Tag Archives: REBT

Webinar: How to Overcome Addictions in One Lesson

Posted on April 8, 2014

April 12, 2014, 12:00 noon (edt)
podcast

Webinar Dr. Michael R. Edelstein, author of Three Minute Therapy will present “How to Overcome Addictions in One Lesson” on Saturday, April 12 2014 at 12:00 noon edt.

This webinar is designed to be helpful for any harmful behavior – drugs, gambling, eating disorders, smoking, self-harm — substance-related or not. Bring your questions! We think you’ll find, as one book reviewer noted, that: “Michael Edelstein cuts through the psychological jargon and makes clear how all of us can effect powerful changes in our psyches, in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones.”

Advance registration is required for this event. Please visit www.smartrecovery.org/events.

WebinarDr. Michael R. Edelstein is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 30 years experience and has a private practice in San Francisco, offering in-person as well as telephone/Skype sessions. He is famous as the author of Three Minute Therapy: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life, with David Ramsay Steele, a self-help book for overcoming common emotional and behavioral problems. Most recently, he published Stage Fright, with Mick Berry, Therapy Breakthrough: Why Some Psychotherapies Work Better Than Others, with Richard Kujoth and David Ramsay Steele, and Rational Drinking: How to Live Happily With or Without Alcohol, with Will Ross. He is a long-standing SMART Recovery Volunteer. Continue reading

Avoid the Rating Game

Posted on October 1, 2013

Self-worth Is Not a Variable
Peter Soderman, SMART Recovery® Facilitator, Mexico

Powerless No LongerEven more important to our emotional health than the language we use to describe everyday situations are the terms we use to characterize the most important person in our lives — ourselves. Every single day we use words like jerk, dope, fool, moron, and even worse to define ourselves. Sometimes we use language like this in our heads, and sometimes say it under our breath or even aloud as though we have sentenced ourselves to ongoing perpetual judgment. We create a no-win situation resulting in our going through the day with self-worth rising and falling in relation to how we think our “ideal” self should function. We rate our individual attributes and arbitrary traits, none of which could ever define our intrinsic self-worth, and yet we behave as though they do.

Do you think green is good or bad? You might say something is more or less green, or that green is bad for some purposes, or even that you don’t like green. What you cannot honestly say is that green is intrinsically good or bad. Similarly, we cannot accurately and honestly rate ourselves, our essence as good or bad. We do, though, and cause ourselves great emotional disturbance by doing it.

Do yourself a favor. Refuse to rate yourself. When you catch yourself doing it, chuckle, and correct the internal language to reflect the true situation more accurately. Instead of thinking (or saying): “What did you do that for, you dumb jerk!” Try: “Next time, try to focus more on what you’re doing.” The first remark makes a general statement about your whole persona, while the second merely acknowledges that perhaps you weren’t “there” as much as you should have been. See the difference?

This concept is part of what we call Unconditional Self-Acceptance, or USA, and you will see it referenced in the upcoming chapters. What we shoot for in USA is a complete acceptance of ourselves for no other reason than that we are alive, and we have the capacity to enjoy our existence. We have various traits, and we behave differently depending upon our experiences and how we perceive the situation.

The important thing to remember is we are not our behavior. We can assess our behavior, along with our various traits, but what we cannot honestly do is evaluate something as diverse and complex as our entire selves. We have many traits, and we cannot judge our entire selves based upon any one of them. If we do, we invariably end up causing ourselves emotional upset as a result.

No one else can give us self-acceptance — it can only come from ourselves. The best part is that we are free to choose it at any time.


Source: The forgoing is an excerpt from “Powerless No Longer,” published by Pete Soderman, and is the property of the author.

About the Author: Pete Soderman is a Smart Facilitator, author, and lecturer who co-founded the SMART meeting in Wilmington, NC with Mike Werner, and is currently facilitating a SMART meeting in Ajijic, Jalisco Mexico. He has just published a book about addiction titled: “Powerless No Longer,” which is available from Amazon.com in both printed and electronic formats, and will soon be available as an audiobook. He has been involved in the addiction and treatment field for many years, and has started several addiction recovery meetings.

Albert Ellis, 100th Birthday

Posted on September 24, 2013

A Tribute to Albert Ellis


When AA Doesn’t Work for You: Rational Steps to Quitting Alcohol
September 27, 2013 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Albert Ellis, founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. REBT is an action-oriented approach for helping people manage their emotions, cognitions, and behaviors. The techniques used in REBT have been found to be helpful for people working on addiction recovery and many have been incorporated into the SMART Recovery 4-Point Program.

