About Don Cuerdon
Bachelor of Science, Castleton University, Vermont, 1981—focused largely on the human physiology of exercise
Master's of Science, Northern Vermont University/Southern New Hampshire University, 2019 in clinical mental health counseling (low-residency program with some of the finest people on Earth and a 4.0 average for the duration, in case any of that matters to you)
Certificate, Trauma Institute of Northampton, Massachusetts, 2019-2020—85 hours of Trauma-Informed Treatment for Adults, Children, and Teens including training in Progressive Counting (taught and mentored by Ricky Greenwald, Psy.D., the originator of this powerful and efficient memory reconsolidation therapy)
Certificate, Trauma Institute of Northampton, Massachusetts 2020—55 hours of EMDR Basic Training (covering the principles, protocols, and procedures of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), approved by the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA), taught and mentored by Ricky Greenwald, Psy.D., the current foremost expert on teaching EMDR in the world)
Vermont Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)
22 years in 12-step recovery for Alcohol Use Disorder as a sponsee and sponsor, 2.5 additional years in Adult Children of Alcoholics and Other Family Dysfunction (including two years in two weekly step study groups)
Certified as a peer recovery coach in the State of Vermont in March of 2018
12 years as a dorm parent at The Putney School, Vermont, while raising three of my own
Other careers leading to this one include: professional head mechanic/bicycle store manager (4 years), internationally-renowned adventure travel journalist in bicycling and cross-country skiing (15 years), the only unsworn instructor in the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association (10 years, part-time), and director of communications for The Putney School, Vermont (15 years), program director for Turning Point of Windham County, one of Vermont's 12 state-funded peer recovery centers (3 years)
Probably Most Importantly
Hundreds of hours spent in intensive retreat format memory reconsolidation therapy helping people to complete their treatment so that their intrusive memories no longer intrude
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
I had the good fortune to train with Don doing Progressive Counting at the Trauma Institute in Northampton MA. During the training it became obvious Don is a gifted and caring clinician who brings his own unique palette of experience and focus to the work. Don is quite up front about his challenges, recovery, and absolute dedication to supporting people in their journey through addictions and trauma recovery. I observed Don's work with several people and he seemed to have that deft touch of instinct that can only come from years of experience and work on oneself. His use of humor, compassion, and appropriate sharing really impressed me. As a social worker with many years of street-level experience, Don's authenticity really touched my heart. As part of my practicum through Smith College at the Trauma Institute I was given the opportunity to attend my own week-long Intensive therapy, and Don was available to be my therapist! As a seasoned clinician myself, and someone who has experienced trauma and substance use recovery, I knew I needed someone who would call me on my nonsense, spot my blind spots, and be able to sustain a really safe, warm attachment - no small feat! On top of that, the multi-day work can be grueling - Don delivered in spades with absolute emotional safety and grit when I needed it. He went the extra mile too, flexibly agreeing to meet me at a mutually convenient location. Don made it possible for me to re-experience and safely sift through my trauma memories, and the results have been consistent - virtually no intrusive memories, my energy is higher, and the world feels safer. If you are considering getting really serious about dealing with your issues, patterns, and traumas I highly recommend Don. He might present as a somewhat imposing male figure... but he's all heart and strength, a real mensch. You couldn't ask for a better ally to go slaying dragons.
C.M., Certified Recovery Coach
My treatment was in October of 2019. I have only had a few sleepless nights since. I have not had the normal two- or three-night episodes of insomnia once or twice a month. I have not had to take a sleep aid in the last year. No more nightmares, or terrors. Thanks Don!
Working with Don allowed me to turn around and look at that which I have been running from forever. I needed someone to stand beside me and tell me I wouldn't disappear. When I was too afraid to go any further, Don would sit quietly until he found another way for me to travel through the pain.
My number one fear has always been to be left behind. Doing this work, I wasn't left. For once in my life, I could let go, knowing someone else was holding me. There was so much relief in knowing I was being taken care of and wouldn't die from my life-long pain.
Seven months later, I’m not so afraid of my past anymore. And when I’m not so afraid I notice myself making different decisions--less intense and anger-driven ones. I finally have moments of peace I've never had before. I'm having more of those moments as time goes by. I needed a conduit to help guide me through the bramble to the other side and will be forever grateful for Don's support.