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Accountability in Addiction Recovery | Passages Holistic Rehab

How to Have Accountability in Addiction Recovery

By Jennifer McDougall

“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” –   Sigmund Freud

Give a person freedom and see what they do with it. You can tell a lot about a person’s habits, beliefs, and priorities when you hand them freedom. This, of course, comes with great responsibility, especially for someone in addiction recovery.

Most people who have struggled with substance abuse related issues know how important it is to have someone help them be accountable for their actions so that they can stay on the right path. Accountability helps us reach our goals and be the successful individual we hope and work hard to be. Knowing that you have to show up for that meeting or appointment in the morning will help you be less tempted to get in trouble the night before. You will most likely be more motivated to have a relaxing, drug, and alcohol-free evening so you can wake up and feel healthy and energized in the morning.

For many people in recovery, the fear of going back to old ways, and unhealthy habits keep them pushing forward to grow and develop new and improved lifestyle choices they can feel happy about. Having a carefully laid out course of action to stay accountable is the best way to be clear and focused on your sobriety. Here are 7 helpful tips.

  1. Let your friends and family know about your sobriety.
  2. Find an accountability partner to check in with as often as you need.
  3. Keep a physical and mental list of what you have to lose.
  4. Stay closely connected to those who support your sobriety.
  5. Be consistent in your routine and responsibilities.
  6. Set weekly and daily goals for yourself and cross them off as you go.
  7. Schedule social, fitness, and business appointments for the morning to keep you from being tempted to stray off course in the evening hours.
Call (888) 397-0112 today. Most insurance is accepted.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Passages Malibu Addiction Treatment Philosophy
Passages Malibu Addiction Treatment Philosophy
5 Healthy Ways to Express and Release Emotions

5 Healthy Ways to Express and Release Emotions

By Jennifer McDougall

Drugs and alcohol suppress the way you feel authentically, causing you to have midstride and confused thoughts or feelings of your emotions and reactions to situations or symptoms in your life. When you get sober, you will most likely discover a wave of freedom to fully feel everything for exactly how it truly is. This is oftentimes overwhelming for new individuals in recovery because they are not used to feeling all the natural highs and lows people who don’t numb their pain with drugs and alcohol feel. It’s a new and different way of experiencing life and there is nothing better than feeling completely connected with your mind, body, and spirit.

The number of emotions we feel is limitless. From anxiety, sadness, fear, happiness, anger, frustration, irritability, loneliness, discomfort, confusion, excitement, nervousness, worry, and the list goes on. It’s important we keep our emotions balanced so we can remain clear-minded and focused.

Dealing with all these emotions in a healthy and constructive way is important in making the most of our ability to grow in sobriety and become our most authentic self. Here are five helpful ways to express yourself in a positive way and release any pain, tension, or over-excitement.

  1. Pause for a full minute. Close your eyes and take three long deep breaths. Exhale and push all the air out of your lungs after each breath. Then gravitate back to the center in your core. Imagine your heart-centered balance recalibrated.
  2. Identify what emotion you are feeling. Point out where in your body the emotion is affecting. Take into consideration the root cause of this emotion. What brought it on and why your reaction to the feeling is what it is.
  3. Accept what you feel. Be real with how you feel. Talk it out or write it down. Be truly honest in what you are experiencing, emotionally and then set it free. Let the feeling fly free and release it after you have felt it all the way through. Do not bottle things up or hold on to them. Let it go.
  4. Embrace creative your creative side to express emotions. Get our your painting supplies, your journal, your computer, your basket of crafting materials, and start creating. Using art, writing, pottery, poetry, gardening, design, or scrapbooking as creative outlets is a great way to express your internal mayhem.
  5. Break a sweat. As I mention in most of my blog posts, working out is one of the best ways to let out all of the funkiness you’re feeling. Whether you are happy, sad, mad, or overly excited, working out helps release endorphins to not only help keep you in shape but it forces you to BREATHE. Breathing helping provide more oxygen to your brain and pushes your blood flow to help you think clearly and make smarter choices.
Start living a healthy, sober, and happy life.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

7 Ways to Create Your Personal Philosophy

7 Ways to Create Your Personal Philosophy

By Jennifer McDougall

“A strong personal philosophy does more than sustain us through the tragedies of life. It also stains us daily in everything we think and do. It gives us optimism and hope.”
― Chris Prentiss, Zen and the Art of Happiness

When you think about the way you view the world, what you value, your own moral compass, and perspective, what do you see? Creating a personal philosophy helps guide us into the direction that is aligned with our core principles. How you react and respond to situations that happen to and around you is part of your personal philosophy.

  1. Introspection. Look within your soul to discover a new light of clarity that gives you hope and makes you feel empowered.
  2. Study other philosophies such as religion and spiritual beliefs.
  3. Discuss your values and core beliefs with other people.
  4. Practice making choices that are aligned with your beliefs.
  5. Reframe your beliefs so they work for you and not against you.
  6. Find a therapist, life coach, or mentor that can help guide and support you in creating and practicing your personal philosophy.
  7. Be patient. Allow your personal philosophy to evolve and develop over time through various experiences and enlightenment.

The reason it’s important to have a strong personal philosophy is that it helps us make decisions and live an authentic life where you can be true to yourself and honest with others you interact with.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. What is the purpose or meaning of your life? What are you most passionate about? What do you value the most in life?
  2. Which beliefs resonate with you and which ones do not?
  3. What do you want to contribute to the world? What would you like your legacy to be? What are the most important things for you to accomplish in your life?
  4. What type of working, living, and social environments are best suitable for achieving your goals?
  5. What physical and mental state should you aim to reach in order to achieve your goals and be successful?
  6. What do you need every day to live a life that honors your morals, values, and goals?
  7. What do you need to release from your life or daily habits to achieve your goals and live a life you feel proud of?
  8. What type of music, art, and literature resonate best with you?
  9. How do you view conflicts when they arise? In what way do you approach issues in your life?
  10. What type of attitude do you have in the general theme of your life?

“Don’t Just

Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

7 Ways to Create Your Personal Philosophy

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

5 Spiritual Tools in Addiction Recovery

5 Spiritual Tools in Addiction Recovery

By Jennifer McDougall

“It takes practice, feeling happy about the ever-unfolding events of life, and, because of all the conditioning we have undergone before this, it may be very difficult to make the change, but if we take the saying to heart and practice it, as the days unfold we will find ourselves living ever happier lives, smiling more, and finally, laughing more.”
― Wu Wei, I Ching Wisdom: More Guidance from the Book of Answers

Having a spiritual tool kit in addiction recovery can help you stay on track in a thriving journey of sobriety. We all have triggers and temptations that try to lead us astray and knock us off course, but with these 5 helpful tools, you can stay focused on being the best version of yourself, the one who is free from substance abuse and addiction-related issues.