Dr. Ellis is generally considered to be one of the originators of the cognitive revolutionary paradigm shift in psychotherapy and the founder of cognitive-behavioral therapies. Based on a 1982 professional survey of USA and Canadian psychologists, he was considered as the second most influential psychotherapist in history (Carl Rogers ranked first in the survey; Sigmund Freud was ranked third). Prior to his death, Psychology Today described him as the “greatest living psychologist.” During his career he authored or co-authored over seventy-five books, including “When AA Doesn’t Work for You: Rational Steps to Quitting Alcohol.”

Tom Horvath, Ph.D., President of SMART Recovery, recounts (below) highlights from the memorial that was held for Albert Ellis, Ph.D. at the 2007 annual convention of the American Psychological Association. In contrast to his public reputation as a kind of “Lenny Bruce of therapy”, Ellis was remembered by many for his kindness, courage, wisdom, wit, curiosity, learning, professional contributions, and personal generosity. Continue reading

Feel Like You’re on an Emotional Roller Coaster? Here’s Why!

Posted on April 9, 2013

~Green-In-MI, SMART Recovery Volunteer

Emotional Roller Coaster

If you are new to addiction recovery you may be surprised to notice that your emotions can be a bit of a whirlwind. You are not alone; the emotional roller coaster is a natural part of the recovery process for many people. There are a couple reasons for this experience.

First, you’ve been soaking your brain in your drug of choice, often for months or years. Depending on your personal use pattern, it’s going to take some time for your brain to adjust to not being soaked. In the meantime, you might experience your brain’s adjustment as a cascade of emotions. I like to tell a story about crying at a song from The Muppet Movie — one of the happy songs.

Second, many people use alcohol or other substances to avoid dealing with difficult or painful emotions like grief, anger, or anxiety. For example, you might be attempting to avoid mourning a lost loved one. Or you might be avoiding dealing in a more effective way with something like anxiety issues. In any of these cases, when you stop using, those painful emotions are going to be welling back up in full force, and arguably you will feel them more acutely due to the adjustments going on in your brain.

It Does Get Better

The good news is that this experience does get better. Continue reading

Who’s Making You So Mad?

Posted on March 19, 2013

Discover the “Irrational” Beliefs That Are Creating Your Anger
by Philip Tate, Ph.D.

AngerPeople often think that the actions of other people create their anger. “They make me so angry!” is a common statement. If that were the case, there would be little you could do about your anger (except to stay away from most people!) Fortunately, others don’t create your anger. In REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy) we teach that your own thinking corresponds with your anger, more than the actions of others.

To discover your thinking that is creating your anger, REBT suggests that you look for the event about which you are angry and then look for your belief about that event. Think, “What happened that I’m angry about?” E.g., someone cut you off in traffic, someone failed to follow through on an agreement, or someone treated you with disrespect. Next, ask yourself, “What am I telling myself about (name the event) that gets me to feel angry?”

When asked what they are telling themselves about the event, many people will answer, “Why’d they do that?” with an intense and frustrated tone of voice. That response, however, is a question, and questions do not create anger. You’re probably telling yourself “I don’t like their behavior. They’re mistaken for acting that way.” But, that too doesn’t get you bent out of shape with anger. That just gets you annoyed or disappointed.

So, What’s Really Getting You Upset? Continue reading

Webinar: “Embracing Reality”

Posted on March 12, 2013

March 16, 2013, 3pm ET
A discussion with Dr. Tom Horvath, President of SMART Recovery

podcast

Unconditional Acceptance with Tom HorvathWEBINAR REGISTRATION

Embracing reality broadens and enriches our perspective and thus our options in life, freeing us to see clearly and make sound choices. And yet we continue to reject reality: “This is intolerable!” “I can’t stand this!” “It’s just not fair!” “They shouldn’t do this to me!”

Unconditional Acceptance

What is “unconditional acceptance” of self, others, and life? How can I “accept” unpleasant people and situations that I strongly dislike? Why should I, and is that even possible? What is the role of “unconditional acceptance” in addiction recovery?

Unconditional Acceptance of Self (USA), others, and life, is a core principle taught by SMART Recovery and is based on Dr. Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). Continue reading