Category Archives: Learned Behavior

Family Intervention: Addiction and Life Controlling Issues

intervention-1

An intervention is an orchestrated attempt by one, or often many, people (usually concerned family and friends) and an interventionists to get someone to seek professional help with an addiction or some other life controlling problem.

People sometimes engage in self-destructive behavior, rejecting any assistance others may offer. Intervention, when done correctly, is extremely effective in helping these people accept help.

Long used for substance abuse (alcohol abuse, drug abuse) and addiction (alcoholism, drug addiction), intervention is now also used for compulsive behaviors including gambling, sex addiction, computer addiction, and eating disorders.

The kindest and most loving thing family and friends can do.

Interventions have been used to address serious personal problems, including, but not limited to, alcoholism, compulsive gambling, drug abuse, compulsive eating and other eating disorders, self-mutilation,  "workaholics", and various types of poor personal health care.

Interventions

Interventions are either direct, typically involving a  face-to-face meeting that has challenge to the alcohol, drug dependent person (the most typical type of intervention), or other self-destructive behaviors.

In the same sense, direct interventions tend to be a form of short-term coaching aimed at getting the addicted person into inpatient rehabilitation.

Plans for direct intervention

Plans for a direct intervention are typically made by a concerned group of family and friends,  rather than by the addict. Often the addict will not agree that they need the type of help that is proposed during the intervention, usually thought by those performing the intervention to be a result of denial.  Typically, the addict is surprised by the intervention by friends and family members.

Prior preparation

Prior to the intervention itself, the family meets with a  interventionist. Families prepare speeches in which they share their negative experiences associated with the target’s particular addiction-based lifestyle, to convey to the target the amount of pain his or her addiction has caused others. Also during the intervention rehearsal meeting, each group member is strongly urged to create a list of activities (by the addict or individual with life controlling problems) that they will no longer tolerate, finance, or participate in if the individual doesn’t agree to check into a rehabilitation center for treatment or get intensified counseling for their specific life controlling problem. These usually involve very serious losses to the individual if s/he refuses.

What the person may lose

These items may be as simple as no longer loaning money to the addict, but can be far more alarming. It is common for groups to threaten the individual with permanent rejection (banishment) from the family until treatment is sought. Wives often threaten to leave their husbands during this phase of the intervention, and vice versa. If the individual happens to have any outstanding arrest warrants or other unresolved criminal issues, the threat is usually made that he or she will be turned in to the authorities.

Family and friends present every possible loss that the family can think of to the individual, who then must decide whether to check into the prescribed rehabilitation center and get the prescribed intensified counseling if this an alternative, or deal with the promised losses.

The process of the intervention will have various stages and these are some that I have noted below. I have also noted my personal experience with interventions as a Christian coach and pastor. The experience is extensive and has an extremely high success record. Therefore, I would like to share with you the process and my personal thoughts  behind the process for intervention. This is not a guide written in stone and is flexible because every person is an individual. My interventions are conducted locally and are usually at no cost for my complete participation.  Usually my travel expense, and other expenses are reimbursed if they are needed to travel more than 50 miles. Donations are usually given to our foundation the Young Adult Crisis Hotline for my time, however this is no a condition and not mandatory.

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Critical Crises often offer particularly good windows of opportunity for motivation and intervention. These usually occur in these stages:

  • Pre-contemplation, in which the individual is not considering change.
  • Contemplation, in which the individual is undecided, weighing the pros and cons of change.
  • Determination or preparation, where the balance tips in favor of change and the individual begins considering options.
  • Action, which involves the individual taking specific steps to accomplish change.

During an successfully conducted intervention, with me as  a Christian Counseling and coach the addict or the  individual with life controlling problems does not feel manipulated, forced, directed, coerced, or advised. Direction is typically accomplished through open-ended questions and selective reflection of past and current behavior rather than through more overtly confrontational strategies and advice giving. This is not like other direct confrontational styles that secular interventionists would rather use in an intervention. I like to personally walk, individuals and their families through a series of what are their future goals and how their current behavior hurts the chances of them attaining their future goals. This is where we weigh out the current state and the future. In interventions that I  participate and conduct, I prefer using encouragement and reinforcement to use the individuals own words, desires, plans, and goals to make a sincere commitment to treatment or long-term intensified counseling. 

The interventions are like this  metaphor, the client and counselor are working a jigsaw puzzle together.

Rather than putting the pieces in place while the client watches like most secular interventionists, the counselor helps to construct the frame, then puts pieces on the table for the client to place. The basic conditions of client-centered pastoral counseling and  coaching  provide a strong foundation, with particular emphasis on the strategies of open-ended questions and reflective listening. Such supportive and motivation-building strategies are employed until resistance abates and the client shows indication of being ready to discuss change.

