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Dream Journal


Two Dreams is a wellness program led by Andrea G. Barthwell, MD, FASAM that provides individualized care for those who dream of recovering a healthy lifestyle.


Dr Andrea Barthwell MD

Finding Serenity can be difficult amidst a world of distractions and external circumstances that are not in our control (like a lingering, icy winter for example). Make time this month to seek out peace in your life, and follow us as we discuss the Third Promis

I would also like to take this time to highlight our next Quarterly Training Event, sponsored by Caron Treatment Centers. Our CEU events are held by speakers who are the top experts in their fields. The event will be held on April 30th, and the topic will be on Geriatric Treatment.

Dream Journal


March Cover

Two Dreams is a wellness program led by Andrea G. Barthwell, MD, FASAM that provides individualized care for those who dream of recovering a healthy lifestyle.


Dr Andrea Barthwell MD

Finding Serenity can be difficult amidst a world of distractions and external circumstances that are not in our control (like a lingering, icy winter for example). Make time this month to seek out peace in your life, and follow us as we discuss the Third Promis

I would also like to take this time to highlight our next Quarterly Training Event, sponsored by Caron Treatment Centers. Our CEU events are held by speakers who are the top experts in their fields. The event will be held on April 30th, and the topic will be on Geriatric Treatment.

Register for Our Events


#3: "We will comprehend the word serenity and know peace."

By: Brett Dunning, TDOB Clinical Director

As a child I remember having to memorize the pledge of allegiance for school. I had no idea what this pledge meant, but I recited it daily before classes started. I had the same experience with my religious affiliations, I would have to memorize certain prayers and recite them during our religious services with others. When I first sought recovery I found myself only memorizing the serenity prayer so I would fit in with the others at 12 Step meetings. I explicitly remember reading The Serenity prayer over and over simply so I would not look like the "new guy" at meetings. As I reflect back I can clearly see how my confidence was extremely low.

I know today that calmness is an adjective for serenity. I remember looking at inspirational quotes with pretty pictures in the background or daily meditative readings in early recovery and wanting the peace that they portrayed. When I was six months sober I was under the false belief that I had achieved this peace though it only came moment to moment and most particularly when I was at a 12 Step meeting or reading positive literature, I thought this was as good as it got.

I am a recovering addict who once obsessed over the use of drugs and alcohol. I must be honest and admit that "patience" is something I still struggle with. I like a "quick fix" and instant gratification. My chemical use produced states of mind such as "I need to do this", "I need to get this from this person"," I am such a bad person for doing this", "I need to lie about this", and many other statements for years. This is the opposite of serenity and calmness, and in recovery this is the problem which usually leads to relapse.

In early recovery I obsessed over self-loathing, shame, and guilt. I would tell myself, "You’re not good enough", "I can’t believe I did this or that", "look how you treated this loved one", "Nobody really understands me", or "these people aren’t as bad off as me", and "I have way bigger problems". At six months sober I entered into the comparing myself to others mentality. I thought this was normal and would bombard my mind with thoughts of, "this person has a year and a half sober and is getting a house", "I will never have sobriety like this person", "this person is so much better than me", or "If I get this or that like this other person I will be happy in recovery".

As I reflect back I see how for almost two years I had no serenity. I was either beating myself up because of shame and guilt, comparing myself to others, or I was thinking that I had to achieve this or that, or that I needed this material item to make me feel better about myself. I now see all these bombarding thoughts of comparing myself to others and my insecurities were the new problem in my life of recovery. I see clients in Two Dreams Outer Banks experience the third promise early in recovery. These clients address these issues which I struggled with for years in sobriety. These clients gain the understanding that their awareness of their problems will produce a solution to these problems if they stay vigilant in their recovery. These clients have found a new peace as well as serenity due to their work in treatment. I am proud to be a part of the team at Two Dreams Outer Banks, I often see our clients having as much serenity as others in 12 Step rooms with a year and a half sober. These individuals came to treatment to not only stop using mood altering chemicals but to learn a healthier lifestyle which involves changing maladaptive thinking patterns about themselves and others. If you are reading this and believe I am speaking about you, I most likely am. I want to thank you for helping me achieve a new perspective of promise three for it brings me a new serenity to watch you change your life.


