• Managing External Boundaries

    Posted on September 24, 2021
    by Tom Horvath, PhD When we talk about having boundaries, we can talk about managing external boundaries and we can talk about managing internal boundaries. This blog will discuss the management of external boundaries. To better understand external boundaries, it helps to understand the concept of interpersonal boundaries. Interpersonal boundaries are the rules we establish for ourselves about how we interact with other people. We can compare interpersonal boundaries to having a house. The house, with roof and walls, protects us from the outside, and keeps our possessions together. But there are also doors, windows, window coverings, pipes, wires, vents, and so forth, which allow us to be flexible about what comes in and what goes out. In this blog we focus on protecting ourselves fr...
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  • Seeking Out and Managing Discomfort

    Posted on September 17, 2021
    by Tom Horvath, PhD A well-lived life needs to have significant and possibly considerable amounts of discomfort in it. For instance, do you want to exercise well, maintain a certain weight, get up early, work hard at something, or hold your tongue in an intense discussion? You are likely to feel uncomfortable! The key, then, is to learn skills for managing discomfort that will inevitably come. You might also be interested in: Coping with Stress in Addiction Recovery In particular, if you want to stop an addictive problem, you are likely to have a transition period as you change how you live. Cravings might die off almost entirely after 90 days (although there is no guarantee they will completely), but other challenges might last much longer. Maybe you should just give up now? Fortu...
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  • Asserting Myself

    Posted on September 10, 2021
    How well am I asserting myself? It is an increasingly competitive world. We need to assert our wants and desires in order to thrive. It is also an increasingly (socially) distant world, and not just because of a pandemic. It is easy to get distracted by the limited connections provided by social media, and not have the richer experience of direct interaction with others. To connect with others we need to be comfortable revealing ourselves. Considerations when answering the question, "Am I asserting myself?" Assertiveness is the direct expression of my experience and reactions, including my thoughts, beliefs, opinions, emotions, and the like, while recognizing that others may have (and have a right to) different experiences and reactions. Assertiveness is a mean between aggressiveness...
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  • Drugs Don't Cause Addiction

    Posted on March 19, 2021
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD Saying drugs cause addiction is like saying clouds cause tornadoes.  Tornadoes are caused by a complex combination of factors including warm, moist air, changes in wind direction and speed, and an unstable atmosphere decreasing in temperature rapidly with height.  Similarly, addiction is caused by a complex combination of factors, not drugs themselves.  Let us not forget, drugs are not even a necessary component of addiction, as addictive behaviors manifest in the absence of drugs with process addictions like gambling, video games, sex, food, social media, work, etc.   Just like tornadoes require an unstable atmosphere, addictions invariably grow from unstable, often traumatic environmental conditions.  Clouds don’t cause tornadoes, drugs don’t cause addictio...
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  • How Absorbing Activities Can Help Addictive Problems

    Posted on September 4, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD Addiction is characterized by a narrowing of behavior patterns.  As a particular behavior begins to dominate others, problems are likely to arise.  Expanding and diversifying behavior patterns is vital to overcoming addictive problems.  Identifying and participating in activities that capture and sustain our engaged interest is essential to well-being, and improved well-being is an excellent outcome in addictive problems and life in general. A lesser known SMART Recovery tool is called VACI, or Vital Absorbing Creative Interests.  When we engage in VACI, neural networks can be activated that promote a state of consciousness some researchers call flow.  Although the human brain remains a highly unexplored scientific frontier, it is not a stretch to wonder i...
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  • Four Tips for Getting Sober During Coronavirus Pandemic

    Posted on April 24, 2020
    Coronavirus Update: We are still seeing and accepting new clients via online rehab. Sessions and groups occur by video or phone. Call 858-546-1100 for details and to schedule. We are presently authorized to work in some other states (in addition to California). Call to find out about your state.  Need intensive treatment, but fearful about going into a facility? Understood! Call us about an intensive treatment option that won’t place you in high-risk situations.  Four Tips for Getting Sober During Coronavirus Pandemic The recent Coronavirus pandemic has all of us working, schooling, and pulling our hair out at home. Just because the world has seemingly come to a standstill, doesn’t mean that addictions have as well. If you were interested in addiction treatment prior to the quarant...
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  • Staying Sober in a “Let’s Grab Drinks” Culture

    Posted on January 25, 2019
    By the team at Practical Recovery Separating libations from social situations in American culture is about as easy as separating hassle from air travel.  A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that alcohol consumption is on the rise in the United States, especially among women, older adults, ethnic minorities, and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.  Going out for drinks is such a staple of US culture that establishing a natural, rich, and fulfilling social life is a legitimate challenge for those who pass on the party scene.  For those who resist liquid luncheons, thirsty Thursdays, not-so-happy hours, and whiskey sours, it is important to have some ways of staying sober in a “let’s grab drinks” culture. People don’t drink for a variety o...
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  • The Best College Recovery Programs for Students in Every State

    Posted on November 28, 2018
    A collegiate recovery program can mean all the difference to a young person in recovery. Having a program like this available on campus means they do not have to choose between recovery and a higher education. It provides students with an avenue to stay committed to recovery, while focusing on school, and having a community of support in a setting where it’s stereotypically a place to overindulge in substances. We researched colleges across the country that understand this and have dedicated university resources to supporting students in recovery. This is far from all, but is a great showing of support for the recovery community in higher education. U.S. Universities with Recovery Programs for Students Alabama University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL - The Collegiate Recovery and...
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  • Self-Care in Recovery: H.A.L.T. at the Crossroads

    Posted on January 20, 2017
    Self-Care in Recovery H.A.L.T. At The Crossroads by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. I recently received a request from a reader to examine H.A.L.T. in light of current research. H.A.L.T. is a commonly used acronym by 12-Step circles in discussions of triggers and relapse prevention, and it stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. It is based largely on the content of four chapters from the Alcoholics Anonymous publication Living Sober. This article will explore each of the four topics referenced in the H.A.L.T. acronym with empirical and self-empowering inclusions. Hungry The Living Sober book suggests that eating or drinking something, particularly something sweet, is an effective method of dampening the desire to drink. SMART Recovery would call the technique of eating ice cream in...
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  • Rebuilding Your Life After Addiction, Pt. 2

    Posted on July 1, 2016
    Rebuilding Your Life after Recovery, Pt. 2: Time Management Last week, we covered work ethic in terms of rebuilding your life after recovery. This week, we cover how to better manage your professional and personal life with time management skills. We all have busy lives managing several parts of our professional and personal life.  Do you have that friend that seems to always have extra time on their hands and seems to be able to get everything done in a day?  Do you also have that friend who seems to always be rushing, late to events or appears to be challenged with multi tasks? Managing our time effectively is a skill we can all improve upon. It is easy to get distracted or lose focus with so much going on in our lives, even though the concept itself is quite easy to understand. I...
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