  1. Daily meditation. One of my favorite times of the day to meditate is the morning. It allows me to clear my mind, start my day with clear intentions and set a balanced tone so that I can be productive and feel my best.
  2. Understanding your triggers and having a plan for when they arise. Leave an event if you have to. Call a friend when you’re feeling a craving. Go for a run to break a sweat and release any stress or tension. Take a warm bath and leave your phone in the other room to allow yourself some peace and quiet. There are many things to do to help ease the effects brought on by our triggers so find what works for you and stick to that.
  3. Yoga and Tai Chi. These exercises have been shown to help increase flexibility, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, improve quality of sleep, increase strength and muscle tone, improve cardiovascular health, and improve and balance energy levels.
  4. Morning affirmations. Start with some of these: “I am grateful to be alive!” ” Today will be a great and productive day.” I will finish my tasks with joy today.” “I Choose to focus on the positive.” ” I am surrounded by positive and loving people.” “I make great decisions.” “Each day is filled with joy & abundance.” “Life is a beautiful gift.” “I am a happiness magnet.” “Good energy is flowing through me.”
  5. Connect through prayer and spiritual readings. Take a look at our Wellness Store for some wonderful books to read and help you feel empowered. Shop today at www.PassagesWellnessStore.com

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Customized Addiction Therapy at Passages Rehab

Customized Addiction Treatment Program at Passages Rehab

By Jennifer McDougall

Being treated for substance abuse-related issues at Passages Malibu is the start of something beautiful. Anyone who has struggled to get and stay sober knows how challenging this process is. That is why at Passages, we are fully committed to providing our clients with the best possible therapy available that best suits their needs, by customizing a state-of-the-art addiction treatment program.

Our non-12 Step and holistic addiction therapy offers more one-on-one sessions than many other programs out there today. We know how crucial it is for an individual to get the proper attention and professional care so they can begin to feel empowered, heal, and thrive.

Here is what our treatment at Passages Malibu includes:

INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT

GROUP TREATMENT

MEDICAL CARE

The treatment at Passages is exceptionally stellar beyond measure. Many treatment centers claim to offer what Passages offers, but they don’t come close. Here is what makes our addiction treatment center so unique:

  • Individual Therapy: At least 14 to 19 individual sessions per week, depending on your program – this is far more than any other treatment center offers
  • 24/7 Nursing: Registered, on-site nursing staff to attend to your medical needs
  • A professionally trained and experienced treatment team including various addiction experts, doctors, and licensed therapists
  • Freedom to use cell phones and laptops: Stay connected to family and business during your treatment
  • Advanced holistic therapy methods: Each customized to meet your individual needs, taking into consideration the specific aspects of your addiction
  • Immaculate grounds and bedrooms create a perfect atmosphere for healing and relaxation
  • Family owned and operated – Providing reliable and trustworthy addiction treatment services since 2001

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

10 Ways to Increase Emotional Intelligence | Luxury Rehab

10 Ways to Increase Emotional Intelligence

By Jennifer McDougall

“Emotion can be the enemy, if you give in to your emotion, you lose yourself. You must be at one with your emotions because the body always follows the mind.”
–Bruce Lee

Frustration over emotions may suggest than an individual lacks emotional intelligence. If you are someone who gets stressed out easily, have difficulty asserting yourself, quickly make assumptions, hold grudges or oftentimes feel misunderstood, it could be time to begin working on improving your emotional intelligence (EQ).

After decades of research, medical scientists are now pointing to evidence that sets star performers apart from others. Those who have shown strong characteristics of high EQ oftentimes excel far beyond their colleagues and peers.

10 Ways to Increase Emotional Intelligence | Luxury Rehab
10 Ways to Increase Emotional Intelligence | Luxury Rehab

Did you know that there are four core skills that an emotionally intelligent person has?

  1. Manages to be opened minded to how one is feeling and integrates those emotions into decisions and actions
  2. Ability to identify the feelings of yourself and others
  3. Uses feelings to guide through thoughts and reasoning in yourself and others
  4. Understands that feelings might influence change as events develop and unfold

Here are 10 critical ways to drastically improve your ability to be emotionally intelligent.

  1. Be mindful of your reaction to any and every event that occurs
  2. Take a deep breath and pause before responding, whether or not the situation causes you to be happy, sad, excited, or angry. Always pause.
  3. Ask yourself “Why” (Why does this person feel that way? Why does this make me feel the way it does?)
  4. Rather than taking offense to criticism, explore what you can learn from it
  5. Keep a journal to accurately gauge your thoughts, feelings, and reactions to how you deal with events that arise in your life
  6. Understand what it is that motivates and use it to push you
  7. Maintain a healthy diet
  8. Channel your energy into something productive and positive
  9. Set personal and professional goals daily. Accomplishing goals increases confidence.
  10. Bounce back from adversity by letting go, not blaming others, and dive into creative projects

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

5 Tips for Self-Care in Addiction Recovery

By Jennifer McDougall

Self-care is an essential practice in addiction recovery. When you don’t have a self-care routine, it can throw you off balance and make you feel a little uneasy at times. Many people who relapse in recovery lose focus on what’s important and forget to take care of the needs of their mind, body, and spirit. That is why we created this list of helpful tips for you to feel your best and treat yourself with nourishing care. At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, we want you to succeed and live a healthy life, free from drug and alcohol abuse.

  1. Surround Yourself With Positive Influences

Often times, it’s those closest to us that influence us the most. It’s important that you take a look at who is best influencing your life in a positive way and who is bringing you down. To stay healthy and maintain and stable lifestyle, you must be consciously aware of those you surround yourself with.

2. Practice Daily Meditation

There are many powerful benefits to mindful meditation. Some of which include: reduced stress, improved emotional health, the ability to break addictive patterns, control pain and anxiety, and decrease blood pressure. Meditating requires practice but there are many apps such as Headspace and Calm to help walk you through mastering this life-changing self-care tool.

3. Establish a Daily Exercise Routine

Get your body moving! Whether that is at the gym, outside, or at home. Physical fitness is key to looking and feeling your best. When we workout we are able to sweat out toxins our bodies have accumulated and can help improve our mental health as well. If you don’t currently have a solid exercise routine, start one today. Find something that you enjoy doing such as yoga, kick-boxing, swimming, hiking, or running and make it a habit to do every day. You will feel happier and improve your overall health!

4. Fuel Your Body With Nutritious Foods

This one I can’t emphasize enough! Our bodies react to what we consume and when we eat healthily, we are able to function at our optimal capabilities. If you are constantly eating junk food and loading up on unhealthy snacks or sugary beverages, you may notice how sluggish you feel. You may notice an increase in anxiety and depression related symptoms because you’re not giving your body the nutrition it needs to thrive. There are many healthy recipes we have listed on our Pinterest and invite you to try them out!

5. Weekly Deep Tissue Massage

Did you know that massage therapy can help strengthen your immune system and lower blood pressure? Massages are a great way to decompress and unwind from your busy week. There are many benefits to this therapy method and it is one that we utilize at Passages Addiction Treatment Centers. Those who have battled addiction and are focused on healing their mind, body, and spirit, massage therapy is exactly what you need for your self-care regiment. Studies have known it to help with anxiety, muscle tension, relieve headaches, and improve quality of sleep. Search your local guide to book a massage appointment near you today.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Healing From Trauma at Passages Rehab

Healing From Trauma at Passages Addiction Treatment Centers

by Jennifer McDougall

What is Trauma? 

When someone experiences a deeply distressed or disruptive event in their life, physical, mental, or emotional, they have been exposed to what is known as trauma. This event or experience can disturb a person’s thought process, emotional response, and behavior patterns that show significant psychological troubles. That is why it is important to get help for any trauma-related issue. 

