Tag Archives: addiction treatment

Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT)

Rapid Resolution Therapy is a gentle and effective therapeutic modality, created by Dr. John Connelly, LCSW that resolves trauma and other distress in as little as one session. Because the root causes of problems are pinpointed and cleared, positive changes endure. Negative emotions and destructive behavioral patterns are eliminated. 

Unlike other forms of treatment, with Rapid Resolution it is not necessary to relive past events or experience any pain. Rapid Resolution therapy integrates hypnosis, cognitive and playful techniques, to name a few, allowing for optimal healing through multiple levels of the mind. This type of therapy leads to dramatic improvements in thoughts, feelings and behavior. Rapid Resolution Therapy has effectively treated PTSD, other trauma/stress related disorders, anxiety, panic attacks, sleep disturbance, frozen grief, guilt, resentment and even aided in successful recovery from addiction.

Along with creating Rapid Resolution Therapy, Dr. Connelly has also founded The Institute for Survivors of Sexual Violence, a non-profit (501C3) organization providing mental health professionals with state-of-the-art training in advanced clinical methods of eliminating the negative influence of trauma. You can learn more about Rapid Resolution Therapy and how to find providers in Austin, TX and all over the country by contacting me directly for a referral or by visiting the main Rapid Resolution Therapy website: www.rapidresolutiontherapy.org

Schedule a Free Consultation with: Julia Thompson:

 MSW NBCCH

TEXAS LMSW #66100

FLORIDA LCSW #SW14616

NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFIED CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPIST

https://juliacthompson.com/rapid-resolution-therapy

RESOURCES

Article on Army website discussing RRT:  http://bit.ly/2ZTmQxh

Ted Talks video: “Life Changing power of words.” http://bit.ly/2GZDQuw

Julia Thompson: https://juliacthompson.com/

Vacation Hacks for Staying Sober

Vacation is a great way to get away from the stresses of life, spend time with people you care about, and have fun. But if you’re in recovery, vacation isn’t as simple as getting away for a while. Everything you do need to help support your sobriety, including vacation. Just because you’re in recovery doesn’t mean you can’t go on vacation. But if you’re thinking about taking some time away, it’s important to stay sober the whole time. Understanding why you should stay sober for life, including on vacation, and using some tips to help support your sobriety can make the difference between a great vacation and a relapse.

The importance of sobriety on vacation

When you’re in recovery, establishing routines in your daily life can make it easier to maintain your sobriety. You know what to expect each day, and your habits throughout the day help promote your sobriety. But when you go on vacation, your routines are disrupted. That can make it harder to resist temptations, especially if you’re in an environment where your will power is being challenged. But it’s just as important to stay sober on vacation as it is in your regular daily life. If you slip up, you run the risk of turning back to the life you had before and undoing all the work you did to get sober.

How to stay sober on vacation

Vacation should be a part of normal life. But when you’re working to stay sober, vacation can be a trigger for falling back into past behaviors. Here are some things you can do to help yourself stay sober when you’re on vacation.

Make sure you can handle the vacation

The timing of your vacation is a big consideration. Recovery is a process. The longer you’re sober, the easier it may be to go on vacation and use your willpower to avoid temptation. If you’re still early in your recovery, going on vacation may not be a good idea. Instead, it would be better to stick with your normal daily routine so you can reduce the risk of relapsing.

Communicate with your travel buddies

It’s also important to have open communication with the people you’ll be traveling with. They should know that you’re working on staying sober for life, and that a relapse could cause major problems in your life and recovery. Being open and honest with your travel buddies can help make sure that the vacation will be enjoyable for everyone and you’ll have the support you need to stay sober while you’re away from home. If your travel buddies can’t support your sobriety on vacation, it might not be the best idea to go.

Plan your itinerary around your needs

Staying sober means that you make decisions for your life based on your sobriety needs. The lifestyle you develop in recovery can be maintained while you’re on vacation. But that means that the itinerary for your vacation needs to be built around your needs for sobriety. If you need down time every day, make sure you get it. If you need time to exercise or have diet restrictions, make sure that your vacation can accommodate those needs. You want to have fun while you’re on vacation, but you still have basic needs that have to be met. If your vacation can’t meet your basic sobriety needs, it’s not a vacation for you.

Suggest activities that work for you

When you and your travel buddies are planning activities for the vacation, be sure to suggest activities that work for you. The people you’re traveling with may want to be supportive, but they may not know what that looks like on vacation. By suggesting activities you can do, it’s more likely that your vacation itinerary will be fun for you as well as for the people you’re traveling with. This is especially important if you’ve developed new interests and hobbies since getting sober. If your travel buddies are set on certain activities and those activities don’t support your sobriety, that may mean that you should reconsider going on vacation with those people.

