Meet Vivian Nordlund, An Alcohol & Drug Counselor at Common Ground in Red Wing


Our Red Wing team continues to grow! Meet Vivian Nordlund, one of our counselors at Common Ground in Red Wing. Vivian leads our women's group in Red Wing and helps women on their journey to find recovery through group therapy, individual counseling and chemical use assessments.

Vivian received her Bachelor of Science degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling from Metropolitan State University, having graduated in May 2017. She holds her licensure as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) through the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy (BBHT).

Prior to joining Common Ground, Vivian had an extensive history working in the healthcare field. She's held positions in adult foster care as a caregiver; in residential treatment as a chemical dependency technician; and she has held positions in both outpatient and residential treatment facilities through internships and technician roles.  Vivian officially joined the team as an alcohol and drug counselor at Common Ground in Red Wing in May 2017.

We sat down with Vivian to learn more about her passion for the field and the work of helping others:

Why are you passionate about the field of alcohol and drug counseling? 
"For as long as I can remember, I've had a passion for helping others. My mother was a social worker and worked with underprivileged and under-served populations, so that's what I grew up around. We volunteered in the community often and I grew up seeing the devastating effects of substance use disorders on individuals and their families firsthand. I can't think of anyone who hasn't been personally affected by addiction, directly or indirectly. I've also lost loved ones along the way. While working in a facility that practices harm-reduction, I observed a great need for funding, education, resources and advocacy for those struggling with substance use disorders. I wanted to go where the need was, so here I am :) I am especially passionate about trauma work and working with individuals who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. I believe trauma and substance use disorders often go hand in hand."

What’s your favorite thing about Common Ground? 
"The best thing about working for Common Ground is being able to be a part of a team of caring, compassionate professionals who are passionate about helping those struggling with substance use disorders. Common Ground uses an integrated person-centered approach to treatment, focusing on healing the "whole person" instead of focusing solely on their substance use disorder. We also value their counselor's unique strengths and backgrounds, giving them freedom to utilize a variety of interventions and approaches to treating substance use disorders which greatly benefits the clients we serve."

What advice would you give to someone struggling with addiction today? 
"The advice I would give to someone struggling with addiction is to take it one day at a time. Be patient and gentle with yourself. Setbacks are a normal part of recovery, and can become valuable learning experiences."

What are your hobbies? 
"My hobbies include traveling, reading, volunteering and spending time with my friends and family (not necessarily in that order)."

Favorite words of wisdom? 
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” - Brené Brown 

"I think and think and think, I‘ve thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.” - Jonathan Safran Foer 

Vivian's right – it's important to take it one day at a time. Whether you're new to the journey or are coming out of a relapse, we're here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn more about treatment in Red Wing, Rochester, and Winona, MN.