The Connection Between Trauma and Substance Abuse

Those who have trauma-related issues and are triggered by subtle yet similar events that originally caused the deeply rooted disruption. When this happens, it’s not uncommon for the individual to seek quick relief from the pain and discomfort they are feeling. That’s when someone who is not practicing healthy coping mechanisms, such as working with a therapist, exercising, meditating, and practicing deep breathing techniques, will, unfortunately, reach for drugs and alcohol to suppress their pain and anxiety. 

Who Has Trauma?

Many people have experienced some type of traumatic experience in their life; some have resolved and healed from the event and found peace. Others have unresolved trauma that affects many aspects of their lives and need one-on-one therapy, such as the treatment that is offered at Passages Addiction Treatment Centers

Common types of trauma are:

  • Breakup or divorce
  • Cancer or loss of health
  • Death of a loved one, including a pet
  • Loss of a job
  • Financial crisis
  • Physical, mental or emotional abuse
  • Devastation in the local community
  • Unwanted relocation
  • Selling or losing the family home
  • Miscarriage
  • Stressful legal battle

Most common emotional responses to unresolved-trauma: 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Increased arousal 
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Guilt or shame
  • Isolation
  • Cynical views on self-image
  • Neglect of responsibilities
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Dramatic changes in sleep patterns
  • Feelings of being threatened
  • Re-activeness in thoughts and behavior
  • Lack of appetite
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Difficulty maintaining healthy relationships

The Connection Between Trauma and Self-Harm

Someone who is struggling with a past traumatic situation in their life may harm themselves due to poor self-esteem, guilt, and shame. This could be because of past abuse brought on to them by a loved one or experiencing direct violence by anyone else, such as rape. There is a lack of healing and forgiving with someone who is harming themselves because of the unbearable pain they are currently experiencing. At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, our team of therapists works with clients every day to help treat and heal the underlying conditions causing substance abuse and self-harm related issues through one-on-one holistic therapy methods. 

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Inspirational Quotes for Addiction Recovery

Inspirational Quotes for Addiction Recovery

When you are in need of inspiration in your recovery from drug and alcohol dependency related issues, these quotes by Chris Prentiss will help lift your spirits and give you some wonderful insight to ease your mind.

“You are not an alcoholic or an addict. You are not incurably diseased. You have merely become dependent on substances or addictive behavior to cope with underlying conditions that you are now going to heal, at which time your dependency will cease completely and forever.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

“If you examine your motive for doing anything, you’ll soon discover that your reason is that you believe it will make you happy.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“At the bottom of every person’s dependency, there is always pain, Discovering the pain and healing it is an essential step in ending dependency.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“Each river is different, but they all eventually lead to the ocean. No matter what we’re doing or when, or whether it brings us happiness or remorse, gain or loss, we’re all on our individual paths to enlightenment. Even when we’ve done something we consider wrong, we’re still on our path to enlightenment.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Zen and the Art of Happiness


“Who you allow into the circle of your life will make the difference in the quality of your life.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Zen and the Art of Happiness


“Alcohol and drugs are not the problems; they are what people are using to help themselves cope with the problems. Those problems always have both physical and psychological components- anything from anemia, hypoglycemia, or a sluggish thyroid to attention deficient disorder, brain-wave pattern imbalances, or deep emotional pain.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“The best way for you to get that new experience is to change your response to what happens.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Zen and the Art of Happiness


“It’s the causes, not the dependent person, that must be corrected. That’s why I see the United States’ War on Drugs as being fought in an unrealistic manner. This war is focused on fighting drug dealers and the use of drugs here and abroad, when the effort should be primarily aimed at treating and curing that causes that compel people to reach for drugs.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“If you are surrounded by people who not only don’t believe in your goals and your positive outlook on life, but who also continually try to tear you down, it will be extremely challenging for you to hold firmly in mind that you will succeed and that you can be happy.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Zen and the Art of Happiness


“When you need an idea about how to do anything, get quiet and relaxed and think about what it is you need to know. Then the flow of ideas will come. Be patient and let it happen. Sometimes it takes a little while, but it always works.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life


“The more you engage in any type of emotion or behavior, the greater your desire for it will become.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Zen and the Art of Happiness


“Think about the stigma that is attached to the idea that alcoholism is a disease, an incurable illness, and you have it. That’s a terrible thing to inflict on someone. Labeling alcoholism as a disease, a cause unto itself, simply no longer fits with what we know today about its causes.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“When a problem or a difficult situation arises, say to yourself, as if you already believe it: “This is for my benefit.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life


“People who are dependent are merely using alcohol as a crutch to get through the day. Yet doctors and scientists are still treating “alcoholism” as if it is the problem, when it has nothing to do with the problem. They might as well be studying “scratchism” for people who have a chronic itch.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“We recognize that you’ve used substances to try to regain your lost balance, to try to feel the way you did before the need arose to use addictive drugs or alcohol. We know that you use substances to alter your mood, to cover up your sadness, to ease your heartbreak, to lighten your stress load, to blur your painful memories, to escape your hurtful reality, or to make your unbearable days or nights bearable.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“…there is a saying used in twelve-step programs and in most treatment centers that “Relapse is part of recovery.” It’s another dangerous slogan that is based on a myth, and it only gives people permission to relapse because they think that when they do, they are on the road to recovery.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“To give up power to change for the better is inherently distasteful to everyone, and to force people to affirm that they are addicts or alcoholics so they can speak in a meeting is shameful and demoralizing.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“Whether the underlying cause of your dependency is a chemical imbalance, unresolved events from the past, beliefs you hold that are inconsistent with what is true, an inability to cope with current conditions, or a combination of these four causes, know this: not only are all the causes of dependency within you, but all the solutions are within you as well.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“The true source of happiness is within each of us.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Zen and the Art of Happiness


“Take a few minutes now and see your current circumstances- your physical condition, your emotional condition, your possessions, your financial condition, where and how you live, your relationships, the situations surrounding your life, and the way you believe other people see you- as mirrors showing you “Who You Are.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life


“A relationship is like a garden. To create a condition that will cause your plants to thrive and produce abundantly, you must weed, water, fertilize, and care for the plants in your garden. You must also know about the special needs of the plants you’re caring for. Some need more or less light than others, some need more or less water than others, and some need special fertilizers.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Laws of Love: Creating the Relationship of Your Dreams


“If those underlying conditions aren’t treated, the return of those symptoms may cause us so much discomfort that we’ll go back to using addictive drugs or alcohol to obtain relief. That’s the primary reason there is such a high rate of relapse among people who have become dependent of alcohol and addictive drugs. It has little to do with alcohol and addiction themselves and almost everything to do with the original causes that created the dependency.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“The world is actually a mirror, and as you change, you will see everything around you changing as well, mirroring your changes.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life


“What we call coincidences, accidental and remarkable events occurring at the same time, are actually circumstances and events that have come into your life to serve a purpose is to benefit you.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life


“When you change the way you see and interpret events, suddenly everything will be different for you. Everything will make sense.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life


