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Helps, Supports & Guidance

A Modern Behavioral Approach to Overcoming Addiction:

Healing the Pain Yourself

(With helps, supports, and planning)


Annette Buchanan-Phillips, MA, PhD

March 22, 2009













Overcoming Addiction -2- A. Buchanan-Phillips, MA, PhD

This paper is to accompany the flowchart by me based on the H.A.L.T. Theory of Addiction Maintenance; and utilizes Behavior Modification principles, Reality Theory, (W. Glasser); and Gestalt Theory.

The objective is to create a new self perception; and therefore a new self image, based upon self esteem; and achievement.

The basis of the H.A.L.T. Theory is the acronym for certain essential principles in overcoming any addictive, and self destructive behaviors where negative self images are built up through negative self talk, and reinforcing associations and environment.

Never Allow Oneself to be:

H= too Hungry (May cause hallucinations and prompt self defeating acts)

A= too Angry (May lead too over reaction to small slights or memory)

L= too Lonely (May cause delusion and feelings of hopelessness)

T= too Tired (Is sensory deprivation; which can produce urges to self medicate)

Behavior Modification Strategy

Utilizing Solution Focused Brief Therapy: Plan, Set Time limits, and Goals.

Plan= Establish the Plan of treatment with the client; asking for feedback, and guidance from the "Client As Expert" on themselves, and their life.

Overcoming Addiction -3- A. Buchanan-Phillips, MA, PhD

Time= S.F.B.T. has a set time for achieving goals, and therapeutic visits. In many cases of third party pay; only maintenance visits are funded after an intial 6 to 12 diagnostic, planning and treatment appointments. Therefore it is essential to establish the new paradigms and objectives early, requiring client tasks such as journal keeping to assist in client focus, commitment and dedication.

Goals= The Goal of the Client is to assist the Therapist in helping them to "Create the Life They Want" which will include a desired self image in the process.

Opening Closed Avenues Of :

Communications= Catharsis via Verbal and Written Dialogue; which may include Art Therapy, Music Therapy, and journal or diary entries, even fictionalizing in order to step outside of the self and visualize situations and solutions objectively.

Detox= Cleansing the Physical Body and Digestive system from the Inside Out. This purging includes creating a diet for that purpose; ie., poultry and fish with fruits and steamed vegetables, with extra focus on hydration via ionized water, juices, and lemonade.

Psycho-Spiritual Advancement= Introspection, and reporting, combines with self analysis by the Client with the help and support of the Therapist or Counselor. This purges the spirit and the memories; in charting the precipitating acts or events to the addictive behavior; and the feelings before, during and after the behavior.

Overcoming Addiction -4- A. Buchanan-Phillips, MA, PhD

Replacement & Reprogramming

Replacement= Replacing the addictive behavior with new and more positive emotionally gratifying behaviors. Those may include; the favorite or "wished for" reinforcing rewards that life never seemed to afford to one. Things the addiction took away; ie., beauty days, clothes shopping, concerts, or any pleasurable past times or human interactions.

Reprogramming= Using positive "Affirmations in the Mirror" and reinforcing positive self talk; with rewards for successive approximation toward goals of desired achievements, self image, and power building. A simple one might be: "I am a worthy being, of everything the Universe has to offer. I love myself as I am."

Deepak Chopra uses this one: "I am independent of the Good and Bad Opinion of Others. I am Superior to no one, and beneath no one. I am." ( D. Chopra; "The Happiness Prescription": On DVD)

Exploring New Alternatives:

Plan and Create Together: New Non-Addictive and Empowering Paradigms utilize Meditation, prayer, arts, hobbies, little adventures in your environment that were never a part of the addictive support groups places to frequent. Engage in Artistic Expression and Reflection.

New Behaviors Deserve= A new look; a make over of face, clothes, living space,

Overcoming Addiction -5- A. Buchanan-Phillips, MA, PhD

furniture, decorations and new and different is the rule to adhere to. Stretch beyond what were the previously conceived limitations. Paint your rooms, choose your colors, "Goodwill Treasures" hunt. Enjoy as you create; applaud your own successes.

New Associations and Supports Emerge:

As Plans and Goals are achieved; acknowledge and reward them for yourself; have a tall glass of lemonade and admire your painting, your colors, your new environment, and your own power and ability to create the life you want.

You deserve your applause; and that of your new associations and supporters; because you helped to carve "New Pathways" and Progress. You Created your "New Life Style and Environment."

In the Full Length Mirror is the "New You":

Complete with Self Esteem, Empowerment, and "Well-ness" Balanced; and make it your mission in life to be "better, better, and better"; (Jose Silva: "Silva Mind Control" on CD) , "every day in every way I am better, better and better."

*****Maintenance Tips****

Choose to think positive rather than negative in every situation; and limit negative conversations to 1 minute, (get an egg timer). Make an appointment to discuss what bothers you; and list talking points. Trust but verify any and all gossip; and

Overcoming Addiction -6- A. Buchanan-Phillips, MA, PhD

take note of the liars and instigators in order to apply the needed grains of salt. Avoid the troublesome old crew, and relatives who want to drag one into the old self destructive; or painful behavior patterns. Reinforce the "New Life Patterns" and build on them. Most of all, laugh often; it really does help. Appreciate Yourself, and those who helped by appreciating you for the wonderful and amazingly "One of A Kind" person that you are.

Stay Strong!

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