The Importance of Responding vs. Reacting

The Importance of Responding vs. Reacting

There are two distinct interactive systems of the mind that control human behavior and decision-making. The interaction exists between an ancient part of the mind that is pre-programmed, unconscious, and quick (reactive) and one that is rule-based, conscious and slower (responsive). We could say the interaction is between older brain structures and the more recently developed prefrontal cortex. Using this model empowers people to understand and change their behaviors rather than simply accepting themselves as lifelong “addicts”.

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What to Talk about in Therapy

What to Talk about in Therapy

One of the beauties of psychotherapy and what makes it truly unique is that you're encouraged to say whatever is on your mind. A goal is to say whatever it is that you’re thinking and feeling with as little censorship as possible. A more specific rule of thumb is to talk about whatever is most emotionally pressing. But for people new to therapy, this still feels a bit too aimless. So here are five topics that one can always talk about.

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The Concept of Self-States in Addiction Therapy

The Concept of Self-States in Addiction Therapy

Many people who struggle with addiction experience themselves as stuck in a fixed pattern of existence. The concept of self-states, however, can help people widen their experience of themselves to allow for greater self-awareness, self-acceptance and flexibility. Rather than seeing themselves as having a personality set in stone, people can see themselves as experiencing different self-states or distinct “modes of being” in response to particular situations for specific periods of time. Using the concept of fluid, temporary self-states can give you immeasurable flexibility and power to alter difficult-to-change behaviors. 

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Using Willpower to Fight Addiction

Using Willpower to Fight Addiction

Some forms of recovery regard willpower as antithetical to recovery from addiction. But the truth is that changing any entrenched pattern of behavior requires the use of willpower, especially when viewing addiction treatment from a harm reduction angle. And although willpower alone may not be sufficient to make radical changes, it’s absolutely necessary.

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