four essentials of addiction recovery

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Four Essentials of Recovery

Four Essentials of Recovery

Counseling Model for Successfully Overcoming Addiction

Recovery Perspective

Treat the AddictionsConsider the symptoms of addictions substance & behavioralCould an addiction be symptomatic?Treat the Underlying Causal FactorsUnderstand the unseen factors that created the addictionThese are often based in trauma or chronic distressEncourage health & strength development

Factors of Psychological Health

Those who are generally healthy have:Positive Self-beliefsAn Internal Sense of:Emotional self-regulationNurturing self-care Effective Interpersonal RelationshipsPerspective of Purpose and Meaning

Four Essentials of Recovery

Those in long-term recovery exhibit:Positive Self-beliefs BelieveAn Internal Sense of: UnderstandEmotional self-regulationNurturing self-care Effective Interpersonal RelationshipsConnectPerspective of Purpose and MeaningImaginer


Believe Understand Connect Imagineer The Four Essentials of Recovery serve as a model to integrate clients positive experiences which they had before their addiction with current constructive recovery experiences. This model correlates with Twelve Step principles.


Our Self-Beliefs Govern Life Choices & Outcomes


I am unworthy to be lovedVirtually everyone in initial recovery does not accept that they are worthy of being loved . In many cases, this is the underlying reason for their dependence.Substance or Behavioral DependenceShame Self-Beliefs

More than persistent personality traitsHow the person experiences self - for example;You alone see through your eyes and only you interpret what you perceiveNo one will ever experience what you have your unique combination of experiencesYou daily construct your own unique worldThis always links to what you believe about your selfOur self-beliefs essentially shape who we are

Individuals fall into one of two groupsThose individuals who deeply believe: I am unworthy to be lovedI am not enough and never will be.I am ashamed of myselfI cannot stand who I am so I numb myself with food, addictions, right thinking, meds, anger, etc.How does this correlate with those who suffer from substance addiction?

Other Shame Self-Beliefs

I dont deserve loveI am a badI am worthlessI deserve bad thingsI am damaged, brokenI am uglyI am stupid, not smart enoughI dont matterI dont belong, I am differentI am irresponsibleI cannot be trusted, trust myselfI cannot trust othersI am weak, not in controlI am a failureI am imperfect, flawed, I must please

Shame self-beliefs distort and disfigure how individuals perceive themselves. Evidence is accumulated that the shame beliefs are trueThe psychic pain of shame dominates consciously and subconsciously e.g. destructively disparaging self-talkShame is the Petri dish in which the bacteria of addiction thrive

Shame Self-Belief QualitiesDistinguishing between guilt and shameGuilt: I did something wrong or bad, I did something dumb, I acted carelessly, etc.Guilt motivates us to changeShame: There is something wrong with me I am bad, I am dumb, I am careless, etc.Shame beliefs lead us to accept the lie that we cannot changeCounselors must be skilled in shame resolution

Origins of Shame Self-BeliefShame self-belief arises from emotionally charged events (trauma) as well as other disturbing experiences (small t trauma, chronic distress, developmental trauma)The individual lives with distress such as a loss of attachment, fear for the safety of self or others, chronic low-grade anxieties, cultural conflicts, feelings of inadequacy, etc.There is often a sense of terrible helplessnessIn order to blunt the high level of fear & shame, individuals use coping mechanisms that provide instant, temporary relief most commonly substance or behavioral addictions

Shame Self-Belief ResultsShame self-belief induces negative coping mechanismsIn addition to drugs and alcohol, individuals may turn to sex, gambling, working, religion, blaming, exercise, politics, eating disorders, or any other addiction patterned behaviorsShame Self-Beliefs most often lie in the subconsciousSelf-beliefs trump everything else mentally & emotionally they color are decision makingWe must go beyond cognitive-behavioral therapy Counselors can create the pre-conditions for transforming Shame Self-Beliefs into Positive Self-Beliefs

Positive Self BeliefsThe second of the two groups :Those individuals who predominantly believe: I am worthy to be loved

How many individuals with addictions have this self-belief?What can we learn from this?

