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  • Acquiring a Can-Do Attitude (MH Lesson)
    • Acquiring a Can-Do Attitude (MH Lesson)
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    • Living in a negative world can sometimes take its toll, but you do not have to be at the mercy of a negative environment. There are practical ways to have a more positive state of mind. Like gravity pulling you down to earth, it is easy to be pulled down into a sour mood by worries and difficult situations. Thankfully,…
  • Addiction and Stress (COD Lesson)
    • Addiction and Stress (COD Lesson)
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    • This lesson will help you discover how stress affects your body, thoughts, behaviors, emotions, and relationships. Many people use alcohol and drugs because they are under stress. However, by using or abusing substances, stress is often made many times worse. This lesson outlines more than seventy various consequences, circumstances, and physical and emotional stressors that occur following alcohol or drug…
  • Anxiety with a Shot of Alcohol Abuse (COD Lesson)
    • Anxiety with a Shot of Alcohol Abuse (COD Lesson)
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    • Many people who experience chronic feelings of anxiety about social situations, work, relationships, or other aspects of everyday life may reach for a beer or glass of wine to calm their distress. In this lesson you’ll learn the destructive interaction between alcohol and anxiety, and look at how this seemingly pleasant escape of having a drink or two can quickly…
  • Applying Change Statements (COD Lesson)
    • Applying Change Statements (COD Lesson)
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    • Perhaps somewhere along your recovery journey you have become caught in your own negative thinking. Thoughts and beliefs influence our feelings and actions and can be either positive or negative. When the thought is negative and pessimistic, it may lead to worrisome, depressive feelings and careless or poorly planned actions. Many people regularly repeat self-deprecating statements to themselves. This exercise…
  • Being Intentional (COD Lesson)
    • Being Intentional (COD Lesson)
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    • Most people spend their entire lives living thoughtlessly and without aim. When someone becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, they spend more time and attention diligently pursuing whatever supports the addiction than any other endeavor. Dreams and aspirations fall by the wayside. Time spent planning and focusing on the pursuit of life goals may have evaporated completely. As you enter…
  • Breaking Spending and Shopping Habits (COD Lesson)
    • Breaking Spending and Shopping Habits (COD Lesson)
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    • In a materialistic world that can provide a seemingly never-ending supply of almost anything, it is easy to use shopping as a hobby. Shopping and purchasing products is a necessary part of living. It can however, become a problem if it is used to cope with emotional problems and difficulties of life. Shopping may be used by some as a…
  • Building Lasting Relationships (MH Lesson)
    • Building Lasting Relationships (MH Lesson)
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    • Relationships are not always easy to navigate, even under the best of circumstances. Every relationship takes work. Mental health disorders may make relationship issues more intense and difficult to manage. It is possible, with commitment and work, to make adjustments, correct serious difficulties, and build the relational closeness you desire. This lesson includes eight of the most common problems, along…
  • Building Trust in Relationships (MH Lesson)
    • Building Trust in Relationships (MH Lesson)
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    • Trust is built through being open about your life. Hiding in the shadows and keeping secrets will erode confidence and damage the rebuilding process. Being open and willing to address the underlying issues will go a long way to restore trust. People want approval, but because they are afraid of being rejected, they will sacrifice honesty to protect themselves. Talking…
  • Burnout and Stress (MH Lesson)
    • Burnout and Stress (MH Lesson)
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    • Mental health problems often result from stress. Burnout may occur as you endure chronic or prolonged stress, unrealistic expectations, and exceed your own limits. Being overworked, overwhelmed, and overloaded can damage your health, home life, and happiness. This lesson will help keep stress from breaking you, identify the signs and symptoms of burnout, and give you some ideas, skills, and…
  • Calming Your Anxious Thoughts (MH Lesson)
    • Calming Your Anxious Thoughts (MH Lesson)
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    • Anxiety changes the way you think and feel. When you are anxious, it is easier to look at everything with a negative view and imagine unpleasant and frightening things are about to happen. Anxious thinking is filled with worry, apprehension, obsessive thoughts, and ruminations about the future. Anxious thinking is distorted thinking and creates an expectation the worst will happen,…
  • Changing Habit Patterns (COD Lesson)
    • Changing Habit Patterns (COD Lesson)
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    • This lesson looks at numerous lifestyle preferences, both fulfilling and frustrating. It will give you an opportunity to carefully examine which areas of your life you would like to restructure, help you evaluate your current level of motivation, and make necessary changes. Furthermore, you will be better understand which of your behaviors and attitudes hinder change and damage your recovery.…
  • Changing the Way You Think (COD Lesson)
    • Changing the Way You Think (COD Lesson)
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    • Negative thoughts including inaccurate exaggerations, irrelevant thoughts, misperceptions, doubts, deceptions, and lies you tell yourself influence your feelings and actions and can drive your addiction. With substance use these thoughts, feelings, and beliefs often become confused and distorted, leading to problematic actions. In this lesson you will identify how negative thoughts influence your feelings and actions. As you begin to…
  • Choosing to Accept Help (COD Lesson)
    • Choosing to Accept Help (COD Lesson)
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    • Many co-occurring disorder clients enter chemical dependency treatment against their will. If they had their way, they may not come at all, or perhaps may try to delay treatment until much later. This lesson is designed to stimulate a dialogue about common reluctances and resistance to treatment. It will help you examine your own hesitancy’s and reservations in the beginning…
  • Choosing to Forgive (MH Lesson)
    • Choosing to Forgive (MH Lesson)
