Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


As a counselor, as a catalyst for change, I stay emotionally healthier if I don’t invest a lot of emotion in the outcome. Yet, it's gratifying when I see clients whose lives change for the better.

And today I witnessed positive change with a couple I’ve worked with for a while. When we first started they had issues that seemed nearly insurmountable. In fact, the last time I had them in my office one was shouting, the other crying. The future seemed dim for them and I wasn’t sure they’d be back.

However they returned two weeks later for their scheduled appointment. And one told me that after the previous session they hadn’t spoken for hours, that there was a chill in the air for days afterward.

But something the husband heard during the previous session about responsibility had resonated. With the realization that he must be responsible for his role in the near breakup of their marriage their communication was improving.

Do they still have a lot of work to do? Of course. But it was nice to see them leave the office smiling and holding hands – something that hadn’t occurred after previous sessions.