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12 Steps Simplified

12 Steps Simplified

Many people who struggle with an addiction will avoid getting treatment because they believe that the 12 step treatments are all about being religious. The truth is that someone who needs this type of treatment can be religious, but they don’t have to be. If you are struggling with addiction, hopefully, by our Through the Archway team simplifying the 12 steps, you can better understand the process of recovery.

Before We Begin

Before we begin going through the 12 steps, we would like to talk a bit about who can work on the 12 steps. 

There are many different types of people who attend 12-step addiction treatment center programs or addiction recovery meetings. There are atheists, Christians, Buddhists and many others. If you aren’t religious, that doesn’t mean you can’t attend 12-step treatment. These programs are more about spirituality. They don’t rely on religious factors to help people progress in their recovery

Step 1 – Making the Admission 

Step 1 is as follows – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable. 

What does this mean? It means you are going to admit that you have no control over your addiction. You are to the point where you believe and know that the addiction has made your life a mess.

If you can make this admission to yourself, then, you can proceed on with the rest of the 12 steps. 

Step 2 – Restoring Your Sanity

Step 2 is as follows – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 

The Power greater than yourself doesn’t have to be God. It can be anything you believe can help you to create a better life for yourself (the universe, Earth, meditative forces, etc.) The point of this step is to realize that something or someone out there can help support you in the recovery process, so you can restore your sanity.

Step 3 – Turning Your Will Over to Your Hig12 stepsher Power

Step 3 is as follows – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him. 

Now, just because this step mentions God, you don’t have to take it so literally. It can be the Higher Power we talked about above. When working the 12 steps, you will work with your Higher Power on many things, including turning your will and the direction of your life over to them.

If you are already to this step that is great. If not, our Through the Archway team can help you to get this far and even farther in the process of the 12 steps. 

Step 4 – Made an Inventory of Yourself

Step 4 is as follows – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 

When it comes to the 12 steps, it is important that you don’t skip any steps, especially this one. You will need to make this inventory, so you can track amends, wrongdoings, strengths, weaknesses, etc. 

There are worksheets that can help you to make this inventory. When you attend treatment programs such as the one here at Through the Archway, there are professionals who can help you to create this inventory, as well. 

Step 5 – Admitting Your Wrongs to People 

Step 5 is as follows – Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Again, you don’t have to make the admission to God, unless you believe in him. You can make the admission of your wrongdoings to your Higher Power, to yourself and to someone you trust from your support network. 

It is important to recognize that this step, along with other 12 steps, can take some time. You don’t have to rush through the process. Everyone works through the 12 steps on their own timing and may even go backward some steps before going forward again. 

Step 6 – Removing Defects of Character

Step 6 is as follows – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 

After you have gone through your inventory and wrongdoings, you are ready to have your Higher Power help you to make positive changes in your life. With the guidance of your Higher Power, you are ready to create a better, healthier and substance-free life for yourself.

Step 7 – Removing Shortcomings

Step 7 is as follows – Humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings. 

This is the step in which you ask your Higher Power to help free you from those shortcomings we talked about earlier in your inventory. Your Higher Power can help you to do this, so you can make those positive changes mentioned in Step 6.

Step 8 – Making a List and Being Ready to Make Amends

Step 8 is as follows – Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. 

In this step, you are going to make a list of the people you have wronged. Then, you are going to write down how you can make amends to these people. You aren’t going to take action on these amends during this step, though. 

Step 9 – Making Those Amends

Step 9 is as follows – Made direct amends to people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 

It is very important that you read through this entire step. It is a great thing to make genuine amends to those who you have wronged. However, if doing this is going to injure or harm that person, another person or yourself, it shouldn’t be done directly. You can always write a letter, do some journaling or talk to your Higher Power about this amend. 

Step 10 – Keep Taking Personal Inventory and Admitting Your Wrongdoings

Step 10 is as follows – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. 

During this step, which will be continuous throughout your lifelong recovery, you will keep working on the inventory you created earlier. We are all humans and everyone makes mistakes, so there will be more wrongdoings that you need to take inventory of. When these occur, it is essential to your recovery that your promptly admit you have done wrong and make amends for those wrongs. 

Step 11 – Making Conscious Contact with Your Higher Power

Step 11 is as follows – Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. 

Basically, this is one of the 12 steps, where you look again to your Higher Power for assistance with your recovery. You will ask your Higher Power or someone from your support system (when necessary) to help you make the best decisions for your life. 

Step 12 – Spiritual Awakening 

Step 12 is as follows – Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. 

Notice this says a spiritual awakening, not a religious one. That is because addiction recovery is about spirituality and not necessarily religion. Being that you have had the spiritual awakening at this point, you will try to help other alcoholics see how helpful recovery is and continue to practice what you have learned in your own life, as well. 