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    • When we are hurt, betrayed, or mistreated, we can end up with a lingering pain we often refer to as bitterness and resentment. These damaging wounds caused by others can fester and become more destructive in our lives. Resentment can damage relationships and rob us of the simple joys of living. Most people have been misused and hurt by others.…
  • Clarifying Your Values (COD Lesson)
    • Clarifying Your Values (COD Lesson)
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    • This exercise will help you discover character traits and values that are personally important and relevant to you. Co-occurring addictions and mental health problems can be overwhelming and treatment may be a great opportunity to slow down and think through your life. What is important to you? What do you value? What gifts, talents, and abilities do you have? Living…
  • Clarifying Your Values (MH Lesson)
    • Clarifying Your Values (MH Lesson)
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    • People who live according to their values feel good about themselves. If someone says they value honesty and then tells the truth, they can live with integrity and honor. Those who say they value honesty and truth, but continually lie, do not actually value those qualities. It is important to live according to your own convictions. Self-esteem goes up when…
  • Close and Intimate Relationships in Recovery (COD Lesson)
    • Close and Intimate Relationships in Recovery (COD Lesson)
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    • Close and Intimate Relationships in Recovery (COD Lesson)
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    • As you move through your recovery journey and maintain sobriety, you may have noticed the complicated and multifaceted nature of recovery. Your addiction has likely had a negative impact on your health, job, finances, reputation, self-esteem, and mental health. You may have compromised, damaged, or destroyed friendships and family relationships along the way. Discover seven key ways to improve relational…
  • Conquering Self-Sabotaging Views (COD Lesson)
    • Conquering Self-Sabotaging Views (COD Lesson)
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    • Our behavior is connected to the way we see ourselves. When those views are negative, we can sabotage our lives and recovery. For example, if someone sees themselves as inferior, they may avoid people. Or someone who views themselves as weak may avoid conflict. A distorted view can lead to self-defeating actions. It is important to understand the distortions you…
  • Conquering Social and Relational Anxiety (MH Lesson)
    • Conquering Social and Relational Anxiety (MH Lesson)
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    • Anxiety-producing situations and resulting symptoms are very uncomfortable. Anxiety symptoms may be exaggerated and more extreme when you are under a lot of stress or demands on you are high. It is a great temptation to avoid whatever is causing anxiety. In this lesson we'll explore social anxiety, the impact of substance use, treatment options, and offer ten ways to…
  • Conquering Social and Relational Anxiety (MH Lesson) (Copy)
    • Conquering Social and Relational Anxiety (MH Lesson) (Copy)
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    • Anxiety-producing situations and resulting symptoms are very uncomfortable. Anxiety symptoms may be exaggerated and more extreme when you are under a lot of stress or demands on you are high. It is a great temptation to avoid whatever is causing anxiety. In this lesson we'll explore social anxiety, the impact of substance use, treatment options, and offer ten ways to…
  • Correcting Common Relational Problems (COD Lesson)
    • Correcting Common Relational Problems (COD Lesson)
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    • Relationships are not always easy to navigate, even under the best of circumstances. Every relationship takes work. Substance use and mental health disorders may make relationship issues more intense and difficult to manage. It is possible, with commitment and work, to make adjustments, correct serious difficulties, and build the relational closeness you desire. This lesson includes eight of the most…
  • Creating Affirming Self-Talk (MH Lesson)
    • Creating Affirming Self-Talk (MH Lesson)
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    • Many people with mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, desperately need support, encouragement and affirmation. For the discouraged, hearing something positive can be like a cup of cool water in a hot, parched desert. All too often, people are thirsty for affirmation and encouragement, but look for it from sources that are dry. The secret to success is…
  • Creating Healthy Relationships (MH Lesson)
    • Creating Healthy Relationships (MH Lesson)
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    • Conflict is inevitable and should be expected in any relationship, but when handled poorly, disagreements and arguments can quickly get out of hand and cause lasting damage. By learning how to manage conflict in positive and healthy ways, those disagreements can be navigated without damaging the relationship. In fact, by treating the other person with respect and using the relational…
  • Cultivate Your Spiritual Life (COD Lesson)
    • Cultivate Your Spiritual Life (COD Lesson)
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    • Spirituality is often defined broadly and makes room for many different perspectives and opinions. It includes being connected to something larger than yourself, and typically involves understanding the purpose and meaning of life. It is a universal concept of defining your heart or inner life and can develop and deepen your value system. Working on your spiritual life may or…
  • Developing a Network of Support (MH Lesson)
    • Developing a Network of Support (MH Lesson)
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    • People entering treatment for alcohol and drug addiction are often coming from environments that allow, and even encourage, their addictive patterns. Frequently, clients do not have good emotional, spiritual, or relational support. They have very few people in their network who support their recovery or appreciate the efforts they are making to change their lifestyle. In this lesson we'll look…
  • Developing a Positive Self-Concept (MH Lesson)
    • Developing a Positive Self-Concept (MH Lesson)
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    • Self-esteem is simply how you see yourself. Are you valuable, likable and important? Or do you consider yourself to be inferior or inadequate? Healthy self-esteem means feeling positive about yourself, being appropriately assertive, and acting with confidence. It includes being resilient and having an overall sense of well-being. This lesson will explain what self-esteem is and what it is not.…
  • Developing a True View of You (MH Lesson)
    • Developing a True View of You (MH Lesson)
