In This Moment. Five Steps to Transcending Stress Using Mindfulness and Neuroscience. 2015, New Harbinger, $16.95. By Kirk Strosahl, PhD and Patti Robinson, PhD.
In SMART, we use Tools to reduce stress and disturbances. We use the ABC Tool to reduce our self-made cognitive stress, and create more healthy behavior by changing our thoughts. We use the DISARM Tool to change our relationship to thoughts and bodily sensations, to maintain and regain control over our choices. Stress reduction can reduce reactive behavior and allow humans to focus and move on toward what they decide is important. Continue reading →
The focus will be on how using simple evidence-based tools from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that can help anyone, not just those struggling with addiction. SMART focuses its application of these tools on addictive behavior, specifically, but we can use those same tools to help us learn to better cope with underlying issues – stress, worry, anger, anxiety – and free us to create and enjoy the lives we want. Continue reading →
SMART for Life: An Entertaining and Informative Video
~Jeff Fredricksen, SMART Recovery Meeting Facilitator
I’m very honored that SMART Recovery has decided to re-release our video SMART for Life, and make it available to all via YouTube. Ten years ago when we originally filmed SMART for Life, YouTube had just started. There was a lot more time and effort involved in putting a video together. Back then you couldn’t become a star with just a phone and a guitar, or a cat.
When I looked at our film again I was reminded how enthusiastic I was about SMART Recovery, and how Joe Moreland and I jumped at this chance to do something our way. Of course, as most things that you are feeling very positive about, you don’t properly calculate the number of hours involved in writing, directing, casting, and editing a thirty minute video. But Joe helped to inspire me, believing I could do a good job, being a terrific script editor and producer and keeping me sane. And it was all well worth it.
Ten years later I still believe SMART to be an amazing program and I’ve found myself once again heavily involved as a facilitator in Long Beach and thinking of future projects. We needed to make a few simple edits to update the film, but 99.5% is the same…So please enjoy the video, let us know what you think, and pass it on to friends that might not know SMART. We tried to do a good job shining a light on it.
Jeff Fredriksen is a writer, performer and speaker living in Long Beach, CA where he also facilitates a weekly SMART Face to Face meeting. He invites you to visit his comedy blog http://amusingz.com.Continue reading →
– Carrie Wilkens, Clinical Director of the Center for Motivation and Change
Changing behavior requires self-awareness. Changing a well-worn habit in particular requires that you move it from “automatic” to “conscious” so that you can make other behavioral choices. For example, if you don’t even notice that you are reaching for a cigarette as you get into your car, how are you ever going to decide to resist lighting it up?
Habits are influenced by your environment and are set off by environmental cues, sometimes called triggers. Triggers are the people, situations, locations and emotions associated with any behavior you are trying to change. When it comes to substance use, triggers are the environmental variables that provoke “cravings” or the desire to use or engage in the habit. Neuroscientists have studied the trigger effect in the brain—how an encounter with drug paraphernalia or the smell of a long-frequented pub lights up the part of the brain responsible for emotion and instinct, the “feel good” parts of the brain. As you encounter these cues in your daily life, it’s likely that you are on autopilot and don’t even notice how they are linked to your decision to engage in your habit. Scientists have also found that once these habits are engaged, the brain has a difficult time considering the consequences and risks associated with the behavior. In other words, once you are in your car, smoking the cigarette, it’s not likely that you will have the wherewithal to say “this is really bad for my health, I’m going to throw this cigarette and the rest of the pack away right now.”
Dr. Peele has devoted his career to providing people with facts about addiction, and salient approaches, for both individuals and policy, based on those facts. Dr. Peele’s point of view is global. His revolutionary framework encourages people to look at addiction recovery in the context of their lives, rather than limiting themselves to any single label. Join us on May 16 for a conversation led by Dr. Tom Horvath. Treatment of those with addictions is continually evolving. Choice and empowerment have become accepted wisdom as keys to personal change. This discussion will take a bold look into the future of addiction recovery treatment.
Stanton Peele, Ph.D., J.D. has been a pioneer in applying addiction beyond the area of drugs and alcohol, social-environmental causes of addiction, harm reduction, and self-cure of addiction. Continue reading →
“Look beyond the walls of therapy, towards independence and empowerment.” —Stanton Peele
In Recover!, Ilse Thompson and I liken your addiction to the noise of the surf that you dive under in the ocean. You then come up fresh on the other side of the wave. That image is an example of a mindfulness exercise or meditation through which you translate your thinking into a concrete image that you can identify with your addiction and manipulate mindfully.
Mindfulness means slightly different things in psychology (à la Ellen Langer) and Buddhism (à la Tara Brach). In Langer’s formulation, mindfulness is the awareness of what impels you to behave as you do, emotionally and situationally. In Buddhism, mindfulness is the acute awareness of your presence in the world, the here-and-now. Langer’s mindfulness allows you to control your environment and yourself; Buddhism’s to experience the world directly and instantly.
The first formulation allows you to feel your agency—that you are directing your life in place of being driven habitually and emotionally. The second allows you to be at peace with yourself—the notion of radical acceptance.
And both types of mindfulness are tools with which to attack addiction. Each of them shows you Continue reading →