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Interview with Michelle Dunbar, The Freedom Model

5 May 2020 8:48 AM | Teresa Rodden (Administrator)

Rethinking Recovery interviews professionals and people who have success stories without subscribing to the traditional belief system of recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, Twelve Steps, and identifying as having an incurable disease.

Michelle Dunbar Author & Researcher - The Freedom Model

Michelle Dunbar was first thrust into the addiction recovery world as a young child. At the time, she learned from family members who were immersed in the 12 Step culture about the alleged supernatural powers of alcohol and drugs. As a result of these beliefs, she struggled with alcohol and drugs succumbing to the disease rhetoric.

Thankfully, Michelle was blessed with an inquisitive mind and a skeptic’s heart. By 1990, then in her early twenties, these personal attributes proved to be a compass that guided her out of heavy substance use completely. She learned never to take anything at face value and was heard quite frequently saying, “Let’s look at the data.” This attitude and hunger for the truth pushed her past the addict/alcoholic self image, and provided a firm platform to research and help others learn the truth that addiction is not a disease, and that people can move past their addictions.

She began her career at Baldwin Research Institute, Inc. (BRI) in 1992 as a volunteer helping women to solve their substance use problems. In 2002, she joined BRI in a professional capacity working directly with substance users and their families. During her tenure at BRI, she has worked in nearly every division and capacity. She co-authored and taught a program extension offered by BRI called Continuing Education that tackled life issues and goal setting. She developed and taught the first Saint Jude Family Program and she has worked extensively on the past four program revisions. She is one of the co-authors of BRI Publishing’s latest book, the revolutionary text entitled, The Freedom Model for Addictions: Escape the Treatment and Recovery


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