Honoring Our Veterans 2014

Every year on this day we stop to honor our veterans…

Yes, it is November 11, 2014. All of us will take a few minutes out of our day to acknowledge what each veteran of our Armed Services has contributed to our lives. Last year you may remember that we featured two of Pace Recovery’s treatment team who both served in the United States Marine Corp – Sean Kelly and Victor Calzada. Today people will gather together to share memories, visit war memorials, stop by a Veterans Hospital to visit a loved one or just to be part of this day to say thank you.

A special poem

Years ago we came across a beautiful poem that was written in 1860 by William Whiting. We would like to share it with you today, and while it expresses gratitude to all sailors…it touches all those who gave part of their lifetime to serve our country.




The Watch

For twenty years,
This sailor has stood the watch

While some of us were in our bunks at night,
This sailor stood the watch

While some of us were in school learning our trade,
This shipmate stood the watch

Yes…even before some of us were born into this world,
This shipmate stood the watch

In those years when the storm clouds of war were seen
brewing on the horizon of history,
This shipmate stood the watch

Many times he would cast an eye ashore and see his family standing there,
Needing his guidance and help,
Needing that hand to hold during those hard times,
But he still stood the watch

He stood the watch for twenty years,
He stood the watch so that we, our families,
And our fellow countrymen could sleep soundly in safety,
Each and every night,
Knowing that a sailor stood the watch

Today we are here to say:”Shipmate…the watch stands relieved.
Relieved by those YOU have trained, guided, and lead
Shipmate you stand relieved…we have the watch!”

“Boatswain…Standby to pipe the side…Shipmate’s going Ashore!”

– William Whiting, 1860


Learn How To "Wabi Sabi Your Relationships"

Lenny Segal, Founder PACE Recovery Center

Conference season comes to a close…

As with any industry, the addiction and recovery community has a conference season that allows treatment professionals the opportunity to meet their peers, learn about the new developments in addiction treatment and ongoing research projects. This past October PACE Recovery Center was pleased to be a Silver Sponsor for CeDAR’s  Gender Matters, Men Matter Conference.

Lenny Segal, Executive Director and Founder of PACE, attended Gender Matters in Broomfield, Colorado, and had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know guest speaker Mic Hunter, Psy.D. We are pleased that Dr. Hunter wanted to share some of his articles with us and we, in turn on occasion as you see below, will publish Dr. Hunter’s articles on our blog for our readers to enjoy.

Wabi Sabi Your Relationships

It isn’t often that a concept that has the power to alter relationships has a name that is fun to say. Wabi sabi (wobby sobby) is a Japanese term that is difficult to say without smiling that describes a profound way of viewing relationships with oneself, other people, and life in general. Richard Powell the author of Wabi Sabi Simple defined it as, “Accepting the world as imperfect, unfinished, and transient, and then going deeper and celebrating that reality.” An heirloom that has been passed down from generation to generation is prized not despite the signs of use it shows, but because of those marks. Nobody ever claimed Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, or Lead Belly are great singers in the conventional sense of the word, but they are excellent singers from a wabi sabi viewpoint.

To be wabi sabi in a relationship with another is more than tolerating that person’s imperfections, it is to find the good in those so-called defects. It is to find acceptance not despite the imperfections, but because of them. The Twelve Step program is an excellent example of wabi sabi in action. The new comer is accepted because of his or her powerlessness and unmanageability, those problems are the very ticket into the program. When someone introduces herself at an A.A. meeting with, “I’m Mary, and I’m an alcoholic,” and everyone responds, “Hi Mary,” that is wabi sabi.

The 12 step Al-anon program is another example of wabi sabi. Members are taught to accept the fact that their loved ones have an illness, not to take the behavior associated with that affliction personally, and to respond with love. To be wabi sabi in a relationship with an alcoholic is to give up on trying to “fix” that person, which opens up more time and energy to be together with less conflict.

Perhaps the most challenging relationship in which to practice wabi sabi is with oneself. Again the 12 Step program provides guidance. Step one suggests accepting one’s powerlessness and unmanageability, Step five encourages acceptance of one’s wrongs, and Step ten implies acceptance that one will continue to commit wrongs. These “defects of character,” and “shortcomings” are what made us who we are today. They are the psychological, emotional, and spiritual equivalent of the winkles, scars, and laugh-lines on our bodies. We will never be perfect humans, but we can be perfectly human. As Leonard Cohen croaked in his wabi sabi song Anthem, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light get in.”