During interventions I might also show agreement with the client’s points of view which shows empathy and personal care. Then I like to re-frame the initial agreement with the goal of motivating the client to a place of reality and rational thought . The goal is still remains encouragement and reinforcement  instead of  confrontation. This encounter, will slowly  challenge the client  in the sense of bringing the client face to face with a difficult reality and thereby initiating change in their mind about their particular life controlling issues. This encourages a client to have personal responsibility and ownership of their own unwelcome behavior. This therefore with out using a threatening confrontational  approach encourages discussion rather that conflict. We have turned the intense conflict to a place of opportunity which produces unity.   

This final action stage of an intervention begins  of confession/admission of their hopelessness and need for help.  This reveals the individuals sincerity and  begins to remove layers of denial.

The client is in the process to “change their mind” about their behavior, which increases the chances if long-term recovery because repentance was initially involved which produces personal responsibility. This leads to Counseling with Rational expression of God which decreases resistance behaviors and has reframed new meanings of Grace to the individual. Many of these times of God’s Grace takes the form of the counselor giving voice to the client’s behavior to instruct and teach verbalizations of the need for change.

If denial which is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that  are too painful to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite overwhelming evidence. The subject may deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether (simple denial), admit the fact but deny its seriousness (minimization) or admit both the fact and seriousness but deny personal responsibility (Which is transference: characterized by unconscious redirection of feelings from one person to another). I employ another reoriented approach and have increased family involvement in the intervention.

I essentially have carefully taken notes on the individual’s goals and the puzzle the client has constructed  for us and begin the intervention from the initial stage. The family at this point know that we will enter into weighing consequences for lack of personal responsibility. The family will at this point be the reinforcement mechanism keeping the client as the  central focus of the intervention.

I will begin by explaining essential the part of personal responsibility and action to the client. Then I will encourage the concerned group of family and friends  to begin with their prepared speeches to share their negative experiences associated with the target’s particular addiction-based lifestyle, to convey to the client the amount of pain his or her addiction has caused others. Then I will discuss what promised loss. At this point I will ask for the  prepared lists of promised loss that the concerned group of family and friends  are willing to stand by if the target doesn’t agree to check into a rehabilitation center for treatment or agree to mandatory long-term intensified counseling. These usually involve very serious losses to the addict if s/he refuses.

I re-evaluate the individual and the atmosphere to see which direction the intervention  will proceed toward and ask for feed back from the individual how they will feel when these lists of promised loss are enacted. I again will use motivational methods to show the target how much more they gain instead of lose if the choose personal responsibility and ownership. I will re offer the non-negotiable option to seek inpatient treatment or mandatory long-term intensified counseling.

At this point, have evaluated the target extensively and  learned a lot about the target and have more information to  discern the individual’s the denial factors, their responses or reactions and the authenticity for genuine desire for change.  

discern : rationally recognize mentally and see if can understand the difference responses : usually objective well thought out)

reactions : usually subjective and emotionally driven

This is a vital part of the intervention if we have come to this point because we never want manipulated desire which will never  develop a sincere commitment and genuine repentance.  Without a sincere commitment from the individual real change rarely occurs because they feel  forced to get help and usually never complete the treatment. This is because they have the wrong motivation for going to treatment to begin with.

If the individual remains in denial or refuses to get help at this point I encourage the concerned family and friends to keep their promise of loss and to follow through with them immediately. I then address the individual and encourage them to contact me when they are ready and want to make a sincere decision for treatment.

If the opposite takes place and genuine desire is evident for treatment and the individual is ready after weighing the losses. I encourage action and immediate placement into a program that we have already retained in the preliminary meetings. 

The process of motivational reversal usually does not take place and the loss becomes the eventual encouragement for change of the desire of the individual.  This is because the denial of their self-destructive behaviors runs deep in their sub conscious mind. This is usually is the case in long-term addicted individuals with co-dependent  family members, who  the addict knows lack the backbone for action to fulfill the promised loss. The family members of close friends who will not follow through with their promised losses are only extending their own personal agony and the suffering of their loved who is the target. They have also wasted a lot of vital time that could have been spent with others who need the help that was freely given.

During the next several weeks, I personally will follow through with each individual when ever possible who was at the intervention. I will encourage that the promised losses are followed through and am constantly evaluating  to see when the losses will create the proper sincere motivation for change.

If the intervention was initially successful but the individual however did not follow through with the required treatment options in the time prescribed we will follow through until they do or we enter into another intervention where the promised losses ar

e laid out to the individual. This sometimes occurs because of poor time-management skills and lack of follow through on the part of the client which is a common behavior with the addicted and those with life controlling problems.

Summary of

Intervention Goals:

In an intervention, the goal is for the addict or target to take personal responsibility and make a sincere commitment for action and treatment for their self-destructive habits and behaviors.

