School News

Broadcaster, Therapist, Social Advocate
 David Berner to Address Vancouver Graduates 09.16.13
Broadcaster, Therapist, Social Advocate
David Berner to Address Vancouver Graduates

The Adler School of Professional Psychology is pleased to announce that broadcaster, writer, actor, and social advocate David Berner, recognized as a leading voice on drug and alcohol treatment methodology, will address the graduates at Adler's 2013 Commencement ceremonies in Vancouver.

Commencement will take place at 10:30 a.m., Oct. 26, at the Harbourside Hotel in Vancouver. Adler School President Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D., and Vancouver Campus Dean Larry Axelrod, Ph.D., will confer the graduates’ degrees.

A Winnipeg native, Berner developed an early appreciation for arts and culture, with special interest in social justice issues—particularly those related to law and order, poverty, discrimination, and the disenfranchised. After three years of study at the University of Winnipeg in mathematics and English literature, he moved to Vancouver, where his friend Bob Hunter—future founder of Greenpeace—introduced him to The Company of Young Canadians, an organization that placed educated people into projects with the disadvantaged.

With two Aboriginal former inmates of the BC Penitentiary and an initial “budget” of $130 between them, Berner founded the X-Kalay Foundation Society in 1967 and served as its Executive Director until 1976. Under his direction and a philosophy based on unity, effort, and simple house rules of “no drugs, no booze, and no violence,” X-Kalay expanded from a halfway house into a residential treatment centre for alcoholics and drug addicts. Today, X-Kalay thrives in Winnipeg as The Behavioural Health Foundation, while Berner’s original efforts led to hundreds of lives and millions of dollars saved.

Following his time with X-Kalay, Berner became a host and producer for CBC Television, and later a long-running radio host of “The David Berner Show” on CKNW. In 2006, he left CKNW and gained recognition as an editorial columnist for outlets including The Province and The Tyee, often addressing local politics and issues such as harm reduction and social justice.

Positive response to his blog, The Berner Monologues, inspired Berner to return to television in 2011 with a new talk show, David Berner. He also serves as Executive Director of The Drug Prevention Network of Canada, and a therapist at the Orchard Recovery Drug Treatment Centre and VisionQuest Recovery Society, working directly with recovering addicts who seek help but are unable to get positive results from industry-accepted “standard” treatment channels. This spring, Berner’s new book All the Way Home was published to positive reviews—examining the state of addiction treatment in modern society in candid detail, and offering a glimmer of hope for change.

About the Adler School of Professional Psychology

The Adler School of Professional Psychology has provided quality education through a scholar/practitioner model for 60 years. Its mission is to continue the pioneering work of Alfred Adler by graduating socially responsible practitioners, engaging communities, and advancing social justice. The Adler School enrolls more than 1,200 students in doctoral and master’s degree programs and offerings at its campuses in Chicago, Illinois, and Vancouver, British Columbia, and through Adler Online. 


Jeff Brennan
Media Relations Specialist
office: 312.662.4126 | cell: 312.771.0126