My time in rehab for an opioid addiction left me humiliated and desperate to know why my friends were dying. Now a wave of app developers are trying to do things differently.

My dad’s company had season tickets to the White Sox. On muggy Midwest summer days we’d go as a family—always sitting in the same seats, 25 rows above first base.

I told this to a counselor I’ll call Bill, when he asked me to remember a childhood memory. It was part of the confrontational circle, a form of group therapy with a self-explanatory name. A half-dozen other clinicians looked on as Bill laid into me. “I bet you don’t go to those games with your family anymore, do you?” Bill asked in a way that felt more like telling. I shook my head no.