Mike Pond is a Vancouver, Canada-based psychotherapist, in-demand speaker, author and advocate for compassionate, evidence-based treatment for all who suffer from substance use disorders. Pond’s riveting account of his own trip to rock bottom and back gives him unique empathy as a therapist. He has experienced our flawed treatment system from the inside out.
After two decades of private practice, Pond thought
he knew all there was to know about treating addiction. But through his own life-threatening battle with alcoholism, he learned he knew next to nothing. Worse, what he knew was just plain wrong. He lost his practice, home and family and ended up penniless in two unlicensed, rundown recovery homes rife with systemic abuse.
For two years, Mike floated through rehabs, recovery homes and homelessness, dumpster diving, emergency wards and finally intensive care and prison. Along the way Mike Pond "the drunk" found himself shamed and stigmatized by the very system in which Mike Pond the therapist thrived. Mike Pond’s memoir Wasted: An Alcoholic Therapist's Fight for Recovery in a Flawed Treatment System
was released this spring in the U.S. and is available in Canada. The book was excerpted or featured in leading Canadian publications like The National Post, the Huffington Post, the Globe and Mail
, Maclean's (Canada’s version of Time Magazine) and The Toronto Star.
His search for compassionate evidence-based treatment was captured in critically-acclaimed and ratings winning film Wasted
, which aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s flagship prime-time science program, The Nature of Things
. It will appear in select film festivals the fall of 2016 in the U.S. and is available for viewing at
Pond sits on two national advisory committees working to ensure all Canadians receive swift access to a broad toolkit of treatment options. His advocacy has helped create Addictionthenextstep.com
, which offers a free-online therapy tool called the Interactive Guide
, built in collaboration with New York City’s Center for Motivation and Change. This site is exclusively for the families and loved ones of those battling a substance use and teaches an evidence-based, whole new way of communicating with the substance user
, that shifts the conversation from shaming and blaming, to compassion and kindness. It’s free and can be accessed anywhere, anytime!
Pond has rebuilt a thriving practice in Vancouver, (MichaelPond.ca
) where he specializes in addiction, Indian Residential School trauma, healing and recovery.