An addict or individual with life controlling problems often compares himself to peers and reaches in the conclusion that he is normal. As a result he never realizes that he has lost control. What they need in this condition is honest rational objective feedback that their self-destructive habits and behaviors are dangerous and deadly. A skilled interventionist, with the support of family and friends of the addict or target, can help them to realize the situation through the process of an intervention. The interventionist, who gets an idea of the nature and degree of the addiction through meetings with the addict and family, can make constructive opinions on the addict’s behavior.

Through intervention the addict will understand the limits his concerned friend and family have set and realize the fact that they have a problem. They also will know that because of love they were address by their concerned friends and family. More significantly; they will understand that their concerned friend and family will not continue putting up with their self-destructive habits and behaviors. The beginning of liberation of suffering, for both the addict and the family, is the primary agenda of any Intervention. Changing the self-destructive behavior at the source of suffering is always the focus of an intervention.

The sought after result of the intervention, obviously, is getting the individual with life controlling issues to agree that a problem exists and ask for help. The interventionists, at this time, are required to possess enough knowledge to help with referrals of treatment that would be suitable to that particular person as an individual. No one is the same, everyone does not  fit into a mold and each plan must be specifically tailored to each individual. This is not a “one size fits all” strategy.

Then it is vital to comprehend the variety and efficiency of different treatments so that the recommendation can be individualized.

Advanced and highly effective treatment methods for drug and alcohol addiction are available in a wide range of methods. A number of treatment and recovery program options can be considered for every patient. With a lot of choices, it would be advisable if those intervening on behalf of the abuser agree on the program or method most suited for the addict a preliminary meeting prior to the intervention. The availability of these various treatment centers are always a concern, therefore the selection and eventual placement of an appropriate treatment program a difficult task.

Also, in the preliminarily meeting, after deciding on the treatment intended to be proposed for the addict, is required to contact the chosen facility to see if their is availability. The admittance procedure, financial obligation and mode of treatment must be thoroughly discussed with the family.

This is to determine if there is insurance involved and if cost restraints will also be a consideration of treatment. The cost for inpatient treatment varies considerably for 30 day programs with ranges between $4900 and $13,500. The average cost for a licensed 30 day treatment facility is usually $7,500 to $8,900.

If cost restraints, lack of insurance or no funding is available for treatment from the friends, family members, or their employer it will make it extremely difficult for placement into treatment. It is rare that public beds are available and are usually reserved for those in the various entitlement programs.

Free treatment is rare, however available at several homeless shelters, Christian missions with recovery components, foundation’s adult based recovery programs like the Salvation Army and teen challenge. Remember, the individual usually must be detoxified before admittance is even discussed. Please take this into consideration also in the degree of cost and planning.

Addicts live and die on their chance to recover so this is not a decision to be made on the spur of the moment. Convincing the addict of the effect of the treatment is as important as making him recognize his addiction. Moreover, he can be give valuable opinions while selecting an appropriate treatment program.

Everyone is biologically different and responds to Treatment can be different for each. So, the methods and time of treatment vary from patient to patient as the reaction varies according to the individual stage of addiction. In fact, the roadmap for the treatment program takes shape here.


To get the maximum out of it, intervention needs to be conducted on a sober person that is not intoxicated. More importantly, the one who undergo intervention needs to remain sober throughout the entire process of intervention. In any case, attempting an intervention while a person is on a high or intoxicated will usually not be productive because the addict cannot see many of their problems when in a fog of intoxication.

The broken lives and countless numbers of  young adults are being healed and reconstructed daily by our interventions. We have numerous success stories of Young Adults that have come through the valley and in the end have thanked God for the valley. Today they are helping others and serving God all around the world as missionaries, pastors, youth leaders, and Sunday school teachers

In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center

Call Toll Free: 1-877-702-2GOD

                                                     (2463)

theodoreawadjr@comcast.net
http://yacrisishotline.tripod.com/
http://youngadultcrisishotline.blogspot.com/
youngadultcrisishotline@comcast.net

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Addiction a Learned Behavior?

Addiction a Learned Behavior?

Behaviorism originated in the field of psychology, but it has had a much

wider influence. Its concepts and methods are used in education, and many

education courses at college are based on the same assumptions about

man as behaviorism. Behaviorism has infiltrated sociology, in the form of

sociobiology, the belief that moral values are rooted in biology. What are the

presuppositions of behaviorism?

1. Behaviorism is naturalistic. This means that the material world is the ultimate reality, and everything can be explained in terms of natural laws. Man has no soul and no mind, only a brain that responds to external stimuli.