“We know that you don’t want to be a drunk and you don’t want to be hooked on addictive drugs. You do it because you can’t cope with your life without some sort of support, even if that support is damaging.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“The events that occur in my life are workout situations. They are there for my benefit so I can become strong and gain wisdom and information by working my way through those situations.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life


“How do you think your body and mind would respond if you were surrounded by psychologists, psychiatrists, or drug and alcohol counselors who subscribed to the belief that “once an alcoholic or addict, always an alcoholic or addict” and who believed that your current stay in rehab would be one of many?” 
― Chris Prentiss, Zen and the Art of Happiness


“Negative emotions, like depression or anxiety, have been shown to affect our immune system. Stress impedes wound healing.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life


“If you feel depressed for an hour, you’ve produced approximately eighteen billion new cells that have more receptors calling out for depressed-type peptides and fewer calling out for feel-good peptides.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Zen and the Art of Happiness


“When you imagine yourself as a failure or as having insurmountable problems in your relationships or any part of your life, you think failure, act failure, and produce failure.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Laws of Love: Creating the Relationship of Your Dreams


“A diminished self-image will cause you to slouch, to avoid meeting others, to avoid looking others in the eye, to be unassertive, and to be indecisive.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Laws of Love: Creating the Relationship of Your Dreams

“From this moment forward, I am in control of every situation. I will always know the exact right action to take, and this is so. I will now obtain vibrant good health. I will have the possessions I want, I now have the power and wisdom to bring this about, and this is so. I will have peace and harmony in my life. I will have love and abundance, and this is so. I now claim all these things for my own from this time forward.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Laws of Love: Creating the Relationship of Your Dreams


“If who you are and what you have is what you want, that’s perfect. Keep doing what you’ve been doing and you’ll get more of it.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life


“Trustworthy partners always think first before they do anything that may affect either the reputation or well-being of each other.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Laws of Love: Creating the Relationship of Your Dreams


“We help our clients discover and correct the underlying conditions that are causing them to self-medicate, to seek relief in substances and addictive behavior.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Laws of Love: Creating the Relationship of Your Dreams


“Do you believe in chaos- in random, uncontrolled events, in the idea that anything can happen at any time without fixed laws governing it? If you believe that, you will always be in a state of fear, not knowing what will happen from one moment to the next. The fear might be small, but it is there. That fear results in a lack of security and a feeling of mistrust.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Laws of Love: Creating the Relationship of Your Dreams


“Most centers offer a one-program-fits all type of service, which is rather like a department store that sells one-size fits all clothing.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“In the one-treatment-fits-all approach, clients sit in group meetings all day and all evening and listen to each other stories. At the end of the first week, everyone in the room knows everyone’s story. That goes on for three more weeks, and then most people go home with the same problems they brought with them when they arrived.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“Staying sober is easy once you have been successful in healing the underlying conditions that were responsible for your dependency in the first place.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure


“If you have experienced recurring situations in your life that are unpleasant, know that there is something you are supposed to be getting from those situations that you have not been getting and that the moment you get it, those situations will pass out of your life, not to return.” 
― Chris Prentiss, Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

“If I were to create a word that more accurately describes alcoholism and addiction, I would say it was dependencyism. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Yet it’s no sillier than the word alcoholism. The reason alcoholism no longer sounds silly to you is because you’re used to hearing it, reading it, and thinking about it.” 
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

How wellness led me to rehab and transformation

How Wellness Led Me to Rehab and Transformation

by Karin Burns

I took a less traditional path to rehab than most people and avoided the DUIs, legal issues and job losses we typically associate with alcohol addiction by embracing change early in the progression of the issue and healing myself proactively with wellness. Since 2015 I have been attending wellness festivals, practicing yoga and helping my younger brother recover from alcohol abuse.

Along the way, I learned a lot about addiction and the power to heal ourselves but thought the lessons of sobriety were only applicable to my brother because I didn’t have a drinking “problem.” As my brother recovered he rediscovered his artistic talent, we opened a small pet portrait business and soon found ourselves on The Today Show, being honored for our story!

Unfortunately, I felt unhealthy and unhappy with the appearance, and that fall committed to finally lose the weight I had gained since college. My brother who had lost 50 pounds easily when he got sober encouraged me to stop drinking to lose weight, but I refused, unwilling to give up my favorite vice.

It was easy for me to deny any issues, most people didn’t even know about my secret binge drinking. It was something I did alone and was manageable until it wasn’t. It was not manageable for a long time, but like many people, I was in denial of the issue. I was able to easily hide it with my flexible, work from home position and frequent travel and compared to my homeless and unemployed brother my drinking issues were nothing.

After a missed presentation at a conference after a night of drinking in fall 2016, I received a final written warning, and I knew something had to change. It was the second alcohol-related write-up and forced me to evaluate my drinking on a much deeper level.

I struggled with the decision to get help for months and eventually decided to walk the labyrinth at the Serra Retreat in Malibu for guidance and help. The night before was Thanksgiving, and I got into a huge fight with my family and felt lost, alone and scared. As I packed my suitcase, I found a small piece of paper with an image and the words “May the red thread of Ariadne guide you to your true path. May you be filled with purpose” and as I realized the image was labyrinth chills went down my spine. I wondered where it came from and what it meant. This written note made me take the meditative walk more seriously, and I pondered deeply what was wrong with me and if I would end up homeless like my brother. If I had another incident, I would be fired, and I didn’t want to risk everything, so I committed to a sober 2017 and planned to quit drinking on January 1 for one full year to determine if my drinking was a problem.

After relapsing twice in the first ten days, both times drinking alone till I blacked out and threw up, I checked myself into Passages determined to change once and for all. I had tried to do it alone many times, the last time with support from a therapist, lots of books, a solid plan and still I had failed twice. I had never failed at something I put all my effort into and felt lost and hopeless.

Always a high achiever I never expected to be in rehab and felt embarrassed, ashamed and confused but fearful of what would happen if I didn’t get help. I had seen how much alcohol had taken from my younger brother and was terrified the same would happen to me. I also saw my brother’s remarkable transformation, so I was intrigued by the potential of sobriety, inspired by my sibling and the celebrities who had used rehab to transform and propel them to their best lives, like Rob Lowe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Elton John.

I researched the Passages website in detail and much to my surprise my fear slowly became excitement, and when I arrived in February 2017, I had reframed the experience in my mind as a “wellness retreat with a focus on addiction” rather than something to be ashamed or scared of. I wasn’t sure what to expect and spent most of the first days in detox alone, writing in my journal and keeping to myself. Eventually, I allowed myself to open up and relax and the next ninety days were the most important of my entire life.

I learned so much about how to find peace with the past, manage my anxiety about the future and uncover the issues that were driving my drinking in the first place. It truly was a wellness retreat with a focus on addiction. Every day I got to participate in various wellness activities like sound therapy or guided meditation and work on my issues in a peaceful and safe environment with people who shared the same struggle and talented and compassionate therapists.

Like myself, everyone in treatment had painful pasts that needed to be brought to light to heal. Ten years earlier I had gotten married right down the road at Our Lady of Malibu, but my marriage ended abruptly while I was pregnant after an incident of domestic violence.

