• Radical Acceptance

    Posted on June 4, 2021
    by Tom Horvath, PhD, ABPP Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) places a primary focus on improving distress tolerance. One of several tools DBT offers for tolerating distress is radical acceptance. The context of using any of the distress tolerance tools is the recognition that life will have distress, and that we need to learn how to bear up under it. Life is worth living even if it can be painful. DBT distress tolerance skills are designed to help us get through a crisis, but these tools benefit from practice in advance. These skills can help us accept the discomfort or pain that occur in a crisis, while preventing that discomfort or pain from rising to the level of suffering. Radical = “going to the root,” like a radish. Radical acceptance does not mean we approve of reality. ...
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  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): A Brief Overview

    Posted on May 21, 2021
    by Tom Horvath, PhD, ABPP Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an approach to psychotherapy designed for individuals who are highly emotionally sensitive, who struggle with depression and anxiety, and who may at times become suicidal. DBT tools, which focus on distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and mindfulness, can be helpful to anyone. You can remember these 4 categories as DIEM, as in carpe diem (seize the day). DBT is part of the larger family of CBT (cognitive behavior therapy). Marsha Linehan, a psychology professor emeritus at the University of Washington, Seattle, developed DBT as a result of coping with her own emotional problems. Linehan, born in 1943, revealed in her late 60’s the personal connection to her professional work. Distres...
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  • Dialectical Dilemmas

    Posted on May 7, 2021
    by Tom Horvath, PhD, ABPP Dialectical is a word with a long history (back to the Greeks), but for now let’s define it as “focusing or acting on the interaction of opposing forces or ideas.” Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) identifies and addresses three common dialectical dilemmas, in order to improve emotional self-regulation, one of the primary goals of DBT. DBT can be helpful for individuals in whom large and rapid emotional swings (e.g., from love to hate) are common, painful, and harmful. The first of the dialectical dilemmas involves being emotionally vulnerable (either at present, or over a lifetime as a result of being emotionally more sensitive than average), but then downplaying the intensity of emotions. Typical self-statements are “this won’t be that hard” or “I shou...
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  • Is Walmart to Blame For The Opioid Epidemic?

    Posted on January 8, 2021
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD Villains certainly make prime scapegoats.  Because villains make great targets they are also susceptible to false allegations and wrongful convictions.  Despite its dominance in the retail sector, global mega-merchant Wal-Mart manages to retain a special sort of derision from many.  Recently, Wal-Mart’s been under fire for ignoring red flags as opioid sales boomed in the past decade.  Given Wal-Mart’s ubiquity, it would follow that one of the largest dispensers of prescription medicine ignoring red flags while opioid sales soared deserves a lion’s share of blame for the opioid epidemic, right?  Wrong.   What Role Does Walmart have in The Opioid Epidemic? Ignoring red flags while quarterly profit numbers tickle the fancies of board members and shareh...
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  • Family Communication: Be PIUS This Holiday Season

    Posted on December 4, 2020
    By Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD Holidays are ripe with tales of family gatherings gone sour.  Many families anticipate disruptive antics from at least one family member, maybe more.  As the beloved Lion King character, Zazu, memorably proclaimed about rabble-rousing kin, there’s one in every family, two in mine actually!  Whether there are one, two, or 10 family rascals to navigate this holiday season, SMART Recovery offers effective tips for family communication to help maximize enjoyable interactions with loved ones. The SMART acronym PIUS outlines four core communication skills.  The ‘P’ stands for positive communication.  Before anyone jumps to ‘captain obvious’ critiques about how much of a no-brainer it is to try to communicate positively, let’s take more than a passing, dismis...
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  • Alcohol and Sexual Performance: Too Much May Mean Not Enough

    Posted on October 16, 2020
    by Tom Horvath, PhD., ABPP Macbeth, Act II, Scene 3: [Alcohol] provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance It was not until 1976 that scientific evidence supporting this line from Shakespeare was published. In a study of 16 male volunteers, ages 18-24 (mean age 20), the diameter of erections was approximately 10% larger than normal after about 1 drink, about 5% smaller after 2-3 drinks, and about 20% smaller after 4 drinks. With even higher doses of alcohol we can only guess the impact, but clearly the trend is not in the desired direction. The phrase “whiskey dick” is less than Shakespearian but expresses a similar idea when it comes to alcohol and sexual performance. Search the web and you can find numerous articles about this term. A related finding is that lo...
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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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  • Disputing Irrational Beliefs & The Power of the Question

    Posted on July 24, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD Humans are renowned for our cranial horsepower.  To maximize efficiency, our brains developed a number of shortcuts to thinking that are rarely questioned.  The discovery of the brain’s cognitive shortcuts made researcher Daniel Kahneman one of only two psychologists ever to with both the Nobel and Grawemeyer prizes, and for those interested the book Thinking Fast & Slow gives a detailed account of the cognitive cheats than can wreak havoc when they go unquestioned.  In the world of addiction, the company line continues to be notoriously under-questioned and groupthink abounds.  People who question the status quo in addiction treatment are greeted with about as much enthusiasm as a free thinker in boot camp.  But for any provider or person seeking treatme...
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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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  • The Benefits of Novel Experience

    Posted on March 6, 2020
    It Can Be Good to Get Out of Your Head by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Our website content is no stranger to controversy.  A few months back a blog on the benefits of drugs may have been our single best pot-stirrer to-date based on the number of fervent responses of discontent.  Never mind that we live in a society that uses more drugs than any other.  Never mind that our culture often espouses the credo ‘better living through chemistry.’  Never mind that research shows that non-ordinary states of consciousness often have lasting positive impact on overall functioning and wellbeing.  Never mind that the idea of a drug free society is delusional.  Never mind that our controversy-laden blog entitled 'Drugs are Good?' would have likely generated absolutely no outrage had it used the euphemi...
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