Research destinations carefully

Some vacation destinations are better than others. Some vacation locations are built around drinking, for example. So if you’re working on sobriety, that wouldn’t be a good place for you to visit. As you’re planning your vacation, be sure to do research into what’s available in the area, what the big attractions are, and what you want to do while you’re away from home. For example, you might want to look for a destination that’s more “family-friendly.” Those locations tend to have activities that are good for people of all ages, which means there would be things to do that don’t involve substances or activities that might be triggering for you.

Don’t be afraid to use your ‘no’ muscle

Ultimately, whether or not you can and should go on vacation is up to you. If there are any red flags about the trip, or you think it’s too soon for you to disrupt your regular daily routines, don’t be afraid to use your ‘no’ muscle and say no to the vacation. Your travel buddies may be disappointed, but they want you to be healthy, happy, and sober. They’ll understand if it’s just not a good idea for you to go on vacation with them at that time. Your sobriety is the most important thing, so every decision you make should be for that goal.

Your sobriety is important. That doesn’t mean you can’t go on vacation with people, but if you’re going to, then you have to make sure that your vacation is going to support your sobriety. From communication to planning to being willing to say no, your vacation can be a way to get away from the stresses of life without relapsing. Use these tips as you prepare for your vacation, and then you can be sure that you’ll come home with great memories and that you’ll still be sober for life!

Easter Sunday

 

With every passing Easter Sunday, the idea of rebirth and starting over, sober and clean of drugs and alcohol is seen everywhere. From nature being reawakened from its winter slumber to the Christian belief in the rebirth of Christ, this time of the year has always had a special importance people in many different facets. It is a time of new beginnings, addiction recovery. Easter reminds us that even in the longest and darkest of nights, the morning will come and the sun will rise.

For many, this time is also the beginning of a process of a personal rebirth, to begin again in our own lives by righting our wrongs and starting to walk a new path. A rebirth is precisely what recovery from drugs and alcohol addiction is. Our staff at Hickory Wind Ranch will help you put the drugs down and gain even just a little clarity, we realize that we truly do not have to continue living the life of a drug addict and become an entirely new person—the person we were meant to be.

Learn More About Our Programs.

Powdered Alcohol Risk to Teens

One of the newest social trends among teens and young adults in Texas is the use of powdered
alcohol at parties, in school, at home and in the workplace. Called ‘palcohol’, as an abbreviation
for powdered alcohol, the once rare substance is now mass produced and sold all over the
world. The very bad news is that it is much more dangerous than liquid alcohol and has the
potential to encourage alcohol abuse and destroy those who seek sober living.
The new scourge of palcohol is especially rampant in the state of Texas, where legislators have
already begun to make an attempt to outlaw the potent powder. Non-profit groups and informal
associations that work to treat alcohol abuse are also on board the legal bandwagon to stop the
palcohol problem before it becomes an epidemic.
Science
Perhaps it was inevitable with recent advances in chemistry, newly relaxed attitudes about drugs
that make people high, and a national trend toward drug legalization. The most pernicious aspect
of powdered alcohol, say its many critics in the scientific community, is its ability to go undetected
by law enforcement, school authorities and parents. But on top of that is the exceedingly high risk
of poisoning.
Legislation in Texas, introduced by Trent Ashby, a state rep from Lufkin, would prohibit the powder
from being manufactured, imported or sold in the state, but says nothing about homemade
powder, which is apparently a simple recipe to master. Critics of Ashby’s proposal say it’s a good
start but neglects to address moonshine versions of the stuff that any teenager can concoct in a
garage or basement with minimal equipment.
It’s Not Cannabis
The comparisons between powdered alcohol and cannabis fall short for several reasons. First, when
marijuana was illegal in every U.S. jurisdiction, it was difficult for home-growers to cultivate
enough of the stuff for much more than personal use. And they did so at great legal risk.
Making powdered alcohol requires no special lamps, illegal seeds or expensive equipment. By
simply adding ordinary sugar to a bottle of whisky and then letting the mixture dry, anyone with
$10 and a cup of sugar can make their own bottle of undetectable rotgut. But besides the legal
invisibility of powdered alcohol, what are the dangers? Here’s a very short list courtesy of the many
organizations who hope to stem the tide of the powerful powder:
1. Top of the list: the risk of poisoning, almost always unintentional. Adding a scoop or two of
powdered alcohol to a drink makes it an instant cocktail. Adding it to an alcoholic beverage makes
that drink a super-high proof liquid. This danger is one of the main reasons there are strict laws in
place that regulate the alcohol content of beer, wine, and spirits. Powdered alcohol lets any
backyard chemist create 150 proof brew without labels, warning statements, or disclosures of any
kind.
2. The fact that it’s easy to sneak into a party or bar means an increased risk of drink-spiking, a
social hazard for dozens of reasons, some obvious and some not. Public drunkenness might
become a national curse, and everyone would have to keep an eye on water and sodas in public
lest the barroom joker decides to slip a mickey into an otherwise innocent drink.
3. Injection and snorting are already a problem in Texas and some of the other 26 or so states that
have outlawed, or are ready to outlaw, powdered alcohol. For underage teens and others who want
a secret way to consume a powdered beer before class or during the lunch hour, it’s easy to
forego the liquid additive (which can be water, lemonade, milk, soda, or anything else) and just
snort the powder, or even inject it! Setting aside the obvious dangers of using needles without
medical supervision, snorting brings its own physical risks like overdoses and damage to the nasal
passages.
4. People who want to conceal a vast supply of alcohol (which includes anyone not allowed to have
it by law or regulation) use powdered substances to build a tidy stash of perhaps 100 cases of
beer, wine or whiskey. Imagine if a child had a secret hiding place, not known to adults, where he
or she could store virtually any substance in mega-quantities? The implications are frightening.

