by By Rev. Dr. Dan Geeding, Ph. D., BCC
Hal’s family from top: Trevor, Elliot, Christopher, Ian, Hal, Laurie, and Oscar
It is hard to imagine the stroke of divine intervention and good fortune that came my way in December of 1984. That’s when I met with Hal Shofner, a board certified counselor. We both had been hired to be team members of a new Adolescent Treatment center in Oklahoma City. He was one of the addiction therapists and I was the Chaplain. From that chance professional connection our lives have experienced a wonderful continuum, of not only being professional colleagues, but from my perspective, forever friends and soul–mates in the work of helping those with the disease of addiction.
Since those special days of working at the treatment center, life has lead us in our separate paths, career transitions in various parts of the country and our lives have had their challenges. Our relationship, both professional and personal, can best be described by what I call forever friends and soul-mates. I have been able to verify some solid realities in the personhood of my friend Hal. I will take the liberty of sharing with you some of these snap shots of Hal.
One of the first things I appreciated was being able to see Hal in action as a therapist. He had the gift of having a solid, strong, and yet caring presence in group. He had ability to call a spade a spade, a solid denial buster, however, able to maintain direction and hope with clients. This skill has transferred into the various roles and professional settings as life unfolded. He has the ability to integrate the best practices of the past into the varied adaptations of current trends in wide ranges of therapy models.
The reason behind this ability is not just the professional competence which is part and parcel of who he is, but also of a solid spiritual grounding at the core of his being. He is a person who has and continues to be growth oriented having dealt with his own core issues, as the rest of us in the Human Condition.
Hal finds a way to address life on life’s terms. He walks the talk, as they say. He is transparent in relationships. He is not afraid to tackle the hard questions of himself, which from my perspective, is a key strength, part of what I would call “Unconscious Competence” that emerges into his professional, and private relationships, as part of his personal DNA.
It is a true gift that I have had the opportunity to share life with an authentic friend… to be able to laugh, be transparent with living realities, respect differences, challenge and support one another on our spiritual journeys in relationship with God , self and others. In other words “Do Life!” For those reading these words, I hope you have a chance to hear the interview with Hal on Recovery Now. To Hal…. Thanks again for being a forever buddy and always in my corner….as I am in yours!
Hal Shofner was a recent guest on Recovery Now, an internet radio talk show dealing with all aspects of drug addiction and alcoholism. Dr. Geeding is the co-host of the show, along with Ned Wicker.
Click here to listen to the show:
Recover Now! with Hal Shofner