Sadly I lost my baby ten days later and had to manage the loss of my home, marriage, husband, and baby all at the same time. I never had the time and place to heal from the losses and escaped over the years with alcohol, slowly needing more and more until it became unmanageable. Additionally, I had been a victim of a verbal, sexual and physical assault at earlier points in my life and had never had proper therapy to work through my pain. I had been escaping with alcohol since I was a teenager, but my work at Passages allowed me to let it go and taught me healthier coping skills to use in the future.

The most ironic thing about rehab is that it is full of life-changing ancient wisdom and healing rituals that would benefit everyone yet people refuse to go and would rather die than admit they need help. Instead, we spend our time and money at yoga, meditation, and retreats searching for wellness but then head to happy hour and numb ourselves with wine. Much to my surprise, I learned alcohol inhibits connection and destroys the mind, body and spirit connection we all are searching for.

For years I struggled to understand the place of alcohol in wellness and my yoga practice and Passages helped me understand the truth, that alcohol is toxic to the spirit and has no place in true wellness. This made so much more sense to me than the idea that I had some incurable invisible disease that can’t be tested for or cured. That story was just too hopeless for me.

We desperately need to change the way we treat addiction and substance abuse in our country so more people like myself get help early in the progression of the issue and no one has to suffer in silence while they continue a downward spiral deeper into addiction.

Life is inherently painful, and our world is getting more stressful every day, we are all trying to escape with something whether it be drugs, alcohol, sex or food. We all could benefit from learning healthier coping skills to manage stress and anxiety. We would all benefit from having a trusted therapist to help us come to peace with the past. At nineteen months sober I have no desire to drink and haven’t since the day I arrived in Malibu. There is no need to wait for a rock bottom or be ashamed to get help for addiction of any kind. There is hope.

How I Transformed My Body, Mind, and Spirit

After working on myself for three months, I returned home and set large goals for myself, as is my personality. I sell complex enterprise level software solutions and focus on transformational change so I am well versed in the steps of change and my years of technology implementation taught me how to implement change effectively for long-term success. I found the current process of addiction after-care to be inefficient so I set out to create a better system for myself.  What resulted is The Dry Diet – a daily wellness tool that can be used by anyone that wants to lose weight, save money and find true wellness with a more focused and effective approach than traditional diets. There is no need to declare yourself an alcoholic or feel that you will forever be an addict, we can all choose sobriety for wellness. I used it to lose 65 pounds, pay off 95K in debt, get promoted and become a yoga teacher in my first year of sobriety!

www.TheDryDiet.com

I love simplicity and minimalism as well as shapes and symbols. As you can see above the logo of The Dry Diet represents the plan. The 5 Core Pillars are all free, anyone can do them at any age, and they ensure that I am sober, well rested, hydrated and not abusing sugar as is common in recovery. The Three Extra Credits are individual and keep me balanced and connected as well as ensures that I only do things I enjoy for my sobriety. The inner triangle can be modified and used to achieve any goal – when I wanted to pay off debt an extra credit was not purchasing an expensive latte or selling an item to pay down debt.  

Using this system helped me incorporate wellness into my daily life and make it as important as my job and not just something that I can do “when I have the time.” Without this system that ensures that I am taking care of my mind, body, and spirit on a daily basis I will find myself back in the addictive cycle, as we will always be drawn to what is familiar or the temptation of an easy escape. Change happens one day at a time so every day I keep myself focused on the future rather than stuck in the past.

I celebrated my first year of sobriety by having professional photographs taken so I could look back on them in years to come when I feel tempted to drink to remember how happy and healthy sobriety is for me. I also splurged on a week at the beach in a fancy hotel, spa treatments and a shopping spree for new clothes to mark the occasion as special and important; Having this celebration trip to look forward to kept me very motivated. My goal is to get back on The Today Show with my transformation body!

My brother and I on the Today Show! He looked healthy and sober and I looked heavy and unhealthy.
Before and after getting sober 
The photo to the left was taken the last night I binged drank at home, the after pic in Venice during my one-year sober celebration!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Rewriting the Story of Addiction

Rewriting the Story of Addiction

By Dr. Kerri Heath

It’s always much easier to believe negative messages we receive about ourselves than the positive ones.  When given a choice between positive and negative solutions, we tend to be more skeptical about the positive and lean into the negative aspects of life. It is much easier to believe the story that “you’re an addict” or “you’re a loser” or “you’ve thrown your life away” because the positive alternatives just seem too hard to conceive. It does not seem possible to change or transform… to become what you’ve always imagined was possible.

There is a powerful dialogue between Richard Gere (Edward) and Julia Roberts (Vivian) in the movie Pretty Woman that depicts this same type of thinking.  As Edwards inquires about how a bright, intelligent, resourceful woman could end up in prostitution and Vivian shares the power of messaging from others:

Edward:  You could be so much more.

Vivian:  People put you down enough, you start to believe it.

Edward: I think you are a very bright, very special woman.

Vivian:  The bad stuff is easier to believe.  You ever notice that?

If you find yourself powerless over drugs, alcohol, technology, sex or other addictions, you have two choices.  You can believe that you are powerless as an addict, or you can see that your addictive behaviors are only part of your story.  At Passages in Malibu, you will find a philosophy that addictions are just a small part of your hero’s journey and you will begin to re-write your story based on the positive. Every hero faces a point in life where the pressures build to a point that force a transformation.  Let your addiction be a starting point for you in your journey towards making a difference.  And if you’re ready for the passage, make a call today!

Dr. Kerri Heath is the former Assistant Vice Chancellor at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology.  She is a lecturer, researcher, and published author.  Dr. Heath is a Life Coach at Inspired Life Consulting and a Producer at Inspired Life Films.  She is certified in Mastering Emotional Connection by Level Five Executive and an editor for the Journal of Leadership Education.

 

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Connecting Through the Power of Music

Connecting Through the Power of Music

By Dr. Susan Finley

“Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song” — Roberta Flack

Great musicians/bands CONNECT people. All over the world, fans gravitate to music that makes them FEEL something: “I relate to the lyrics,” “I feel their joy/pain,” “It sounds like they are singing directly to me/about my life.” Experiencing life in constant loneliness is an all-too-familiar state for those struggling with alcohol and substance use. The yearning to come out of isolation, feel ALIVE, and make a lasting connection with others is not only a common desire for those struggling with addiction, it is essential for recovery.

“What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I was brain-dead, locked out, numb, not up to speed
I thought I’d pegged you an idiot’s dream
Tunnel vision from the outsider’s screen” – R.E.M.

Sounds can be beautiful, frightening, curious, and exhilarating. We create bonds through the use of sound: music being the perfect example. Individuals respond to certain types of music, allowing them to tap into deeper emotion. Think back to a time when you heard a great band perform live in concert, or that high when your favorite song plays on the radio. One of the best parts of attending a live concert is the bond already established in its audience members before the first chord is ever played! Fans who enjoy similar music tend to have more in common than they may think. For example, the scientific way music affects the entire body through sound, rhythm, pitch, and more indicates a deeper connection than just similar taste in Spotify.

The Science Behind Sound

We rely on the use of sound as one of our five senses to communicate and send messages every day. Sound works by traveling in waves: the vibration of objects from one location to another through means of particle-to-particle interaction. Considering the fact that the human body is made up of nearly 70% water (depending on age, weight, and gender), it makes sense that individuals are not only emotionally affected by sound, but also have a physiological reaction as well (how the sound waves move throughout the body).

