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David Berner

15 April 2013 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The broadcaster, author, therapist and actor, David Berner discusses his new memoir, All the Way Home: Building Recovery That Works (2013), with Joseph Planta.

All the Way Home: Building Recovery That Works by David Berner (2013).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: All the Way Home

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.

David Berner joins me now, in person, in studio if you will. He’s just published a new book, All the Way Home: Building Recovery That Works. It’s a terribly engaging, cogent and thought provoking memoir about his years running a counseling program that helped hundreds of people with addictions to drugs and alcohol. The program began in 1967 and it went on for a few years. It’s a fascinating program because it didn’t involve harm reduction or any of the current modes of dealing with addiction. In the book, Mr. Berner recounts what they did at X-Kalay, this therapeutic community. At one point they were running several businesses in Vancouver, a gas station, beauty parlour, restaurant, and a hotel. It was engaging the whole person that worked, getting the addicts to participate in the running of these businesses, and having tasks at home to fulfill. In the early 1970s, they expand with a facility in Winnipeg. A couple of years ago, David Berner was on this program and recounted a recent visit he made back there, seeing how it’s flourished after all these years, turning out clean, sober citizens. This is a really great book, in that it has some policy prescriptions as to what could happen today with the drug problems in the cities across the continent. It’s also a great cultural history, an insightful look at therapy, and a great insight into David Berner’s own life, well a small portion of it. It’s as the writer Tom Sandborn said in a recent Vancouver Sun review of this book, you are easily addicted to his splendid writing. I read it wanting more on his illustrious and colourful life since. For David Berner has become well known in this part of the world and elsewhere as a broadcaster, actor and writer. He hosts a self-titled program on Shaw Community Television, channel 4, and he blogs regularly. He’s still in the addictions business. He runs therapy groups at Orchard Recovery Centre on Bowen Island, and is the Executive Director of the Drug Prevention Network of Canada. www.davidberner.com is the website for more, and where you can buy this book. Amazon.com also has it. Please welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program, David Berner; Mr. Berner, good morning.