Art of Moving Forward Workshop Contest Winners Selected!!!

We appreciate the profound interest in Procovery and all of the thoughtful submissions to Procovery Institute’s recent Art of Moving Forward Workshop contest — we have completed our review and selection process!

We are very happy to announce that, due to the incredibly enthusiastic response, we have decided to award not ONE, but THREE contest winners with the workshop of their choice!

CONGRATULATIONS to Pollyanne Hornbeck and Exodus Recovery, Inc., John Czernek and Long Beach Mental Health and Gail Sulser and San Pedro Mental Health!!!

Kathleen Crowley, Executive Director of Procovery Institute and creator of the Procovery Program, will be providing the chosen workshops (outlined below) to the winning agencies from June-August 2016:

Gathering Support — It is both a healing strategy and an objective in itself for individuals to be able to form the relationships they seek with others — service providers, colleagues, family, friends, romantic partners — in a manner that supports and promotes their healing. Even if you could do everything for yourself, why would you want to? This workshop helps to identify support desired, and ways to begin to seek it.

When spider webs unite they can tie up a lion. — Ethiopian proverb

Uncovering Hope — Without hope, motivation and inspiration are enormously difficult. With hope, motivation and inspiration can be just a short step. In this sense, hope is the engine of motivation and inspiration. This workshop seeks to increase hope, and inspire action, in the direction of your dreams.

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how. — Friedrich Nietzsche

We are very happy to provide these workshops and look forward to seeing many of you in attendance! If you are interested in learning more, please contact Procovery Institute and see below for descriptions of some of our most requested workshops.
The Role of Work in Healing — This workshop outlines key job strategies, both to find work and, equally as important, ways to continue to sustain healing strategies once employment has been secured.
Dissolving Stigma — Our Stories, Ourselves: An interactive workshop looking at stigma, and the most important stories of all — the ones we tell ourselves.

Community Integration — This workshop addresses the critical link between community integration and cultural diversity, and the power of embracing individual culture, strengths and preference to connect with others and, ultimately, to sustain healing.

Creating Change — This workshop helps to assess change desired, risk factors and ways to move forward.

Additionally, Procovery Institute can consult with you on a build-your-own workshop, tailored to your specific needs. Contact us at to learn more!

Until next time…

Procovery Institute

People will try to tell you that all of the great opportunities have been snapped up. In reality, the world changes every second, blowing new opportunities in all directions, including yours. — Ken Hakuta

A Favorite Proverb

“When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” – Ethiopian Proverb

Walk Down A Different Street

Yesterday we posted Portia Nelson’s wonderful “There’s a Hole in my Sidewalk” story. That story reminds me of so very many times that I was honored to be witness to someone learning not only that they wanted to walk down a different street, but that they could.

And it reminds me of a time when I learned this for myself.

In 1984, in a locked psychiatric ward at UCLA, a resident psychiatrist asked me, during a therapy session, what I wanted my life to look like in five years.  This wasn’t the first time he’d asked this. He asked me nearly every therapy session, at the end, just before I left. I remember mulling his words over quietly, not responding, just wondering (as I always did) why in the world he would ask me this.

It just made me feel sad.

My life, as I’d pictured it, was crumbling and much of what I had always planned was now impossible. His question, that he asked gently and hopefully, just made me sad.

I remember finally asking him, what difference does it make anyway? I’d recently been diagnosed as one hundred percent mentally and physically disabled for life, so it wasn’t like it could ever look that way.

He gently said, “Just tell me, Kathleen.”

I said that I would like to leave my marriage that was miserably failing and hurting everyone involved, and I would like to move to my own apartment with my two beautiful young daughters, and focus on raising two healthy, happy daughters ….. and I would like to write.

I remember Dr. Jones, the resident psychiatrist, leaned back in his chair and smiled, he was quiet for a long time. I figured he was just satisfied that I finally acknowledged his question, but after awhile he said “So, Kathleen, that is all entirely possible.”

And I was honestly stunned.

I felt like I’d just said to him, I want to win the lottery, fly to the moon and become president of the universe.

When I read this now, I see how relatively modest my 5 year plan was, but honestly on that day it felt quite impossible.

That day I learned that not only did I want to walk down another street but that someone else really believed that I actually could.

We can do this for others. We can see their potential, and help them dream a new dream.

Until next time…


“There’s a Hole in my Sidewalk”

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
by Portia Nelson

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in.
I am lost . . . I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault . . .
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place. But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there.
I still fall . . . it’s a habit . . . but,
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street. 

© Copyright 1993 Portia Nelson from the book “There’s a Hole in my Sidewalk”, Beyond Words Publishing, Hillsboro, Oregon. Used with permission.

