WaterFall05loThis article, written by Cecily Markland, appears in the latest issue of the Arizona Beehive

He speaks with a voice of authority. He’s been there, and he knows firsthand the particular burdens of guilt and remorse that can come to members of the Church caught in the throes of addiction.
Yet, he also knows, from his own experience, that recovery is possible-and even probable-when principles of the restored gospel become real in a person’s life and when the Savior is looked to as the source of healing.
Now, Roger Stark, helps others with addictions and compulsive behaviors of any kind to find recovery through what he calls The Waterfall Concept. That concept forms the basis for his work as an addiction counselor; it also is the subject of his recently released book.
His book, The Waterfall Concept: A Blueprint for Recovery “goes beyond the standard answers of how to recover and provides the specific skills you need to develop and the tools you need to find” to make recovery possible.
He says that while other sources may offer the recommendation to “turn your life over to Christ, The Waterfall Concept explains how to do that. It offers the rules, the helps you need manage life without addiction.”
Written to all those struggling with addictions, it “whether the struggle is drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography or any other sexual addiction,” his book is “a practical description of what must be done to recover,” Roger says. It includes scriptures and quotes from General Authorities, examples from Roger’s own experience and case studies that the author says are “almost magical” in the way they resonate with other addicts.
Addicts who have read early copies of The Waterfall Concept praise its approach. “I have read a lot of recovery books, but this one has me making progress I have never been able to make before,” says Greg, a recovering pornography addict.
“I have lost track of how many times I’ve been through treatment, how many books I’ve read. But this one, this one is different,” says Matthew, a recovering alcoholic, gambling and heroin addict. “Your explanations and descriptions have given me understanding that has escaped me until now.”
A tremendous help for addicts, Roger’s book is beneficial for family members, Church leaders and clinicians as well.
“It offers benchmarks that indicate to both the addict and their family when recovery is taking place,” Roger says. “It helps others understand what’s been beyond understanding before. It helps families make sense of addictive behavior, so they can start to have hope again.’
For leaders, The Waterfall Concept helps clarify ideas and approaches. “Some have been on the receiving end of really bad advice,” Roger says. “The book gives leaders and clinicians what they need to be able to go to where the client is, to accept the person and to have empathy and understanding-do they can really start helping.”
According to Clinical Child Psychologist, M. Gawain Wells, PhD, “This is a remarkable, well-written book for the LDS counselor working with addictions. In addition to a very worthwhile metaphor for addiction treatment, Roger Stark provides a storehouse of concepts and techniques that have already added measurable to my clinical tools. I am finding in my reading and re-reading of his book therapeutic wisdom for this particular client set.”
Dr. Wells concludes, “More importantly, I finding a deeper understanding of how we must pay the price to come unto the Savior in order to truly be healed.”