 “Rhythm is a dancer,
it’s a soul’s companion,
you can feel it everywhere” –Snap!

The word “rhythmos,” is Greek for rhein or “to flow.” Rhythm is an ordered alternation of contrasting elements. It’s no wonder dancing goes hand-in-hand with enjoying the sounds of music. Music Therapy and Dance/Movement Therapy are effective for a reason, and it begins with science.

Taking it to the Next Level

Some colleges and housing boards ask freshmen to list their musical preference (along with room temperature, lifestyle, routine, etc.) on dormitory surveys as a tool to assist in placing them with compatible roommates. Online dating sites generally have a category that allows the user to list musical preferences as well. Given what we know about music and how it affects us (emotionally, physically, and cognitively) it’s no wonder music can be used as a means to find and create a connection between people. Individuals who are moving away from a lifestyle once ruled by alcohol and substance use will be pleased to find that music is a powerful tool used for healing and recovery.

 

Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC is a professor, published researcher, and social media consultant for therapists. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider (BC-TMH), and Suicide Prevention Instructor (QPR) under the National Board for Certified Counselors.

 

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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How Can Spirituality Help Overcome Addiction?

How Can Spirituality Help Overcome Addiction?

By Dr. Kerri Heath

It will be difficult to overcome an addiction without a true spiritual practice.  Substances are able to numb the pain when you are feeling lost, depressed, discouraged, or disappointed with how things have turned out.  However, substances will not make any of your pain go away.  They may give you a brief escape or temporary relief, but at some point, you will need to face the pain and find a way to create a new reality, one where you are happy.

By finding a real spiritual practice that you can look to on a daily basis, you will slowly find yourself replacing the need for substances.  You will experience a high that is greater than anything a substance can offer because it will be a high that lasts.  As Wayne Dyer said, “addictions are vehicles that people board in order to get someplace higher, more pleasurable, more peaceful, more tuned in and turned on, and so on.”  A spiritual practice will help you align with your true source of natural energy so that you can experience a permanent high.  You will no longer rely on a counterfeit one (addiction).

A spiritual practice or spiritual discipline is a full-time job of regularly participating in the actions and activities that cultivate your inner life.  What is your spiritual practice?   You can start by meditating every day, listening to relaxing music, journaling, facing your fears, connecting with others who view life as a spiritual journey and addressing the mind-body connection (through yoga, acupuncture, reiki, energy healing, etc.).  If you are open to the spiritual life and willing to do the work that it takes to heal, the truth will not be withheld from you.  Make your spiritual practice the top priority in your daily life, and you will find that the need for substances becomes replaced by a natural high on life.  If you need a team to help you develop a spiritual practice, make sure to find a rehabilitation center that works with the whole person.  Passages understands that body, mind, and spirit are all connected, so you will not leave without gaining tools for a true spiritual practice.

 

Dr. Kerri Heath is the former Assistant Vice Chancellor at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology.  She is a lecturer, researcher, and published author.  Dr. Heath is a Life Coach at Inspired Life Consulting and a Producer at Inspired Life Films.  She is certified in Mastering Emotional Connection by Level Five Executive and an editor for the Journal of Leadership Education.

 

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Diet, Nutrition, and Addiction Recovery | Passages Rehab Centers

Diet, Nutrition, and Addiction Recovery

By Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC

“He who takes medicine and neglects to diet wastes the skill of his doctors.”

-Chinese Proverb

What is the connection between diet, nutrition, and addiction? Each has a direct effect on our brain chemistry, our mood, and our physique. Maintaining a nourishing diet and balanced lifestyle has a positive impact on all aspects of one’s life. The physical, cognitive, and emotional benefits of taking care of one’s mind and body by practicing healthy eating habits are widely known, but this is especially crucial in the detox phase.

Plato, the Greek philosopher, once stated: “The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” In other words, it is only when you treat the whole person, that you fully address the problem. The same can be said for working with those who suffer from substance use and addiction. Medical research indicates that approaching one’s illness holistically lends itself to faster healing and reduced complications in future health, all with less use of medication. Eating a variety of foods ensures you get all the calories, proteins, vitamins, and minerals you need. In order to heal properly, it is important to eat the right foods. When working with a dietician, one can follow simple suggestions for “plate mapping” their meal to include the necessary portion of different foods (The Cleveland Clinic).

Nutrition counseling paired with physical fitness has shown to have remarkable results, helping you maintain a healthy, balanced, and sober existence. Working with counselors at Passages Malibu making changes to your exercise routine and diet will allow you to not only appreciate the difference in your physical appearance, but you will also notice an increase in energy, confidence, and self-esteem.

Resources:

The Cleveland Clinic. Nutrition Guidelines to Improve Wound Healing.

At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, our philosophy offers a genuine solution to end your addiction. You deserve something different. Something better. Something that works. Call now to learn more about our addiction treatment modalities and treatment programs (888) 920-8849.

 

Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC is an educator, published researcher, and social media consultant. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) (e-therapy) and Suicide Prevention Instructor (QPR) under the National Board for Certified Counselors.

 

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Unlearning Learned Behavior

Unlearning Learned Behavior

By Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC

“You have to throw a gold brick into the uncertain waters of the future, and have faith because there will be many difficult days before you will see the returns start rolling in…”

-P. T. Barnum

Elephants in Captivity

Have you ever attended a circus or visited a zoo and wondered how elephants, despite their massive size, do not roam or try to break free from a minimally guarded confined space? The answer lies in how elephants in captivity are trained from an early age. One leg is tied with a rope to a wooden post planted in the ground confining the baby elephant to an area determined by the length of the rope. Initially, the baby elephant tries to break free but soon finds the rope is too strong. The baby elephant “learns” that it can’t break free. Once the elephant grows up, its adult strength could easily break the same rope, but because it learned that it couldn’t break the rope when it was young, the adult elephant believes that it still can’t break free so it doesn’t even try. Similar to baby elephants, human beings infer much about themselves based on early interactions and learned behavior during development. Unless challenged, these childhood beliefs continue into adulthood. Even though the thought may not be based on truth, we still operate as if it is (Self Esteem Experts).

Automatic Thought Patterns are developed and strengthened by the frequency with which you think a particular thought. This process is called “brain training,”  or where thought patterns become a habit, triggering feelings and reactions to the circumstances of your life. Unlike elephants, humans are born with the ability to make a conscious choice – an important step in changing how you perceive and think about yourself. To create new thought patterns requires practice…like learning to ride a bike.

Learning to Ride a Bike: At first, you must pay attention to staying balanced, keeping your eyes on the road, holding onto the handlebars and steering in the desired direction. The more you practice, the stronger your bicycle riding pathways become. Eventually, you are able to get on your bike a and ride without even thinking. In other words, you’re operating on automatic.

Automatic beliefs that are continually reinforced in our minds (consciously or unconsciously) are known as dominant thought patterns. Challenging old beliefs with newer, healthier ones creates a strong brain pathway–as though new brain software has been uploaded. A newer outlook has replaced the old one that no longer serves us. This allows for a healthy change to replace learned behavior and thoughts.