About Mic Hunter, Psy.D.
Dr. Mic Hunter has held Minnesota licenses as a Psychologist, and Marriage and Family Therapist, and as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor. He has been sought out by the print and broadcast media for interviews over 150 times including Oprah, CNN, Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has spoken to mental health professionals and the general public over 300 times in America, Mexico, Mongolia, and England. He has presented at the meetings of the American Association Of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, and the American Psychological Association. He has been invited to give nine keynote addresses. He has served as a reviewer for The Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, The Journal of Men’s Studies, The Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and Violence Against Women. He is a recipient of the Fay Honey Knopp Memorial Award, given by the National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization, “For recognition of his contributions to the field of male sexual victimization treatment and knowledge.” In 2007 the Board of Directors of Male Survivor announced the creation of The Mic Hunter Award For Research Advances. Dr. Hunter, for whom the on-going award was named, became the first recipient. It was given to him for his, “ceaseless pursuit of knowledge about male sexual abuse in all its occurrences, of the eloquent dissemination of new knowledge in this area, and of the stimulation for further study and concern about revealing, treating and preventing male sexual abuse.” Mic Hunter, Psy.D. is the author of Conscious Contact: The 12 Steps As Prayer, and Back To The Source: The Spiritual Principles Of Jesus.

Memorial Day ~ Remembering Our Fallen Warriors

Understanding Memorial Day…

On the fourth Monday of every May our country celebrates Memorial Day. However, if you casually ask a friend, co-worker, or even a family member about the meaning of Memorial Day, there is a pretty good chance that they will quickly say “Well, it’s a Federal Holiday to honor our military.” If you pursue the conversation they may not be able to tell you the history of the day or the true purpose of the day. They may remember attending parades, or picnics, or beach parties…perhaps even fireworks. They might mention there are always Memorial Day Sales.

Memorial Day had its beginnings in 1868, known as Decoration Day. While prior to this date it was not uncommon for family members to visit the graves of the war fallen and decorate these graves, it was on May 5, 1868, when Major John A. Logan declared May 30th to be Decoration Day.

Here are some interesting facts surrounding Memorial Day:

  • In 1867 our Congress first established national cemeteries. We now have 147.
  • Historians offer that Major Logan chose May 30th for Decoration Day as by that time of the year every part of the country would have flowers in bloom to lay on the graves of our war dead.
  • By 1882 the name of this holiday was starting to change gradually from Decoration Day to Memorial Day.
  • In 1967, during President Johnson’s administration, the name was officially changed by Federal law.
  • It was not until June 28, 1968, that the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Nixon. This act officially moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May from May 30th, always insuring a three day weekend. This act took effect in 1971.
  • On Memorial Day certain rules apply to how the US Flag is flown. In the morning the flag is raised quickly to the top of the flag pole and then slowly and respectfully lowered to half-staff.  At noon the flag is raised to full staff for the rest of the day.

So how will you commemorate our fallen warriors this Memorial Day?

Now that you understand a bit more about Memorial Day, we thought we would share some ideas of how to make this day about those who served and died, as a result of their duty.  We invite you to take a few minutes to visit a website called Vet Friends. There is a lot to learn by visiting this site. If you are trying to locate a Memorial Day Parade in your neighborhood you can check out this directory. For example, not too far from Battleship IOWA in San Pedro, Ca.

Of course, if a National Cemetery is not located in your area you can visit any nearby cemetery and be able to determine where the veterans are laid to rest. Most graves will bear a US Flag. Stop for a bit and remember. 

Saying thank you to our fallen warriors

Here at PACE Recovery Center we believe in empowering our clients to fulfill their own particular dreams. We believe that a Positive Attitudes Change Everything. Our trained addiction treatment staff helps our clients identify their specific recovery goals, and helps them achieve them. Long-term sobriety is more than simply not using alcohol or drugs, it is about living life. Helping our clients develop life skills, educational or vocational goals, not only teaches them about responsibility and accountability, but also helps improve their self-esteem.

Part of living life is learning and reaching out to others in meaningful ways. This includes taking the opportunity of a federal holiday and learning its history and celebrating it with meaning.

This year we are posting about Memorial Day a little early, so that you have time to check out your area for inspiring events. We wish you a meaningful Memorial Day.

PACE Clinical Staff Continues To Improve Skills

PACE Recovery Center logoPACE Recovery Center believes it is vitally important that our therapists continue to develop their skills in order to meet the unique needs of our clients. Recently the entire clinical staff at PACE participated in a day long training seminar which focused on integrating Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Twelve Step Facilitation (TSF) for treating individuals who suffer with substance use disorders.

