This month we take our Member Spotlight down to our newest coworking location in Greenwood Village to speak to Enterprise Coworking member Rob Lohman of Recovery Unplugged, an organization that uses the power of music to help patients heal from drug and alcohol addiction. We sat down with Rob and his fluffy dog Max to learn more about the amazing program and his role within the organization.
Recovery Unplugged is a unique program with treatment centers in Fort Lauderdale, FL and Austin, TX. While most treatment and recovery programs focus on 12-step programs that drill in on the fear of addiction consequences, Recovery Unplugged focuses on recovery triggers. “Music unlocks channels of pain and trauma in the brain in ways that traditional 1 on 1 counseling doesn’t do,” says Rob. “Music unlocks memories, feelings and emotions, things we can work with.” However, Recovery Unplugged does not discount the traditional methods of addiction treatment. “We use music as a catalyst to engage traditional methods,” he says. “It’s a non-threatening vehicle that appeals to the soul rather than the head.”
The science behind the program finds that certain music appeals to the pleasure centers in our brains in similar ways to drugs: both release endorphins or feel-good neurotransmitters. Patients in the program spend most of their days in individual and group therapy sessions that involve music. In the morning, there usually is one in which a group chooses an issue or topic relating to a specific skill set, such as the ability to change, to be open-minded or to have faith or hope. A clinician will then play music relating to that topic and display lyrics to songs that are specifically empathetic. This is but one example of treatment the program performs.
“One thing we do, and I want to start this at Enterprise Coworking, is Open Mic Nights,” says Rob. “Patients stand up in front of their peers and recite poems, songs, raps, just something to express themselves from pain they feel from addiction. Its an experiential type of program.”
Rob, who has been clean of alcohol for 17 years, says music played a large role in his own recovery. “After an attempted suicide, I knew it was time to get clean,” he told us. “Music gave me an outlet that took the place of alcohol.” Rob also runs The Addiction Recovery Hub, a site that pulls together resources and professionals for people seeking addiction treatment. He also performs recovery coaching and interventions. To top it off, his podcast Beyond the Bars Radio talks about his struggle with addiction, incarceration, recovery and advocacy.
For Recovery Unplugged, Rob works as an Outreach Manager to spread the word of the music-based treatment over Colorado and the surrounding states. Rob visits therapists, hospitals, doctors and speaks to the families of addicts looking for new treatment options. Rob wants to be a resource for all Enterprise Coworking members and hopes fellow members will come to him with questions and concerns regarding themselves or those close to him. He plans to start Open Mic Nights in the classroom for people to jam out after hours and express themselves, and to even host interventions.
“I looked at about 12 other coworking spaces,” says Rob. “Enterprise offered me the best space for my needs.”
Robs office suite is located right near the main entrance of Enterprise Coworking GWV. Pop in to say hi and introduce yourself and talk a little more about Recovery Unplugged, he’d be happy to share.