"I try to help people who are sad or scared.

There are all kinds of reasons why people are sad or scared, but I am interested in the things that have happened to people.

I try to work out how the things that have happened to people might have changed the way they think about themselves, think about other people, think about how the world works or what might happen next.

If some very bad things have happened to you, you will probably think that bad things will happen again. If people have hurt you in the past, you will probably be scared that it might happen again. Some people get so sad or scared that they need help. Some people get so sad or scared that it changes the way their brains work. When people are very sad or scared, they sometimes ask doctors to help them. But this doesn't really work very well, and can cause as many problems as it helps.

I try to help people by understanding why the bad things that happen to us can make us feel sad and scared. I then talk to people to try to help them understand that they can do lots of things to help themselves. Most people can find better ways to help themselves. Usually, that happens when they come to understand that they can think about the world in different ways, and that talking to other people is the best way to learn how to think in new and different ways.”

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Posts from category "Addiction"

What Is the 12-Step Approach to Substance Abuse?

the twelve steps

Most addiction-treatment centers use some variation of the 12-Step Approach. In fact, it’s one of the more familiar methods to clients seeking treatment for substance abuse. The 12-Step Approach doesn’t have to be religious, though many programs are. Working with clients struggling with a dependency the main problem and draw back with the 12 steps is the spiritual connection, all though it can be spiritual or conducted in a completely secular way.

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Differences between Addiction Treatment & 12 Step Recovery

circle of chairs

It is important for people that do not know about either addiction treatment or 12 Step recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous to understand the difference between the two. It is important to make the distinction between the two, because they are not the same thing.

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What is Addiction

addiction model

There is no doubt that addiction causes mental and physical harm but is it a "disease". When a person drinks alcohol or takes drugs the brain releases the chemical dopamine which stimulates the ‘reward circuits’ of the brain. Thus the brain associates drinking alcohol and taking drugs with a pleasurable reward. The brain forms lasting memories associating drugs or alcohol with their reward and so the drug taking and drinking can become compulsive.

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Motivational Interviewing

What is Motivational Interviewing?

“MI is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.”  (Miller & Rollnick, 2013, p. 29)

The most current version of MI is described in detail in Miller and Rollnick (2013) Motivational Interviewing: Helping people to change (3rd edition). Key qualities include:

  • MI is a guiding style of communication, that sits between following (good listening) and directing (giving information and advice).
  • MI is designed to empower people to change by drawing out their own meaning, importance and capacity for change.

MI is based on a respectful and curious way of being with people that facilitates the natural process of change and honors client autonomy. It is important to note that MI requires the clinician to engage with the client as an equal partner and refrain from unsolicited advice, confronting, instructing, directing, or warning. It is not a way to “get people to change” or a set of techniques to impose on the conversation. MI takes time, practice and requires self-awareness and discipline from the clinician. (Miller & Rollnick, 2009) While the principles and skills of MI are useful in a wide range of conversations, MI is particularly useful to help people examine their situation and options when any of the following are present:

  • Ambivalence is high and people are stuck in mixed feelings about change.
  • Confidence is low and people doubt their abilities to change.
  • Desire is low and people are uncertain about whether they want to make a change.

Importance is low and the benefits of change and disadvantages of the current situation are unclear.

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