February, 2022 | Issue 16
The TriCircle Connection
We inspire families and individuals to overcome the disease of
addiction by creating real, long-term solutions!
Click here to visit our website today!
Quote of the Month

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."

--  Mark Twain

From the Desk of Ana Gopoian

Gaining Momentum as we Grow!

The five year mark for any nonprofit organization is a very significant turning point. Many do not survive this milestone. TriCircle is alive and well - thriving, changing and growing! Our achievements and forward momentum have come with challenges and tears, but also with pride and a deep sense of purpose. Every accomplishment along the way, large and small, has been marked with introspection, self-examination, tough decisions, and added responsibilities.

We opened our doors on July 21st, 2016, with a very large and comprehensive long range plan that has and will continue to require hard work and great sacrifice on the part of many. At this point in time, as the Executive Director, I will do everything in my power to bring our vision to full implementation. The TriCircle Board of Directors is active, fully engaged and poised to meet the challenges and opportunities we will face in the coming year. With a new strategic plan on the horizon, we are investing in and bringing our evolution as an organization to a whole new level and looking hard at better ways to raise more funds. We must divide the growing number of tasks and responsibilities that come with our ever increasing level of progress and responsibility among those who are passionate, dedicated and loyal to our vision! Our burning desire to make a profound and lasting difference is fueled by the need that is now greater than ever and by the egregious loss of life each year to this terrible disease. We are driven to action by all the families and loved ones left in its wake and by the 23 million Americans in recovery, on one path or another, living and thriving without the use of a substance. While we are closer than ever before, we still have a long way to go!

Together WE are Stronger!

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Looking to get involved? Need resume
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Position: Chairperson

Fundraising & Events Advisory Board
Meetings are held via Zoom or in person at 6 Way Road, Middlefield,
on the last Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm.

Commitment - 2-3 hours/week, plus our fun and exciting events

For a complete job summary, click here or contact Lenore for more details, lenore@tricircleinc.com

“Immerse yourself in a cause you're
passionate about.”

― Germany Kent

February Spotlight

Cathy Taughinbaugh
Real Answers From a
Certified Parent and Life Coach
1.      How did you become so passionate about helping parents who are concerned about their young adult’s or teen’s substance use?
I discovered my daughter was addicted to crystal meth in 2005. It was a shocking discovery, one that I wasn't expecting. For several years, my oldest son was dependent on marijuana, and that was problematic as well.
Once substance use had affected our family, I became interested in the topic. It was frustrating to learn that so many families had teens or young adults who were struggling with substance use. It’s such a major issue for so many people, and yet there was not and still is not enough being done to help. More awareness continues to be needed.
At that time, I was an educator teaching fourth grade. It was humbling to realize that, while I was helping parents get their children ready for middle school, my children were involved in drug use.
Soon after, I was at a point in my life where I had stopped teaching and was ready for a new project. I wanted to help others. I didn't want other parents to feel as helpless as I did when I realized my children were using substances.
I started my website in 2011 and wrote a blog article on substance use every week. Next, I decided I wanted to connect with parents more personally. I trained to become a certified parent coach. I also became a volunteer with the Partnership to End Addiction.
The timing couldn't have been better. The Partnership launched a new CRAFT training with the Center for Motivation and Change. I was invited to be in the first-weekend training in New York, which was exciting. That was a turning point for me. I realized from the training that there are options for families. There were tools that parents could put in place to help their children be more willing to change.

2. How do you recommend parents or family members communicate when they suspect their loved one is using substances?
The main thing is to take a breath and stay calm. It can help you find ways to regulate your emotions because there are many ups and downs with substance use. Rather than worrying about what will happen next, it is more helpful to take care of yourself to stay resilient.
It is easy to get sucked into the negativity of your child's situation. Many of us have found ourselves confronting or yelling at our kids when we find out that they are using substances. Yet, yelling at them pushes them further away and often makes them want to continue to use drugs or alcohol. The words that we use when talking to our sons or daughters can make a difference in the relationship. It can be the difference between whether they are willing to consider a change or not.
When you change how you interact with your teen or young adult, they pick up on it. If you start communicating in a more positive, nice way, you'll have a better chance of having a conversation instead of a fight. It can also help to ask your child if it’s a good time for a conversation. If you come in demanding to talk to them, they will often feel attacked and get defensive. Instead, create an environment where there is curiosity, no judgment, and an exploration of what is going on. When you ask them about having a conversation, you can let them know that talking together will help you both because you won't feel the urge to go through their things or constantly worry. It will help you both feel less insane about the situation.
You may feel hard-pressed to find something positive to say when your child makes bad choices. Look for opportunities in every situation. Think beyond the drug use to their positive qualities and focus on those as often as possible. Consider how you can turn a negative into a positive.
You don't have to be obvious about weaving positivity into your conversations. It can be done under the radar. Your approach can be subtle and have a significant impact. Positive communication is a good life skill that you can use with any family member.
Yet, when substance use is an issue, getting laser focused on your child can help them be more willing to consider recovery. Everything can move in a better direction when family members keep the conversation positive.

3. Can you explain a bit about the CRAFT approach and where people can turn for more information about how to help their child or loved one?
Addiction is tough, not just on your struggling son or daughter, but on those who care for them, especially parents. Watching a child deteriorate from substance use is devastating. Also, parents and family members feel afraid and often uncertain about what to do.
The Community Reinforcement and Family Training Approach (CRAFT) provides tangible skills that help promote change. With these tools, parents receive a sense of empowerment. The approach helps families address substance use problems. The approach is collaborative, practical, and research-based.
CRAFT teaches self-management skills that include how to engage with positivity, optimism, and compassion. These skills can shift relationship dynamics and motivate positive change.
Dr. Robert Meyers developed CRAFT. The approach is currently practiced by the Center for Motivation and Change and many other therapists, coaches, and family members.
CRAFT is a set of very positive strategies. The approach can help you support your son or daughter, especially when they do not want to change.
You learn new ways to interact with your loved one (positive communication skills). It supports the family as a positive force trying to deal with a complicated situation as best they can.

