I often argue that the use of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) is a useful tool in identifying and naming mental health disorders, which includes addiction. Yet there are many who believe that by naming something a disorder or disease we are simply labeling people, with little effect.
Disease thinking is a concept that I’ve been giving great consideration to over the past few months. What is disease thinking? I define it as using a disorder and/or disease to increase the sense of... read more
“There is no use trying,” said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast”. ~Lewis Carroll
I have found it a useful practice to envision impossible things. I’ve seen it happen first hand. With hard work and determination we usually prove ourselves wrong. Impossible things encompass a ... read more
Nutrition. How much time do you spend thinking about it? Not the “I’m restricting fat and carbs,” or “I always count my calories,” but actual nutrition; feeding your body the proper amounts of vitamins, minerals, calories and even fatty-acids. Nutrition is not about being “fat” or “thin”, it’s about being well and giving your body what it needs. I’m sure many remember the food pyramid we were taught about in school, the "good" foods at the bottom “bad” foods at the top. This is a very simple... read more
Everyone needs validation. Only recently has that word been used to describe what individuals need emotionally. People talk about wanting love, understanding, money, romance, someone to talk to, success, to look good, have nice things…the list goes on. These are all forms of validation.
The Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary defines “Validating” as, “to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of”, thus, a process of mirroring back to someone or yourself, “You did well; I’m li... read more
Have you been feeling down? Sad? Are you a parent? Have you been struggling with depression? Clinical Depression is a serious condition; made even more so if you are caring for children. Here are some signs that you may be experiencing a depression:
Are you and have you been sad for 2 weeks or more?
Do lack energy and/or motivation?
Do you feel helpless, hopeless, or worthless?
Are you sleeping too much or not enough?
Has your appetite changed?
Have lost or gained weight?
Do you lack enjoyment in doing thing... read more
Don’t talk. Don’t trust. Don’t feel. The 3 rules Claudia Black highlights in her book of Adult Children of Alcoholics; however you needn’t be an adult to understand the rules of an addicted family.
“My mother used to give me a hit from her joint when I was 4,” my soft-spoken client in his mid-20’s tells me of his early childhood memory.
“Drugs were everywhere…there were always strangers in and out of the house,” a man in his early 30’s explains of his home growing up, “so I knew, don’t... read more
Balance. Over the past few weeks, I have been doing a great deal of reading about the varied approaches to addiction treatment. In other realms of my life, I have been considering what proportion of my time to spend on continuing education, writing, marketing, as opposed to actually doing psychotherapy. Of course this does not include the many other roles I fulfill as partner, mother and friend. Each time I think of each topic (orientations to therapy/treatment, work, and my personal life), the word “balance” kee... read more
You are what you think. Our physical bodies may be what we eat, however, our psyches are made up of our thoughts.
Does this mean we should pay attention to what we are thinking? YES! We should not only pay attention to what we think but also what we hear. The old adage of “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a lie. Words are powerful.
Most of us don’t pay attention to ‘automatic thoughts’ which happen in a split second. They are messages we send to ourselves all day. ... read more
Almost all clients I have worked with ask the question of “why me?” Not a simple question to answer, along with the fact we still know so little, about addiction, the brain, behavior. Research has shown us that our brains can be more or less susceptible to certain things; however science is still limited in pinpointing what precise differences we need to look at. I tell each client that problem use/addiction does not discriminate. Anyone who uses alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, and/or the myriad of other drugs, put... read more
Failure. No one likes it to happen, or worse, admit it. Unfortunately, failure is seen as having done something bad. You got off-course; didn’t reach your goal. Ultimately, things didn’t go the way you had hoped or planned. The Yiddish Proverb says “We make plans and God laughs.”
Then, is there anything good about failure?
Some have constructed arguments designed to make failure ‘okay’ (i.e. “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” and the “We’re Okay” kind of thinking)?
Wait, what a concept, failur... read more