Mike Pond is a West Vancouver-based psychotherapist who specializes in the treatment of substance use, as well as behavioural addictions like sex, gambling and pornography.

Thirty years of professional practice combined with Pond’s own life-threatening battle with alcohol, convinced him that harm reduction, “any positive change,” offers clients the best chance at beating addictions.

From the U.S. National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA Columbia) on the state of addiction treatment: “The research evidence clearly demonstrates that a one-size-fits-all approach to addiction treatment typically is a recipe for failure.”

Whether you choose complete abstinence or want to learn new strategies to manage use, Pond’s unique empathy will scaffold your recovery. Pond also teaches families how best to support a loved one battling addiction.

About Michael

Michael's Story

Pond’s own harrowing trip to rock bottom and back informs a fresh approach to addiction treatment

Watch the documentary

Wasted is an hour-long documentary that aired on The Nature of Things, CBC Television’s flagship science program. Mike and his filmmaker partner Maureen Palmer reveal a revolution in addiction research and treatment, making a powerful case for an expanded tool kit to treat our number one public health care problem.

Watch the Film In CanadaWatch the Film Outside Canada
Video Thumbnail: the nature of things

Read Michael's Story

"A vividly written page-turner...gripping and helpful."

- Dr. Gabor Maté, The Globe and Mail

Psychotherapist Mike Pond built a life helping others struggling with addiction, but he could not help himself. In this riveting memoir, he recounts how he lost his practice, his home, and his family to alcohol and how abstinence-based treatment regimes failed to help him. Wasted: An Alcoholic Therapist’s Fight For Recovery in a Flawed Treatment System, sets out a bold plan to transform an addiction treatment system steeped in shame and stigma, to one that delivers evidence-based, compassionate care.

Read the Book
wasted book


Addiction Treatments

Mike Pond relies on compassionate, evidence-based options and works with the substance user to design a treatment plan specific to each client’s unique needs. He believes a considerable amount of problematic substance use is rooted in trauma and that clients may well have been further traumatized by the current addiction treatment system. His premise: not “What’s wrong with you?” but “What happened to you?” Pond also works with families and loved ones of those battling substance use to teach them new, positive methods of support.