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Moving Forward: Conversations with Urban Aboriginal and Immigrant Organizations

Towards a Better Understanding of Women Who Problem Gamble: Information for Professionals who Work With Women

Here’s To You Sister

Women Juggling Roles

Series of Six Workshops


Here’s To You Sister

Over the last twenty years, women’s health activists have been challenging the medical model of women’s addiction which blames the individual and labels her as a “diseased”. As one author notes: Polydrug use is one manifestation of women feeling anxiety-ridden, fearful, angry, powerless and of woman’s unfulfilled desire to achieve full participation in a society that continues to promote cultural values that support their oppression (Susan Garceau, Stonehaven Associates, July, 1994).

Here’s to You Sister offers an alternative analysis of women’s use of addictive substances. Central to the analysis is an understanding of the impact of violence on women’s lives. This book rejects the notion that women must relinquish power in order to heal from addiction, and states very clearly that taking control over our lives is the prime vehicle of change.

Here’s to You Sister documents 15 years of groundbreaking work developing addiction services specifically for women.

This book is written by women activists for activists. It chronicles such organizational dilemmas as power, leadership and consensus. It is a valuable resource for understanding the needs of women struggling to overcome addictions; learning about the political context of women’ lives; for developing programs; and for promoting discussion of organizational change.

Here’s to You Sister is divided into five chapters:

  • Chapter One: A Feminist Approach to Addictions (the early years)
  • Chapter Two: Women Transforming Their Lives (a look at a feminist day program)
  • Chapter Three: Reaching Out to the Community (The development of health promotion and community relations programs)
  • Chapter Four: Integrating Feminist Values into an Organization (the challenges of learning to do it differently)
  • Chapter Five: Towards the Future (things yet to be done)

Here’s to You Sister is recommended reading for anyone concerned about women, social justice, addictions or organizational change. To order your copy, fill in the order form and fax it to us.

Women Juggling Roles

This twelve-week lifestyles program was developed to address the needs of a large population of women, who may be a risk of using substances to cope with many complex issues in their lives:

  • poverty
  • violence
  • lack of social support systems
  • too much responsibility.

Its fundamental goal is to encourage women to create healthy lifestyle changes, through helping them take control of their lives. The following are the topics that the groups work on:

  1. Family dynamics in addictions
  2. Self-esteem
  3. Stress management
  4. Anger and depression
  5. Relationships and trust
  6. Living with teens
  7. Handling conflict
  8. Violence against women
  9. Assertion
  10. Drugs and alcohol
  11. Grief and loss
  12. Parenting teens
  13. Healthy eating/finances
  14. Handling difficult people
  15. Rights with Children’s Aid
  16. Legal rights
  17. Living alone successfully
  18. Women and AIDS

Series of Six Workshops

Based on the same concept and rationale as the Women Juggling Roles program, the Series of Six Workshops allow for more focused sessions using half the overall time.

  • Self-Esteem (2 workshops): experience and discover methods of raising one’s self-esteem
  • Stress Management ( 2 workshops): identify and learn how to manage stress and stressors
  • Assertiveness (2 workshops): learn how to be assertive without being aggressive

Based on the same concept as the Women Juggling Roles Program, the 8-week course on Assertiveness Training goes into depth on the skills and techniques of Assertiveness:

  • What is assertiveness
  • listening techniques
  • sending messages effectively
  • saying NO without guilt
  • making requests/dealing with criticism
  • broken record: how to be persistent
  • road blocks and assertive rights
  • verbal and non-verbal communication


This new program was offered for the first time in the fall of 1997. The objectives over the six weeks are to define self-esteem, explore how important it is and identify techniques to develop a better sense of self.

  • defining self-esteem
  • who are we
  • building self-worth
  • positive thinking/attitude
  • shoulds
  • factors influencing self-esteem
  • roots of self-esteem
  • setting priorities

Women Juggling Roles is recommended reading for anyone concerned about women. To order your copy, fill in the order form and fax it to us.