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Pure Curiosity: Stephen Pfleiderer- An Interventionist’s Take on Addiction & Recovery

Over 20 million people over the age of 12 struggle with addiction in the United States alone (and that doesn’t even include tobacco). Despite its prevalence, addiction is still considered taboo, and the stigma attached remains strong. As with most things that are kept under wraps, there are a ton of misconceptions about addiction and recovery. In this podcast I speak with Stephen Pfleiderer, a recovered addict, recovery coach and interventionist in San Francisco, and he shares his thoughts on these complex issues.

About Our Guest:

Stephen didn’t always know he wanted to be an interventionist and help people change their lives. He originally pursued a career as a professional musician, receiving an undergraduate degree from the Johns Hopkins University and a graduate degree from the University of Cincinnati. By his junior year in college he outwardly seemed to have it all. However, Stephen heavily relied on alcohol, drugs and partying to cope with the rigors of music school. Stephen realized, just shortly after his 21st birthday, that if he continued down the path of substance abuse things would not end well. This insight, along with the help he received from many people, enabled him to stop partying, focus on personal growth and ultimately change his life.

After graduate school, Stephen realized that the time he had spent in therapy for his unhealthy habits had really changed him and a new passion had been sparked: helping others find recovery from substance use and mental health disorders.

Stephen studied Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) under David Burns, MD, the famed author of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy who also invented TEAM Therapy, an advanced form of CBT. Stephen is the first Interventionist to achieve Level 3 certification as a TEAM therapist. He has also received certifications from the founders of ARISE Intervention, Systemic Family Intervention and most recently the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals. Stephen is a member of the Network of Independent Interventionists, as well as the Association of Intervention Specialists.

Learn More about Stephen and get resources at

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