In the early days before Neil was into any of this “stuff” he was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Security Service. He worked in Counter Espionage-“B”-ops (RIS, (Russian Intelligence Service, KGB and GRU) during what was considered the height of the cold war. He stepped out of that world just over two decades ago and into this world to search out his own past and his own ghosts and to dust off his own future.
Michael Poole, documentary film director/maker and author, in his Romancing Mary Jane: A Year In The Life Of A Failed Marijuana Grower (Greystone Books Publisher) described Neil as a “rumpled old sage of a guy who has experience with what he does.” Now Neil says that he is not exactly sure what Michael meant, but it sounded good at the time. Neil’s best description of himself is: a recovering or recovered alcoholic (depends on whose definition of recovery you want to work with), a husband, a father, a grandfather.
Born in St. Thomas Ontario in 1947, he was raised in the classic dysfunctional home (they meant well, but) . .. Zooming ahead—he was married, widowed, and re-married, divorced. Now lives with his cat Precious
Over the years he did everything from working in the RCMP, both in the Criminal Investigation Branch and Security Services, to chanting at a yoga ashram on Paradise Island (right beside Club Med . . . how handy). He taught at and was Director of Student Services at Twin Valley's School, Wardsville, Ontario (Alternative to the penal system for young offenders.)
Neil, along with a number of other people, were co-founders of Barnabas Center (Counseling services for street youth) in Edmonton, Alberta.
Neil is an active member of the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counselors, and he sat on the Standards And Ethics Committee. He is also a member of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation. Currently, Neil is in private practice as a clinical counselors specializing in Dissociative Disorders and the treatment of Post Trauma Stress.
Neil developed workshops on healing from trauma, on spiritual growth, the issues surrounding Co Dependency ... understanding the process of really healing is not a quick fixing thing with band aid solutions.
In his book Experience Has Taught Us --- 175 Missing Pieces Neil points out that if you can see the real monster that is quietly running your life ... what it is that you are really up against, then there is hope for recovery ... if not ... most stay lost in the Fantasy of their Reality ... repeating old cycles in a vain attempt to make something work that has no hope of working ...
The very true nature of the healing and recovery process at its most primal level is to be able to see what you have been blind to for most of your life ... When I can See It ... When I can Accept it ... (seeing and accepting are two different places in our consciousness) Then I can Fix it ...
For almost all of us ... the business of recovery, of dialogue, of socialization lay in this next simple sentence, This Is Not About Who I am, is It is About What Happened To Me ... What happened to me and my response to it is often as not the governing factor that creates the reality I believe I operate in today ... So it really boils down to What Can I Do To Make A Difference in My Life and Have the Life I Think I Want To Have ... Understanding one simple statement: My Best Thinking May Not Be My Best Friend.
Neil is a proponent of 12 steps, A Course in Miracles, and a number of other proven recovery processes. To day as well as operating his practice he is following his passion—writing, odd for a fellow who could not get out of an English class in high school with anything more than a C-.
Neil has written 11 books (10 published) on recovery, 2 being edited. He is working on writing a set of Novels ... a trilogy of cold war spy vs spy tales (2 complete and in editing and 1 in various stages of completion). The Recovery books are available on Amazon.com ...
Neil has authored, co-facilitated, and facilitated a number of different workshops and seminars on spiritual development and recovery:
- The Door
- Meeting Your Higher Self
- The Home Coming
- Out Of The Past And Into The Present
- So You Think You’re Looking For Someone Do You?
- Learning to be Intimate
- Points to Ponder
- Workshop on themes developed in Experience Has Taught Us - 175 Missing Pieces
- Workshop on Intimacy ...
- Experience Has Taught Us: 175 Missing Pieces
- Experience Has Taught Us: Searching for the Willingness to Change
- Zen and the Art of Walking Lightly
- Zen and the Art of Lost and Found
- Zen and the Art of Seeing Clearly Perhaps for the First Time
- Zen and the Art of Five Principles of the Journey
- A Step Four and Step Five guide
- The Door
- Into the Light: Co Dependency a Spiritual Journey
- The Metaphor** ... incomplete
- Sharbot A Spy Story**: in editing
- Understanding Me While Being We
• Occam’s Razor: a Short Study 2007
• Co-dependency in the Work Place 1996
• Seven Deadly Sins of Co-Dependency 200 short essays on healing