A Life In The Community For Everyone – Part One

At Procovery Insitute, we are so happy to be hearing increased discussion, and see long overdue focus, on Community Reintegration. This is so important for individuals, our communities and society as a whole. However, it is also imperative to realize that Community Reintegration is not always possible. It is sometimes entirely impossible – you cannot reintegrate if you have never been integrated in the first place. Many individuals have no vision of living in the community and do not even consider this a possibility, as they’ve never known it.

Many years ago I was facilitating a Procovery Circle as part of a cultural efficacy test of Procovery, in partnership with LACDMH and USC. That winter my mother knit hats for everyone in the Procovery Circle – knit beanies made with soft, colorful yarn that were handmade especially for this Circle. Most of the participants selected a hat at the end of the Circle and put it on right away, but one participant quietly folded his up very neatly, and put it in his pocket without ever putting it on. One of the other participants asked him why he wasn’t wearing his hat, which I was also wondering, and he replied “This hat would be a really good hat for a homeless person, so I’m saving it for when I’m homeless again.”  I asked him why he assumed he would be homeless again, and he replied that he was 41 years old and had only been homeless or institutionalized since he turned 18 years old. It was the only pattern of life that he knew and he couldn’t envision a future for himself where he was not homeless upon discharge.

​Merely living outside of an institution is NOT Community Integration or Reintegration. In order to be integrated in to the community, a community has to be available or one has to be created. It is devastating to learn how many individuals never learned HOW to live in a community or never had a community available to them. ​

It is important to add that what constitutes community is highly individual, we feel that community is about connection, not proximity. Simply being in the midst of others does not constitute community. It is sometimes easier to feel lonely and isolated when surrounded by people, than it is to feel this way when home alone.​

This subject always reminds us of the beautiful Starhawk quote below. What a beautiful way to imagine a community.

“We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been – a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.” – Starhawk


“The older I grow, the more do I love spring and spring flowers. Is it so with you?” – Emily Dickinson

Happy Spring!

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy Spring from Procovery Institute!


Procovery Institute recently did a call for submissions for a LIFTING EACH OTHER UP blog post. We would like to support those individuals who are experiencing stress, anxiety and/or seasonal depression — these can be challenging any time of year, but around the holidays, when it is easy to feel that everyone around you is full of joy, these can be especially difficult and isolating.

We are appreciative of all of you who submitted quotes, prayers, excerpts from the Power of Procovery, etc. This is the first in an occasional series of blog posts with the intention of LIFTING EACH OTHER UP. The next blog in the series will be posted in January!

This blog post is inspired by a submission from Millie Fortune-Gilpin, a dedicated Procovery Circle Facilitator at BJC Behavioral Health in St. Louis MO. BJC has been a long time champion and supporter of Procovery and we are grateful to everyone at BJC, and all of the wonderful Procovery Circle members. They are the reason we do what we do. We are also extraordinarily appreciative that Millie is a member of our treasured community. Millie goes above and beyond to keep Procovery operating with fidelity at BJC and to help her Circle members find hope and create change.

Below are submissions from several of her Circle members:

Mary P’s motto: “Live, Love, Laugh Often. Life is Short!”

Mary P’s quote submission: “I have become a new person; and those who knew the old person laughed at me. The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor.  He took my measure anew every time he saw me, while all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected me to fit.” –George Bernard Shaw (The Power of Procovery, Page 108) 

Procovery Institute adds– There are no rules as to whether change must be a roar or a whisper, whether it must be 1 step or 1 of 100 steps, or whether it takes a moment or a year. — The Power of Procovery, Page 108

Mary R’s quote: “Hope motivates me.”

Mary R’s contribution — What is Hope? ” …..the feeling that things might somehow work out”  – James Gordon, MD  (The Power of Procovery, Page 81)  

Barb R’s quote: “When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.” –William James (The Power of Procovery, Page 102)

Michael W’s quote:  “I like Procovery because I meet new people.” 

Procovery Institute adds — It is so easy, often even more so this time of year, to lose sight of all of the beauty and joy and OPPORTUNITY for connection and happiness that surrounds us. We sometimes see only a giant TO DO list, comprised of more to do, than time to do it. And for some, seasonal or specifically holiday related depression is a constant challenge. WHAT CAN WE DO? We can remind ourselves of Michael W’s contribution and remember there are new people to meet, new things to do, new places to go, and new ways to do old things.

