John M. Talmadge, M.D.

A Blog Covering Many Topics

Dr. Talmadge Speaking at 21st Solutions Annual Banquet

I'm brushing up on my public speaking skills and, for the first time in years, I'm probably going to write a speech before I deliver it. This spring I will be the guest speaker at the 21st Annual Banquet celebrating the success of Solutions Outpatient Services, and this is quite an honor. I haven't homed in on an exact title or a topic, but this is an event that brings together hundreds of people from the recovering community, the world of alcohol and addiction treatment, and the professional world.

Lois Jordan, Bill Jordan, and Mary Donna Noack have been among my best friends and most treasured colleagues for over twenty years. Lois and her husband Bill started working with alcoholics and addicts before the field was even well known, much less fashionable. To see the biographical sketches of the great people at Solutions, click here.

Their practice, Solutions Outpatient Services, remains one of only a handful of facilities that remain owned and operated by its original owner. Solutions Outpatient Services is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services to treat alcohol and drug problems. In September 2013, Solutions extended its services to include Soul Food, an adult IOP for the treatment of anorexia, bulimia, binging, and compulsive eating. Soul Food has quickly developed the same highly acclaimed reputation as Solutions’ substance abuse IOP.

As Lois says, "If there is one word to describe Solutions, it would be Family. Solutions is Family owned, Family run, the staff is Family, the clients become Family, the family members become Family, and the professional community is embraced as Family. Individuals and their families come to us so broken by addictions that they cannot even imagine that they can heal." That's pretty special. You don't see language like that in corporate brochures or typical business advertising!

She also writes: "At Solutions, we not only help clients and their families gain the tools to deal with their addictions and codependency, but more importantly, we give them the tools to live life in a meaningful way. We believe that addiction is about an unhealthy relationship with a mood and/or mind-altering substance and/or behavior. Therefore, we help clients develop relationships with themselves, their Higher Power, their families, their 12-Step communities, and their community-at-large in a meaningful and sustainable way."

Congratulations to Lois, Bill, Mary Donna, Deborah, James, and all of those who have contributed to the success of Solutions over the past twenty years!

Two Talks Today to Good Teams

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with the staff at Windhaven House in Dallas, a sober living program for women in addiction recovery. We discussed many of the important issues facing women in recovery today, and I was very impressed with the knowledge and commitment of the team at Windhaven. Later I enjoyed a really tasty lunch at Innovation360, a progressive program developed by my longtime friend and colleague, Dr. Kevin Gilliland. I presented my short talk, "Four Sides to Every Story," outlining the basic concepts advanced by Dr. Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins. I am happy to share the slides upon request. By the way, i360 has one of the most elegant websites on the net. Kevin and I are thinking about putting up some podcasts and videos, and i360 has already done some great media work.

Public Speaking & Talks

New topics in 2015!
I've also included a list of topics from my speaking schedule over the past few years. I've noted the talks that got the highest reviews, which means that at least 90% of the reviews were 4 or better on a 5 point scale. Some talks did not include feedback, but the topics listed here have all been well received.

If your organization would like to schedule a talk, lecture, or workshop, give me a call. As my schedule permits, I am happy to speak for churches, schools, parent groups, and not-for-profit organizations at no charge.

New in 2015!
Four Sides to Every Story: Understanding and Helping the Whole Patient (highly rated)
Mindfulness: An Essential Practice in Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs
Beyond Motivation: The Positive Psychology of Excellent Addiction Treatment
Beyond the Basics: The Advanced Course in 12 Step Recovery
When Therapy Fails: Troubleshooting and Solutions

Mental Health Topics

Stress, Depression, and Burn-out (highly rated)
The Problems of Anxiety and Depression
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Chronic Mental Illness and the Seriously Mentally Ill
Attention Deficit Disorder: Causes, Concerns, and Cures
Alcohol and the Family (highly rated)
PTSD: Myths and Realities
Gambling: Deadly Odds and Destructive Desires
Street Drugs: The Facts
Addictions and the Future of Theory and Practice
Veterans and the VA: Hard Times for Mental Health (highly rated)

Family Topics
Scientific Evidence About Happy Marriages (highly rated)
Keys to Happier Relationships (highly rated)
ADD: What Parents Need to Know (highly rated)
Talking With Children About Drugs and Alcohol
Oppositional Children and Difficult Behavior (highly rated)
Marriage: How It Works, How It Breaks Down, How to Fix It
How My Wife Raised Three Successful Children (With My Help)
Single Mothers and Their Daughters (highly rated)
Raising Responsible Children
Families of Divorce
Yes Is a Dangerous Word (The Price of Permissiveness)
Youth Suicide: What We Know, What We Don’t Know
Learning Differences: Understanding How the Brain Is Wired

General Topics
An Introduction to Mindfulness (highly rated)
An Introduction to Positive Psychology (highly rated)
What is Personality? The Nine Types of People You Know (highly rated)
Emotional Intelligence: Hot Topic or Hot Air?
How Poker, Bridge, and Chess Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Why Philosophy Matters
Happiness: The Facts
A Short History of Psychology and Psychiatry
My Time on Death Row: A Huntsville Memoir

Topics in Spirituality
Why Does God Allow Suffering? (highly rated)
The Importance of Spiritual Practice and Discipline (highly rated)
Why Is Prayer So Difficult?
Religion and World Problems
The Dangers of Fundamentalism (highly rated)
Belief and Reality: What’s the Difference?