanding and deconstructing our scripts is important to our ability to live in a healthy, fulfilling way.
July 28, 2021 7-8:30 PM CST
FORGIVENESS: A LIFE SKILL, A GOOD HEALTH HABIT, AND THE KEY TO INNER FREEDOM Mary Hayes Grieco
Thousands of studies in psychology and medicine now prove what ancient wisdom has always taught: that holding onto resentments is hurtful to us and that forgiving ourselves and others will bring us peace of mind and better health. For those of us in recovery, forgiveness is an essential action to take, because our resentments toward others and our disappointment in ourselves represent a real threat to our sobriety. But if forgiveness is so good for us, why does everyone resist doing it? And how do you do it?
It’s actually not hard to forgive. You just need to get over a few misconceptions and learn what it really is—a powerful healing for yourself. You need to learn how it is accomplished, step-by-step, just like you learned how to drive. And then... do it! The experience of real forgiveness is so freeing and refreshing you’ll wonder why you waited so long to feel better.
- Learn a new definition and an 8-STEP model of what forgiveness is and how it is done.
- Understand the connection between 12-step recovery and healing resentments through forgiveness.
- Connect with the Higher Power and gather the focus and ability to forgive a story that is holding you back.
MARY HAYES GRIECO is the Director and Lead Trainer of The Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training, and the author of Unconditional Forgiveness—A Simple and Proven Method to Forgive Everyone and Everything and The New Kitchen Mystic—A Companion for Spiritual Explorers, both published by Simon & Schuster. She has been teaching her potent 8-Step method of forgiveness to the general public as well as to counseling professionals for 30 years, and her work has taken her around the world. Mary worked at Hazelden Betty Ford’s Dan Anderson Renewal Center for 16 years, and she has a private practice at The Well Healing Arts Center in Minneapolis.
- Mary Hayes Grieco, Presentation Handout
- The Wonderful Forgiveness Weekend
- Zoom Presentation
- WIR Forgiveness Resources
- Audio: Mary Hayes Grieco
- Program Flyer
June 23, 2021 7-8:30 PM CST
Poetic Expression for Growth and Healing with Geri Chavis
Participants will experience the ways in which poetic expression can enhance our wellbeing by inspiring us to cultivate gratefulness and affirm our resilience in coping with life’s challenging situations. During our time together, we will share reactions to selected poems and have opportunities to generate our own creative expressions.
Geri Chavis, M.A, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, certified poetry therapist, poetry therapy mentor/supervisor and professor emerita of Humanities at St. Catherine University. Geri is a past president and longtime board member of the National Association for Poetry Therapy and has authored two books that are required readings for those acquiring certification in the poetry/bibliotherapy field: Poetry and Story Therapy: The Healing Power of Creative Expression and The Healing Fountain: Poetry Therapy for Life’s Journey.
May 26, 2021, 7-8:30 PM CST
(ALMOST) EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SPONSORSHIP
How do you find a sponsor? Work with a sponsor? Make the most of a relationship with a sponsor? We asked several women in recovery to share their collective 100-plus years of experience with sponsorship.
Monique L., AA; Barbara M., AA; Nancy O., Al-Anon; and Trish W., NA, will answer questions about sponsoring, being a sponsee, and how the relationship works for them. Join us for this special Fourth Wednesday Panel discussion.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 from 7-8:30 PM
MINDFULNESS, WELLBEING, AND RECOVERY with Mariann Johnson
Wellbeing and mindfulness instructor at the University of Minnesota Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing.
A growing body of research points to the numerous benefits of mindfulness practice. Studies indicate that mindfulness can enhance emotional and physical wellbeing, resilience, and relationships, as well as help with healing from addictive behaviors. This experiential session will introduce you to mindfulness and highlight the work of researcher Judson Brewer, M.D., PhD, and his groundbreaking book, The Craving Mind.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
BODY AWARENESS: PAYING ATTENTION TO BODILY SENSATIONS FOR HEALING AND RESILIENCE with Catherine Mollner
The body is designed to heal itself. During these challenging times fraught with ruptured connections, our body can be a valuable portal to reconnection, aliveness and resilience.
Through experiential practices, we will explore paths to befriend sensations, reconnect with our internal states, and access the organic wisdom of our body. When we genuinely listen to our body in stillness and movement, we can strengthen our sense of self, gain open-hearted awareness and well-being.
- BODY AWARENESS: PAYING ATTENTION TO BODILY SENSATIONS FOR HEALING AND RESILIENCE with Catherine Mollner (Download Video)
- Program Flyer
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
EMOTIONAL SOBRIETY with Polly Pistole
Polly will help us examine emotional sobriety and the possibility of healing emotional problems through the 12 steps and a personal relationship with God. Using her own experience, she will focus on the following:
- Steps 6 & 7 - How to identify our character defects which separate us from God
- Finding a solution - How to establish conscious contact with a God of our understanding using the steps, AA and Al-Anon literature.
- How to live comfortable in our own skin
Polly will be referring to sections of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon’s Path’s to Recovery and Language of the Heart.
- Program Flyer
- Emotional Sobriety Workshop
- Book: The Language of the Heart: Bill W's Grapevine Writings by Bill W.
- Book: As Bill Sees It: The A.A. Way of Life by Bill W.
