Season 2, Episode 12 – A Small Victory – Arden O’Connor

Welcome to this week’s True Fiction Project Podcast. I have the privilege of speaking with Arden O’Connor, founder and CEO of the O’Connor Professional Group. Arden shares the story she and her family experienced while working through her brother's substance use. She discusses how families can support their family members who are struggling with substance use, what type of support to offer, and how to approach a relationship with an addict. Arden gives insight into how therapists and medical providers can help with substance use and she even provides advice on how parents can talk to their children about the risks of drugs and alcohol. At the end of the episode, we hear the short story, A Small Victory, written and voiced by Shobha Nihalani.

A Small Victory - A Short Story in Print

IN THIS EPISODE:

[2:31] Arden shares her story of love and loss.
[4:28] What does it mean for there to be a genetic predisposition?
[7:45] What does Arden suggest is a good way for parents to talk about addiction with their children?
[10:28] Arden discusses what manipulation she experienced with her brother.
[16:45] What role do therapists and medical providers play in the addiction scenario?
[21:20] How can families support someone with an addiction?
[27:13] What can a parent do to support an adult child?
[34:44] A short story A Small Victory, written and voiced by Shobha Nihalani

KEY TAKEAWAYS: 

  • Have an open relationship/conversation with your children so they are aware of what may impact them. Someone is talking to your children about these difficult topics even if you choose not to. That might be peers, family members, or someone telling them negative things.
  • A person with addiction is two different people. There is a person under the influence and then a sober person. Family members should seek help for themselves to determine how they can support their loved ones.
  • There can be added success when family members are doing alcohol and drug testing to support their loved one who has an addiction. Families need a long-term view and evaluate each scenario individually regarding family get-togethers and other events.    
FICTION CREDITS:

Short story written and read by: Shobha Nihalani 

BIO:

Arden O’Connor founded the O’Connor Professional Group to address the needs of families and individuals struggling with an array of behavioral health issues, including addiction, mental health disorders, eating disorders, learning, and other developmental challenges. With several relatives in recovery, Arden is passionate about helping families and individuals navigate the highly fragmented treatment system in a way that creates positive outcomes and allows families to heal. Arden is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She remains heavily involved in community activities, as a board member of Winsor School Corporation, Collaboration for Family Flourishing, and Massachusetts Association of Mental Health. Previously, she served as a board member for the Justice Resource Institute (former chair), C4 Recovery Solutions, Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises, Harvard Club of Boston, Victory Programs, and Harvard Business School Alumni Association of Boston.

O’Connor Professional Group Website
O’Connor Professional Group Facebook Page
O’Connor Professional Group LinkedIn
O’Connor Professional Group Instagram
O’Connor Professional Group Twitter
Dopey Podcast (Arden’s late brother’s podcast, still hosted by his co-host)
Beyond The Balance Sheet Podcast