CRAFT shows us that kindness, collaboration, positive reinforcement, and appropriate limit-setting are all part of real change.

More information about CRAFT, my online course, Regain Your Hope, is available to walk you through the CRAFT concepts. I have a new book, The Compassion Antidote, coming out in March, which shares many of the CRAFT ideas. The book can be preordered now. I also offer a free consultation for any parents who are concerned about their teen or young adult.

Parents can explore my CRAFT page on my website that lists the CRAFT publications and has articles and more information about CRAFT.

Click here to see Cathy as she interviews her guests,
Ana Gopoian and Ken Cairns from TriCircle; then,
stay tuned for details of a full interview
with Cathy coming soon!

2022 Save the Dates
  • Wed., Feb. 2 and Wed., Feb. 16 - Doors open at 5:00 pm, first game begins at 6:00 pm - Drop In Setback, 1741 Pub & Grill, Middlefield

  • Thurs., March 10, 6:00 to 8:00 pm - STEPS Parent University Community Forum, Calendar House, 388 Pleasant Street, Southington, featuring the short film Finding Hope from demandZERO and The Paraphernalia Project
  • Fri., March 11, 12:00 pm - Youth, Family and Community Support, a free webinar hosted by DMHAS, Connecticut's Response to the Opioid Crisis
  • Tues., March 15, 8-10:00 am - The Dangers of Fentanyl, A Free Virtual Drug Awareness Webinar hosted by Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, 5 speakers, including our own Executive Director, Ana Gopoian, and Board Chair, Christine Gagnon

  • Sat., May 14 - Sun., May 15 - The CT Barber Expo at Mohegan Sun

Got connections? Our Annual Recovery Festival is looking for a really cool venue and date for the Springtime!

  • TBD - TheCharityChallenge 5K Color Run

  • TBD - TheCharityChallenge Poker Run & Music Fest
  • Sat., Sept. 24 - The 4th Annual Outrun Addiction 5K in Enfield

  • Sun., Oct. 23 - 4th Annual TriCircle Gala Brunch, Wallingford Elks Lodge 1365

  • Sun., Dec. 4 - TriCircle Annual Holiday Meeting

If any of our readers know of an organization, group or idea that will add strength, availability and reach to our collaborations and services, please reach out to us at info@tricircleinc.com.
Setback Has Kicked Off Again!
Here is an event link to our Setback games:
Join us for a 50/50 raffle, cash prizes, food and FUN!

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”
-- Samuel Johnson

February's Suggested Title,
Author and Book Review

The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time by Laurie David and Kristin Uhrenholdt.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was the family dinner. As years passed, stores opened on the weekend, children’s activities happened every day of the week and mothers went to work. As a child, Sunday was church, doughnuts and home. As a mother, Sunday was laundry, shopping and a lot of grumbling. It is time to hit the reset button, and this entertaining book can get you started! David and Uhnrenholdt’s book provides tips on a successful dinner, as well as fourteen chapters of themes and recipes. My favorite is Chapter 11: Table Talk with games, conversation starters, and books to help you get started. When my child was in a stint of recovery, our conversations often revolved around his addiction or what he needed to do or not do. It was unhealthy and not very much fun! The Family Dinner is new tool in your tool kit—enjoy your dinner and your family - put aside the hard talk for a night!

Thinking of ordering this book? Here is a great opportunity to sign up on Smile Amazon and register TriCircle, Inc. as your charity of choice - see below for details!! Every time you make a purchase on the Smile Amazon site, a donation is made to us! It doesn't cost you a thing!

Elizabeth Kirby Fullerton, PhD
(904) 309-3906
Are Now Available
TriCircle strives to offer Clinical Services that meet the individual needs of those who choose to take advantage of these opportunities to enhance their journey toward healing. We are accepting new clients. Our master’s level clinicians offer a range of evidence-based programs, giving clients and their families the opportunity to grow, change and maintain long-term recovery.

Our Clinical Team of Licensed Professionals

Shannon Talbot, LMFT
Michael Black, MA, LADC, LPC-A
Stephanie Harris, LCSW, LADC

Click here to learn more about our Clinical Services or call
(860) 349-7074 to set up an intake.
You Deserve to Engage in Self Care!

TriCircle's Hope & Support and Hope After Loss Group meetings 
are available from anywhere virtually and in person in the following CT towns: Berlin, Middlefield, Southington, Wallingford, Putnam and Somers.

Great news: All Meetings Are Now Going Back to In Person With a Virtual Option - the Choice is Yours!

Announcement/Location Change: All four in person Putnam meetings will now be held
from 6:00 - 7:30 pm at the brand new
Putnam Public Library, 200 School Street, Putnam
(behind the Town Hall) with a virtual option!

Click here for complete details.


It is so easy! First, be sure to sign up on Amazon Smile and choose
TriCircle, Inc. as your recipient organization. Do all your shopping online! Then, every single time you make a purchase from the Smile.Amazon site, a percentage will be donated to us! It doesn’t cost you a thing!
Visit our website to learn more about
TriCircle and consider a donation today!
PayPal Giving and Venmo are also ways to give.
Click the images below or scan the QR code to find out how!
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