A Second Chance: Overcoming Addiction to Serve Others

A Second Chance: Overcoming Addiction to Serve Others

Bob Weathers
1979 in Psychology and Contemporary Christian Ministries
Recovery Coach, Speaker, Trainer and Consultant

Early in his life Bob Weathers, Ph.D., achieved enormous success—a top student, a published researcher, a husband and father. But alongside of the accolades and accomplishments, Bob struggled deeply with addiction. Like so many people all across the country, in neighborhoods, even in churches and closest communities, Bob spent the most precious years of his life struggling to be freed from those chains.

After a midlife crisis and a broken marriage, his life unraveled. Mistakes, missteps—some that affected his career and cost him leadership roles—had him in a pit of despair. 

“Research shows that addiction knocks out the part of our brain that knows what to do,” Bob says. “The more we can understand that, the more we can wrap our minds around how to heal.”

He writes in his personal statement, Living Amends:

“My time and energies since entering into recovery have been devoted to healing, including my own unconscious material that initially pulled me under and the subsequent addiction that attempted to first medicate that, but then only made it worse. I bear the complete responsibility for healing what led me down this particular road, and to make ‘living amends’ every day of my life my single, highest priority.

Today, Bob is in a much different place. His trials did not get the best of him, and he has transformed his hurt into healing others as a well-known counselor and coach. He has committed the past 40 years of his professional life to providing teaching and training to clients around the world.

At his practice in Irvine, CA, Bob focuses on helping other addicts in recovery—work that is, of course, deeply meaningful to him. He coaches clients both online, and in inpatient treatment. Bob has published numerous articles in journals, books and edited volumes, and is also an instructor to graduate-level mental health providers at several southern California universities

Wearing his heart on his sleeve, Bob’s personals struggles add humanity to the knowledgeable care he provides his patients. You can tell his closeness with students and clients by how they address him as “Dr. Bob.”

Faith and FPU have helped him heal. “I spent a year studying the book of Job, line by line. How does somebody lose everything and still have faith? How does somebody lose control, lose everything and still have faith? FPU has been a big part of that,” Bob says. “My time at FPU provided me spiritual resource for my daily spiritual practice. The cross gave me a second chance and reason behind what I do today.”

Bob with his wife Colleen

When he graduated from Fresno Pacific in 1979, Bob had the highest GPA in his class, was valedictorian and moved on to receive a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. As a student, he was deeply immersed in FPU, passionate about the school because of the small community feeling. His lifelong best friend, Faith Holmes, was studying psychology and contemporary Christian ministries, and the two spent hours on end with faculty and their families.

Bob with his daughter Amanda and her family

A huge part of his personal journey, early on, was specifically impacted by two professors at Fresno Pacific University, Orrin Berg and Howard Loewen. These professors nurtured the young student’s curious mind and gave him and interest in contemplative prayer and private devotional behavior—tools Bob still uses every day in his own life and coaching practice.

Bob with his grandchildren

“Life has gone so many directions for me, and I could never have planned it as much as I tried. But there is redemption in that—this I know for sure,” Weathers says.

In addition to Bob’s recovery coaching and counseling, he hosts a weekly podcast, Ask an Addiction Specialist aimed to help anyone seeking help in addiction and recovery.

See more of Bob’s transformative work at drbobweathers.com.

By Holly Clinard

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Holly Clinard