Health and Wellness

Hope, Healing and WellBeing

Mary Treacy O'Keefe

Hope, Healing and WellBeing – The Wisdom to Know the Difference with Kelly Wilson

Dr. Kelly Wilson, a recovering addict, psychologist and author of The Wisdom to Know the Difference: An Acceptance and Committment Therapy Workbook for Overcoming Substance Abuse. The title of his book comes from the words of the Serenity Prayer, used by millions of people who have gone through a 12-step program for overcoming addiction. Dr. Wilson first shares aspects of his own experience with addiction. Now, his perspective comes from a unique treatment, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Research shows that ACT is a powerful treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, and other issues, and it can be used alone or in combination with any 12-step program. He has used ACT for the past 20 years to treat addiction with compassion, kindness and understanding.

Accepting “what is”, rather than using substances that cause us to say “no” to what we feel and think, is a key part of his program. ACT encourages acceptance, mindfulness and stillness in the midst of the storm. The ACT model for substance abuse is based on basic behavioral science methods that help people recover from addiction. Other topics discussed in this interview include the whether one needs to practice total abstinence, how to avoid relapse and the need for practicing various self-care techniques to conquer addiction. Dr Wilson provides hope that anyone can recover from addiction. For more information please visit and