March News

Serenity Starts at Home

A recent study released by the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology compared Family Focused Therapy to Enhanced care, for families at clinical high risk for Psychosis. Family Focused Therapy is an 18-session intervention focused on training and psychoeducation centered around communication and problem solving; whereas, Enhanced Care is a 3-session intervention focused on psychoeducation.

Researchers conducted the study across 8 sites and included 66 adolescents and their parents. Initial presentations of communication and problem solving were compared to a 6-month reassessment. The study found evidence to support that Family Focused Therapy led to greater improvements in constructive communication and decreases in conflict behaviors during family interactions. While further research is required, this may provide insight into the degree of training and education required for families struggling with substance use disorder. These results may point clinicians to increase their emphasis on family psychoeducation during patient treatment to prevent relapse or onset of other psychoses post treatment.

For Full Article


March Community

"Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart."

By: Aubrey Briggman, TDOB Operations Manager

"Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance."

This month has been a beautiful month! While the OBX did have some snow for the most part it has been sunny. Everyone here has enjoyed volunteering this month at the SPCA, learning to give more than to receive. The Graveyard of Atlantic was a fun museum to visit, everyone learned more about the history of the OBX and how during the times of the pirates the sand bar would cause ships to sink, hence the name the Graveyard of the Atlantic. These ships are still at the bottom of our ocean today and can be viewed during scuba diving. While the weather was still nice, we were able to go hiking in Nags Head woods to absorb the serenity and tranquility of nature. We are all going to be able to visit the Coastal NC National Wildlife Refuges Gateway Visitor Center to see educational exhibits and visit the Elizabethan Gardens. While at Two Dreams we work to guide and help others live a tranquil and balanced life through many activities that promote serenity.


April Staff Highlight

By: Sid Miltz, Executive Clinical Director

Lynn works as Two Dreams’ Director of Admissions, and as such she is responsible for most initial interactions with clients and their families. She assists potential clients in all the necessary arrangements needed to enter treatment, and coordinates with the clinical team about the needs of clients entering the program. She also helps clients enter treatment at other facilities when they are not appropriate for the program at Two Dreams.

Lynn attended the State College of New York at Brockport, where she majored in Sociology. She began working in the addiction field in 2008, using her significant experience in communications, management, and marketing. She became the Director of Admissions for Two Dreams in 2010. As a member of the Leadership Team, she also has a role in assisting clients understand the billing procedures and their agreements with Two Dreams. She helps manage employee benefits and any management project in process.

When she’s not working to help someone enter treatment, Lynn enjoys cooking Italian food, being with her friends and family, working out, and volunteering with various non-profits. Her caring disposition is a treasure Two Dreams really values. Thank you Lynn!


mental peace – physical well-being – personal productivity

March 3Ps

Health Apps

By: Courtney Kreamer, Case Management Supervisor

This month we look to the tablets in our laps and the phones in our pockets as the tools to help us achieve physical wellbeing, mental peace, and personal productivity in our lives.

Top Apps to help support a healthy, well balanced lifestyle:

Serenity – The Relaxation App: The key to unlocking a peaceful and balanced life is now in your pocket. Serenity offers the opportunity to rid you of stress and take a break from the daily anxiety and worry. This app provides relaxing videos, sounds and pictures to allow alignment into a state of tranquility. This top relaxation app gives its consumers the opportunity to sync with any AirPlay devices and has sleep functions to help achieve a more restful slumber. Treat yourself to the gift of mental revitalization at the palm of your hand on this app available for the iPhone, iPad and Android.