2. Behaviorism teaches that man is nothing more than a machine that responds to conditioning. One writer has summarized behaviorism in this way: “The central tenet of behaviorism is that thoughts, feelings, and intentions, mental processes all, do not determine what we do. Our behavior is the product of our conditioning. We are biological machines and do not consciously act; rather we react to stimuli.”

The idea that men are “biological machines” whose minds do not have any influence on their actions is contrary to the biblical view that man is the very image of God – the image of a creative, planning, thinking God. In fact, Skinner goes so far as to say that the mind and mental processes are “metaphors and fictions” and that “behavior is simply part of the biology of the organism.” Skinner also recognizes that his view strips man of his “freedom and dignity,” but insists that man as a spiritual being does not exist.

3. Consistently, behaviorism teaches that we are not responsible for our actions. If we are mere machines, without minds or souls, reacting to stimuli and operating on our environment to attain certain ends, then anything we do is inevitable. Sociobiology, a type of behaviorism, compares man to a computer: Garbage in, garbage out.

This also conflicts with a Christian worldview. Our past experiences and our environment do affect the way we act, of course, but these factors cannot account for everything we do. The Bible teaches that we are basically covenant creatures, not biological creatures. Our nearest environment is God Himself, and we respond most fundamentally to Him. We respond either in obedience to or rebellion against His Word.

4. Behaviorism is manipulative. It seeks not merely to understand human behavior, but to predict and control it. From his theories, Skinner developed the idea of “shaping.” By controlling rewards and punishments, you can shape the behavior of another person.

As a psychiatrist, one of Skinner’s goals is to shape his patients’ behavior so that he or she will react in more socially acceptable ways. Skinner is quite clear that his theories should be used to guide behavior: “The experimental analysis of behavior has led to an effective technology, applicable to education, psychotherapy, and the design of cultural practices in general, which will be more effective when it is not competing with practices that have had the unwarranted support of these theories.”

In other words, Skinner wants behaviorism to be the basis for manipulating patients, students, and whole societies.

The obvious questions, of course, are: Who will use the tools? Who will pull the strings? Who will manipulate the technology? No doubt, Skinner would say that only someone trained in behavioral theory and practice would be qualified to “shape” the behavior of other persons. But this is contrary to the biblical view, which commands us to love our neighbor, not to manipulate him.

In summary, the ethical consequences of behaviorism are great. Man is stripped of his responsibility, freedom, and dignity, and is reduced to a purely biological being, to be “shaped” by those who are able to use the tools of behaviorism effectively.

Learning new skills and effective skill building requires time and repetition. By the time they seek treatment, users habits related to their drug abuse tend to be deeply ingrained. Any given routine around acquiring, using, and recovering from use is well established and tends to feel comfortable to the addict, despite the negative consequences of the abuse. It is important that counselors recognize how difficult, uncomfortable, and even threatening it is to change these established habi

ts and try new behaviors.

Our lives are a series of habits, held together in perfect sequence by our subconscious mind. Whether it is over indulgence or the task of typing on my computer keyboard, the subconscious takes me through the paces without having to think about results – or consequences. Over 90% of our daily living is an action of habit, systematically driven by our subconscious mind. Healthy habits like washing our bodies, brushing our teeth, driving a car or looking both ways before crossing the street are behaviors learned by the Subconscious mind and fed back to us without a conscious thought.

  • All habits are learned behavior. The subconscious mind receives the impress of our repetitive thoughts in order to set habit patterns. Begin to take stock of your habits.

  • Be aware of your thinking patterns. Each thought and word is an affirmation. See if you are thinking negatively. Do not judge yourself. Merely observe your thoughts. Trust in your words and thoughts to create a healthy belief system. This happens by consistently receiving categories of doctrine and internalizing the word of God to develop new thoughts and spiritual habits.

  • Consciously set in motion healthy thoughts and the Word of God. Affirm positive thoughts with Words of Grace and Self-edification.

  • Do not allow the turbulence of change to cause you to falter from your healthy intent. While your subconscious is learning the new patterns, you are going to create a break in long established patterns.

Only a small percentage of the brain is under conscious control. We are responsible for this part of our thought processes. The vast majority of brain function is Subconscious.” Moreover, they point out, only “twenty percent of our decisions come from the conscious, reasoning mind. The rest come from

deep within.”

What is Learned Helplessness?

Some Depressed people became that way because they learned to be helpless. Depressed people learned that whatever they did is fruitless. During the course of their lives, depressed people apparently learned that they have no control.

The marketing experts at Hallmark say that 15 million Americans now attend weekly support groups for chemical addictions and other problems. (Some “experts,” as we shall see, place the figure much, much higher.) Another 100 million relatives are cheering on their addicted loved ones. This means that half of all Americans are either “in recovery” or helping someone who is.