5. Manufacturers of powdered alcohol, most of whom are based in foreign countries or offshore and
out of reach of U.S. regulators, are now making dozens of varieties and strengths of the product in
many flavors, thus upping its marketing appeal. Flavored alcohol has the potential to draw in
young users by the droves.
6. Maybe the most valid criticism of powdered alcohol manufacturing is that it does an end-run
around current U.S. laws, all of which are in place to prevent the very real dangers posed by the
new product: poisoning, inadvertent overdose, easy concealment, the ability to attract underage
users, and the risk of encouraging dangerous modes of ingestion like snorting and injection.

What’s the Verdict?
In Texas, lawmakers are working feverishly to join the growing list of states that already ban the
dangerous powder. As far as law enforcement officials know, there are not any powdered alcohol
manufacturers in Texas a this time, but the threat is not so much from in-state manufacturers as it
is from those elsewhere. While about half of U.S. states have banned sale and manufacture of
powdered alcohol, another 15 or so have laws in the pipeline that will do so.
Powdered, ultra-concentrated alcohol has the potential to become a widespread public health
problem in Texas unless the state acts quickly to join other U.S. jurisdictions that have taken
significant steps to make sure that this potential hazard does not get a chance to take hold and
add one more obstacle in the path of Texans who want to live without the dangers of extremely
potent drugs floating around their communities.
Organizations interested in sober living, like 12-step programs and addiction support groups, are a
big part of the effort to stop dry alcohol from becoming a common product. Some entities have
even pushed for federal legislation to stop powdered alcohol in its tracks, but so far the U.S.
Congress has not taken up the topic.

How Video Gaming Addiction Can Harm Your Marriage

It’s no secret that drug addiction, alcoholism, and even social media addiction are among the leading causes of divorces today. However, there’s a relatively new form of addiction that has begun rearing its ugly head and is quickly becoming one of the leading causes of failed marriages; video gaming addiction.

This form of tech addiction has a profound impact on the real lives of the gamers who spend their time immersed in virtual worlds. A good illustration of the consequences of screen addiction is the wildly popular and highly addictive video game known as Fortnite. 

Fortnite took the world by storm in late 2017 and currently has 125 million players. If Fortnite was a country, it would be the 11th most populous nation in the world. This just goes to show how enthralling the game is. 

Unfortunately, it is causing problems in marriages. In fact, a popular divorce assistance website in the U.K revealed that  over 200 divorce petitions filed recently cited Fortnite specifically as being one of the reasons they wanted the divorce. 

Why are Video Games Causing Disruptions in Marriages? 

More and more people today turn to the internet when looking for an escape from the stresses of daily living. Much like how some people turn to drugs. The internet is abound with endless amusement, communication, and information. Another thing that the internet is widely utilized for is video gaming. 

Since their inception in the 1970s in arcades, video games have influenced social dynamics in the way people communicate and build relationships. Online gaming has taken this a step further as it allows you to play with or against someone thousands of miles away while seated on your couch.

In spite of its good intentions, that convenience is causing problems in marriages since the interactive nature of the game causes the player to be so dedicated to their online character and building virtual relationships with other gamers across the planet that they forget about the person they are sharing a house with. 

