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Philosophy of treatment

A foundational belief that people get better, that people move on to a life that is optimal and meets their desires without compromise. When people make a decision to abstain from substances/alcohol every behavior that they engage in from that point forward either supports that decision or sabotages that decision. A goal of my treatment is to assist people in recognizing which direction they are moving and develop skills that can assist them to change directions.

That recovery is at the intersection of science and the humanities. People’s paths are not linear but often elliptical. Behavior that promotes self-care finds its motivation in values, not in ones feelings. Values, although not stagnant, tend to be more consistent and less fluid than ones feelings and therefore less subject to impulsivity.


Myths of Alcohol and or Drug Abuse and Recovery

  • “I have to want to be sober to get sober”
    • Ambivalence is the dominant emotional response while in a contemplative stage of recovery. Try not to wait until you decide that you want to get sober, act when you realize you need to stop using/drinking. Need is a consistent message and wants can be very fluid. Need will also precede want on any timeline of addiction/recovery.
  • “I must attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous to achieve sobriety”
    • As great a social movement as the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is, there are many paths that lead to a sober lifestyle. Some include participation in a twelve-step model others most certainly will not.
  • “I function on a high level and therefore can not be alcoholic”
    • The developing gap between my optimal performance and my functional effort is precisely the place my dependency resides.
  • My relationship with using is binary “I either am or am not alcoholic”

Truths of Alcohol and or Drug Abuse and Recovery

  • To stop drinking/using you have to stop drinking /using
    • On its face, this is a central truth.
  • Not all moments share equal opportunity to initiate recovery
    • Often overlooked as a leading catalyst towards relapsing behavior. “I got sober therefore I can get sober again, therefore I can drink now and return to sobriety”. Moments when willingness and support are equally present are rare; when these moments arrive one must take advantage of them. They might not align again for a much longer time than people assume.
  • There are “Lapses, relapses, and collapses”. Progress in recovery is movement from collapses to relapses to lapses to sobriety
    • Progress towards abstinence is often riddled with attempts that are not conclusive. Prolonging the periods of abstinence and shortening the periods of use can demonstrate progress. If this is the trajectory of ones early attempts then that person has some reason for optimism in spite of his not arriving at a desired goal within a desired time frame.
    • The violation of recently internalized normative behavior, whether it be through individual, group, or twelve step immersion is often the exact impeller of continued use.