Showing posts from July, 2013

Good Addiction Recovery Starts With a Good Plan

Brian M. Murray, MS, IMH Recovery from chemical dependency requires motivation and a will to succeed. Any worthy endeavor in life requires a good plan, and addiction recovery is no different. A good plan begins with the end goal in mind. Knowing what the end goals looks like provides a roadmap of what it is going to take to get there. An example of this is to think of taking a trip. What is the destination and what is it going to take to get there? What is the mode of transportation? How long is it going to take and what should be packed to make the journey? Recovery is much this way with motivation (gas in the tank), desire, daily living tasks such as eating and exercise, distractions with social groups and hobbies that involve other people just to name a few. Sometimes a person who is struggling with addiction recovery may not have a motivation problem, but a direction problem. They may not simply know where they are going or how to get there. They can become stuck and b…

I Need Counseling But Don't Have Time

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
Do you ever feel like there isn’t enough time to do everything that is needed, wanted, or demanded?Time seems to slip by unnoticed like a thief in the night who has taken all of your prized possessions with little satisfaction left over.Minutes turn into hours, hours turn into days then years just disappear with hardly a remembrance of a fulfilled passion or dream.The sadness looms over you and knowing that some direction, guidance, wisdom and counsel is absolutely essential just adds to the frustration of a ticking clock.
So when the stillness of the early morning hours finds you pondering random thoughts over and over, you finally give in and get up searching for answers.Googling results in numerous blogs, all with helpful tips, but nothing really satisfies.Praying brings some peace but nothing really changes.Even if a friend was awake the conversation would result in a competition over how busy one person was over the other.So what to do?
Organize time.“The…

Is Seeking Mental Health Counseling a Question of Motivation?

By: Brian M Murray

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't.” ― Steve Maraboli
Deciding to take that first step to call a mental health professional to discuss personal problems can be an intimidating experience. It is normal to feel anxious or afraid when a person begins the process of opening up to discuss their issues especially if the pain has been stuffed or packed away for years. So, if going to therapy is about healing then what makes it so difficult? What causes people to avoid it? Why is it so hard to sort out problems and get to the bottom of depression, relieve anxiety, or finally grieve the loss of something or someone held dearly? Or perhaps the question is “what is it going to take to finally kick that addiction habit that has become a routine part of life?”
Often the answers to these questions are multifaceted for many reasons. A quote attributed to many famo…

Counseling is for THOSE People

By Matt W Sandford, LMHC
At the beginning I hated the idea of going to counseling. It felt like an insult that someone had suggested it to me. I was sure that what they meant was, “there’s something wrong with you, something that you can’t fix on your own and you need help.” I had never thought of such a thing for myself, because I knew I was not in that category; meaning the group of people who are screw ups or losers who can’t make their life work or can’t fix themselves.
It doesn’t mean that I did not think I had problems - oh no! Of many of those I was keenly aware (sort of). You see, I was a perfectionist. And that, unfortunately for me, doesn’t mean that you are more perfect than other people. It rather means that you are keenly aware of your imperfections and that you loathe every one of them. The reason the perfectionist loathes them is because they see their weaknesses and mistakes as representative of their defectiveness. And so they are driven in two ways – to prevent mistak…

Why Are Guys SO Afraid of Counseling?

By Dwight Bain Face it. All people have problems, not just women. Yet, the research shows the majority of people who seek professional counseling are female. In fact the majority of counselors are now women, (over 60%). ·Does this mean women have more problems than men? ·Does it mean women really are the “weaker” sex? Or does it mean women are just more honest because they are being healthier by working on problems instead of ignoring them? This process may explain why men tend to struggle with addictions to sports, alcohol, pornography, gambling, violence or drugs more than women do. Simply put a healthy person seeks out wise counsel when facing a challenge and an unhealthy person tries to figure it out by themselves. Here are the most common reasons men avoid counseling situations. 1.Pride, “I’m not the problem- everybody else is” 2.Fear of their problems being exposed “for the world to see” 3.Fear of being seen as “Weak” by not being able to solve all their problems al…

Is Your Teenager on Drugs? How to Look For The Warning Signs

Brian M. Murray, M.S., IMH
A nightmare scenario for a parent can be the day they discover their teenager is using drugs. Upon this discovery the parent will often question themselves as to how this happened and may even begin to question their parenting skills. One of the best things a parent can do is to equip themselves with knowledge of what teen drug use looks like.
If a teen is caught using drugs know that there are several factors involved with them using. Teenage years are often a time of exploration, hormonal changes and what psychologist Erik Erikson in his psychosocial stages of development identifies as identity versus role confusion. They are trying to figure out the world, who they are and their place in it. Drug use is often best resolved if it is treated like an open wound. Find out what they are medicating. What kind of life situational issues are they trying to resolve through the use of drugs? Sometimes it is simply a choice. Like any adult who suffers from addicti…

Addiction Recovery Can Feel Like A Grandstand Performance

Brian M. Murray, MS, IMH

It’s okay to be gentle with ourselves when we’re going through change and grief. Yes, we want to maintain the dis­ciplines of recovery. But we can be compassionate with our­selves. We do not have to expect more from ourselves than we can deliver during this time. We do not even have to ex­pect as much from ourselves as we would normally and seasonably expect. -Melody Beattie

Recovery from addiction does not have to be a grandstand transformational performance. When a person is going through recovery they may feel as if they are on display in front of friends, family, co-workers and others. Basically, they may feel like they are being watched by everyone in their community. This feeling of being watched can leave a person feeling intimated, vulnerable and subjected to other people’s expectations and judgments of how the recovery is supposed to be.

Stress, anxiety and fear of failure often result as the feeling of being watched begins to become part of the rec…

Three Ridiculous Reasons People Give For Not Going to Counseling

By Laura Hull, LMFT
Coping Coach

If you’ve read enough of my blogs, you probably will find a common thread among them that starts with “if I had a buck for every time…I’d be writing this from _____” (fill in the blank with some exotic location).So in an effort to maintain continuity, here you go: if I had a buck for every time I heard someone give a misguided reason for not going for counseling at a time when he/she really needs it, I’d be writing this blog from the sunny beaches of Australia. Here are three of the top reasons I have heard:

Myth 1:Counseling is too expensive.

Truth 1:Divorce is more expensive. Medications are often more expensive.Losing relationships are more expensive (emotionally).Losing your ability to experience joy is more expensive.Times are tough for many people right now.When people are living paycheck to paycheck or are between jobs, it can feel like a real financial stretch to spend money “talking about yourself or your problems.”But in reality, it is often i…