Mike Pond's Philosophy

I believe my clients have the ability to make enormous change. I’m here to facilitate that change. Critical to that process: is the strength of the therapeutic relationship. I must have empathy, or "personal compassion", for your struggle. If you believe I understand your pain, that you are heard, we will have a foundation for healing. You will trust me as your guide.

Just Released: Mike Pond’s Memoir

The Couch of Willingness:
An Alcoholic Therapist Battles the Bottle and a Broken Recovery System.

On bookshelves and online May 10

As I rebuilt my practice I gradually revealed the story of my battle with alcoholism to colleagues and clients and new friends. Their reaction was the same: “Oh my God, you must write a book.”

The Couch of Willingness: An Alcoholic Therapist Battles the Bottle and Broken Recovery System is that book. I wrote it with my partner, documentary filmmaker Maureen Palmer.

The “Couch of Willingness” is an a actual couch in a rundown recovery home here on the Lower Mainland. That’s what everyone in the house calls it. Every newcomer must detox and sleep there until he “surrenders” and admits he’s powerless over alcohol. That’s where I landed when I lost everything.

The book is also available at Mike’s Park Royal office.

For more on The Couch of Willingness, click here.

Mike Pond also writes the bi-weekly “Professional Help” column in the Vancouver Sun. To read his columns, click here.

Would you like Mike Pond to speak to your organization or at an event?
Email: erin@bountiful.ca with all the details and we’ll try to make it happen.

Mike Pond’s Areas of Specialty


I believe there is more than one way to get sober – and I will tailor the treatment to the client. Based on a thorough assessment, I’ll create a program that’s uniquely suited to scaffolding your recovery.

Research now shows that the Twelve Step approach is not the ‘one and only way’ to recover from addictions. There may be a solution to your substance use problem that does not require you to surrender to a higher power and maintain total abstinence for the rest of your life. Let’s find out.

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Mental Health

Mental health is much more than just the absence of mental illness. Instead of focusing on and diagnosing disease or disorder, I prefer to identify and develop the positive characteristics that help people flourish. Some of which include: courage, optimism, hope, honesty, interpersonal skills, effort and perseverance.

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Through many years of professional and personal experience in the challenges of living, I’ve learned that building, cultivating and nurturing of relationships is the core of a happy and fulfilling life. We all make mistakes in our relationships. Approaching relationship with compassion – to the other, and to one’s self, allows us to learn from our mistakes and be more accepting of those in our lives. It’s never too late to learn skills that will transform your life.

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First Nations

Intergenerational trauma introduced through the Residential School experience has destroyed generations of First Nations people. In three decades of practice I’ve seen the devastation first-hand. I’ve also gained the support and trust of hundreds of First Nations clients. And in many ways, I feel they’ve helped me as much as I’ve helped them.

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