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    • We often feel and act in strict accordance with how we see ourselves. If you see yourself as adequate, influential, and valuable you might act more assertively, talk to others freely, and express your opinions openly. If, however, you saw yourself as inadequate and inferior, you might withhold your opinion, avoid others, and be cautious when making new friends. In…
  • Developing an Active Lifestyle (COD Lesson)
    • Developing an Active Lifestyle (COD Lesson)
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    • Physical activity and regular exercise can be an integral part of your recovery. Exercise can lead to an increased sense of accomplishment, better health, and improved self-esteem. It also increases endorphins, which act as the body’s natural antidepressant. Abusing drugs and alcohol damages the body’s ability to feel pleasure. Increasing activity and exercise can be a way to increase endorphins…
  • Developing Decision-Making Skills (MH Lesson)
    • Developing Decision-Making Skills (MH Lesson)
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    • People who struggle with anxiety may worry about making perfect decisions and the future impact of those choices. People with depression feel insecure and often lack energy and motivation. You may doubt yourself, others, or the world around you; perhaps looking at each of these areas suspiciously. This level of doubt makes solid decision-making difficult. Some people respond by wavering…
  • Developing Frustration Tolerance (COD Lesson)
    • Developing Frustration Tolerance (COD Lesson)
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    • As we go through life, we are often irritated by people, annoyed by delays, and frustrated when things do not go our way. We too often display our irritation and live our lives almost constantly upset. Being frustrated from time to time is a common fact of life. Low frustration tolerance is having oversized or extreme reactions to normal stressors…
  • Developing Hope (COD Lesson)
    • Developing Hope (COD Lesson)
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    • Becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol can often bring a sense of discouragement and hopelessness. Failures and mistakes of the past are often the chief motivation for seeking help. Past difficulties all too often color the present moment. Previously failed treatment programs and relapse may add to your current level of discouragement. This lesson is designed to build self-assurance and…
  • Developing Hope and Emotional Healing (MH Lesson)
    • Developing Hope and Emotional Healing (MH Lesson)
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    • The need for mental health treatment can often leave one discouraged. Difficult situations, failures and past disappointments tend to be the main reasons to seek help. Those difficulties from the recent past often affect the present moment. It is important to understand the effects of discouragement, but also know with assurance and confidence that hope can be built. This lesson…
  • Developing Increased Self-Control (MH Lesson)
    • Developing Increased Self-Control (MH Lesson)
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    • When you struggle emotionally, you may feel insecure, confused, and out of control. Our self-centered culture is more interested in controlling other people than one’s self, and the concept of self-control is nearly forgotten. Yet it is essential for living successfully in all areas of life, including staying emotionally regulated and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Self-control can be developed and…
  • Developing Refusal Skills (COD Lesson)
    • Developing Refusal Skills (COD Lesson)
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    • Abstaining from alcohol and drugs is challenging for many reasons. Temptation often comes from within a person and includes such things as a longing to relax or escape, physiological craving, and a desire to comfort oneself. Cues, urges, and temptations come from external sources and involve the circumstances and environments of life. Certain situations bring about an almost automatic urgency…
  • Developing Self-Affirming Statements (COD Lesson)
    • Developing Self-Affirming Statements (COD Lesson)
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    • This exercise will help you build a healthier self-image by listing numerous possible statements for reflection and contemplation. Many people with co-occurring disorders of mental health and substance abuse desperately need affirmation and encouragement. This affirmation exercise is designed to bring awareness to the progress you’ve already made, encourage positive attitudes, foster a new disposition to bring personal growth, and…
  • Developing Stress Management Skills (MH Lesson)
    • Developing Stress Management Skills (MH Lesson)
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    • Everyone responds to stress differently. Some people shut down, while others respond by going full-speed ahead. Regardless of how you deal with it, the consequences of stress affect every area of your life: mind, body, heart, thoughts, and behavior. It is important to learn strategies to bring yourself back to a place of peace and calm before becoming overwhelmed. Then,…
  • Developing Your Recovery Attitude (COD Lesson)
    • Developing Your Recovery Attitude (COD Lesson)
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    • Having a positive and cooperative attitude will make an enormous difference in your recovery. A negative, defeated mindset can sabotage your progress in treatment and make recovery much more difficult. This skill building exercise is designed to help you take a fiercely honest inventory of your attitude toward treatment and your ongoing recovery. Changing your outlook and mindset are foundational…
  • Domestic Violence and Addiction (COD Lesson)
    • Domestic Violence and Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • Many addicts have problems dealing with anger and expressing it in appropriate ways. Feelings of anger can be linked to relapse because using their drug of choice to mask feelings is often the only way an addict knows how to deal with anger. A person who is unable to express anger in a healthy way may resort to using more…
  • Eliminating Exceptions and Excuses (COD Lesson)
    • Eliminating Exceptions and Excuses (COD Lesson)
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    • Recovery from alcohol and drug addiction is not a quick and easy process. It is important to have a defined goal and good strategies in order to make progress possible. Motivation often starts high and then diminishes over time. Part of what sustains addiction is the rationalization and defensive posture that accompanies it. Most addicts can almost brilliantly blame others,…
  • Emotional Pressures in Substance Abuse (COD Lesson)
    • Emotional Pressures in Substance Abuse (COD Lesson)
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    • There are many factors to consider in addiction. People may use drugs and alcohol to enjoy themselves or feel a sense of relief and euphoria. The emotional reasons for substance abuse are many. When life feels out of control, we can feel useless and unhappy. Many substance abusers use alcohol and drugs to help soothe or deal with these painful…
