The Courage to Change: A Recovery Podcast show

The Courage to Change: A Recovery Podcast

Summary: Welcome to The Courage to Change: A Recovery Podcast. We are a community of recovering people who have overcome the odds and made monumental life changes. We don't shy away from the nitty gritty - we like to laugh give inspiration and remind you there is hope. Come join us no matter where you are on your recovery journey. Together, we have the courage to change! Subscribe and join our podcast community to hear amazing stories of courage and transformation! This podcast is sponsored by Lionrock Recovery. Lionrock provides online substance abuse counseling where you can get help from the privacy of your own home. For more information, visit

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  • Artist: Ashley Loeb Blassingame
  • Copyright: The Courage to Change: A Recovery Podcast Copyright 2019


 Bonus Episode: An Interview with Harry Nelson of Nelson Hardiman | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:47:49

We are so pleased to introduce our very first bonus episode with an incredible guest! Harry Nelson is the founder of Nelson Hardiman, LLP, the largest healthcare and life sciences specialty law firm in Los Angeles. Harry is the author of The United States of Opioids: A Prescription for Liberating a Nation in Pain, published by Forbes in March 2019, which received critical praise for changing the crisis-related conversation from spectacle to solutions. The book grew out of Harry’s work in opioid overdose and other crisis response in behavioral health. In 2017, Harry co-authored From ObamaCare to TrumpCare: Why You Should Care, an exploration of U.S. health policy past, present, and future aimed at moving beyond rhetoric and hand-wringing to bipartisan dialogue. Like his books, Harry’s work as an advisor straddles the intersection of healthcare transformation and regulatory compliance with a focus on practical solutions to emerging problems from digital and behavioral health to cannabis and biologic products. Harry serves as chair of the Behavioral Health Association of Providers, an education and advocacy organization that works to advance standards and develop tools to address industry challenges. His leadership has been recognized, among other distinctions, by Behavioral Health Network Resources’ 2018 Addiction Advocacy Award.

 13 | Growing Up In A Cult and Finding Healing & Recovery in Adulthood - with Flor Edwards | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:13:53

Flor Edwards is an author and lives in Los Angeles, California. By age twelve, Flor had lived in 24 different locations across three continents. Always on the move to escape the Antichrist and in preparation for the Apocalypse in 1993, her nomadic childhood prompted her to pen her memoir Apocalypse Child: A Life in End Times. In her debut memoir, Flor movingly describes her early life growing up with her family and 11 siblings as a member of The Children of God, a controversial religious movement that many describe as an apocalyptic cult. Join Ashley and Flor as they sit down to discuss her childhood, and most importantly, her recovery!

 12 | From Federal Prison to the White House - with Christopher Poulos | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:07:39

Christopher Poulos is an attorney and the Executive Director of the Washington Statewide Reentry Council. Prior to his appointment, he served as Executive Director of Life of Purpose Treatment at the University of North Texas, where he was also an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice. During law school, he served at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and The Sentencing Project. Poulos has advised United States Senator Angus King (I-Maine) on addiction and justice policy and served on several task forces related to criminal justice policy. He graduated cum laude from the University of Maine School of Law, where he was President of the American Constitution Society and represented children facing criminal charges as a student attorney in the Juvenile Justice Clinic. Prior to law school, Poulos overcame many obstacles, including tragic family losses, addiction, homelessness, and a federal incarceration. He now dedicates his life to helping others overcome or avoid similar challenges and he supports a public health-­based approach to addiction. His work promotes equal access to the law and seeks to end mass incarceration and the collateral consequences now facing the tens of millions of people with criminal convictions.

 10.5 & 11.5 | After the Episode Combo: EMDR, Trauma Work and What Human Trafficking Actually Looks Like | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:59:49

Welcome to another combo "After the Episode"! Ashley and Christiana discuss topics from Episodes 10 & 11 (Charise & Amy's stories), including EMDR, doing trauma work and they dive into what human trafficking actually looks like. After the Episodes come out every other Thursday! While we always recommend listening to our guest interviews, you do not need to listen to each interview before these discussion episodes.

 11 | Sex-Trafficked as a Child: A Survivor’s Story of Healing from C-PTSD Through Therapy - with Amy Peterson | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:13:08

Amy is an alchemist working to transform her traumatic childhood experiences into a life of her own choosing. Two years ago, Amy changed her life when she reached out for help from an amazing psychotherapist. Through the healing process, Amy discovered a passion to provide a voice for the voiceless through documenting her journey on Instagram. Amy now uses art as a creative process for coping with trauma. In her spare time, she balances her work as the Operations Manager for an online public school with managing a degenerative skeletal-muscular disease (Klippel-Feil Syndrome) and most importantly, finding time to cuddle up to Netflix with a phenomenally kind, patient, and loving husband. She's one hell of a woman!

