Archives for Goals and Objectives

Addiction

Flawed Belief System Keeps Him Using Drugs & Alcohol

What you believe—about life, about people, about yourself—is key to how your recovery from addiction progresses. A flawed belief system helps keep you mired in the past or prevents you from envisioning, or believing in, your future. Recently I met with Kyle. He had been using opioids, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol to self-medicate for more than twenty years. He began using when he was 16, and he's now 36. Although he's actively using substances, and he's often stoned during daylight hours, he's still managed to hold down part-time  and even some full-time jobs. 
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Addiction

12-Steps For 15 Maladies

In the original 1938 Alcoholics Anonymous book*, 15 emotional/spiritual symptoms (referred to as maladies) of addiction are listed: being restless, irritable, and discontented having trouble with personal relationships not being able to control our emotional natures being prey to (or suffering from) misery and depression not being able to make a living (or a happy and successful life) having feelings of uselessness being full of fear unhappiness inability to be of real help to other people being like "the actor who wants to run the whole show" being "driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity" self-will run riot leading a double life living like a tornado running through the lives of others exhibiting selfish and inconsiderate habits These maladies are all rooted in
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Addiction

Does Your Therapist Have Successful Outcomes?

When searching for and interviewing a prospective therapist, ask him to tell you about his rate of successful outcomes. A therapist should be able to tell you what percentage (approximately/in the ball park), of his patients with problems similar to yours (for example, clinical depression, borderline personality disorder, addiction, and so on), have achieved successful outcomes with his help. If you don't have a diagnosis, it still may be helpful to hear from the therapist how his patients have improved.
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Communication

It’s Okay To Tell Your Therapist You Aren’t Happy With Therapy

Is therapy not working for you? Do you feel disappointed in how your therapist and you interact? Do you not seem to be getting to the root of your problems? Do you feel that something is missing? Sometimes in these cases, patients don't know what to do except let therapy drag on until they find a new therapist. Or, they let the feelings of dissatisfaction build up until they reach the point of total frustration and then suddenly quit. Either right away or after a time, they search for someone new. Is there anything you can do to stop this vicious cycle and get the help you want? If you are dissatisfied, you might consider discussing with your therapist the problems with how therapy is going. Tell your therapist why you aren’t happy with therapy or with him (or her). Your genuine feelings should be validated. Your therapist should not be defensive. Give your therapist the chance to correct issues that are alienating you. (Sometimes, your therapist might offer an explanation of why certain processes are in your best interest. Try and stay open to this. You can always discuss anything questionable with a friend, mentor or another therapist.) Remember, you can be your own best advocate.* Preventative Measures One of the best ways to thwart problems is
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General

Are Your Beliefs Holding You Back?

Your Belief System: The Longer-Shorter Path In the last post, we focused on coping skills and strategies, which are the emotional scaffolding upon which your life reconstruction can begin. In this post we'll discuss your general belief system. This may include beliefs about who you are, how much self-determination you believe you have, spirituality/religious beliefs, what your life is truly about, and so on. These are the foundation upon which your life actually rests. A dysfunctional belief system is a set belief or group of beliefs that impair an individual’s ability to function in a mentally, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically healthy manner.
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Flying Phobia

Need Better Coping Skills? Therapy Can Help

Your Emotional Scaffolding: Developing Coping Skills The systematic, yet personal approach that I believe really works is a combination of the use of proven treatment methods and the therapist’s techniques. Effective therapists primarily use proven treatment methods supported by their own studiously developed personal techniques. Whenever possible (and that is the vast majority of the time), it's important for your therapist to first help you improve—or, if necessary, develop from scratch—your emotional scaffolding comprised of your coping skills and strategies, before digging up and exploring your past.
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Communication

What Is Therapy, Really?

*Let's begin answering this essential question: What is therapy, really? By definition, psychotherapy is “The treatment of mental or emotional problems by the use of techniques that are tailored to the unique problems and backgrounds of the individual and that may include talk therapy, behavioral modification, medication, and other treatments.” The goal of psychotherapy is to help resolve an individual’s mental and emotional problems and, at the same time, teach that individual how to attain the skills needed to deal with life on life’s terms. Therapy is also an inner journey with the therapist as guide. With a good therapist assisting you, your emotions (what you feel) begin to get in sync with your intellect (what you know). When your head leads and your heart follows, the world becomes an easier, more meaningful place in which to live. Therapy is not about
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