  • Establishing a Support Network (COD Lesson)
    • Establishing a Support Network (COD Lesson)
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    • People entering treatment for alcohol and drug addiction are often coming from environments that allow, and even encourage, their addictive patterns. Frequently, clients do not have good emotional, spiritual, or relational support. They have very few people in their network who support their recovery or appreciate the efforts they are making to change their lifestyle. It can be a difficult…
  • Establishing Boundaries and Setting Limits (COD Lesson)
    • Establishing Boundaries and Setting Limits (COD Lesson)
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    • A boundary is like a fence or property line. It distinguishes between what is yours and what belongs to someone else. It also distinguishes between what you are responsible for and areas that are not your responsibility. In addictions, boundaries can be unclear, difficult to define, and hard to maintain. The boundary is necessary for healthy functioning and ultimately helps…
  • Establishing Health Habit Patterns (MH Lesson)
    • Establishing Health Habit Patterns (MH Lesson)
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    • Mental health is not just something you stumble upon. Instead, your mental health can be greatly improved by the way you manage the patterns, habits, and routines of your life. Your lifestyle preferences can be both fulfilling and frustrating. Healthy habits and routines are a big part of maintaining emotional balance. A careful look at them will give you an…
  • Establishing Your Recovery Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (COD Lesson)
    • Establishing Your Recovery Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (COD Lesson)
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    • It is not always easy to feel 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 each of these areas suspiciously. This level of doubt makes solid decision-making difficult. Some people respond by wavering between several options, unable to make a choice. Even when…
  • Examining Codependent Relationships (COD Lesson)
    • Examining Codependent Relationships (COD Lesson)
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    • This lesson describes the helping, rescuing, and enabling behaviors that define codependent relationships. In an effort to help a loved one, we often cringe when their actions bring unpleasant consequences. We wish we could interrupt the inevitable. Reducing the consequence for someone may appear helpful at first, but reducing the pain of a consequence often reduces the behavior change that…
  • Examining Common Anxiety Disorders (COD Lesson)
    • Examining Common Anxiety Disorders (COD Lesson)
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    • Anxiety disorders are very common and about 40 million adults will experience an anxiety disorder in any given year. In this lesson the six types of anxiety disorders are listed and signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders are discussed. Included is a general anxiety disorder scale. This lesson includes an overview of treatment for anxiety disorders. Learn how to produce…
  • Examining Common Anxiety Disorders (MH Lesson)
    • Examining Common Anxiety Disorders (MH Lesson)
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    • The signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders may be familiar because most are common reactions to stress. But if symptoms are extreme in their intensity, last for months, are chronic, or more severe than would seem usual for the situation, it can indicate an anxiety disorder may be present. Explore the common types of anxiety disorders and their treatment. You…
  • Finding Contentment (MH Lesson)
    • Finding Contentment (MH Lesson)
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    • We often ignore or look down on periodic sadness and a heavy heart; however, these times can motivate and push us to greater creativity. Too often we grab superficial, quick fixes to subdue the uncomfortable emotions coming our way. Instant indulgences may work at first, but can backfire and cause even more pain. We do not always accurately predict what…
  • Gaining Confidence and Strength (MH Lesson)
    • Gaining Confidence and Strength (MH Lesson)
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    • People struggling with anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders frequently complain about feeling helpless. They can point to a series of circumstances over which they had no contro,l including job loss, abuse, marital conflict, death of a loved one, infidelity, divorce, serious accident, illness, or an injury. Because they had no control, they may believe they were inadequate, incompetent, and…
  • Getting Back in Shape (MH Lesson)
    • Getting Back in Shape (MH Lesson)
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    • Physical activity and regular exercise can be an integral part of good health and your emotional recovery. Exercise can lead to an increased sense of accomplishment, better health, and improved self-esteem. Depression and other mental health disorders may limit the body’s ability to feel pleasure. It also increases endorphins, which act as the body’s natural antidepressant, helping you feel better,…
  • Getting Rid of Resentments (MH Lesson)
    • Getting Rid of Resentments (MH Lesson)
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    • The word resentment is best understood as having bitter indignation at being treated unfairly or unkindly. Resentment can come when you are misunderstood, neglected, rejected, slighted, and mistreated. This treatment is followed by bitterness, discontentment, and dissatisfaction. It can bring about ill will, animosity toward others, and feelings of envy and jealousy. Failure to let go of resentment will further…
  • Handling Holiday Pressures (COD Lesson)
    • Handling Holiday Pressures (COD Lesson)
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    • Holiday celebrations can be much-loved occasions, filled with family, friends, and fun. They often come with laughter, family time, parties, music, gifts, the joy of childhood, vacations, and much more. They can also be stressful and marked by family conflict, alcohol and drug temptations, financial stress, time crunches, and a host of other challenges. The good news is because you…
  • Handling Your Worries (MH Lesson)
    • Handling Your Worries (MH Lesson)
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    • Many people carry heavy loads of worry, fear, and anxiety. These issues interfere with emotional stability and can create other serious concerns. Anxiety can cause increased problems with sleep, added depression, relational conflict, occupational difficulties, financial strain, social withdrawal, and alcohol and drug dependency. It is important to manage worry and anxiety before it becomes overwhelming and paralyzing. Explore the…
  • Having Realistic Expectations (MH Lesson)