Selected resources

Self Esteem Experts: Nurturing Vibrant Self Esteem.

Life begins where addiction ends.  Call now to learn more about our addiction treatment modalities and treatment programs (888) 920-8849.

 

Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC is an educator, published researcher, and social media consultant. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) (e-therapy) and Suicide Prevention Instructor (QPR) under the National Board for Certified Counselors.

 

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Self Soothing Through the 5 Senses

Self Soothing Through the 5 Senses

By Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC

Mindfulness is the ability to steer clear from worry and anxiety bringing one’s attention to the present moment. Feeling overwhelmed and ill-equipped to deal with life’s challenges is not uncommon early in sobriety. The use of drugs and alcohol is no longer an option, nor is it effective for easing pain in the long term. The more you practice healthy coping strategies, the better equipped you will be at self-soothing in times of distress. Practicing mindfulness by using our 5 senses is the ultimate form of self-care.

While a stable support system is important, an individual’s therapist, family, friends, and acquaintances cannot be there 100% of the time. It is imperative the individual learns and practices a multitude of self-soothing techniques, affording them the ability to cope when overwhelming thoughts and feelings come to the surface. There are a number of self-soothing exercises to practice mindfulness. The following techniques use our 5 senses. It is a good idea to try them all to see which ones work most effectively, and practice them often!

Touch—Making physical contact with an object is one of the best ways to bring a person’s mind back to the present. While running cold water over your hands or splashing your face, focus on the temperature fully. The change in water temperature will bring a change in mood. If you have an animal, pet it or brush its hair for a few minutes experiencing the softness of its fur and the calming effect it has on both of you. Some individuals find that aligning their breathing with a pet helps them to slow down and regulate their own breath. In nature, pick up a rock and hold it in both hands. Running your fingertips over the surface, study its sharpness/smoothness observing any cracks or imperfections. Handle the leaves of a tree carefully reviewing each vein—the source of carrying food and water throughout. With your shoes off, walk through the lawn taking notice of how each blade of grass feels between your toes.

Taste—Choose healthy foods and avoid waiting until your stomach is growling to eat. Being hungry has a direct effect on mood, making us feel irritable and short tempered. When you get your food, fully experience the taste and texture. For example, hold a grape in your mouth for 5 seconds before eating it. Notice the texture, size, and changes in taste as you bite into it. Experience the act of eating fully, reminding yourself that you are taking care of your body and mind by nourishing it with healthy food.

Smell—Aromatherapy has been effective in treating people experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, and even problems with sleep. Lavender is perhaps the most common essential oil recommended to reduce stress: put a few dabs on your wrist, blend into your skin and breathe in deeply. You may even put a few drops of lavender in the shower-the steam will activate the aroma which helps ease the tension of stress headaches and migraines. A few drops on your pillow may help with getting a better night’s sleep.

Sight—Acutely viewing your surroundings and being fully immersed in the moment works wonders when experiencing distress. Choose a color and then play a game of finding all the objects in the room or in a painting that match that color. Focus on the shape, texture, and size of varying objects in the room. Go outside and experience nature taking the time to see the clouds passing in the sky, or the leaves on a tree.

Hearing—Stop and listen to all the sounds around you. Can you decipher what each sound is and where it is coming from? Are there birds chirping, people talking, music playing, or cars driving by? Try to identify each exclusive noise with its origin.

The regular use of mindfulness will assist in putting life’s stressors their into proper perspective. Remember, much like all learned skills, it requires practice and reinforcement for the self-soothing techniques to take full effect. If something feels awkward or unnatural at first, give it a few more tries. The unhealthy, old strategies used to numb emotional pain did not develop overnight either. Try to release any pressure to do them perfectly; allow yourself the time and patience you deserve during the healing process.

Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC is an educator, published researcher, and social media consultant for therapists. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider (BC-TMH), and Suicide Prevention Instructor (QPR) under the National Board for Certified Counselors.

 

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Online Dating in Recovery

Online Dating in Addiction Recovery

By Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC

Google “online dating tips” and you will be inundated with article after article ranging from top ranking dating sites to online dating safety tips, to rules of dating, to how to set up a winning profile (or avoid a terrible one).

“The Dating Game”

There are many suggestions on the do’s and don’ts regarding dating behaviors in the early stages. While there are definitely positive tips on the “rules of dating,” be wary of a one-size-fits-all approach. Dating is difficult, and many first dates will never continue on to a second, so be patient with yourself and others.

Planning Your First Date

Plan your first date in a public setting that does not serve alcohol, i.e., meeting in coffee shops, engaging in outdoor activities, going to a museum, etc. Many dating sites have an option to state your drinking preference, i.e., heavy, moderate, or none. Keep in mind that even if your date has checked “does not drink,” it cannot be assumed that the person has also struggled with substance use in the past. There are a variety of reasons a person chooses not to drink, therefore plan your date accordingly.

To Share or Not to Share

Choosing not to share past addiction struggles with one’s date is not being untruthful. Would anyone argue that not disclosing the fact that they are diabetic on the first date is being dishonest? Certainly, it is a part of that person, but not the entirety. Though it may have consumed a large part of an individual’s life, no person should be defined by past struggles with substance use.

Too Much Too Soon

A good rule of thumb is to wait to get to know someone before diving into the past. If it is the right person, it will become apparent when is a good time to share vulnerable information. In other words, scaring the person off on the first date is never anyone’s intention, but sharing too much too soon may do just that. While honesty and straightforwardness are always best when getting to know someone new, it is also important to safeguard and steer clear of sharing in too much detail one’s past discretions. Think of it this way: we want to present ourselves to new people in the most positive light, ensuring that we are seen for who we really are, not the long list of past struggles we have endured

Let Your Light Shine Through

A more effective and healthy way to get to know and learn about someone new is to begin by sharing your own qualities and traits that make you most proud. Give yourself the credit you deserve. For example: I’m an excellent musician, I love nature and animals, I am a good friend, I love to take care of my body by staying active, etc.” Connecting with another person on shared positive qualities and interests is a great start. Keeping conversation upbeat makes us feel good, allowing for both parties to portray themselves in the most natural, relaxed, and organic state.

Stay Optimistic For Future Dates

Remember, you are scoping your date out as well. It is natural to be fearful of how we are perceived by others and want to give someone a “heads up” about less than glamorous past behaviors before they “find out.” It is also easy to forget that everyone else has a unique set of struggles too. Start a new relationship on the right note by learning about each other’s positive qualities first. Getting to know another person more intimately takes time, but the right person will accept all parts of what makes you unique, and that alone is worth the wait.

Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC is an educator, published researcher, and social media consultant for therapists. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider (BC-TMH), and Suicide Prevention Instructor (QPR) under the National Board for Certified Counselors.

 

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Alternative Addiction Treatment

Outside-the-Box Approaches to Overcoming Addiction

by Kimberly Hayes

The 12-Step program is what comes to mind when you hear someone talk about recovery from alcohol and drug abuse. However, there are many treatment methods out there that offer personal empowerment beyond breaking bad habits. Here are a few alternative therapies that can be pursued on their own or in conjunction with more traditional methods. Some may seem strange but all have gained popularity in recent years thanks to their effectiveness.