In a clear voice, we must deal with what we have done and why it was wrong. And we must use the word ‘I’ not ‘it’ or ‘illness.’ I did it. I. I.” Self-Esteem Is the reestablishing of self-esteem with. Is this a key to “recovery”? While I believe there is a biblical basis for the Christian’s sense of worth that is based on being created in the image of God and being the object of God’s love (as evidenced by Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross), I believe the answer to this question must be no. First, scientific studies have shown no cause-and-effect link between self-esteem and behavioral problems. Moreover, when self-esteem is given priority it can easily conflict with the development of traits which the Bible accords much greater priority: self-denial and genuine humility (Mark 8:34-35; Rom. 12:3; Eph. 3:8; Phil. 2:3; 1 Tim. 1:15; 2 Tim. 3:1-5).

Related to this, based on reading a representative sampling of Christian recovery books, I don’t think the doctrine of total depravity has received sufficient recognition in the recovery movement. Yes, Christian recovery leaders clearly acknowledge that people are infected by sin. However, more often than not the bad in our lives is presented as being more the result of unjust social conditions or growing up in a bad environment. As one critic put it, “in place of the idea of original sin, recovery experts put forward their own first cause of all our ills—the American [dysfunctional] family.”

We must emphasize that regardless of the attainment of self-esteem, people will continue to behave badly and suffer the consequences for their actions because they have a nature that is bent on evil. Feeling good about ourselves will not remove or alter this depravity. Hence, seeking self-esteem as a solution to inappropriate behavior seems misguided.

A past-present connection cannot be denied regarding how people behave. But I do question whether such an in-depth examination of one’s past history and “resolving” childhood conflicts is a precondition to correct or appropriate behavior. I cannot agree with the idea that “we are bound (or condemned, some would say) to repeat the family experience we remember” (emphasis in original), and that “unresolved issues in childhood doom the emerging adult to recreate, to repeat, the past.” Besides, experts tell us that person’ memories can and often do distort the facts to one degree or another. Hence, a detailed investigation into the events of one’s past may not yield an accurate picture of what actually happened in that distant time anyway.

“It’s a bit like trying to drive a car while looking only in the rear view mirror. You don’t get very far that way, and you run the risk of a crack-up. I prefer to check the rear view from time to time, making sure that the reflection is accurate, but concentrate most of my attention on the road ahead. Only if I see something gaining on me from behind do I stop to deal with it.”

The apostle Paul had a legalistic upbringing, and was guilty of severely persecuting the church prior to his conversion. But instead of focusing on the past, he declared, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).

Man’s way is always self-oriented or occupied with himself, he thinks he is his own god and worships himself and his own ideas when operating in rebellion by His idolatry of himself. These are his results of some one caught in idolatry of Self:

No biblical confrontation,
No conversion experience expected or even considered
No repentance
No work of the Holy Spirit

No sanctification process in bearing the image of God.

Like the farmer, you must disturb the soil to create the means to plant new seed, the kingdom of God is there within you, ready and supportive of your intentions. Habits are a healthy thing and your subconscious is your greatest ally if you will receive God’s thinking about every situation and let God love you right where you are in life. Only then can the process begin with the Grace of God teaching us to deny ungodliness and our own habits. To put on God’s thinking and mind instead of reliance upon ourselves in idolatry and rebellion.

In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center
410-808-6483
theodoreawadjr@comcast.net
http://yacrisishotline.tripod.com/
http://youngadultcrisishotline.blogspot.com/
youngadultcrisishotline@comcast.net

Characteristics of the Addictive Process

Initial use of these substances or behavior is usually accompanied by mood elevation and other affective changes that lead to their recreational use. Some drugs have actions that produce other desirable psychological effects, such as relaxation. Addictive drugs activate brain reward systems. However, the activation is much more intense causing the individual to crave the drug and to focus their activities around taking the drug. The ability of addictive drugs to strongly activate brain reward mechanisms and their ability to chemically alter the normal functioning of these systems can produce an addiction.

Characteristics of the addictive process are:

! Obsession and abnormal importance of the substance or behavior

! Persistence, inflexibility and repetition of the particular addictive behavior

! Relative immunity to adverse consequences and resistance to learned modification of behavior

! The charm of an interrelated system of which, Psychological defenses (mental defense mechanisms), function in concert to protect the individual from the full realization and acknowledgement of his addiction and hence provide cover and concealment for the continued expression of the addictive process. Psychological defenses (mental defense mechanisms) are normal and universal features of the human mind that operate consciously, half-consciously and unconsciously to protect the ego from awareness of difficult or painful feelings, facts and ideas. Normal defense mechanisms of particular importance in the maintenance of addictive disease include denial, paranoid projection, and avoidance, isolation of affect, rationalization and intellectualization. Harmful and ultimately painful addictive behaviors require a bodyguard of lies, distortions, and psychotic denial to fend off the natural corrective consequences of cognitive and behavioral dissonance resulting from addiction. In a sense, however, they are merely superficial and secondary aids to the addictive process, which originates and operates at a still deeper level of the mind. The addictive process eventually transforms the worldview of the addicted individual and even realigns his sense of himself and his identity, so that they facilitate and do not obstruct the continued expression of the addiction.

