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Relapse Prevention
with John Leadem, LCSW & Shawn Leadem, LCSW

Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Some of us grew up around neighborhood bar and grills that might have seemed like home because everyone knew our name, but that was far from the truth. The bond many of us at the bar enjoyed was facilitated by the altered state of consciousness we shared. After many years of sober living we still have never received a single call from the gang at the bar wondering how we were doing!

If you are grieving the loss of the bonds you once had, sober living will provide you with an alternative – one in which everyone knows your story and welcomes you closer to learn theirs.

If you are new to the recovery process, welcome. If you are returning from a relapse, the door is wide open – come in from the storm. You may be coming with a sense of foreboding because of the shame and regret associated with the progression of your addictive illness and powerlessness and unmanageability you have endured. Do not fear. Desperation may have driven you to the threshold, but it is the joy and freedom of sober living that will make those changes you need to make along the journey worth your while and keep you coming back for more.

Finding support from others is a cornerstone in recovery. With adequate support from others you will find that you truly never need to be alone again. Unlike the old bars, our newfound friends have shown us time and again that they are interested in us and in our success. Thankfully now, if (ok, when!) we isolate for too long we will hear from the new recovery gang inquiring about our welfare and whereabouts. Sometimes it was just what we needed to get us out of a slippery slope and back on the recovery road again.

Where Everyone Knows Your Name

John Leadem, MSW, LCSW and Shawn Leadem, MSW, LCSW

Both John and Shawn Leadem are Licensed Clinical Social Workers in private practice in Toms River, New Jersey.

John has recently celebrated his 45th year in recovery and believes that “service to others is the cornerstone of spiritual maturity.” His professional service to addicted individuals and their families has included the development and direction of addiction treatment services in a full array of modalities from half-way houses to large residential treatment facilities over the past 44 years.

Shawn's lifelong exposure to the recovery culture and his personal recovery experience has left him with a deep personal empathy for the social and emotional suffering endured by others and a strong faith in a person’s ability to change. He has received his certification as a Sexual Addiction Therapist and as a Multiple Addictions Therapist by the International Institute for Trauma & Addiction Professionals.

Together, John and Shawn have co-authored and brought their unique treatment model of relapse prevention, An Ounce of Prevention: A Course in Relapse Prevention, to residential treatment centers across the United States, they have trained therapists at numerous national and international conferences, and most recently have trained many EAP programs associated with many State Unions.

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APA Reference
Shawn Leadem, J. (2017). Where Everyone Knows Your Name. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 23, 2019, from


Last updated: 9 Mar 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Mar 2017
Published on All rights reserved.