- Book: Carry This Message by Joe McQ
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
LETTERS FROM GOD: INTUITING & EXPERIENCING OUR HIGHER POWER with Paula Hutchinson & Abby Sue Fisher
Women in Recovery will start the new year with what has become a tradition— intuiting and experiencing our personal Letters from God. Paula Hutchinson and Abby Sue Fisher are back to lead us through this powerful spiritual practice.
This January, as we continue online, we are using the platform Futureme.org to write or upload and submit our letters for future email delivery. While we are not able to physically share our sacred space this year, participants are encouraged to create their own sacred space that evening. (Futureme.org is free of charge and an orientation will be provided during the program.)
Join us as our journey into the Great Reality continues—healing our past and blessing our future!
- Program Flyer
- Letters from God Reflection Questions
- Intro Poem: "Eagle Poem" by Joy Harjo from In Mad Love and War(Wesleyan University Press, 1990)
- Closing Poem: "Breath" by Danna Faulds from Go In and In: Poems from the Heart of Yoga (Peaceable Kingdom Books, 2002)
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
BRINGING STRUCTURE TO YOUR LIFE THROUGH STEPS 3 AND 11 with John MacDougall
There are two problems in alcoholism: the powerlessness over alcohol, and the unmanageability of our lives. When we stop drinking, the powerlessness over alcohol is immediately reduced; the unmanageability of our lives is not automatically changed. It appears that unmanageability is outside of us. People, places, and things are unmanageable. Our lives are unmanageable because we don’t have a basic set of instructions for how to get through the day: what to do, moment by moment in the face of chaos. Steps three and eleven, which have to do with seeking God’s will, moment by moment, offer a solution. We can stop trying to force our will, and implement the A.A. concept of letting go and letting God guide us.
- Program Flyer
- Book: Being Sober and Becoming Happy by John A. MacDougall
- Book: Clinician’s Guide to Spirituality by Bowen F. White and John A. MacDougall
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
SPONSORSHIP PANEL with Lisa D, Tricia W, Michelle G, Maru R, Corrie S
Women In Recovery recognizes the important role effective sponsorship plays in one’s 12-step recovery journey, as well as the many forms of addiction beyond alcohol or substance abuse that can negatively impact women’s lives and recovery success. We are offering an opportunity for our virtual audience to learn more about 12-step programing and effective sponsorship, regardless of addiction.
Please join us to hear from a panel of women from AA, NA, Al-Anon, OA, and CODA who have been sponsored and in turn sponsor women in their recovery using 12- step principles. They will describe how they were sponsored and how sponsorship has afforded them recovery. They will share their experience, strength, and hope in recovery and answer your questions about sponsorship.
- Questions & Answers on Sponsorship (AA)
- AA World Service Office (AA)
- AA Greater Minneapolis Intergroup (AA)
- AA Saint Paul & Suburban Area Intergroup (AA)
- Al-Anon World Service Office (AL-ANON)
- Al-Anon/Alateen in the Greater Minneapolis & St. Paul Area (AL-ANON)
- NA World Service Office (AA)
- NA Minnesota (NA)
- Co-Dependents Anonymous International (CODA)
- Co-Dependents Anonymous of Minnesota (CODA)
- Recovering Pattern of Codependency (CODA)
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
ANGELS, SAINTS & SINNERS: PIONEERING WOMEN IN THE EARLY DAYS OF AA with Kathleen Cook-Hunter
Let’s take a look back to the early days of the 1930’s and 40’s, a time when many women were seen and not heard: good homemakers, smart women who helped build our country, and some who just drank too much. The stigma of a drunken woman made it extremely difficult to admit to a drinking problem.
So who were these pioneering women in the beginning days of AA? And just how did AA become a fellowship of men and women? They are the women on whose shoulders we stand today. Join us as we hear their stories. We honor them and the contributions that helped build the fellowship of recovery.
- ANGELS, SAINTS & SINNERS: PIONEERING WOMEN IN THE EARLY DAYS OF AA with Kathleen Cook-Hunter (download video)
- Lois Remembers by Lois W
- Ann Smith’s Journal by Dick B
- Grateful to Have Been There by Nell Wing
- A Biography of Mrs. Marty Mann: The First Lady of Alcoholics by Sally Brown & David Brown
- Marty Mann’s Primer on Alcoholism by Marty Mann
- Sister Ignatia (Angel of Alcoholics Anonymous) by Mary Darrah
- Hope!: The Story of Geraldine D, Alina Lodge & Recovery: By Dick B
- The Factory Owner and the Convict by Dick B
- Not God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous by Ernie Kurtz
- Straight from the Heart by Ann Richards
- Betty Ford, A Glad Awakening by Betty Ford
- Women Pioneers in 12 Step Recovery by Charlotte Hunter, Billye Jones & Joan Zieger
- Key Players in AA History by Bob K
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Chemistry of Addiction with Carol Ackley
How does brain chemistry interact with addiction? How does addiction affect brain chemistry? What are the short-term and long-term neurological effects of alcohol and other drugs as they relate to thinking, behavior, and decision making?
The disease of addiction is multifaceted and stems from many possible underlying causes and issues. Taking a look at one facet – the brain chemistry of addiction – can be an eye-opening and informative way to become more self-aware on our path of recovery. Join us for an in-depth and informed lecture to learn more about this physiological aspect of addiction.
- PowerPoint Presentation: The Neurobiology of Addiction & Trauma: Intricate Links
- Self-Care Wheel
For More Events, Please Check our Calendar of Events.