Just as a powerful river finds or creates channels around anything obstructing its flow, so does the addictive process defeat the rational and ethical resistances of the person within which it is active. In addition, in the process of constructing such alternative paths for its discharge, the addiction shapes the reality of the addict’s world and his very notion of himself. The worldview that is created by the addictive process is one that is compatible with and friendly to the interests of the addiction. Worldviews that are inconsistent with the continuation of the addiction are suppressed or eliminated.

Addictive interest has been justly compared to the more commonly known stage of romantic love in which the lover thinks constantly of the beloved. An individual in such a state of mind is said to be obsessed with their love object and to subordinate every other aspect of their existence, including at times their health, work, and other relationships to the fulfillment of the almost unbearable need and longing to be united with their beloved. There are many paths and ways to recover from addiction but all require the capacity for honesty with oneself and the willingness and ability to bear the temporary but often intense discomforts associated with the loss of a love. In almost all cases, the addict must find ways to replace what he has lost with new and healthier ways of relating and dealing with life.

The painful feelings of guilt, shame and fear resulting from the conflict of addictive behavior with the individual’s own values often create states of unbearable inner stress that make it harder for the addict to refrain from resorting for relief to the very addiction that is causing the negative feelings. Abstinence requires a decision; recovery requires time and effort.

Physical recovery is the least complex of the four, even though it is often the most immediate. Physical recovery happens primarily as the result of abstinence alone. The body has an amazing ability to repair itself, especially when combined with medical attention.

Mental recovery is more complex because it includes not only issues associated with brain function and brain chemistry but with issues of attitudes, belief systems, and rational, abstract thought.

Emotional recovery is
more complex yet. It involves not only attitudes, belief systems, and rational thought, but thought’s first cousin—feelings. Emotional recovery involves learning to deal with feelings openly, honestly, and responsibly. It includes learning to express and resolve feelings in appropriate and effective ways. For most people in recovery, emotional recovery takes years.

We are all pleasure seekers. There are pleasure centers located within the human brain, which, when activated, are associated with feelings of euphoria. This is part of the daily cycle we all experience. During the day we go through naturally occurring periods when we feel comfortable, secure, happy, and fulfilled – and this is followed by periods when more negative feelings are aroused (anxiety, insecurity, discomfort). We humans are highly reinforced by positive feelings of pleasure. We want to experience euphoria again and again. Fortunately, that’s not all there is to life.

Addictive behavior can be seen as an attempt to control our daily cycles by maximizing pleasurable feelings and decreasing the frequency of negative feelings. At first we may even succeed for a while in doing this, but our basic natures have a way of catching up with us. We probably need our down phases of the daily cycle as much as we need the more positive ones – if for no other reason than that the negative parts of the cycle help us appreciate the positive ones even more. Our negative experiences strengthen us and help us to become survivors. They assist us in learning wisdom and integrity. There are few things in nature which are not cyclical. Attempts to find constant pleasure through addictive behavior are always futile. The negative phase always revisits us and brings balance back into our lives. There is no escaping our basic nature. And there is no escaping the escalating and debilitating results of the addictive process.

Addiction is an uncontrolled search for gratification through a relationship with a substance or activity to the exclusion of other more diverse life experiences. The substance or activity with which the addict forms a relationship varies with each person.

  • Many addictions aim to increase arousal. This is the all-powerful feeling that might come from cocaine, amphetamines, the first few drinks of alcohol, shoplifting, sexual acting out or gambling. This omnipotent feeling, however, is eventually undermined when the addict realizes that a dependency has been formed. A feeling of fear replaces the feeling of being all powerful – fear of losing the source of addiction and fear that others will find out how powerless the person actually is. Negative experiences always accompany the positive feelings the addict is seeking.

  • Other addictions aim to increase satiation. This is the feeling of happiness and fulfillment that might be achieved through the use of heroin, marijuana, tranquilizers, pain medication, watching TV or overeating. The feeling of satiation serves to camouflage a person’s underlying pain. Again, however, negative feelings always show themselves. The person who strives for satiation not only re-experiences the underlying pain when the feeling of satiation wears off, but also experiences the grief accompanied by the loss of the satiation high. Satiation addicts must increase the dosage of the drug or the frequency of the addictive acting out behavior to cover up their original pain. The quest for a satiation high takes over the person’s life until, ultimately, the pain returns in the form of despair.