    • Having Realistic Expectations (MH Lesson)
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    • I want things to go well. And I want things to go well for your time of emotional healing and beyond. Even when an outcome turns out well in the end, there are often difficulties along the way. This lesson will help you navigate the tension between expecting the best and enduring difficulties as they arise. The way you set…
  • Identifying Anxious Thoughts (COD Lesson)
    • Identifying Anxious Thoughts (COD Lesson)
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    • Anxiety changes the way you think and feel. When you are feeling anxious, it is easier to look at everything with a negative view and imagine unpleasant and frightening things are going to happen. This pattern of thinking makes you even more anxious. We all look ahead, down the road, and into the future a bit, planning our days, looking…
  • Identifying Common Types of Anxiety Disorders (MH Lesson)
    • Identifying Common Types of Anxiety Disorders (MH Lesson)
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    • Everyone gets anxious, worried, and has occasional fears. Anxiety disorders are different. Anxiety disorders refer to a wide range of difficulties characterized by disabling levels of dread, worry, and anxiety that is not brief or passing. In this lesson we will examine the six main types of anxiety disorders including: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobia,…
  • Improving Your Sleep Quality (MH Lesson)
    • Improving Your Sleep Quality (MH Lesson)
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    • Lack of sleep takes a heavy toll on the human body. Sleep issues can contribute to many health concerns and insomnia and other sleep disorders increase the likelihood of developing psychiatric and substance use disorders. There are numerous physical and mental problems that contribute to sleep difficulties, however, as a simple rule of thumb, if you have trouble falling asleep…
  • Increasing Happiness and Contentment (COD Lesson)
    • Increasing Happiness and Contentment (COD Lesson)
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    • The term happiness is often used to describe a range of positive emotions such as contentment, joy, and gratitude. We often use it to mean satisfied and content. To be happy is not just being emotionally cheerful or constantly smiling. It has depth and purpose to it. In this lesson, you will learn how happy people have more friends, are…
  • Increasing Relational Connection (COD Lesson)
    • Increasing Relational Connection (COD Lesson)
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    • Increasing Relational Connection (COD Lesson)
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    • Conflict is inevitable and should be expected in any relationship, but when handled poorly, disagreements and arguments can quickly get out of hand and cause lasting damage. By learning how to manage conflict in positive, healthy ways, those disagreements can be navigated without damaging the relationship. In fact, by treating the other person with respect and using the relational skills…
  • Increasing Relational Harmony (MH Lesson)
    • Increasing Relational Harmony (MH Lesson)
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    • Increasing Relational Harmony (MH Lesson)
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    • Close, personal, intimate, and deeply connected relationships do the most to bring happiness and contentment in your life. Although sometimes difficult, establishing meaningful relationships is extremely valuable and worth the effort. This lesson will give you some ways to increase communication and resolve relational conflicts.
  • Issues of Self-Control (COD Lesson)
    • Issues of Self-Control (COD Lesson)
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    • Issues of Self-Control (COD Lesson)
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    • Our self-centered culture is more interested in controlling other people than one’s self, and the concept of self-control is nearly forgotten. Yet it is essential for living successfully in all areas of life, including staying in recovery and maintaining a sober lifestyle. Self-control can be developed and cultivated by understanding what contributes to your ability to control your mood, actions,…
  • Journey to Recovery Philosophy of Care (COD Lesson)
    • Journey to Recovery Philosophy of Care (COD Lesson)
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    • Journey to Recovery Philosophy of Care (COD Lesson)
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    • The resources found at Journey to Recovery are designed as practical tools to help you in your treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. It is our philosophy that successful recovery must tackle substance use and emotional issues at the same time. Treatment of co-occurring disorders is designed for two primary reasons: 1) to reduce symptoms and 2) prevent…
  • Journey to Recovery Philosophy of Care (MH Lesson)
    • Journey to Recovery Philosophy of Care (MH Lesson)
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    • Journey to Recovery Philosophy of Care (MH Lesson)
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    • The resources found at Journey to Recovery are designed as a tool kit to help in your treatment of mental health difficulties and disorders. Treatment for mental health disorders is designed for two primary reasons: 1) to reduce symptoms and 2) to prevent relapse. Journey to Recovery materials will help you recognize destructive patterns, change your thinking, and develop specific…
  • Learning to Handle Frustration (MH Lesson)
    • Learning to Handle Frustration (MH Lesson)
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    • Learning to Handle Frustration (MH Lesson)
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    • Throughout life we are often irritated by people, annoyed by delays, and frustrated when things do not go our way. Being frustrated from time to time is a common fact of life. We all experience frustration when we face seemingly unnecessary complications or a complete roadblock on the path to our goal. Low frustration tolerance is having oversized or extreme…
  • Learning to Tolerate Distress (COD Lesson)
    • Learning to Tolerate Distress (COD Lesson)
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    • Learning to Tolerate Distress (COD Lesson)
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    • When circumstances feel overwhelming, a person may be flooded with wide-ranging emotions. Frustration, confusion, anxiety, despair, and anger all pile up to create an overpowering experience. Distressing experiences can create a desire to flee the pain, escape the feelings, and avoid the problems of life. In times like these, the temptation to drink or use drugs again can feel crushing,…
  • Living with Intention (MH Lesson)
    • Living with Intention (MH Lesson)
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    • Living with Intention (MH Lesson)
