Founder of Soul Purpose, Sarah Jo Vincent, is a certified mentor in the drug rehabilitation field with a particular talent for healing broken families of drug-addicted children. Often with complementary drug- or alcohol-abusing parents, these children benefit from her no-nonsense approach that focuses on active listening and a healthy regression to precious childhood.
With the tagline, “Your past is not your potential”, Soul Purpose travels the country to assist struggling families in need of a mediator to facilitate their next steps as children exit rehab and rejoin their community.
As serious as it sounds, Vincent’s approach is one of compassion, care, and realness. She prides herself on being able to communicate with both sides of society, having come from a wealthy family but spent many years on the streets as an addict herself. This dual-communication skill allows he to bridge the gap between children and their parents, many of whom grew up with no support systems themselves and don’t understand about giving that support to their children.
“Soul Purpose helps educate, empower, and elevate at-risk youths to realize that their past is not their potential,” said Vincent. “I struggled for years and have come out the other side. I want that sense of strength and success for every kid and family that I work with.”
From Addict to Ally
Vincent has worked in the field for over 29 years while maintaining her own sobriety. Her experience as an addict taught her which methods work to heal an addicted person. Frustratingly, she was met with many professionals in the addiction field that didn’t understand her point of view. This experience felt alienating and inspired the tactics that she uses today.
“You can lecture an addict all you want, but that isn’t going to make them see sense or help them heal,” said Vincent. “You have to be empathetic and relate to them on some level. Learning about addiction from a university textbook isn’t the same as going through it yourself. I don’t wish that trauma on anyone, but I would be doing the world a disservice if I didn’t use my past to better others’ futures.”
Vincent does simple things like listening, playing sports, and letting the children swear and curse about their situations, thus letting all the frustration out.
“Kids will be kids,” she said. “If you try to make their lives so strict that they can’t breathe, they will look for relief in toxic places. A kid who uses the F-word isn’t always a kid who will use heroin. They just aren’t one and the same. We have to break down those barriers a bit and relax into the idea that our children are not perfect, just like we aren’t.”
Alliance for Change
The newest part of Vincent’s program, The Alliance, is to work in the home of the addicted child after they leave rehab. Many children spend 30 days in a facility, only to go right back to their triggers, stressors, and eventually addictions, within days. Vincent works with children during their stint in rehab, then in their homes for an additional 60 days. She works on mending the child’s relationship with their parents or caretakers, an approach that equips parents with a toolkit for success once she departs.
“Family involvement is key in recovery,” said Vincent. “If the people who are supposed to care for you and be your biggest supporters don’t know the first thing about doing so, you’re not going to get very far. My program is designed to fight the root issues, not the symptoms.”
Mindset adjustments, self-image work, forming good habits, and education of both a child and their parents are the cornerstones of proper healing. Day-by-day, small changes add up to big accomplishments for her clients.
“I want to teach these kids how to live,” said Vincent. “We all need something to be passionate about, and I believe addicts need it more than most. If a kid is good at sports or wants to work, we can take that and run with it. I teach kids what they need to take care of themselves and survive in this world.”
Sarah Jo Vincent, through The Alliance program and Soul Purpose, is fighting to end generational poverty and addiction.
About Sarah Jo Vincent
Sarah Jo Vincent is a transformational advocate and the founder of The Alliance and Soul Purpose, both of which help families dealing with children with addiction and create a new and better life for themselves. With over 30 years of sobriety, she has helped dozens of families go from addiction to full recovery. To learn more about her transformational program, please visit lifesoulpurpose.org.