Note that satiation reflects our quest for pleasure while arousal exemplifies our quest for power. Pleasure ( The state or feeling of being pleased or gratified.) and Power (The ability or capacity to perform or act effectively) are two of our most primitive behaviors and are experienced by children in the earliest years of life when the range of experiences is focused largely on forming one’s sense of self. Adulthood brings us beyond these simple levels of experience into a more complex, diverse and meaningful way of relating to the world. When we move past pleasure and power, we are able to form intimate relationships with other adults, to contribute to society, to understand our responsibilities to others, and to incorporate moral convictions into our actions. Addictive behavior prevents us from achieving these more complex levels of behavior found in adulthood.

Addictive behavior usually contains the following components:

Þ Acting out Behavior: Addicts create a mood through a change in their behavior that sets the stage to go into the addictive high. These “acting out” behaviors are a preliminary part of the addictive process and serve to shift the addict’s mood. During the acting out stage, the addict feels the illusion of being powerful and in control.

Þ The Illusion of the providing of loving care and attention: Most of us seek ways to achieve the providing of loving care and attention. In times of stress, but for the addict, this is tem
porary and does not allow the person to find ways to solve problems in a realistic way. Addiction is a lifestyle in which life’s problems are avoided in favor of the search for the next high. Although the addict may understand rationally that addictive behavior will not solve the problem, they develop their own logic which rationalizes the continuation of the addiction.

Þ The Addictive Object Becomes the Person’s Primary Relationship! Addicts seek to meet their emotional and intimacy needs through achieving a high until, eventually; this becomes their most important relationship. They experience a mood change and come to believe that their emotional needs have been met. This is the tragedy of addiction because the addict shuts out other people, the community and the search for spiritual answers – the real way to deal with life’s issues in a healthy manner. Other people are used, not for true relationship, but merely as props in pursuit of the addiction.

Þ The Addict Withdraws from the World. The normal way to achieve intimacy is to reach out to other people. For the addict, where the primary relationship is with the addictive substance, the illusion of intimacy means pursuing the addictive high and excluding other people. The high gives the feeling of warmth, control, and well-being – and the feeling that the need for intimacy has been met. Unfortunately, the longer the addict engages in this process, the more lonely and isolated he or she becomes. When the pain of isolation becomes intense, the stage is set for the addict to engage in more acting out behavior. The pattern becomes entrenched, and escaping it is difficult.

Þ Addicts Trust the High More than Other People Addicts begin to trust the mood change that comes from engaging in addictive behavior. They feel isolated from other people and find that others might not always come through for them. The high, on the other hand, is consistent and always available. They trust the high more than they trust others. Unfortunately, because addicts have not engaged in the normal interactions that occur between people, they lack the experience of working through the providing of loving care and attention of relationships in order to find ways of getting their needs met through others. This entrenches them in the belief that their addiction is their only friend. It works every time, while friends are not always there.




In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center
410-808-6483
theodoreawadjr@comcast.net
http://yacrisishotline.tripod.com/
http://youngadultcrisishotline.blogspot.com/
youngadultcrisishotline@comcast.net

Young Adult Crisis Counseling Hotline

“Crisis Coaching that can help you again to begin to think Rationally with Reality about the Crisis that you are personally facing!” __________________________________________________________

Call Toll Free:

1-877-702-2GOD(2463)

ALL CALLS FREE, CONFIDENTIAL AND ANONYMOUS! ________________________________________________________________

The Young Adult Crisis Hotline provides an accepting non-judgmental place to call in the midst of crisis when dealing with life controlling issues. We also offer practical advice for family members who are in desperate need of guidance. We offer no cost rational and objective advice from a variety of life issues such as anxiety, depression, abuse, addiction, relational issues, family intervention needs, and eating disorders from a Biblical Viewpoint. If you are at a point of crisis and are looking for objective rational no cost advice from a Biblical Viewpoint please give us a call.

“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
__________________________________________________________________

“The Young Adult Crisis Hotline offers immediate emotional support by telephone volunteers trained to help young adults and their family members in crisis who may be having relational problems, addictions, eating disorders, are suicidal, in emotional distress, or in need of reassurance in the midst of crisis because of life controlling issues or life’s transitions. Services are at no cost, confidential, and anonymous.”

We provide an accepting environment that allows for God’s grace and healing for those seeking with life controlling issues. We offer rational and objective advice from a variety of life issues such as anxiety, depression, abuse, addiction, relational issues, family intervention, eating disorders. If you are at a point of crisis and are looking for objective rational no cost advice please give us a call.

