Insight for the Journey: Regaining Relational Balance

As you move through your addiction and maintain sobriety, you have likely noticed the complicated and multifaceted nature of your recovery. Your addiction likely…

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Insight for the Journey: Stick to the Plan

"Never, never, never give up!" – Winston Churchill  Plan your course of action and stick with it. My talk today is not about taking…

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Insight for the Journey: More Than a Drug Problem

“Burdens shared are easier to bear.” Jesse Jackson  A Troubled Beginning  Because co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders are complex, treatment must be…

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Insight for the Journey: Half-Time Strategies

“Don't give up at half time. Concentrate on winning the second half.” Paul Bryant  In the sport of football, each game has four quarters…

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Insight for the Journey: Rebuilding Trust

When you lie, cheat, or deceive someone, trust is broken. The quality of the relationship is damaged and the way they see you going…

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Insight for the Journey: The Repurposed Life

Compromised Integrity Living with an addiction in an addicted lifestyle compromises integrity and changes your direction in life. What had been important to you…

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Insight for the Journey: A Few Simple Things

Making progress in recovery is important. Over the years, I developed a saying that sets forth reasonable expectations. “I am doing a few simple…

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Insight for the Journey: Regaining Normal

Out of Control  Addiction is often out of control when the decision is made to enter recovery. Life has become unmanageable, affecting numerous areas.…

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Insight for the Journey: Reallocating Time

Someone recently told me to take some time off. For me, the daily grind has a way of piling up unimportant pieces and polluting…

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Insight for the Journey: Entertaining Negative Thoughts

Many who struggle with co-occurring depression and substance use disorders carry a mindset of negativity, pessimism, and hopelessness. This becomes one of the primary…

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Insight for the Journey: Festering Wounds

Years ago, I had a finger that began to throb. It turned pink and ugly and was highly sensitive to even the slightest bump.…

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Insight for the Journey: Engaging Your Active Mind

Many clients describe a constant avalanche of thoughts that rush into their minds. For those with substance use and mental health disorders there is…

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Insight for the Journey: Pull Off and Refuel

When people are overwhelmed and frustrated, friends and family are often understanding and supportive, at least at first. Soon after, as some recovery progress…

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Insight for the Journey: Feeling Normal Again

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Commonly Attributed to Winston Churchill  When the decision to enter recovery is made, the addiction is…

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Insight for the Journey: Feeling Confident

I Can’t Decide  When making decisions you might notice you are more unsure, insecure, and hesitant than you want to be. Being filled with…

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Insight for the Journey: Driven to be Perfect

What is Perfectionism?  Perfectionists aspire to achieve, but do not allow themselves to make mistakes. They search for imperfections or weaknesses in themselves and…

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More than a Drug Problem

“Burdens shared are easier to bear.” Jesse Jackson | By the time he was 13, Marcus had bounced in and through a dozen homes, if that’s what you called them, a pattern which was to continue throughout his 42 years. He was smoking...

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The Seven Wonders of Recovery

“You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.” – Zig Ziglar | The seven wonders of the ancient world were astounding man-made displays of human ingenuity and creativity in engineering, art...

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Stick to the Plan

“Never, never, never give up!” – Winston Churchill | This blog is not about taking vitamins, I promise. However, I do take vitamins every morning and have done so for the past 10 years. I never miss, yet every now and then, I stare mindlessly...

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Tell Me What I’m Doing Right

Over the years, I’ve noticed that people often want approval and affirmation. They want it, yet rarely receive it or believe it when it finally arrives. Jim would be an example of that. This 35-year-old man...

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Do the Thing You Need to Do or…

“You hit home runs not by chance but by preparation.” – Roger Maris | Do the thing you need to do or get yourself ready to do the thing you need to do. If you need to go to treatment, then go to treatment. If you need to finish school...

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Positively Changing Your Life

You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, and don’t mess with Mister In-Between. – Johnny Mercer | “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” was written by Johnny Mercer and the music...

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Living in an Unsure World

“If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” – Clint Eastwood | This evening we’re celebrating my granddaughter’s seventh birthday. It will be a small family gathering at an outdoor amphitheater performance of...

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The True View of You

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt | People in recovery often have a distorted view of themselves. They may see themselves as inadequate and unacceptable. Some of this thinking...

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Normal Will Reset – Eventually

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Commonly Attributed to Winston Churchill | When the decision to enter recovery is made, the addiction is often out of control. Something has to change or nothing...

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Creating Half-Time Strategies for Recovery

“Don’t give up at half time. Concentrate on winning the second half.” – Paul Bryant | In the sport of football, each game has four quarters with a 12 minute break between the two halves. This break has the not-so-clever, intuitively obvious...

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Don’t Cast Your Pearls Before Swine

There is an old proverb that says: “Don’t cast your pearls before swine.” I grew up on a small family farm in Minnesota in the 1960’s. We had the usual assortment of amusing farm animals including cows, chickens, horses, cats, dogs, and of course...

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Keep Your Goal, But Change Your Tactics

A man came into my office some years back and his abrasive interactions with his wife, in my presence, caused me to ponder the reasons behind his aggressive and painfully degrading verbal comments. Communication is purposeful; meaning...