Use the 12 Steps to Better Your Life

Are you ready to use the 12 steps to better your life? If so, contact us today, here at Through the Archway, to begin your recovery and spiritual lifestyle.

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Marion Weston

MARION WESTON

Executive Director

Marion Weston, Certified Interventionist, has been sober since November of 1989. Since then, she has sponsored many women through the 12-steps as well as being heavily involved in service. Also, Marion has led step workshops and has given talks in Nebraska, South Florida, Washington, New Jersey, Sweden and many other venues.

She has been involved since her first days in recovery with her Church and has enjoyed years of success in the chemical addiction field. Originally from Bellingham, Washington, Marion now resides in South Florida. Her favorite phrase is “turning scars into stars”.

Peter and Marion have a combined sobriety time of nearly 60 years, and a combined 40 years being in service to others in the field of treating substance use disorder.

Marion has been involved in recovery for over 25 years. She has walked many women down the path of recovery on both a personal and public level. Having been a part of 1-on-1 mentor-ship in recovery guiding women towards freedom, to leading various workshops to educate groups of men and women on the practical approach to a sober lifestyle. Marion strives to better herself and be of service to those around her.

Women recovering from alcohol addiction sometimes find it extremely difficult to survive without medications, the Through The Archway program helps them learn different dimensions of life and get over with addictions eventually.

TRICIA TAYLOR

CLINICAL NURSE

Tricia Taylor a detailed oriented Licensed Practical Nurse with extensive experience in business operations, patient services and work well with team members and doctors.

Possesses exceptional team building, communication, and interpersonal skills and the ability to quickly adapt to the ever-changing business environment. Creative problem solver that works closely with doctors and staff to provide real time solutions.

Richard Seely

DIRECTOR OF PSYCHIATRY

Credentials & Accolades

  • Psychiatry & Addiction Medicine – Board Certified
  • Florida Medical Center – Psychiartrist
  • Florida Society of Addiction Medicine – Officer & Director
  • Profes sionals Resource Network – Evaluator & Provider
  • Princeton University – AB
  • Jefferson Medical College – MD

Dr. Richard Seely educated at Princeton University, Jefferson Medical College, and University of Miami residency in psychiatry, Dr. Rick Seely is Board-certified in psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and addiction psychiatry, and also in addiction medicine by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He serves as an evaluator and provider for Florida’s Impaired Professionals Programs and for professional sports teams, and as a consultant to the Florida Board of Bar Examiners.

Dr. Seely is an addiction medicine psychiatrist who has served as medical director of addiction treatment centers in South Florida since 1990 and has had the privilege of assessing and treating over 100,000 individuals suffering from the disease of addiction. He has taught addiction psychiatry at medical schools for over 35 years and supervises psychiatric resident physicians in addiction medicine.

In long-term recovery from addiction himself, Dr. Seely empathizes with patients and provides clear, consistent, and compassionate guidance in their recovery efforts. He imparts his experience and knowledge in a manner consistent with humility and dedication to spreading the message of hope and recovery.

DR. LINDA DOLIN, MD

MEDICAL DIRECTOR

Credentials & Accolades

  • Destination Hope –  Medical Director
  • House of Hope –  Medical Director
  • Florida Medical Center – Internal Medicine Physician
  • Florida University Hospital – Internal Medicine Physician
  • Milestones in Recovery – Internal Medicine Physician
  • MedPsych Consultants – Founding Partner

Dr. Linda Dolin is the Medical Director of SBMHC. She received her medical degree from Chicago Medical School and went on to complete her residency at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Dolin brings nearly 32 years of experience as a practicing internal medical physician to her role as medical director at The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center. Her medical practice consists entirely of inpatient and outpatient clients with psychiatric diagnoses.

PETER MARINELLI

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Through the Archway

Credentials & Accolades

  • International Circuit – Speaker
  • Certified Interventionist
  • National Council on Alcoholism – Speaker
  • Through The Archway – Founder
  • FHE Health Sober Living Program with Peter Marinelli

Peter Marinelli, Certified Interventionist and published author, has been sober since 1988 and has dedicated his life to helping others recover from alcoholism and drug addiction. The spiritual emersion program at Through The Archway has been created by Peter Marinelli. As an international circuit speaker, Peter has given hundreds of talks across the U.S. and Europe on subjects related to recovery.

He has spoken at numerous treatment centers, universities and medical organizations to both sufferers and clinicians alike. Peter has also been invited to speak for the National Council on Alcoholism and has been a guest on talk radio and has done workshops on spiritual transformation for various religious organizations.

He has spent the majority of his sobriety in the Treatment Center industry. Peter Marinelli’s mission is to help addicts and alcoholics recover from their fatal illness. He is the Founder and CEO of Through the Archway, a 30-day program designed to help suffering addicts reclaim their lives.