DBT and TSF are both evidence-based modalities that have been proven to be effective in substance abuse treatment with a wide variety of populations. DBT was initially developed for clients who have dual-diagnosis issues and has been found to be effective in working with clients who suffer from personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and eating disorders. DBT has also been found to be very effective in working with clients who suffer from substance use disorders. This approach is integrated with twelve step philosophy in order to help clients learn how to stay focused and aware of the present moment, to use coping skills during distressing times, to increase interpersonal effectiveness, to regulate emotions, and to live an engaging life in recovery.

We are excited to integrate these practices into our men’s addiction treatment program which focuses on helping our clients to establish and maintain long-term sobriety.

Enhanced by ZemantaPositive Attitude Changes Everything…

PACE Clients Spread Holiday Cheer To Huntington Beach Families In Need

PACE Recovery Center will be participating in a Selfless Service event and helping to spread holiday cheer by participating in a toy-drive put on by The Project Self Sufficiency Foundation located in Huntington Beach, California. Our clients will be helping out by sorting toys that eventually will be distributed to families in need. We are sure that this experience will help to continue to develop a sense of community spirit and provide an opportunity for our clients to give back to the community at large.

For more information about The Project Self Sufficiency Foundation please visit their website.


PACE Clients To Participate In Gobble Gobble Give Event This Thanksgiving


One of the key components of the recovery is the concept of selfless service. At PACE Recovery Center we believe it is vitally important to help our clients to learn about the value of having a positive impact on their community.

We have found that service work helps our clients to gain a sense of self-pride and this in turn allows for an opportunity to enrich the lives of others. This Thanksgiving PACE clients are participating in the Gobble Gobble Give Thanksgiving Charity Event to feed the homeless. This event helps to feed 600 homeless individuals and provides basic living necessities such as shoes, sweaters, beanies, and tooth brush kits.

We know that as the clients at our addiction recovery center help provide hope to others it will help them realize the positive changes they are making in their own lives.

Wishing you all a beautiful and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Honoring Our Veterans With A Sincere Thank You

Veterans Day 2013

Today all over the United States most of you will take a few minutes to say thank you to a veteran. It could be your father, mother, uncle, aunt, grandparent, brother, sister, friend, neighbor…and, if you look around, you might find that one or more of your co-workers is a veteran!

It is true. So often we can work side-by-side with a person and may never know that he or she served in the military, or perhaps is still in the reserves or National Guard.

PACE Recovery Center is honored to have two Veterans on staff


Meet Sean Kelly. 
Sean is a Case Manager at PACE Recovery Center.

Sean began working in the treatment field as an interventionist in 1995. He is a Chemical Dependency Counselor with a specialization in Mental/Co-Occurring Disorders. Over the last 17 years, he has helped hundreds of individuals seek treatment from drugs and alcohol. Sean is a proven expert in coaching individuals who are resistant to change seek long-term recovery. It is his hands on approach that is most valuable to the Clients at PACE Recovery Center. Sean’s gentle demeanor creates an environment for the Clients to connect with feelings and vulnerabilities that have prevented them from maintaining sobriety. Sean is also a Marine who proudly served our country. It is this background that helps him teach the Men of PACE Recovery Center how to accomplish goals, create discipline, and develop accountability.

Sean’s own personal struggle with addiction allows him to meet the Clients where they are at in their own recovery, and help guide them on their recovery journey. Sean is an active member in the recovery community. His philosophy is to treat people with love, dignity and respect. It’s this mentality that allows him to create an alliance, which allows for the therapeutic process to take place between him and his Client. This relationship empowers the Client to gain the skills necessary to recover from drugs and alcohol.

Sean studied at Centaur University to become a certified Chemical Dependency Counselor.

Meet Victor Calzada
Victor is a Resident Manager at PACE Recovery Center

Victor joined the United States Marine Corps right out of high school in 1995. He proudly served as a heavy weapons operator. While in the service, Victor was recognized for his, honor, courage and commitment. While serving in the United States military, he learned the important characteristics of working as a team.

After his tour in the military, Victor worked for the Correctional Systems for 6 years as a Correctional Officer. Victory was known for his keen ability to listen and help them problem solve any issues they might have been experiencing. An area that Victor is passionate about is working with people who have substance abuse issues.

Victor has had his own personal struggles with chemical dependency issues. He believe that the combination of opening our hearts and minds, with the right guidance, we can overcome our issues. He believes 12-step program is an excellent template to follow for a long-term recovery.

In his spare time Victor enjoys spending time with my family. He is a proud father of 3 wonderful children. His hobbies are repairing electronics and restoring antiques.

