Who, Me? 3 Unlikely Alcoholics

“I can’t be an alcoholic, I’m a teacher.”  Sarah is a seasoned teacher, and the team leader of her group. She knew her entire life that she wanted to teach. She’s been teaching 20 years, and unlike many of her early career peers, she has not wanted to leave the profession. She feels competent at work, parents like her, and students tend...[ read more ]

Resentment and Forgiveness: Which Brain Are You Building?

“Your resentment trains you to see evidence of your rightness.” Briana and Dr. Peter Borten (The Dragontree)   The above quote was part of my meditation material this morning. In 1939, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) identified resentment as a significant issue for persons with a substance use problem, and science has since produced significant research supporting the need for healthy habits...[ read more ]

Triggers – The Science Behind the Metaphor

Did you know: The Recovery Therapist is in long term recovery. For me that means that I have been clean and sober for 27 years. I want to share a scenario from 27 years ago. I had long since left the pattern of drinking in bars. I gave up recreational drugs and the over use of prescription drugs– yours,mine, whatever –  at...[ read more ]

Winning the Tug-Of-War Against Addiction

Motivating Recovery in a High Functioning Alcoholic or Addict As a professional who specializes in treating high functioning alcoholics and addicts, I spend a lot of time assessing what motivates people to seek treatment, and what motivates people to stay engaged with habits and activities that support the biomedical changes necessary for contented sobriety. I find that I often come...[ read more ]

Defense Mechanism Series: Intellectualizing, Rationalizing, Cockiness, Justifying, Explaining, Analyzing

Defense Mechanisms Intellectualizing, Rationalizing, Cockiness, Justifying, Explaining, Analyzing    In our ongoing series of posts featuring the defense mechanisms used by active addicts and alcoholics, we've covered:   Passive/mild styles: Denying, Lying, Silence, Withdrawing Dismissive techniques: Minimizing, Humor, Compliance Aggressive tools: Manipulating, Accusing, Judging, Projecting and Threatening, Blaming, Shouting, Defiance Today, we'll consider the cerebral set. These are common for...[ read more ]

Threatening, Blaming, Shouting, Defiance (Defense Mechanism Series – Addiction)

Defense Mechanisms Threatening, Blaming, Shouting, Defiance Today is the next in my series on Defense Mechanisms used in addiction: drug, alcoholism, or behavioral (also known as process) addiction. Defense mechanisms are the behaviors that addicts use to protect their use by keeping those close to them away. These methods can be passive, aggressive, cooperative, or hostile. What they have in...[ read more ]

Defense Mechanism (series) – Manipulation, Accusing, Judging, Projecting

We have been introducing and delving into various defense mechanisms that addicts use with family members, friends, and even themselves. The introduction to the series is here featuring denial, lying, silence. The post discussing the use of humor, compliance, and minimizing is found here. Our discussion thus far has centered on tactics that are in the category of passive or...[ read more ]

Teens, Parents, and Drinking

It’s not uncommon for parents to adopt the perspective that they can teach responsible drinking by allowing “it” at home. I’ve been deeply concerned about this, but now there is meta-research supporting my concern.   The perceived logic is understandable: We’ll allow our teen to drink at home, under our supervision and our teen we see what social, normal, responsible...[ read more ]

Defense Mechanism Series – Humor, Compliance, and Minimizing

Defense Mechanisms (Denial Series) Humor, Compliance, Minimizing   In a series of blog posts, we are highlighting and discussing in detail defense mechanisms of addicts. To help concerned family members and loved ones understand the forms that "denial" takes, we are looking at the various ways an addicted brain finds to protect the addict’s use of drugs, alcohol, and addicted...[ read more ]

Defense Mechanisms (Denial Series)

Denial, Lying, Silence, and Withdrawing  First, a brief science summary: A brain that is hijacked by addiction seeks to protect the use of substances (or the behavioral – process) addiction. A person who suffers with this disease will develop defense mechanisms – what most people call “denial” – in order to keep people away from identifying the truth of the severity of the...[ read more ]

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