• Finding Personal Space During Shelter-in-Place

    Posted on April 3, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Last week we covered five ways to cope with isolation.  This week we address the other side of the shelter-in-place coin – the challenges of finding space for oneself when sheltering with others.  Most of us live with people, and most of us can relate to the notion that enough time spent with anyone within the same set of walls drives conflict up to the surface like a thermal convection.  Below are five ways to find personal space while sheltering-in-place with loved ones. 1. Headphones Noise cancelling headphones, ideally, but any headphones will do.  As anyone alive and awake in a city for the past 20 years will attest to, as the emergence of ipods and their corresponding iconic white ear buds proliferated through society every sidewalk and bustling str...
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  • How to Forgive

    Posted on February 21, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Forgiveness is often discussed in addiction treatment, and in general has been shown to bolster mental health, hope, and self-esteem.  People are frequently told that they ‘should’ forgive a loved one, or that they ‘need to’ forgive themselves.  Tangible tactics on how to forgive are oft-omitted.  This article neglects philosophical pontifications as to what forgiveness is and instead focuses on specific techniques, based on the Enright model of forgiveness, that actually result in the experience of forgiveness. According to researchers, forgiveness starts with an unflinching look directly into the nature of the offense and the objective and subjective effects caused by it.  To forgive, one must identify and work through the layers of pain, shame, guilt,...
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  • When Substance Abuse Affects the Family

    Posted on May 31, 2019
    When someone in your family is struggling with addiction, it can be complicated, exhausting, and confusing. You must find a delicate balance between being supportive and protecting your own boundaries. Navigating through this environment is often times draining and most families have questions. If you are experiencing problematic substance use in your family, there is support for you. It is important to realize that drug and alcohol use can affect the entire family and it’s wise for family members to get help as well. Below are a few common questions shared by family members of those with problematic substance use issues.  Substance Abuse Support for Families Q&A Do I have to stop loving my family member who has a substance use issue? No. You will need to draw boundaries with thi...
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  • Rebound Relationships in Recovery

    Posted on February 3, 2017
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. If (as the current paradigm shift in recovery suggests) the opposite of addiction is connection not sobriety, then it makes perfect sense that initiating new romantic relationships early on in recovery is commonplace.  As with so many facets of recovery, there is an abundance of "advice" on relationships.  The recovery "wisdom" on relationships has some worthwhile points to consider, but is often fraught with arbitrary absolutes and unfounded, unrealistic mandates.  Thus far, there has been no empirical data linking horticultural adeptness to interpersonal effectiveness.  So if you buy a plant and it doesn't go so well, fret not, that doesn't mean you can't succeed in building meaningful and lasting relationships. Anyone  with experience in 12-step c...
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  • Dealing With Difficult People

    Posted on September 9, 2016
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. We all deal with people who bug us every day. Sometimes the people who annoy us are our neighbors, our co-workers, or our family members. Improving our ways of dealing with difficult people can help us enrich our own lives and decrease urges to use substances to cope with uncomfortable feelings. A common precursor to substance use is emotional discomfort. A common source of emotional discomfort is conflict in relationships. Many people go to great lengths to avoid conflict in relationships. However, it is often much more useful to focus our energy on managing conflict in relationships rather than avoiding conflict altogether. When conflict arises in a relationship it is important to discuss the conflict when emotions are manageable and not extreme. Below...
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  • 7 Ways Unhealthy Relationships and Substance Abuse are Related

    Posted on February 8, 2016
    #NowIsTheTime to end domestic violence and related substance abuse. Jessica Yaffa, president of The San Diego Domestic Violence Council, and founder/president of No Silence No Violence, kicked off a series of public service announcements in partnership with the San Diego Chargers. The campaign is geared toward encouraging adults to teach kids about healthy relationships and reduce domestic violence. We'd like to take this a step further and consider what this issue looks like when you add in substance abuse. “Violent relationships can have long-lasting effects on teens,” said San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. “Adolescent victims of violent relationships are at greater risk for substance abuse, mental health problems and further domestic violence." Unhealthy relations...
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  • How to Help a Loved One Who Drinks Too Much

    Posted on November 17, 2015
    By Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP Does your loved one drink too much during the holidays? Or at any time for that matter? What’s the best way to respond? Here are some general guidelines for navigating this challenging time. Every person and situation is different, so these guidelines are just a beginning. Let’s start with what is ineffective and possibly harmful. Don't ignore the excessive drinking. Sometimes ignoring a problem is sensible, especially if it clears up later on its own. Here we assume it is not clearing up. Like drinking too much, ignoring problems is a short-term solution that masks, or tries to mask, something deeper. Looking for treatment for someone you love? Click here. Don't tell your loved one what to do or how to do it. Perhaps the most important fact about ad...
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  • Dating In Recovery: 4 Questions to Ask Yourself

    Posted on July 30, 2015
    So you’ve begun to get the cravings under control and are starting to rebuild your life. You’re changing habits, changing your thinking and feeling hopeful about the future. As you begin to find more enjoyment throughout your days, you might also be thinking it would be nice to have someone to share all these beautiful things with. But before you jump head first into dating, or a relationship, you need to ask yourself if you’re really ready for dating in recovery. While finding that special someone to share your life with has many benefits, it’s also a big responsibility. Below are four questions to help you decide whether it’s time to write dating into this chapter of your life. 1. Have you given yourself enough time to develop your ideal version of you? Often during active addiction...
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  • Building Trust in Recovery

    Posted on March 24, 2015
    By Devon Berkheiser You can build trust again! Often, building trust with loved ones is a significant part of the recovery process. It’s not uncommon for people in the midst of an addiction to engage in lying, sneaking, and other behaviors that create a loss of trust in relationships. While it can be daunting to think about repairing your important relationships, here are 5 ways to help you manage the process: 1. Be patient First and foremost, recognize that rebuilding trust takes time. Addictive behaviors may have occurred over a span of many years, so it’s not realistic to think that you’ll be able to regain trust immediately. Your friends and family members have their own feelings to work through, so give them time and space for that. It’s normal to want to make things better...
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  • Making Amends

    Posted on March 20, 2015
    by Devon Berkheiser, Psy.D. For members of AA/NA, making amends is part of the program. The 9th step of the 12 steps is to make direct amends to people that have been hurt. Practical Recovery and SMART Recovery don’t have a specific recommendation about making amends, but many people in recovery want to repair and rebuild their relationships. In order to do so, it’s often necessary to address hurt that has been caused by your addictive behaviors. Here are some tips for making amends… the Practical Recovery Way. 1. Acknowledge your role The first step toward repairing relationships is taking responsibility for your role in their breakdown. When feeling ashamed, it’s tempting to avoid addressing the issue altogether or try to deflect those difficult feelings by blaming the other pers...
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