It is my philosophy that successful recovery must tackle substance use and emotional issues at the same time. Effective treatment programs help clients recognize destructive patterns, change their thinking, and develop specific life skills. Treatment for mental health and substance use disorders is designed for two primary reasons: 1) to reduce symptoms and 2) to prevent relapse. Willingness to change your life is a necessary component to achieving desired transformation.
Treatment is a Choice
Mental health concerns and substance use issues may have addictive behavioral patterns and biochemical determining factors. Neuro-chemical, social, economic, and environmental factors blend together to cause mental health and substance use symptoms. Regardless of the origins, treatment for the problem is a choice. Even if there is a court order for treatment, clients get more out of treatment when they engage their will and choose to be active participants.
Force Creates Resistance
Forcing someone to change creates conflict, defiance, and resistance. The more we push on someone to get them to be different, the more they solidify their current position. They often become stubborn and argumentative. Logic falls on deaf ears and self-deceiving preference and opinion rule the day.
Admiration for Positive Choice
Honor people for their willingness to admit to problems. Encourage them to accept responsibility for their actions, although you may have to do this in small chunks. Inspire them to be different and show them that you believe they can. Manage your own fears and reactive emotional responses and control your own actions rather than attempting to control another person’s addiction. This forward and hopeful thinking rewards positive choice and reduces entrenched resistance.
Recovery is a Journey. Enjoy the Ride!