Category Archives: handout

thinking

I have been teaching anger management groups for a while using a combination of psycho-educational and process oriented techniques. For recovery groups anger is often listed in the top 5 reasons people report relapsing. One of the successful techniques of managing anger and other emotions is to identify you go to mode of thinking. Below is 1 hand out I often use. We go over the and out, and I ask folks to chose their one or two go to thinking styles and give examples in relation to anger. 1510499_10152095399702618_1945865276_n

 

All or nothing thinking

  • Be specific, focus on the behavior only and describe it with precision

Jumping to conclusions

  • Pay attention and catch yourself making the assumptions
  • Keep an open mind to other possibilities

Should statements

  • Describe what you want or would like. Then if it doesn’t happen you

can be frustrated/disappointed but less likely to feel righteous anger

Blaming

  • Forget the other person, they’re not going to do anything different

Labelling

  • Don’t make judgments about the other person

Overgeneralization

  • Make a conscious effort to look for exceptions

Magnification

  • How bad is it really? Look at the whole picture
  • Be very accurate & precise in your answermsclip-010.jpg
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First Step handout

A worksheet that I have used with folks.

 

First Step Worksheet: Acceptance

“We admitted we are powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”

The first thing is to admit powerlessness, or, in other words, to say “I can’t control my use of drugs/alcohol, or the consequences of my use of drugs/ alcohol.”

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• How have drugs placed your life, or the lives of others, in jeopardy?

What family/personal problems have you had? What legal problems have you had? What work problems have you had?

• How have you lost self-respect due to your drug use?

• How have you tried to control your use of drugs?

• What types of physical abuse have happened to you, or others, as a result of your drug use?

• Are you happy with yourself about your alcohol/drug use?

It is important to honestly look at how the consequences of our drug use have affected us.  This is “connecting the dots”.  When I use, this is what happens.  Looking back over your using history:

• What health problems have you had?

• What sexual problems have you had?

• What financial problems have you had?

Remember that “loss of control” (powerlessness) and problems (un-manageability) are symptoms of the disease of drug/alcohol dependence.  In order to recover, people have admitted their limitations and accepted that the solution is to be open to support from others (NA/AA) and to stay away from the first use, one day at a time!

Relapse Stages

One of the hand outs I use with groups. This is a shorten version of Relapse Stages and just a starting off point for further discussion.

First stage – I am un aware. I don’t see it, and have no idea I am in trouble. (people around us may notice subtle changes in attitude and behavior).

Second Stage We become restless, incurable and discontent. Our focus shifts from internal to external, we stop focusing on ourselves and start focusing on other people around us. We start blaming; acting the victim, fear and anger start to become evident.

Third stage Unresolved feelings occur and they are not dealt with in a healthy manner. We go into the emotional and physical withdrawal, than start to isolate. Negative attitudes start to predominate such as compulsive behavior, we start discounting recovery, we may engage in magical thinking.

Fourth stage – A crisis in our life provides the excuse for us to start using it again, or we create a crisis that rationalizes are returned to use. In other words, we have made the decision to use, and are ready to light the fuse.

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As we move through the stages of relapse, a few different things are occurring. Firstly, the need to regain our ‘right’ to re-engage in our addiction seems to make sense. We talk ourselves into the false belief that this time we can control it.

There’s a gradual and progressive destabilization of our lifestyle. Lastly, Stress and Stressors will accelerate this process.