Level Money: The opportunity to track your spending has never been easier than with the Level Money App. Working like a "financial GPS" this app gives its users the chance to visualize the amount of spendable money available for the day, week, and month based upon income, living expenses, and other cash flow considerations – all calculated automatically within the app upon syncing with online credit card and bank accounts. Want to incorporate a monthly saving goal? No problem – add the amount of money you would like to save each time period and… Voila! You have an updated budget to follow almost instantly. This completely free program uses top of the line security measures to ensure your confidentiality so managing your money has never been easier. Visit their website or download the app today for a chance to take a tour through this revolutionary program!

The Whole Pantry: Boasting the opportunity to bring back the basics in meal preparation, The Whole Pantry App allows smart phone and tablet users to incorporate healthy and well-rounded meals into your daily menu. TWP provides not only a plethora of recipes, but allows its users access to information on positive lifestyle tips and tricks to engage in a healthy and nutritionally fulfilling experience! And if the organic approach to meal creation is not enough enticement, The Whole Pantry website claims partial proceeds from the sales of the app will be donated to global charities "that support the health and wellbeing of those globally, protecting and conserving the environment and giving education to those who otherwise don’t have the opportunity." Download The Whole Pantry from the iTunes or Android App store for an opportunity to reinvent your cuisine today.

For Full Article

Sid Says

By: Sid Miltz, Executive Clinical Director

Addiction is chaos. It is the emotional super-storm of dysfunction. There is no peace of mind when you are a slave to a chemical or pathological behavior. The pain addiction causes cannot compare to almost any other state of being. The toll on the addicted spirit is depleting and devastating.

We are so fortunate to have a way to not only escape this state but also a way to assume great power we never knew existed. We find the strength and hope to awaken to become an improved "Being" and assume a new life of great fulfillment. We have a path to serenity.

For me, serenity is not when things are going my way but when I am non-reactionary to things not going my way. This is not an avoidance of my responsibility to try to improve conditions but doing what I can do and then not obsessing over whatever it is that is happening around me. Sound familiar? The Serenity Prayer actually says "the wisdom to know the difference." For me this wisdom is the certain knowledge that things will be alright one way or another and realizing and accepting my lack of control. I then feel safe.

This serene "sweet spot" is real recovery. It ends the chaos and the winds in the super-storm stop blowing. A person then can be centered in mind and spirit. The highlight of phase two of treatment, the Looking In Phase, is when this happens. It takes time and does not happen right away. It takes what it takes.

As you read this ask yourself, "Am I feeling peace?" If you are, guard your serenity and take a moment to express gratitude in some way. If not consider having a conversation with your sponsor, therapist, close friend, or someone you trust and try to gain some clarification and insight… then put it into practice. You deserve it!

Thank you to our content contributors:

  • Dr. Andrea Barthwell – Founder
  • Sid Miltz – Executive Clinical Director
  • Brett Dunning - TDOB Clinical Director
  • Jon Oelke – TD Program Manager
  • Aubrey Briggman – TDOB Operations Manager
  • Courtney Kreamer – Case Manager Supervisor
  • Kara Hamilton - TD Art Director

For admissions and all staff call us at: (504) 510-2331

© 2014 Two Dreams Outer Banks. All Rights Reserved.

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Light regulates circadian rhythms

Why and How We Live Rhythmically at Two Dreams

The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken

- Samuel Johnson

Every living organism has a natural rhythm. These rhythms are disrupted by illness, particularly drug and alcohol use. A drug can create false sleep. A drug can stimulate alertness. A drug can suppress appetite. Another can stimulate appetite.

The science behind living rhythmically, strategies that promote and restore natural rhythms, and the role of sleep, nutrition, meditation, and exercise in the 21st century approach to healing oneself in recovery are all important aspects of your journey at Two Dreams.

At Two Dreams the concept of living in the NOW (No Other Way) is central to living a life in recovery. Similarly, mindfulness is a state of active, open, non-judgmental attention on the present. Many treatment programs and practitioners are employing mindfulness in the care and management of patients with mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders- diseases and symptoms which tend to cluster together.

Read more ...