2016 study done on the sales, usage and demographic data of the video game industry revealed that over 60 percent of American homes have at least one individual that regularly plays video games. Moreover, over 50 percent of the people who are frequent gamers admit to utilizing the social aspect of gaming. 

And because the average age of a gamer is 35 and the average age of marriage is 25.8 for women and 28.3 for men, it is safe to presume that a lot of young marriages have some kind of video game in their homes. 

Another study found out that 75% of gamers’ spouses said that they wished that their significant other would stop putting so much of their energy into video games and put more effort into the marriage. 

Immersive Video Games 

There is a specific genre of video games known as online role-playing games. Examples of games in this genre include League Legends, Dungeons and Dragons, Everquest, and World of Warcraft. 

This genre is immersive as it requires the gamer to devote copious amounts of time developing their virtual character inside the game. Perhaps, it is because they allow the gamer to develop the ideal character that they wish they were in real life. To the gamer, especially one looking for an escape, doing this is much easier than putting in actual effort to improve themselves in the real world. 

Nonetheless, this virtual character development takes so much dedication that the gamers’ outside interests and relationships are often left in ruins. 

The other genre of video games that has cultivated a cult-like following is the first person shooter games. A popular example of such a game is Call of Duty which is a battle simulation where online gamers can face off against each other. The game is further intensified because the gamers wear headsets so they can communicate with each other as they do battle. As you can expect, the language used during such situations can be quite colorful, and the game is likely to start using such language in their dialogue in the real world. 

What’s more, violent video games have been shown to increase the actual aggression of the gamer. When you combine a lack of time for their loved one(s), curse words, and heightened aggression, the concoction that follows is one that has all the hallmarks of an abusive relationship, even without actual violence being involved.

The Risk of Addiction 

As we have noted, the immersive nature of online video games is the reason why gamers are unable to tend to the psychological, and sometimes physical, needs of their significant other. 

In fact, a study on the reasons for divorce found that of the spouses who cite unreasonable behavior as being the catalyst behind their need to end the marriage, 15 percent of them believed that their spouses put gaming before them and the relationship. 

Their need to constantly be gaming creates an impulse control problem, thereby leading to a video gaming addiction. 

Falling under the same category as screen addiction and tech addiction, video game addiction refers to an impulse control disorder that is characterized by the excessive and compulsive overuse of video games. People who suffer from this addiction will utilize the online gaming platform to connect with real people via the internet, as a substitute for real-life human connection. 

The following are some of the signs that your partner is addicted to video games: 

 They would rather be gaming than attend to you, themselves or their job. 

 They will play late into the night and are often sacrificing their sleep. Sex and nighttime conversations are often out of the question. 

 They do not want to discuss their mood or feelings. 

 They refuse to admit that there is a problem. 

 They refuse to reduce their gaming time. 

 They often forget about their commitments. 

 They consistently break their promise to spend more time with you. 

 They lash at you for ‘not understanding’ whenever you bring up the issue of their gaming compulsion. 

 They won’t consider therapy for their gaming obsession. 

Research done on the topic reveals that, at times, it is not the time spent gaming that causes problems in the marriage, but rather, it is the resulting arguments that accompany when the other spouse complains. 

Moreover, compulsive gaming causes issues such as poor marital adjustment that comes from not doing things together or having serious conversations. The result is that the bond that they had starts to weaken and eventually reaches a point where the marriage becomes insufferable. At this point, divorce is usually the only option left. 

Mental Health Problem 

Recently, the World Health Organization recognized and included video game addiction as a legitimate mental health problem. Fortnite, in particular, is one of the most cited games that have led to the addiction, affecting players of all ages, and even forcing some into rehab. Just as with any other kind of dependency, video game addiction strains a marriage in that one partner does not care about the needs of the other.

Admittedly, one can understand the allure of video games. Today’s video games, in particular, are designed to reel in the player and hook them. That is how some people get addicted. For others, they might already be having an underlying problem leading them to seek out video games and other technological distractions to feel the void inside without having to turn to something that might damage their health such as drugs. Nonetheless, an addiction is an addiction, and it will have a negative impact on your life. 

If you feel that your gaming tendencies are straining your relationship, seeking help to overcome the dependency should be your first course of action. At our Recovery Center, we help gaming addicts get control of their dependency, so they are able to get their priorities in order. Our experts will help you or your loved one through a holistic approach that not only treats the addiction but addresses the triggers so that they cannot relapse. Contact us today; we are waiting to help.