iMR Co-Founders – John Southworth – Dan Estes – (11/11/2017)
Since leaving my last drug treatment effort in 1979, I have managed to collect almost 39 years of sobriety. This would not have been possible if certain individuals had not positively affected my program.
Immediately after treatment, I was met by a AA participant who had some time with sobriety and was working a real world AA program. Dan Estes and I became co-sponsors during our years of program participation. Together, we became accountable for our negative behaviors and developed constructive behaviors that served us well. For several decades, Dan and I, enjoyed a friendship that included AA participation and family relationships. Dan retired from the JR Simplot as an executive and was instrumental in providing me with my initial computer training. Those old – pre IBM – Digital computers – with 8” floppy drives – were leading edge.
Anyway, decades of sobriety and friendship ended when Dan retired. In order to enjoy his retirement, he decided to have a “preventative” medical procedure that would clean out a circulatory tube. The operation did prevent any further ailments. Dan did not get out of the hospital.
Early in my recovery, I volunteered and, ultimately, worked at an outpatient treatment agency. This agency was run by a recovering nurse, Joan Nelson, who was providing counseling and therapy services and was teaching treatment classes at Boise State University.
While there, a gentleman, recently released from his latest inpatient treatment experience, joined the team. John Southworth was the zaniest individual I had ever met. His stories about past experiences were so “out to lunch” that I had a little trouble believing them. This perspective continued until I met his good friend Harry Pariso who had experienced many of these hare-brained-exercises with him. As time went by, I became convinced that I had met a one of a kind individual – with an unbelievable history.
My regimented thinking had a tough time working with a guy who everyone liked, avoided conflicts and lived, continuously, on the funny side of life. However, over time, I decided that John’s attitudes and behaviors were more fun than mine and tried to emulate certain of his thinking and actions.
During our early treatment efforts, the owner of the treatment center wanted me to review the effectiveness of the diagnostic tools she was using. She was hoping that statistics would show that the processes she developed could be promoted by the Academic community. Unfortunately, as I began the analysis with Dan – my computer mentor – we found that the processes were the best, being used, but were statistically invalid. Joan did not want to hear this and the analysis was ended.
John rounded up some recovering psychologists and we joint developed multi-scaled tools that provided assessments that were statistically valid.
After a period of time, John jumped full time into the recovery business and I began to work in the computer consulting business.
Our association continued and John kept coming up with new ideas on how things could improve. An early effort was the Impact program that was designed to help students as they began to display negative behaviors. We supported this program with our diagnostic tools and provided activity monitoring after the Interventions. The impact on the Idaho schools was profound. Some school districts are still using these processes after two decades and saving lives.
Next, John decided he wanted to obtain the Idaho contract for impaired Nurses which were being handled by another agency. I assisted John in designing a computerized monitoring program that was included in the proposal. John won the bid. For a number of years, iMR provided these services for John and his new association. I was moving the processes we developed to the Internet and John wished to maintain control over these processes – on site.
John and I continued to talk on the phone and meet when he was in town and discuss treatment procedures, effectiveness and other stuff. We would generally attend an AA meeting together. The problem with this activity was that escaping the meeting was impossible because most of the attendees were “friends” of Johns’ and wanted to socialize or save another “friend”.
Over time, I was able to witness John’s approach as he assisted others and I became a believer. He was able to provide “real world alternatives” and an approach that maximized the probability of a live being saved. If it wasn’t saved immediately, the triggers were there that prevented future deniability.
John quit his live saving tasks yesterday and we will miss him.
As a epilogue, I would like to summarize John’s comments during some of our meetings. They are meaningful for those who have the courage to walk the treatment talk.
- Give me 100 clients to work with over one family group
- Enabling continued destructive behaviors is a family malady
- Treatment processes are focused on full beds and the bottom line
- Monitoring treatment tasks – post inpatient – is mandatory – to maximize results
- Everybody has got their opinion – so be it
- We are a silly species – look at all the goofy things we do!
- If I am deceased, how do I use your legal services to get reparations
- If you deflate your tires, you can drive on the railroad tracks in your car
- You are never too old to enjoy other people’s behaviors
Southworth and Associates continues to provide intense monitoring services. This link will provide you with information on their services.
Director of Services – Benjamin Seymour
The PDF below will provide you with a copy of John’s obituary. It’s worth a read as it depicts how he walked the talk. It’s an example worth thinking about.iMR Co-Founders
Now we have time to do what we are really good at!