 10 | Overcoming Unimaginable Trauma and Finding Recovery Through Advocacy and Forgiveness - with Charise Thompson | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:06:12

Charise Thompson is a phenomenal human being. She is the survivor of multiple traumas including domestic abuse, a Hepatitis C diagnosis and the loss of multiple family members. Charise also tells the harrowing story of how she was abducted, brutally beaten, gang raped and left for dead on the side of the road. Charise is a Victim Advocate, Counselor, Ordained Minister, Writer, Poet and Support Group Facilitator for Hepatitis C and Survivors of Sexual Assault. She is also a Women's Roller Derby League Coordinator and Coach. Previously, Charise was an Administrator for a Drug/Alcohol Treatment Facility, and Victim Advocate for SafeHouse Sexual Assault Services, after leaving Real Estate Management. She is someone who has learned how to turn surviving into thriving!

 8.5 & 9.5 | After the Episode Combo: PTSD, Therapy and Family Dynamics Surrounding Addiction | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:28:42

Welcome to the first After the Episode combo! Ashley and Christiana discuss topics from both Episodes 8 & 9 including PTSD, the importance and helpfulness of therapy and family reactions (both past and present) surrounding addiction.

 9 | Surviving the Route 91 Las Vegas Shooting and Living Life After Sexual Assault | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:14:17

Kacie Margis is a survivor. From a traumatic childhood and attempted sexual assault to surviving the Route 91 mass shooting in Las Vegas and becoming a victim of rape a year later, Kacie has overcome much adversity. In this episode, Ashley and Kacie discuss life after trauma, and they discuss the intimate details of living with PTSD.

 8 | *Special Episode* | A Father's Perspective on Addiction - with Peter Loeb | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:02:54

*SPECIAL EPISODE ALERT!!* In this very special episode, Ashley sits down with Peter Loeb (her father and one of the co-founders of Lionrock Recovery), and together they hash out their story of living through and overcoming her addiction together. Peter shares intimate details of helping Ashley through her journey to recovery, and he also discusses the heartbreaking loss of his sister, Karen. Join us in this heartfelt and sobering episode that beautifully captures the love of a father for his daughter!

 7.5 | After the Episode: Alcoholism, The Importance of Staying Sober & Motherhood in Sobriety | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:47:16

Ashley and Christiana bring their usual laughter and antics while they dive into summarizing Emily's story for listeners, along with a few highlighted topics including the combination of being in recovery from multiple things (eating disorder recovery, alcohol + drugs, etc.), the importance of staying sober between meetings and Ashley also shares a heartbreaking story about a friend who lost her battle.

 7 | Overcoming Bulimia, Substance Abuse Recovery and Being a Wildly Successful Sober Mommy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:42:40

Emily McAllister is a writer, photographer and content creator. A Boston native, she now calls Southern California home, and lives with her husband and 2 daughters. Emily writes about recovery, honest motherhood and anything to do with personal development. She specializes in lifestyle, family and childbirth photography, capturing raw, candid, 'in-between' moments. Emily has been sober since September 25, 2009. She is fueled by spontaneous dance parties and copious amounts of coffee. Connect with Emily: Blog: Instagram: Instagram: Facebook:

 6.5 | Trauma Bonding and Adversarial Bonding | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:47:50

Ashley and Christiana discuss topics from Dave P's interview in Episode 6, but with a special surprise....Leo Martinez (one of Lionrock's Clinical Supervisors and Licensed Clinical Social Workers) joins them in the podcast booth! Tune in as Leo brings his clinical knowledge regarding trauma bonding and offers some amazing insights from a Counselor's perspective!

 6 | Divorce, Suicide and Staying Sober "No Matter What" | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:23:38

Dave grew up in Anaheim, CA. His father left when he was 2, and they met again when he was 30. He was raised by his mother and stepfather who were “hippie bikers,” and his stepdad was often confused with ZZ Top. Dave has 24 years of sobriety after getting sober at the age of 22. HIs best friend committed suicide on the same day Dave found out he had also been sleeping with his wife. Through all of this, he did not pick up a drink or drug and has been able to build a beautiful sober life. We are so excited to have Dave here to share his story!

 5.5 | After the Episode (follow up to Kara's Story) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:49:58

Ashley and Christiana discuss topics from Kara Israel's interview in Episode 5. Tune in as they speak more about Cirrhosis of the liver, the stigma of discussing substance abuse at home, the importance of "doing the work" in recovery and developing coping mechanisms. Video Link - seeing everything as a gift: More information about Cirrhosis: Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) + "Is IOP Effective?" Drug & Alcohol Treatment Options: This episode is sponsored by Lionrock Recovery. Lionrock provides online substance abuse counseling where you can get help from the privacy of your own home. For more information, visit

 5 | Cirrhosis of the Liver by 35, Recovery and Choosing Joy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:07:00

Kara Israel is a 37-year old Tennessee native who is living with cirrhosis of the liver and currently on the waiting list for a liver transplant. In this episode, Kara talks to Ashley about the lifestyle that drinking led her to and goes fully in-depth about her diagnosis of cirrhosis and how she is living life day to day. This episode is sponsored by Lionrock Recovery. Lionrock provides online substance abuse counseling where you can get help from the privacy of your own home. For more information, visit


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