WE ARE

  • A NUMBER TO CALL THAT WILL BE CONFIDENTIAL, TO RECEIVE HOPE FOR OUR HOPELESSNESS, TO FIND RATIONAL SOLUTIONS FOR OUR IRRATIONAL THOUGHTS, AND TO FACE OUR TOXIC SHAME WITH THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
  • WE ARE A PLACE TO CALL TO FIGURE OUR LIFE’S PUZZLE WITH ENCOURAGEMENT AND GODLY COACHING.
  • WE ARE A SAFE PLACE TO JUST NOT TALK ABOUT OUR SURFACE PROBLEMS AND RECEIVE A EMOTIONAL BAND AIDS! WE WILL TOGETHER UNCOVER THE DEEP SEATED ISSUES THAT PLAGUE OUR MINDS.
  • WE ACKNOWLEDGE EVERYONE DESERVES PERSONAL SENSE OF BELONGING AND ACCEPTANCE THAT WILL GIVE YOU INDIVIDUAL DIGNITY THROUGH THE INDIVIDUAL CRISIS.
  • THIS THEREFORE PROVIDES A SELF-RESPECT AND CARE THAT EVERYONE HAS A NEED FOR IN LIFE.
  • THIS OPENS THE DOORS OF LEARNING AND GROWTH THAT WILL PAVE AN AVENUE TOWARD INNER-STRENGTH THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.

The Young Adult Crisis Hotline provides an accepting non-judgmental place to call in the midst of crisis when dealing with life controlling issues. We also offer practical advice for family members who are in desperate need of guidance. We offer no cost rational and objective advice from a variety of life issues such as anxiety, depression, abuse, addiction, relational issues, family intervention needs, and eating disorders from a Biblical Viewpoint. If you are at a point of crisis and are looking for objective rational no cost advice from a Biblical Viewpoint please give us a call.

If you are a young adult or a family member of a young adult who is in crisis this hotline number is for you! Transitions in life can cause the feeling of Crisis and loss of control. If you need non-judgmental advice and clarity in the midst of confusion please call us day or night. If you have lost control and realize that you need help with your life controlling problems call us. Also if your family member is going through a crisis and are in need of Support please call us we participate in family Interventions for life controlling problems with families that are at no cost locally.

If you are a young adult or a family member of a young adult who is in crisis this hotline number is for you. I have below defined what I believe a Critical Crisis can be in a young adults life and hopefully you can reach out for encouragement during these times in you life.

Critical Crisis Definition: A crisis is a turning point or decisive moment in events where you as a young adult or as a family member have met a crossroad. Typically, it is the moment from which an imminent critical trauma may go on to death or recovery. More loosely, it is a term meaning ‘a testing time’ or ’emergency event’. This crossroad is a crucial, decisive point or situation where a turning point, or an emotionally stressful event or traumatic change in a person’s life will be taking place.

A Critical situation you or a loved one is either in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency. The Young Adult Crisis Hotline offers immediate emotional support by telephone volunteers trained to help young adults who may be having relational problems, addictions, have an eating disorder, are suicidal, in emotional distress, or in need of reassurance.

Services are free, confidential, and anonymous. Professionally trained volunteers handle incoming calls using active, caring, and nonjudgmental listening and problem-solving skills.

All calls are free, confidential and anonymous. Young Adults in crisis… they’re everywhere. Faced with physical and emotional abuse, drugs, peer pressure and the like, many today just don’t have the resources or support to handle the pressure. The marketing experts at Hallmark say that “15 million Americans now attend weekly support groups for chemical addictions and other problems. Another 100 million relatives are cheering on their addicted loved ones. This means that half of all Americans are either in recovery or helping someone who is.”

We personally want to be able to reach out and help those who are in critical crisis with personal encouragement and care through the storm that faces your life personally. Please call us and let me try to help you right where you are at in your life. No matter how far, or how low you think you are it is not too late for help!

Most of the time, we are just facing what we have personally chosen previously over and over again as a choice. Now we are facing a mountain and need help or a guide to help us through the dangerous path around the mountain passes. We just want to be that guide and be there for you if you want that guide, to survive the mountain passes. Please call, anytime day or night!

Young Adults in crisis… they’re everywhere. Faced with physical and emotional abuse, drugs, peer pressure and the like, many today just don’t have the resources or support to handle the pressure. We personally want to be able to be an outpost of hope for you. Please reach out and get help in the midst of your crisis. We will offer personal encouragement and non-judgmental care through the storm that faces your life personally. Please call us and let us try to help you right where you are at in your life. No matter how far, or how low you think you are it is not too late for help!

Please Call toll Free 1-877-702-2GOD

(2463)

In His Grace Forever,

Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP

Please Call toll Free 1-877-702-2GOD (2463)

theodoreawadjr@comcast.net

http://yacrisishotline.tripod.com/

http://youngadultcrisishotline.blogspot.com/

youngadultcrisishotline@comcast.net

Young Adult Crisis Hotline

and Biblical Counseling Center