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    • Most people spend their entire lives living thoughtlessly and without aim. Your emotional and mental health problems may have caused you to be discouraged and feeling hopeless. Perhaps you have had difficulty starting tasks or following through. Dreams and aspirations fall by the wayside. Time spent planning and focusing on the pursuit of life goals may have evaporated completely. As…
  • Managing Anger (COD Lesson)
    • Managing Anger (COD Lesson)
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    • Managing Anger (COD Lesson)
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    • Everyone gets angry occasionally, but sometimes people have problems managing and expressing anger appropriately. Feelings of anger can be a major trigger for a relapse because using alcohol or drugs to manage strong or difficult emotions may have become a pattern over time. This lesson will help you understand the difference between anger and aggression. It describes the relationship between…
  • Managing Anger and Aggression (MH Lesson)
    • Managing Anger and Aggression (MH Lesson)
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    • Managing Anger and Aggression (MH Lesson)
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    • Everyone gets angry occasionally and it can sometimes be difficult to handle or express anger appropriately. Because managing anger and aggression can be overwhelming, it can drive other emotional disorders. Trying to control anger by using alcohol or drugs can quickly become a problem. Other ways of coping with anger and frustration can also become unhealthy patterns and jeopardize your…
  • Managing Anxiety Symptoms (COD Lesson)
    • Managing Anxiety Symptoms (COD Lesson)
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    • Managing Anxiety Symptoms (COD Lesson)
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    • In another lesson we examined the symptoms of the six main types of anxiety disorders including: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Because untreated anxiety disorders often predict problems in obtaining and maintaining sobriety, it is vital to successfully manage anxiety symptoms. In this lesson we will look at a…
  • Managing Perfectionism (MH Lesson)
    • Managing Perfectionism (MH Lesson)
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    • Managing Perfectionism (MH Lesson)
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    • Perfectionists aspire to achieve, but do not allow themselves to make mistakes. They search for imperfections or weaknesses in themselves and others. Perfectionists strive for flawlessness and set high standards for themselves. They are often harshly critical of their own performance. Perfectionism is different than striving for excellence. People who pursue excellence in a healthy way take genuine pleasure in…
  • Managing Spending and Shopping (MH Lesson)
    • Managing Spending and Shopping (MH Lesson)
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    • Managing Spending and Shopping (MH Lesson)
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    • Our world provides a never-ending supply of nearly anything we can imagine, making it easy to use shopping as a hobby. And while shopping and purchasing are necessary parts of life, if used to cope with emotional problems and other difficulties, they can become a problem. The ease and availability of on-line shopping can dramatically increase the temptation to spend,…
  • Managing Spending and Shopping (MH Lesson) (MEMBER)
    • Managing Spending and Shopping (MH Lesson) (MEMBER)
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    • Managing Spending and Shopping (MH Lesson) (MEMBER)
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    • Our world provides a never-ending supply of nearly anything we can imagine, making it easy to use shopping as a hobby. And while shopping and purchasing are necessary parts of life, if used to cope with emotional problems and other difficulties, they can become a problem. The ease and availability of on-line shopping can dramatically increase the temptation to spend,…
  • Managing Time Effectively (MH Lesson)
    • Managing Time Effectively (MH Lesson)
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    • Managing Time Effectively (MH Lesson)
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    • Getting the most out of each day can help you feel satisfied and productive. Becoming more productive can be a difficult transition as you move forward toward a healthier lifestyle. The good news is there are various strategies to help you use your time more wisely. In this lesson, we'll take a look at common ways we waste time and…
  • Navigating the Pain of Grief and Loss (MH Lesson)
    • Navigating the Pain of Grief and Loss (MH Lesson)
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    • Navigating the Pain of Grief and Loss (MH Lesson)
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    • Grief is a process and an emotional journey of learning to cope with loss. People often go through a predictable cycle and typical stages, although the stages are not always processed in order and can be revisited several times. Grief can last a long time, but the grieving process allows us to let go and continue moving on in a…
  • Out-Thinking Negativity (MH Lesson)
    • Out-Thinking Negativity (MH Lesson)
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    • Out-Thinking Negativity (MH Lesson)
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    • Negative thoughts including inaccurate exaggerations, irrelevant thoughts, misperceptions, doubts, deceptions, and lies you tell yourself influence your feelings and actions and can undermine your emotional health. With mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar illness, these thoughts, feelings, and beliefs often become confused and distorted, leading to unhealthy behavioral patterns. Explore Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs), what they are,…
  • Out-Thinking Social Anxiety (COD Lesson)
    • Out-Thinking Social Anxiety (COD Lesson)
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    • Out-Thinking Social Anxiety (COD Lesson)
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    • Social anxiety disorder is best defined as an excessive fear of social situations and affects between two and thirteen percent of the US population. About one out of five patients with social anxiety disorder also suffer from an alcohol or substance use disorder. One common theory supposes that alcohol is a means of coping with social fear and anxiety. Many…
  • Overcoming Automatic Negative Thinking (MH Lesson)
    • Overcoming Automatic Negative Thinking (MH Lesson)
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    • Overcoming Automatic Negative Thinking (MH Lesson)
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    • Negative thoughts influence your feelings and actions and can drive mental health symptoms. Automatic negative thoughts are those deeply-held, and often repeated, pessimistic thoughts that lead to intense emotions and wayward actions. Negative thoughts that accompany depression, anxiety, and frustration, and other emotional disorders are often irrational and exaggerated, making it difficult to change. Once you can recognize these thoughts…
