An Experience Worth Sharing – Written by Steve Brenner


Steve, a Masters level clinician working as Next Chapter’s Director of Admissions, shares some personal insight regarding our program of recovery. Steve plays a key role at Next Chapter, while simultaneously studying for his license in Mental Health Counseling. He has worked in the substance abuse and mental health field for almost 7 years, in several increasingly responsible roles while completing his Masters Degree in Counseling at Lynn University. Prior to working in substance abuse and mental health Steve had a 25+ year career in voice and speech software technologies, and served as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for some of the early developers of this technology.

An Experience Worth Sharing

Almost 2 years ago I was introduced to Next Chapter’s soon to be CEO and Clinical Director, Abe Antine.  I was comfortably working at a pretty high end treatment program in the admissions department, and had been in and around the South Florida Treatment industry since 2007.  I wasn’t exactly in need of a job or a change, but as we all know – things happen for a reason.

As I met with Abe over too much coffee several times, I became enamored with his philosophy for providing a true treatment experience, and his plans regarding how to successfully do so (amongst all the others choosing not to).  Abe always had a different book with him, covering topics like The Inner Child, Attachment Theory, and Co-dependency each time we met.  I began researching these topics and found the evidence compelling for what Abe was getting ready to launch.

I asked myself, can this really be done?  Well, nearly 2 years later, I can honestly and proudly say, yes it absolutely can, and is at Next Chapter.  I worked very hard to become part of this program and have never doubted it’s potential for a minute.  It has been an eye opening, life changing experience for Next Chapter staff and clients alike.  I am changed in so many ways as the result of having been part of this company, its birth and its growth, I find it hard to describe to others, and find they look at me as if I had 2 heads.

Simply put, Next Chapter chooses to view behavioral health and addictions through the lens of attachment injury, childhood trauma and stunted emotional growth.  This philosophy carefully and lovingly helps clients navigate the unconscious wounding from childhood, adolescence and adulthood, without focusing on intent, and instead focusing on impact and resolution.  Enough finger pointing and blaming has gone on already, why beat a dead horse?  Why not reduce the pain, the anxiety and uncertainty instead, and leave the blame, shame and guilt behind, once and for all?

Next Chapter’s focus is on helping clients and families develop mature, healthy relationships through setting healthy limits, employing healthy boundaries, communicating genuinely and directly, and taking accountability for actions and behaviors they own. Ultimately, our goal is to help wounded men develop and grow into fully functional adults, capable of re-parenting the wounded child and eliminating the blame, shame and guilt.  What’s the result?  A self-aware and more confident adult, healthy enough to take care of business and be a functional member of society; no longer living in a constant state of hypervigilance and anxiety.

As Director of Admissions, I see firsthand and up close the fear, the pain, and the misery that each client and his family are trying to overcome as they decide to take the leap of faith and invest in treatment for themselves and their loved ones.  That’s right, no mistake in language – themselves and their loved onesFamilies are treated as well as clients, and everyone who becomes willing has the chance to get better and everyone’s futures become brighter.  It is not just possible, it is probable that if everyone involved makes the effort to look at themselves as part of the whole, all will grow.  As individuals change and become healthier, the entire system begins to become healthy, and entire families achieve new leases on life.

As Next Chapter continues to grow and flourish, so do I, so do my colleagues, so do our clients and their families, and so does my outlook on the world of behavioral health and addiction treatment appear more hopeful.  I am grateful to be a small part of this awakening.

If you would like to speak with Steve directly, he can be reached at