Monday, May 12, 2014


Relapse is the primary issue associated with recovery from any addiction or compulsive behavior.  Support is the primary antidote to relapse.  One of the reasons that 12 step programs help reduce relapse is that they are a support group where one can hang out and “work the program”.  I love 12 step programs and found my own recovery from many issues in the rooms.  But 12 steps is not for everyone.  

Some feel uncomfortable with the “spiritual” aspects of the programs.  These concerns are easily solved by substitution of concepts but even with this method many are put off and feel that they are being coerced into religion.   

Others and the vast majority of those I work with are uncomfortable with the group per se.  Many have social anxiety and are afraid they will be force speak in public.  Some are concerned about being found out by members of the community which can be pretty terrifying.  Some are just not joiners.  They prefer being alone and working with someone on a one on one basis.  

I provide that support.  Even though I love the 12 steps and the recovery I have been blessed with, I understand the above concerns.  I love to work with recovering addicts of all types including food and behavior.  Codependency is at the base of most addictions.  I started with a friend the first CODA meeting in the rural area where I lived for 20 years.  Codependents often need the support of someone with that recovery and may uncover other powerful addictions at work in their lives.  

If there are deeper issues at work that are beyond my scope I refer to other professionals who are capable of dealing with those issues, such as depression, bi-polar, ADHD, OCD that so many of us in recovery have to deal with.  

My approach is spiritual, particularly as a practicing Vajrayana Buddhist.  Atheists and Agnostics and most Christians and other Religion are usually comfortable with this approach because it is philosophical and very practical rather than dogmatic and pointed in the necessity of believing in God.  Many of tenets of Buddhism are direct treatments for dealing with many of the issues that co-exist with addiction recovery.  Those tenets are mindfulness, compassion, and a deeper understanding of karma and impermanence.  

Recovery Coaching is for those who fall through the cracks of more traditional therapy and Drug and Alcohol Counseling.  There is no stigma associated with coaching except for being too new agey or focused on success thru motivational prompting.  I don’t associate myself with those approaches.  I do associate myself with teaching methods that promote happiness and compassion for self and others.  It is impossible to be happy and grateful and in relapse simultaneously.  So until my next blog entry….

Be Well,  

Lovingly, Michele

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