JAIME BLAUSTEIN

CO-FOUNDER & CEO

Credentials & Accolades

  • Credit Suisse – Investment Banking
  • Lord Abbett – Institutional Sales
  • Morgan Stanley & Wells Fargo – Wealth Management
  • Duke University – MBA
  • University of Michigan – BA

Mr. Jaime Blaustein is Co-Founder and CEO of SBMHC. Prior to this role, he was an investment banker at Credit Suisse in its Global Industrials coverage group in New York City. Here he was responsible for advising clients in the basic materials sector on strategic matters, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, restructurings and various debt and equity financings. Prior to this role, he worked in institutional sales at Lord Abbett, a mutual fund manager overseeing ~$150 billion in assets under management. He previously worked in wealth management at Morgan Stanley and later Wells Fargo, advising a wide array of clients on investment strategies.

Jaime received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his M.B.A. from Duke University. He is an unapologetic NY Giants, Duke Blue Devils and Michigan Wolverine fan. His interests include fitness, steakhouses, international travel, meditation retreats, and quality time with friends. Jaime is a newly minted resident of Miami. He is actively involved in sponsoring dozens of men in recovery and is beyond excited to marry his business expertise with his passion for helping others make a comeback from the depths of mental illness and addiction.

VALESKA MEDEL

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Ms. Valeska Medel has been a professional in the healthcare industry for the past 17 years, with a primary focus on the operational and administrative functions. She comes with 15 years of experience as the Executive Assistant to the Administrator for a skilled nursing facility and an additional year as a Business Development associate for a Behavioral Health Hospital. Valeska attend Florida Atlantic University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Administration.

She has certifications from Broward College in Business Operations, Business Specialist, Accounting Technology Operations, and Human Resources Management.

Valeska grew up a small town in Chile and moved to the United States at the age of 28 where she learned and became fluent in English. Outside of work, Valeska enjoys Latin dancing, travel, and cooking.

CYNTHIA INGRAM

DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS & CASE MANAGEMENT

Ms. Cynthia Ingram has worked in the field of mental health and substance abuse treatment for over 25 years. Cynthia, through her own personal experience, strength, and hope, has worked closely with many treatment centers, community providers, courts and other organizations who walk with the same vision and purpose, to help those who struggle with mental illness. Through this journey her purpose is clear: to give back what was so freely given to her.

MICHAEL LENOK

PRIMARY THERAPIST

Mr. Michael Lenok, MA, is a primary therapist at SBMHC.  Michael has been working in the field of substance use and mental health disorders since 2017. Michael is proficient with individual therapy and case management. He takes a very personalized and individualistic approach to treatment, and works in collaboration with each and every client to help them realize their true potential. Michael excels at group facilitation. His group curriculum and material is personally created and original. Michael’s unique approach to treatment for co-occurring disorders is something that is unique to SBMHC.

Michael has a Master’s degree in Addiction Counseling: Integrated Recovery for Co-Occurring Disorders from the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies. He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Syracuse University. Michael is a native New Yorker but is settling in Florida after spending the past 3 years in Washington and Massachusetts. He is a diehard New York Knicks fan, and makes far too many basketball references. He spends most of his free time chilling with his dog, Mamba.

ANDREA MORGANSTEIN

REGISTERED DIETICIAN

Andrea Morganstein MS, RD, LDN, CDCES is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist who received her Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Some of her certifications include weight management, functional nutrition, fitness, and diabetes.  She currents owns a private practice in Davie, Florida and works one-on-one with individuals helping them achieve a healthier lifestyle using conventional nutrition as well as functional/integrative nutrition concepts. 

She started her career in Sports Nutrition and weight management but over the years has expanded her knowledge and expertise to include diabetes, mental health and substance abuse. As a contractor for multiple local addiction and mental health facilities, Andrea shares her passion and knowledge about nutrition in conjunction with behavioral changes with her clients suffering from mental health disorders including disordered eating and substance abuse. She works with them individually as well as in a group setting.

LINDA NEWMAN

PRIMARY THERAPIST

Linda Newman was born and raised in NJ. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Monmouth College followed by her Master’s degree from Georgian Court University. She started my career in 1993 and have been working in the counseling field since then in different arena’s. I started as an A/D adolescent counselor for 5 years until my second child was born. At which time, I took some time off to raise my family. Upon returning to work, I did some counseling in the school setting for some time. I also spent some time on the alliance in my town and assisted in creating programs for the school district regarding alcohol and drug education. She relocated to Florida in 2011 and have been here ever since When I moved to Florida, I went back to SA/MH which I’ve been doing consistently since then. I have 2 amazing children.