Take just a minute to say “thank you” and remember to live your “thank you”

“As we express gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Addiction: A Brain Disease


Drug addiction is a complex illness. It is characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug craving, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences. At PACE Recovery Center’s California drug rehab we have developed an integrated program designed to meet the specific needs of our clients. Each client is unique and we make it our goal to provide specialized care that utilizes evidence based practices which are empirically proven to be effective with treating those with substance use disorders.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) addiction affects multiple brain circuits, including those involved in reward and motivation, learning and memory, and inhibitory control over behavior. That is why addiction is a brain disease. Some individuals are more vulnerable than others to becoming addicted, depending on the interplay between genetic makeup, age of exposure to drugs, and other environmental influences. While a person initially chooses to take drugs, over time the effects of prolonged exposure on brain functioning compromise that ability to choose, and seeking and consuming the drug become compulsive, often eluding a person’s self-control or willpower. This is why PACE utilizes a wide array of treatment modalities designed to target the underlying behavioral health issues which will enable our clients to live a life of long term sobriety.

It is our belief that addiction treatment must help the individual stop using drugs, maintain a drug-free lifestyle, and achieve productive functioning in the family, at work, and in society. Because addiction is a disease, most people cannot simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Patients typically require long-term or repeated episodes of care to achieve the ultimate goal of sustained abstinence and recovery of their lives.

If you or your loved one is suffering from the devastating impact of addiction, please contact PACE and we can help you to begin the process of recovery through our California drug rehab program.


Meet Dr Brooke Buccola: PACE Recovery Center Celebrating National Recovery Month

Celebrating National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month and now in its 24th year it has evolved beautifully to reach out and bring all whose lives are touched by recovery to be honored. If you visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Recovery Month’s website you can learn all about National Recovery Month. Here is a quick historical overview:

“Celebrated during the month of September, Recovery Month began in 1989 as TreatmentWorks! Month, which honored the work of the treatment and recovery professionals in the field. The observance evolved to National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) in 1998, when the observance expanded to include celebrating the accomplishment of individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. The observance evolved once again in 2011 to National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) to include all aspects of behavioral health.”

Today PACE Recovery Center would like to honor all of our treatment and recovery professionals and take a few minutes to introduce our readers to PACE Recovery Center’s Clinical Director Dr. Brooke Buccola, PsyD, LMFT.

Meet Dr. Brooke Buccola

Dr. Brooke Buccola

Dr. Buccola joined PACE Recovery Center in the role of Clinical Director after a number of years working in the field of addiction and recovery. Dr. Buccola is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in the treatment of chemical and behavioral addictions. She completed her Psy.D and Masters Degree at Alliant International University of Irvine, California and received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach where she graduated with honors.

Dr. Buccola has had the privilege of working with many treatment centers throughout Orange County, and has created and implemented many aspects of their clinical programming throughout the years. With an eclectic approach to therapy, Dr. Buccola gravitates toward a post-modern theory with aims at empowering the individual to reclaim his or her life from addiction.

Previous to entering the addiction and recovery field, Dr. Buccola worked with victims of domestic violence at the Women’s Transitional Living Center. At WTLC she worked with both women, their children, ran education and process groups, and facilitated the Personal Empowerment Program classes for court mandated victims of Domestic Violence.

Currently, Dr. Buccola maintains a successful private practice in Newport Beach, California helping individuals, couples, and families with an array of presenting problems.

Join the voices for recovery together on pathways to wellness. 

The Importance of Exercise and Physical Activity in the Therapy of Substance Use Disorders

At PACE we address all components of the disease of addiction and underlying behavioral health issues. We believe it is vitally important to help client to make long term life style modification that will reduce the desire to use substance, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and reduce cravings. Recent studies have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of exercise combined with interventions in mental disorders, especially depression, anxiety, and substance abuse related disorders.

Exercise has been found to have a positive impact by producing neurochemical alterations. This is very important for those in treatment due to the fact that “dysfunctions of dopaminergic, glutamatergic, and opioidergic neurotransmission have been linked to craving and relapse” (Zschucke, Heinz, & Strohle, 2012, p. 16) in those who suffer from substance abuse disorders. It has also been found that exercise has a positive impact on mood regulation. This is important due to the fact that negative mood, stress, anxiety, and depression increase the risk of relapse.

At PACE clients work out daily and we have found that as clients begin to engage in physical activity they begin to develop positive social support networks that are not centered in substance abusing activities. It is our goals to assist our clients in developing adaptive behavioral coping strategies that foster emotional regulation which is integral for a life of sobriety.

Please refer to the following article for more in depth information on the positive impact of physical exercise and the treatment of substance use disorders.

Zschucke, E., Heinz, A., & Strohle, A. (2012). Exercise and physical activity in the therapy of substance abuse. The ScientificWorld Journal, 1-19. doi:10.1100/2012/901741


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