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Resolving Old Wounds

I gave a presentation on Codependency to a small group last Saturday. The event was held in an elegantly appointed retreat house hidden away. From the back of the room, leaning across a granite countertop, eyes shining and fixed attentively, a...

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Treatment Saves Lives

Substance-use and resulting substance use disorders (SUD) are hazardous to your health and come at a staggering cost. Individuals with a SUD have more social, medical, physical, psychological, financial, relational, and occupational problems...

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Three Critical Areas to Establish Margin

My simple definition of burnout is doing too much, with too little, for too long. And burnout is not just a scheduling problem. Stress and burnout are often made significantly worse by bitterness and resentment. “I’m the only one who works...

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The Ten Core Principles of Recovery
High Resolution Success Concept

The Ten Core Principles of Recovery

In order to help your clients navigate successful, long-term recovery, we’ve developed ten core principles of recovery. Like using a map, these principles help set good goals, avoid some mistakes, and dodge unnecessary problems. And of course...

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Managing Anxiety for Maximum Performance

Have you been busy lately? Do you ever get so stressed you become overwhelmed or paralyzed? Stress is the biological, emotional, behavioral, and social response to a real or imagined event. When anxiety and stress are low, motivation and...

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Five Keys to Managing Doubt

It is not always easy to be self-assured and confident. Many people move through life with numerous doubts and insecurities. You may doubt yourself, others, or the world around you. Perhaps you look at certain situations and certain people with...

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Understanding Euphoric Recall

Euphoric recall is a term used to describe the tendency to remember only the positive parts of past experiences while forgetting or minimizing the negative aspects, consequences, or difficulties associated with the same event. The incredible...

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Putting Action to Your Good Intentions

I am writing this on New Year’s Day and thinking about some goals for next year. We often judge ourselves on our intentions and judge other people according to their actions. Meaning, we have a higher standard for other people than we usually...

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When One Size Doesn’t Fit

When recently giving gifts to family and friends, I noticed that “one size fits all” rarely fits at all. In finding resources for your treatment center, one size, one shape, and one dimension to manage one disorder, I’ve discovered doesn’t fit either. The...

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Ever Grateful

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States and other countries, a day set aside to give thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. President George Washington proclaimed November 26, 1789 “as a day of...

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Trading Your Addiction

It seems as though whenever you defeat one addiction, another vice, addiction, or bad habit is just around the corner. In recovery, cross addiction refers to trading one addiction for another. In cross addiction, a new addiction takes the place of a...

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Finding Life-Changing Recovery that Works

Journey to Recovery is a resource site for treatment centers, clinicians, and for those in need of help and healing. Our goal is to supply easy to use, user friendly, and inspiring recovery resources. In keeping with that goal, we have just...

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Good Treatment Requires Good Resources

Substance misuse and abuse can occur at any age, however the majority of those with substance use problems started using substances during adolescence and developed a substance use disorder by the age of 20-25. Because brain development...

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Rewriting Your Script

If you were acting in a play, your behavior and lines would be directed by the script. In life, too, you are acting and speaking according to pre-written scripts. We often feel and act in strict accordance with how we see ourselves. If you see yourself...

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Living Responsibly in the Moment

Today, October 10, 2017 is World Mental Health Day. People in our country and around the world are acknowledging the stark reality that almost everyone is directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues. One in every five people in...

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Good Programming Requires Good Resources

Co-occurring disorders (COD) are extraordinarily complex. To be effective, treatment programs and interventions must specifically target and treat both substance use and mental health disorders at the same time. The most effective treatment is...

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Screening

People struggling with substance use disorders may have encountered various, traumatic experiences along the way. Some people who have experienced traumatic situations start using drugs and alcohol as a way to numb their feelings and cope...

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Living Above Your Circumstances

Do you ever have difficult weeks where every walk seems uphill, every stroke of the paddle is upstream, and every ride is against the wind? I’m not much for complaining; it’s sort of embarrassing for me. I’m more likely to keep it to myself and...

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Fostering Independence

As you move through your addiction and maintain sobriety, you have likely noticed the complicated and multifaceted nature of your recovery. Your addiction likely has negatively impacted your health, job, finances, reputation, self-esteem, and...

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Three Lies that Kill Recovery

Substance use disorders are filled with denial, rationalizations, minimizations, and justifications. These are employed to reduce shame, suspiciousness, self-doubt, and feelings of inadequacy. The…

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Let it Go Already

We live in a world that is easily and often offended. This is a hard concept because we have been trained to exaggerate our…

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Get A White Dog

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain during the Second World War, referred to his level of periodic and hard biting depression as the…

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Staying Motivated

Most people in recovery are extremely motivated to do whatever it takes to get sober, be healthier, get their life back, and feel better…

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Understanding Relapse

Chemically dependent individuals can demonstrate relapse behaviors at any time throughout their recovery process, but are especially prone during the early stages of recovery.…

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Now Hear This!

Making gains in co-occurring disorder treatment, as with most goals, requires sustained focus, enormous perseverance, and resolute determination. These precious attributes however, are often…

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Addiction and Anxiety

In a co-occurring disorder treatment program, people come with a variety of mental health and substance abuse issues. The Journal of the American Medical…

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