JIM MAGNER

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Jim Magner has worked in the field of substance abuse and mental health for the last 15 years. He has always had a passion for helping others. Jim has held many leadership positions over the course of his career and draws on his own recovery experience to assist families and their loved ones.  Born and raised in Lynn, Massachusetts, Jim now lives in Coral Springs with his wife Courtney and 2 kids. When he’s not working or playing with his family, Jim’s hobbies include golfing, fishing, working out and watching Wheel of Fortune, which he was a contestant on back in 2017.

LINDA MILANO, PMHNP-BC

PSYCHIATRIC NURSE

Mrs. Linda Milano is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who is passionate about incorporating a whole health approach in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. She attended Florida International University where she first received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, and later a Master’s of Science Degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. She has over 25 years of experience treating patients with substance abuse and mental illness. She is certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Mrs. Milano also runs a private practice with over 200 patients. She grew up in a small town in Virginia. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

TALIA DELUCA

GROUP FACILITATOR

Ms. Talia DeLuca is certified fitness coach (ACE, PPSC) who is passionate about helping others to understand the important interplay between fitness, exercise, and mental health. She attended Boston College where she received a B.S. in Political Science and minored in Managing for Social Impact. During her time spent at BC Talia earned her personal training certification and became an instructor at the university recreation center. Talia further discovered her passion for fitness and mental health during an internship with Happify in her Junior year of college, where she helped to create an exercise program for app users to alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression. She is now a trainer at Anatomy in Midtown, Miami.

Talia grew up in a small town in Rhode Island and has spent the majority of her life in New England before moving to Miami in June of 2021. Throughout her youth and in school she struggled with anxiety, depression, disordered eating and other mental health challenges. Exercise has become a necessary aspect of her life that has helped her to better manage and overcome these challenges. In addition to training and fitness, Talia loves to spend time with her dog, eat, and travel.

VINNY RICHARDS

GROUP FACILITATOR

Vinny Richards is a unique therapist who went from working as an in-house therapist in various treatment centers to being a successful group facilitator bringing motivational enhancement lectures and relapse prevention programs to the mental health therapeutic community. His direct, authentic approach resonates greatly with the patients at SBMHC. Originally hailing from New York City, Vinny has also engaged in individual therapy with hundreds of clients over the last several decades.

ALEX LIZARDO

GROUP FACILITATOR

Alex Lizardo is an entrepreneur, writer, speaker, philanthropist, and an unshakable optimist. She is an obsessive learner who spends time reading, writing and creating strategic projects to help individuals make their dreams a reality. She is was born and raised in Venezuela, having moved to the United States in 2010 and established presence as a certified life coach with a specialization in spiritual psychology. A mechanical engineer and marketer by trade, she is currently a yoga and meditation instructor, reiki master, theta healer, and pranic healer. Her work focuses on trauma in inner child wounding and emotional codependency. She is a bonafide mental health advocate, and her passion for helping others is evident in all of her interactions with the Sylvia Brafman family.

Ben Brafman

CO-FOUNDER, CHIEF CLINICAL OFFICER

Credentials & Accolades

  • Destination Hope –  President & CEO
  • The Academy for Addiction Professionals – President & CEO
  • Rx Angels – President & CEO
  • Sullivan Pharmacy – President & CEO
  • Barry University – Mental Health Counseling and Family Therapy

Mr. Ben Brafman, MS, LMHC, CAP is Co-Founder and Clinical Director of SBMHC. He has founded a multitude of programs focusing on addiction, men’s issues, eating disorders and personality disorders. Ben was Founder, President and CEO of Destination Hope, a treatment center specializing in substance abuse and mental health disorders, established in 2007. Ben is also the founder, President and CEO of The Academy for Addiction Professionals. The Academy is a school geared toward preparing professionals for the field of addiction by assisting students in getting their CBHT, CAS, CAC, and CAP. Additionally, Ben is also Founder, President and CEO of Rx Angels, a non-profit organization. Its main purpose is to help families that cannot afford medication and treatment for their mentally ill loved ones.

Ben has been in the field of behavioral health for 25 years. He has developed several programs in the South Florida area and has been instrumental in teaching other professionals how to effectively manage their clinical programs. Ben is recognized as a leading authority in behavioral health and a pioneer in clinical services. He is also actively involved in several community services programs. He has helped families all over the country from Atlanta, Georgia to Santa Barbara, California. He is a published author in the area of dual diagnosis and behavioral health. Additionally, Ben is a leading expert in family issues related to addiction and its impact on the system of family, having positively influenced thousands of families in his career.

Ben has a dual Masters from Barry University in Counseling and Family Therapy. Mr. Brafman is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. He is also a Certified Addiction Professional and trains supervisors in the state of Florida to supervise others effectively. He resides in Parkland, Florida with his wife, Suzanne, and his 3 children Abigail, Jacob and Elijah. He has completed several marathons and is currently working on publishing books in the area of addiction, mental illness and behavioral health.