Until next time…

Procovery Institute

“Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

As 2013 comes to a close…

At Procovery Institute, we have been working very hard. While most of our work has been behind the scenes and therefore we have not had as much contact with you all as we prefer,as we near the end of 2013, we would like to take a moment to profoundly thank all of you for your continued and much appreciated support and commitment to Procovery!
We never anticipated our internal planning process being as complicated, challenging or extensive it has been. But, as a result, we’ve created a strong foundation and implementation structure to ensure a seamless, integrated systematic implementation of Procovery.  We’ve also created associated standards, measures and controls, which ensure fidelity as well as continued evolution of the program. And, as you all know, with regard to Procovery, doing it right (i.e. fidelity) equals strong outcomes (i.e. quality)!
In addition to our comprehensive internal strategic planning, and development process this year, Procovery Institute is also pleased to have been able to—

Continue to provide licensing support to Procovery Facilitators and Circles across the state of MO, by offering our first ever TWO YEAR (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2015) licensing scholarship opportunity, through the Randy Stratt Building, Hope, Healing and Life Scholarship Fund.  These scholarships continue to support Procovery Circles initiated during the rural/urban pilot of Procovery with the truly inspiring and dedicated Facilitators trained and licensed by Procovery Institute. Click Here for link to an article outlining the implementation of Procovery in Missouri by Joseph Parks, MD, in Behavioral Healthcare Magazine.  
Continue to provide licensing support to Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, through South Bay Wellness Center, allowing the continuation of the wonderful Procovery Circle facilitated by Gary Gougis and Deanna King and supported by the wonderful Natasha Lewis-Mouton.  As Gary often updates us, “Procovery is alive and well at South Bay!” We love to hear this, and look forward to Procovery expanding across Los Angeles! Click here for a link to the Procovery iTunes channel – Click on podcast #23 for an interview with Gary Gougis and #17 for an interview with Natasha Lewis-Mouton!!
Continue to provide licensing support to Exodus Recovery in Los Angeles, and to Pollyanne Hornbeck, who was introduced to Procovery through Gary Gougis from South Bay MHC/South Bay Wellness Center. To watch a video clip of a conversation regarding Procovery reducing hospitalization and emergency room visits, click here. This video features Gary Gougis, Fred Lee, Natasha Lewis-Mouton, Dr. Israel Rubenstein, Deanna King and Pollyanne Hornbeck!
 Provide authorization for one time-use of one of Procovery Institute’s trademarks, Just Start Anywhere, Today®, to LACDMH, to serve as the theme for their 14th annual English Hope and Recovery Conference, Building Wellness, Just Start Anywhere, Today® in April 2013.
Provide presentation at LACDMH 14th annual English Hope and Recovery Conference, including the Just Start Anywhere® Interactive Exercise, which introduced our brand new Procovery Intention Cards™!
Provide a workshop at Los Angeles County Client Coalition 2nd annual Innovations in Recovery Conference – Developing Emotional Radar, Learning to Use Feelings as Fuel to Create the Life you Want by Kathleen Crowley with Catherine Bond. Catherine Bond is currently the Director of Empowerment and Advocacy for the County of Los Angeles Department of Mental Health. Click here for a link to the Procovery iTunes channel – Click on podcast #19 for an interview with Catherine Bond!
Provide authorization and support for Nancy Bollinger, Executive Director of Self Help Center in Affton, Missouri to present at the DBSA 2013 National Conference, in Miami, Florida. Nancy has served as a Licensed Procovery Facilitator since 2006 and was recognized by the Procovery Institute as a Procovery Pioneer in 2008. We are so deeply appreciative of Nancy for representing us at this conference, and for her dedication to the program for the better part of a decade! Click here for a link to the Procovery iTunes channel – Click on podcast #24 for an interview with Nancy Bollinger!
Lastly, we have successfully created a baseline and template for our new program, The Art of Moving Forward™. We plan to broaden this new, innovative (and exciting!!) program’s pilot and test plans in 2014!
We sincerely wish you a joyous end of 2013, and a beautiful beginning to 2014!
Warmest regards,
Procovery Institute
“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Procovery Institute – Integrating Lessons Learned

At Procovery Institute we are very much looking forward to the completion of our planning process and being in a position to broadly expand the Power that is Procovery. In the meantime, even though it may seem quiet on our end, please know that we are working intensely and integrating all lessons learned through the lengthy and intense testing and development process of Procovery. At the completion of our planning and development process, we will be uniquely positioned to address many of the current, truly overwhelming, challenges faced by both individuals as well as healthcare organizations, and we will be doing this while not only building hope and saving lives, but also saving dollars! We are in this exciting position because of all of the extraordinary, dedicated and inspiring individuals and agencies who joined our movement, whether for fifteen days, or for the fifteen years we have been developing Procovery. We have learned so much from all of you and one of the ways we are expressing our gratitude is to show you that we LISTENED. We listened to what you had to say at Procovery Institute Facilitator Meetings, Community-Building Events and in response to your Procovery Circle experiences, emails, phone calls, letters, etc. We are integrating lessons learned to assure that every Procovery Circle and every Procovery program operates with fidelity, so that we can both meet demand and provide rapid expansion.

Until next time…

Procovery Institute