  • Overcoming Depression (COD Lesson)
    • Overcoming Depression (COD Lesson)
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    • Overcoming Depression (COD Lesson)
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    • Depression is a medical and emotional illness that influences young and old rich and poor. It is common in co-occurring disorders for patients to struggle with depression. The good news is treatment works. This skill builder includes a depression self-evaluation, a myriad of depression facts, and numerous ways to manage your symptoms. Failure to deal with emotional issues such as…
  • Overcoming Learned Helplessness (COD Lesson)
    • Overcoming Learned Helplessness (COD Lesson)
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    • Overcoming Learned Helplessness (COD Lesson)
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    • People struggling with substance use disorders, anxiety, and depression frequently complain about feelings of helplessness. They can point to a series of past life circumstances they had no control over. These experiences often include job loss, marital conflict, death of a loved one, infidelity, divorce, a serious accident, illness, or injury. In many of these situations, the person did not…
  • Overcoming Procrastination (MH Lesson)
    • Overcoming Procrastination (MH Lesson)
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    • Overcoming Procrastination (MH Lesson)
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    • Have you ever asked yourself—”Why do I always put things off, even though I know it will cause me so much stress later on?” Many of us are caught in that “twilight zone” of waiting until the last minute to do something, feeling stressed and overwhelmed, telling ourselves we won’t ever put something off that long again, and then repeating…
  • Overcoming Roadblocks to Listening (COD Lesson)
    • Overcoming Roadblocks to Listening (COD Lesson)
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    • Overcoming Roadblocks to Listening (COD Lesson)
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    • The ability to listen can be learned and developed and, like any skill, must be honed to increase your skill level. Listening is not simply hearing someone. It is the art of being present with them in such a meaningful way that they feel understood. It involves facial expression, eye contact, body posture, attention, attitude, and purpose. Good communication seeks…
  • Overcoming Roadblocks to Listening (MH Lesson)
    • Overcoming Roadblocks to Listening (MH Lesson)
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    • Overcoming Roadblocks to Listening (MH Lesson)
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    • The ability to listen can be learned, developed and, like any skill, must be honed to increase your proficiency. Listening is not simply hearing someone. It is the art of being present with them in such a meaningful way that they feel understood. It involves facial expression, eye contact, body posture, attention, attitude, and purpose. Good communication seeks to understand.…
  • Planning Your Recovery (COD Lesson)
    • Planning Your Recovery (COD Lesson)
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    • Planning Your Recovery (COD Lesson)
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    • Almost nothing gets done without a solid plan. However, almost anything can be accomplished with a well thought out plan that is strategically executed with patience and persistence. Accomplishing recovery and establishing a positive future also requires a good plan and diligent effort. It is always easier to hit a target if you know specifically what the target is. A…
  • Positive Thinking that Works (MH Lesson)
    • Positive Thinking that Works (MH Lesson)
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    • Positive Thinking that Works (MH Lesson)
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    • It is important to examine your thoughts and beliefs, positive and negative, and how they influence your feelings and actions. When a thought is negative and pessimistic, it may lead to worrisome and depressive feelings, and careless or poorly planned actions. Understanding the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and behavior is essential in reducing symptoms that affect your mental health. This…
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (COD Lesson)
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (COD Lesson)
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    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (COD Lesson)
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    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that often follows a severe traumatic event such as a natural disaster, surviving combat, rape, childhood neglect, abductions, airplane crashes, hostage situations, sexual or physical abuse, the death of a loved one in many others. This lesson outlines a wide variety of traumatic experiences. Between 25 and 42% of those seeking substance use…
  • Quitting Smoking (COD Lesson)
    • Quitting Smoking (COD Lesson)
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    • Quitting Smoking (COD Lesson)
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    • Nicotine dependence is the most prevalent substance abuse disorder among individuals with mental illness. Studies show that individuals with mental illness smoke nearly twice as much as those in the general population. Because they are often heavy smokers, individuals with co-occurring mental illness or addictive disorders are now estimated to make up forty-five percent of the US cigarette market. Learn…
  • Quitting Smoking (MH Lesson)
    • Quitting Smoking (MH Lesson)
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    • Quitting Smoking (MH Lesson)
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    • Smoking poses serious health risks. The life expectancy of a smoker is almost 15 years less than for a non-smoker. For most smokers, their quality of life is severely compromised long before they succumb to the unpleasant diseases caused by smoking. In this lesson, we'll consider the benefits of quitting and provide a step-by-step process to help you along the…
  • Raising Your Self-Esteem (COD Lesson)
    • Raising Your Self-Esteem (COD Lesson)
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    • Raising Your Self-Esteem (COD Lesson)
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    • Self-esteem is the way you see and value yourself. Do you see yourself as likable and important? Or, instead, do you consider yourself to be inferior, inadequate and lacking in importance? To have a healthy self-esteem means to feel positive, be assertive and act confident. It includes being resilient and having an overall sense of well-being and is an important…
  • Rebuilding Trust (COD Lesson)
    • Rebuilding Trust (COD Lesson)