The Transformational Approach

Client shame self-beliefs relate to attachment, abandonment, and traumaShame Self-beliefs can be transformed into Positive Self-beliefsOutcome research shows that addressing underlying shame is a critical aspect dependence recovery.

Transformational Self-BeliefsShame self-belief example: I am evil replaced with: I Am Accepted

What are the chances for his recovery?

Transformational ApproachShow clients how to transform Shame Self-BeliefsDevelop Client Emotional Regulation Treat TraumaPromote Positive Self-BeliefsSupport Forgiveness, No Use of Labels, Self-Change, Addiction RecoveryWhich comes first?

Therapeutic considerationsSeek out shame beliefs: What are you ashamed of? What traumatic or chronic distress experiences have you had? (e.g. abuse, accidents, injuries, combat, learning difficulties, bullying, alcoholic caregiver, etc.)What negative beliefs do you have about yourself starting with the words; I am. . .? (e.g. I am unsafe, Im stupid, I am out of control, Im a terrible parent, etc.) Distinguish for the client the difference between guilt and shame

Outcomes of Positive BeliefAlleviation of root source of substance dependenceEnhanced emotional resilience Better physical well-beingImproved relationshipsIncreased appreciation, enjoyment, & meaningLasting recovery outcomes


Emotional self-regulationNurturing self-care

Emotional Self-RegulationVirtually all people afflicted with dependence have used substances and behaviors to numb out painful emotionsWithdrawal usually brings an immense increased of often overwhelming emotions and feelingsMost do not have a vocabulary to describe what they are experiencingThey feel flooded with unwanted emotional painThey are swimming in a sea of their own emotions

Therapeutic considerationsTeach an easy-to-understand emotional vocabularyDistinguish between secondary emotions (e.g. I am mad) from primary feelings (e.g. I feel Accused, Guilty, Rejected, Unlovable, and/or Powerless) so that the client can identify and discuss their emotions and feelingsFocus on their emotional experience (e.g. What emotions are you experiencing now. What are your feelings?)

Develop Emotional RegulationFear/Shame Love/Empathy Help clients understand their emotions and feelings:

I am Mad Sad Anxious I am Glad I feel: I feel:Accused WorthyGuilty AcceptableRejected CapableUnlovablePowerless

Nurturing Self-Care Clients rarely know how to perceive the balance that is needed for recovery? They seldom recognize how the 12 Steps integrate the key elements of successful living. Help them daily review their well-being.

Therapeutic ConsiderationsA new approach to a greetingInstead of; Hi, how are you?How goes your H E A R T?How is your Health?How are yourEmotions?How is your Awareness?How are your Relationships?How is your Transcendent spirituality

HealthHow is your Health? Sleep 7 to 8 hoursEat well Drink enough water Exercise regularly * Take care of health needs Nurture your well-being Stop smoking * Take a supplement if needed Limit caffeine, sodas, & sugarWhich of these lower the risk for relapse?Which of these are you modeling for your clients?

EmotionsHow are your Emotions? Recognize emotions & feelingsRegulate & soothe yourselfAppreciate positive feelings Practice appreciatingUnderstand yourselfUse empathy to understand others We cannot control emotions but we can regulate them & soothe ourselves

AwarenessHow is your Awareness? Know what you are focusing onUse your mind to resolve shameWork through guiltValue the worth of others & selfRealize that you are becoming more Worthy, Acceptable, and CapableCognitive awareness is central to reason, logic, and effective actionThe ability to focus our thought changes our brain

RelationshipsHow are your Relationships? Clean up your side of the street (& only your side)Work through resentmentsPractice forgiveness Support the Five Positives to One Negative Interactions Sit as an adult not as a parent or childKnow your family constellationsAlmost every person with an addiction as been the victim of othersContinuing to blame is almost a sure sign of relapse How come?

Transcendent SpiritualityHow is your Transcendent Spirituality? Develop your


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