Yoga

A combination of postures, breath control, and meditation, this ancient Indian art teaches practitioners to cope with the triggers that lead to relapse, according to Yoga Journal, and helps generate an empowering change of consciousness that works holistically through the mind and body. The strenuous nature of some forms of yoga make them dangerous for the elderly and those suffering from physical ailments that can result from long-term substance abuse, so you should talk to a physician before embarking on this course of treatment.

Art

Patients express themselves through exercises that include “incident drawings” of events they lived through during their addiction and “stress painting” when they’re experiencing anxiety. In the short term, this enhances their ability to communicate and convey their emotions to therapists and loved ones while providing a sense of accomplishment. Therapists cited by Science Direct said that over the long term, it results in profound “inner change” by promoting personal exploration, psychological growth, and well-being. Overwhelming emotions are a risk, however, and those for whom art is a trigger are recommended to give this method a pass.

Drama

This involves writing, directing, and acting out stories based on real life, fantasy, or myth and includes extensive improvisation, allowing participants to tap into their emotions and release pent-up anger and fear. Therapists have recording stunning results, saying it provides a powerful means of communication while helping to forge new relationships between participants as they gain control over inner conflicts. Workshops, often based around spontaneous action, can result in transgressive behavior that some find offensive, so caution is advised, and an open mind is a must.

Animals

According to one survey, almost 70 percent of respondents said that animals were an important source of support during their recovery from addiction. Part of the reason is the unconditional love that pets provide, free of any judgment or stigma, and that’s crucial for patients who are struggling with how others think of them as they re-enter society. Spending time with dogs, cats, and horses also reduces stress and lowers blood pressure while giving patients a new source of confidence as they change into the role of caregivers. Of course, a fear of animals would make this treatment inappropriate, and allergies should be considered as well.

Adventure

Mountain climbing, trekking in the forest, or rafting down a river builds self-esteem by teaching new skills and teamwork. Other benefits of outdoor therapy include the restorative powers of fresh air and sunshine, which have a powerful impact on wellness in today’s world where people spend hours each day sitting in front of a screen. It’s not for the faint of heart, however. The physical risks are real, and patients are advised to see a doctor beforehand and prepare mentally for the adventure ahead.

Exercise

You can get many of the same benefits closer to home through a good workout. Besides burning calories and improving your physical health, exercise revamps your brain chemistry through the production of dopamine, a “feel good” chemical that gives you the same high as drugs and alcohol, except in moderation through physical effort and accomplishment. Whether running, cycling, or swimming, remember to recharge with a balanced diet, which provides a whole host of benefits from repairing damaged tissue to boosting your mood.

The results of these methods are short-lived if patients don’t apply what they’ve learned to their everyday life and replace bad habits with healthy new routines. Continued momentum in addiction recovery is key to staying healthy and happy.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Author

Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.

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Resilience & Assertiveness at Passages Addiction Rehab

Resilience & Assertiveness

By Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” 

–Steve Maraboli

Learning from past negative experiences including substance use and addiction can actually serve as your greatest asset when building a life free from drug and alcohol use. The cultivation of survival skills such as resilience and assertiveness prove useful when facing future adversity.

RESILIENCE

Resilience is the silver lining stemming from fearlessly facing and overcoming life’s challenges. Defined as the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens, resilience literally means “to return to its original shape after an object has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc.” Once an individual sees that they have survived their addiction or use of substances as a means of self-medicating, they will be able to draw upon that knowledge, thus applying it to current life circumstances.

ASSERTIVENESS

Defined as the quality of being self-assured and confident without being aggressive, assertiveness is a learned skill and mode of communication. Assertiveness is not easily attained, especially when the default emotion may stem from pain and aggression. Feeling misunderstand, fearful, and isolated all serve as hurdles to overcome when building assertiveness. The goal is to speak your needs, set appropriate boundaries, and care for yourself acting as your own loving parent. We do this as human beings by putting our needs in their proper perspective and voicing in an appropriate manner when these needs are not being taken into serious consideration.

It is not enough to stop (fill in behavior). Discontinuing behaviors that are destructive to one’s self and others leave an individual with a void that must be filled. If that void is not replaced with a healthy behavior, it will either return to the unhealthy one or worse, be occupied by one even more harmful. The entire process requires a level of dedication to getting better by making changes that will result in desired results. This takes time, patience, and the willingness to ask for guidance and assistance. You never have to do anything alone when you seek help from others.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest! We love connecting with our audience.

 

Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC is an educator, published researcher, and social media consultant. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) (e-therapy) and Suicide Prevention Instructor (QPR) under the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Photo by Geert Pieters

Fitness in Addiction Recovery

By Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”-Bruce Lee

Exercise is an excellent tool for individuals who suffer from substance use disorders. It provides for practicing healthy coping mechanisms and an increased confidence in your ability to take your mind off worries, thus gaining control over depression and anxiety (a large component of addiction).

The body and mind are closely related. For this reason, it’s not surprising that when you take care of your body, your cognitive and emotional state also reap the benefits. Exercise releases “feel good” endorphins, which are natural cannabis-like brain chemicals and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of wellbeing. Exercise has been shown to have positive effects on the brain as well. These include neural growth, reduced inflammation, and cognitive benefits such as improved concentration. Research indicates that individuals who exercise have more energy throughout the day and sleep better at night. (Mayo Clinic).

3 Ways to Benefit from Physical Fitness Today:

Yoga Therapy—originating in ancient India, yoga is comprised of physical, mental, and spiritual practices to heal your mind, body, and spirit. Yoga helps to improve deep and mindful breathing, improving lung capacity. This careful and controlled breathing stimulates the relaxation response, which is very important for addressing anxiety, a major factor in drug and alcohol dependency. Regular practice of yoga increases flexibility and core strength resulting in better posture, as well as lower blood pressure and heart rate.

Tai Chi—sometimes referred to as “meditation in motion” this low impact, go without pausing form of martial arts originated in China. Tai chi is said to unblock and encourage the proper flow of qi (energy force thought to flow through the body). It also focuses on the concept of yin and yang — opposing elements thought to make up the universe that need to be kept in harmony. (Harvard Health).

Hiking—located in one of the most beautiful locations in the world, Passages Malibu is minutes from numerous hiking trails comprised of waterfalls and canyons overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Not only is exercising in nature a healing experience, it also comes with the added benefit of filling our lungs with fresh air as opposed to working out inside a gym.

Passages Addiction Treatment Center would like to help you find permanent freedom from your addiction through a holistic approach that can help you redefine the “why” that guides the life you decide to create. Unless you give exercise a try, you will never truly experience the physical, emotional, and mental benefits. Starting small will help ease the transition into a healthier, more active lifestyle that is sure to provide a number of positive outcomes to your life.

At Passages Malibu, our physical fitness program works to reverse the trends developed as part of an unhealthy lifestyle. During your stay, we will provide you with one-on-one sessions with a Certified Fitness Instructor in our own fully equipped fitness center, so you can work at your own pace and choose exercises that are right for you.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Selected resources

Harvard Health Publishing The health benefits of tai chi.

Mayo Clinic Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms.

 

Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC is an educator, published researcher, and social media consultant. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) (e-therapy), and Suicide Prevention Instructor (QPR) under the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Featured photo by: Geert Pieters