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    • Rebuilding Trust (COD Lesson)
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    • Renewing trust is not just a decision – it’s a lifestyle change. It requires honesty with the person you have hurt, and with yourself. When we lie or cheat, we weaken the foundation of our relationships. Substance abuse and addiction often lead people to hide in the shadows, work in the dark, and keep things secret. Because changed behavior over…
  • Recognizing and Treating Bipolar Illness (MH Lesson)
    • Recognizing and Treating Bipolar Illness (MH Lesson)
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    • Recognizing and Treating Bipolar Illness (MH Lesson)
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    • Bipolar disorder is a treatable medical illness marked by extreme changes in behavior, thoughts, moods, and energy levels. It is also known as manic-depression because a person's mood can alternate between symptoms of mania and depression. These changes in mood can last for hours, days, weeks, or even months. Unlike people with clinical depression who feel mainly low, most people…
  • Recognizing and Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (MH Lesson)
    • Recognizing and Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (MH Lesson)
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    • Recognizing and Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (MH Lesson)
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    • For some people, a traumatic experience was the beginning of major mental health problems or a substance use disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that often follows surviving a severe traumatic event such as a natural disaster, combat, rape, childhood neglect, airplane crash, hostage situation, car accident, assault, sudden death of a loved one, sexual or physical abuse,…
  • Recognizing Relapse Points (COD Lesson)
    • Recognizing Relapse Points (COD Lesson)
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    • Recognizing Relapse Points (COD Lesson)
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    • Relapse is defined as becoming ill again after a period of improvement in health has occurred. Treatment for co-occurring disorders focuses on substance use and mental health issues. Relapse can mean a return of mental health symptoms, or substance use may begin again. Because the issues are so interwoven, a return of symptoms in one category may inflame or initiate…
  • Recognizing Signs of Addiction (COD Lesson)
    • Recognizing Signs of Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • Recognizing Signs of Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • Addiction to alcohol and other drugs is often a chronic problem. It is progressive, continuous, and long-term. People suffering from serious addictions engage in compulsive behaviors and gradually lose control of their lives. They continue to drink or use drugs, even when they know it will lead to negative consequences. People who are becoming increasingly more addicted over time are…
  • Reducing Relational Conflict (COD Lesson)
    • Reducing Relational Conflict (COD Lesson)
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    • Reducing Relational Conflict (COD Lesson)
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    • Close, personal, intimate, and deeply connected relationships do the most to bring happiness and contentment in both your life and recovery program. Although difficult, establishing meaningful relationships is extremely valuable and worth the effort. This lesson reviews specific strategies to reduce relational conflict including rebuilding trust, creating relational intimacy, building safety, developing your character, becoming a gifted problem solver, and…
  • Restoration Through Forgiveness (COD Lesson)
    • Restoration Through Forgiveness (COD Lesson)
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    • Restoration Through Forgiveness (COD Lesson)
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    • When we are hurt, betrayed, or mistreated, we can end up with a lingering pain we often refer to as bitterness and resentment. These damaging wounds caused by others can fester and become more destructive in our lives. Resentment can damage relationships and rob us of the simple joys of living. Most addicts have been misused and hurt by others.…
  • Rewriting Your Script (COD Lesson)
    • Rewriting Your Script (COD Lesson)
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    • Rewriting Your Script (COD Lesson)
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    • 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 as adequate, influential, and valuable you might act more assertively, talk to others freely,…
  • Setting and Maintaining Boundaries (MH Lesson)
    • Setting and Maintaining Boundaries (MH Lesson)
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    • Setting and Maintaining Boundaries (MH Lesson)
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    • A boundary is like a fence or property line. It distinguishes between what is yours and what belongs to someone else. It also distinguishes between what you are responsible for and areas that are not your responsibility. The boundary is necessary for healthy functioning and ultimately helps to keep people and relationships safe. When you set a boundary, you are…
  • Setting Reasonable Expectations (COD Lesson)
    • Setting Reasonable Expectations (COD Lesson)
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    • Setting Reasonable Expectations (COD Lesson)
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    • I want things to go well. And I want things to go well for you in recovery and beyond. Even when an outcome turns out well in the end, there are often difficulties along the way. This lesson will help you navigate the tension between expecting the best and enduring difficulties as they arise. It will help you overlook faults…
  • Six Types of Anxiety Disorders (COD Lesson)
    • Six Types of Anxiety Disorders (COD Lesson)
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    • Six Types of Anxiety Disorders (COD Lesson)
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    • Everyone gets anxious, worried, and has occasional fears. Anxiety disorders are different. Anxiety disorders refer to a wide range of difficulties characterized by disabling levels of dread, worry, and anxiety that is not brief or passing. In co-occurring disorders, as anxiety increases, the need to escape the discomfort propels the addict to use alcohol or drugs to reduce the tension…
  • Sleep Problems in Addiction (COD Lesson)
    • Sleep Problems in Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • Sleep Problems in Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • The lack of sleep takes a heavy toll in the human body. Sleep issues contribute to many health concerns. Some substances users begin using drugs or alcohol in an effort to fall asleep or stay asleep. Others begin misusing medications in order to stay awake during the day. Alcohol and drugs can seriously alter the quality of your sleep. This…