Helping You Rediscover Your Purpose In Recovery

Who We Are

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Philosophy

While society struggles to face an epidemic of addiction, the scourge of which seems very much a novel crisis, it is likely that our present conflict has its origin in our collective emotional history, a legacy which speaks to the limitations of our psychological development as a people. Early accounts dating from antiquity such as Homer’s The Odyssey detail the use of a magical drug, nepenthe, acquired from the Egyptians that was famed to quell all pain and strife and induce forgetfulness of every ill. Fittingly, the literal translation of nepenthe is “not sorrow” or “anti sorrow”. Its name and its fame offer us insight into the very compelling human drive to drown out or escape life’s suffering.

Equally popular in ancient times and famously celebrated in the cults of Dionysus was the potion, wine. Wine was believed to be a magical elixir that could lift one from the realm of the mundane into new heights of joy and ecstasy. Reverence for wine suggests another powerful and compelling human drive, to gain pleasure. Distinct though these potions were, nepenthe and wine, there was also much in purpose that they shared. Each provided a means of using something external to change how one felt and to thus get outside the limits of their own responses to life, each provided ways of working out challenges with powerful affective energies be they of sorrow or joy, and finally, each provided temporary, ineffective solutions to more enduring psychological challenges. While our culture is presently addicted to new and unique potions, the source of our addictions is not different from people of ancient times. We, like peoples of the distant past ignore latent and powerful capacities within our own hearts and minds and continue to rely heavily on mood altering substances to meet the vicissitudes of life.

Michael

Michael Nolan, CADC-II, ICADC

Co-Founder
Michael has been dreaming of opening a treatment center since entering the addiction treatment field in 2010. Michael was finally able to realize this dream when he partnered with Greg Vorst and opened Embodied Recovery.

Michael’s passion for service began when he was in his early 20’s. Michael went to treatment at The Sequoia Center on August 8, 2007. Michael had been to other addiction treatment centers, but did not find true healing until he began working with Dr. Barry Rosen and The Sequoia Center. Michael has maintained continuous sobriety since August 8, 2007. Michael did the majority of his recovery work through Alcoholics Anonymous. Michael completed the 12 steps through Alcoholics Anonymous and also recognizes that recovery comes in many forms. Michael attended the Landmark Forum in San Jose, has an active meditation practice, and continues to explore new avenues for spiritual growth. Michael’s work has been inspired by such pioneers in the addiction treatment field as Dr. Barry Rosen, as well as the works of John Bradshaw, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Pia Mellody, Brene Brown, Charles Whitfield, and Eckhart Tolle.

Michael completed Bethany University’s Addiction Studies program in 2010 and became a CADC-II in 2012 (certification number A011980315). Michael feels blessed and grateful to have found such an exceptional partner in Greg Vorst. Michael firmly believes the pursuit of recovery offers a greater sense of life-fulfillment, purpose, joy, gratitude and peace.

Greg Vorst, LMFT

Co-Founder
Greg received his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Southern California. Greg received further training in addiction and recovery from The Meadows and the Center for Creative Growth. Greg is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (Lic. 115498) in the State of California. As a therapist, Greg has gained valuable experience working in a variety of clinical settings including outpatient and residential facilities. A skilled group facilitator, Greg also led a successful IOP program that utilized evidence-based early recovery and relapse prevention skills, family education groups, and mindfulness-based meditations.

Greg is versed in several therapeutic approaches including DBT, family systems, CBT, inner child work, depth, gestalt, and mindfulness-based relapse prevention. In addition to his work as a therapist, he’s s a skilled practitioner and instructor of Sundo, a Korean, Taoist form of yoga, breath work, and meditation. In his own words… “I am deeply passionate about assisting clients in the transformative work of recovery. While I fully enjoy therapeutic process itself there is probably nothing more rewarding than to see clients achieve their goals.”
Greg
Dr. Richard Cicinelli Photo

Richard R. Cicinelli, M.D.

Medical Director
A specialist in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. I feel privileged as a psychiatrist to be working in the field of recovery. Being in recovery myself the past twenty years, I try to inspire those just entering recovery to persevere in a process that ultimately brings unlimited happiness and a deep sense of fulfillment.

Most of the energy in this field is focused on helping substance users to enter recovery, to stay in recovery, and to identify all other issues, both medical and psychological, that need to be addressed. This period of six to twelve months is crucial. It usually includes intensive treatment for stabilization and referrals for accompanying problems such as eating disorders, PTSD, depression, anxiety, broken relationships and many more. The goal of these early months is to enter recovery, maintain it, identify other problems, and to begin to treat them. This is a tall order: no wonder most recovery resources focus on this brief but crucial “first year in recovery.”

The thrill of working in this field is not only the pleasure of watching people take the initial steps to improve their lives, but the joy of watching lives unfold, resurrected, or hatched, literally, into a continuously improving quality of life that is impossible to explain to the person still using or still undergoing the pain of recovery’s first several months. This quality of life is a spiritual dimension that was previously overcome by the anguish and despair of addiction. It generally chooses paths, not only the support groups of early recovery, that vary but have the same outcome: a sense of fulfillment, an awareness of one’s purpose in life, a quieting of the soul, inner happiness, joy, and the discovery of human potential and empowerment. Accompanying these is the development of an unconditional and universal sense of love and compassion for others as well as a desire to be of service.

I am happy to be associated with Embodied Recovery because I believe in its mission, its philosophy, and the desire to help people to begin and embrace the journey described above.

Judy Alexander, CADC-II

Addiction Recovery Counselor
Judy graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Bachelors of Science in Business Management, later Judy returned to school to pursue her passion which was Addiction Studies at San Jose City College, Judy graduated in 2014, obtained a Certificate of Achievement in Addiction Studies in and is currently a CADC II.

In 1988 Judy was sick and tired of being sick and tired, she started to attend Alcohol Anonymous (AA) Meetings and that is where her recovery journey from drugs and alcohol began 11/27/1988. She continued to work in the Business community though she began volunteering in the AA fellowship and later in the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) fellowship, service is what the old timers in AA and NA recommend “you can’t keep it, if you don’t give it away”. Judy has gone into the jails and institutions representing Narcotic Anonymous and later representing the Church.

In 1989 Judy started attending Church at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Menlo Park CA, later the Church moved to Mountain View CA where she facilitated workshops in Anger Management, 12 Steps from a Faith based Perspective. Judy was mentored by Pastor Kenneth Love, LADC when she started her career as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor at Advent Group Ministries, working with troubled youths who were often gang affiliated hardened, deeply hurt and angry at the world. Judy went on to work at other agencies and now has the honor of working with Greg and Mike at the Embodied Recovery Center in Los Gatos. Judy continues to attend AA and NA meetings as well as Church at Destiny Christian Fellowship where she is a Minister of Praise and does Liturgical dance with an amazing group of women.
Judy Alexander