In this posting, we discuss the mindfulness method of California substance abuse treatment. Mindfulness can be defined as “a non-judgmental way of watching emotions inside the present moment.”
This implies mindfulness seeks to allow us to focus our attention in the present moment. When your mind wonders on the future or past, or when powerful emotions for example cravings arise, mindfulness refocuses our mind on the present moment.
Addiction and cravings are clearly behaviours that harm you both mental and physical health and tied along with compulsion in which you feel as if you are unable to stop.
Buddhism teachings claim that humans hold onto desires and objects that ultimately cause suffering. Including attachment to objects, people, substances, behaviours and abstract concepts like identity.
Mindfulness permits us to forget about these desires bit by bit by increasing our awareness of these desires and compulsions. Through this heightened state of awareness, mindfulness promotes the freedom and motivation to cease harmful activities.
Intense craving for drugs and alcohol is one method humans manifest this wish to ‘hold on’. Mindfulness thus increases our knowledge of these desires and ultimately offers us the power to release these negative desires permanently.
Since mindfulness is focused on the non-judgmental awareness of thoughts, feelings and cravings, patients are discouraged from ‘fighting’ cravings that typically produces a negative state being.
Before we outline mindfulness and addiction therapy, we shall outline how an addiction arises to start with. Essentially, you have stimuli that creates you feel better about yourself. You consider this good feeling and after that seek to experience this stimuli that ‘recreates’ these good feelings. Overtime this behaviour is reinforced by either positive or negative affect to the stage where cravings arise. You essentially experience urges for such positive feelings to keep.
Alternatively, when certain people are subjected to a certain environment, negative opinions could lead to negative emotions for example anxiety, anger and depression. As a way to reduce this anxiety, a person may use drug or alcohol use. This may lead to substance abuse and overtime, a variety of learned situational and emotional cues will serve as ‘addiction triggers.’ These triggers “trap” anyone so the addiction takes hold. Addiction is thus an exaggeration of your basic human want to move toward pleasure and depart from pain.
Negative emotional states and cravings are the primary source of relapse. Traditional anti-craving medications including topiramate make an attempt to reduce cravings for drugs and alcohol use. However, these medications are merely effective for a few, and research indicates the strength of these treatments is largely relying on patients’ genetics.
Traditional cognitive therapy likewise targets these cravings. As an example, CBT teaches patients in order to avoid identified triggers of addiction, or to take part in substitute behaviours such as chewing gum or chewing carrot sticks as an alternative to smoking. Traditional CBT also seeks to alter belief systems and alter unhealthy ‘automatic thoughts’ that best rehab in California. In general, these therapies are simply moderately effective. For example, around 70% of smokers want to quit, only around 5% succeed when traditional CBT is employed.
Mindfulness takes a different approach to traditional CBT. Mindfulness tries to uncouple the link between cravings and drug/alcohol use, and attempts to prevent the craving from arising in the first place. Mindfulness promotes self-regulating attention that it is maintained by using an immediate experience, thereby making it possible for increased recognition of mental events inside the present moment.
Unlike traditional CBT, mindfulness fails to make an effort to encourage the patient to protect yourself from or substitute addictive behaviours. Instead, mindfulness drives a wedge between cravings and their resulting behaviours.
The thought of utilising mindfulness inside the combat with addiction was first proposed by American psychologist Professor Alan Marlatt in the early 1980s. Professor Marlatt utilised an ancient type of mindfulness known as Vipassana to aid heavy alcohol and drug users overcome their addiction. Throughout an 8-week period Prof. Marlatt taught addicts the way to meditate from the Vipassana tradition. All of the participants were prison inmates. Professor Marlatt’s study showed a noticable difference from the participants’ mental outlook in addition to a decrease in substance abuse upon their release from prison.
However, these gains were not sustained over time. Professor Marlatt attributed this to the fact that the participants did not continue to meditate as soon as they were released from prison.
If you’ve ever taken part in a mindfulness meditation session then it’s not hard to image why this activity has potential in aiding people that experience an addiction. Mindfulness helps the patient to improve his / her ability to pay attention to emotions since they arise within the present moment. This improved level of attention helps the sufferer to get a better understanding of her or his addiction triggers, including automatic behaviours that offer life to addictive tendencies.
Guiding patients’ attention straight back to the current moment increases their awareness of their habitual habits and cravings so “uncoupling” of cravings and addictive behaviours may take place.For instance, if you want to give up smoking, mindfulness will help you to recognise the vile nature of inhaling harmful chemicals and therefore inspire you to need to stop. Mindfulness replaces automatic responses with disenchantment for the addictive behaviour. As an illustration, this woman who attended mindfulness sessions for smoking addiction realised that “cigarettes smells like stinky cheese and tastes like chemicals”. This woman was just able to come to this realisation as a result of her increased understanding of her habit gained through completing mindfulness treatment.
Patients gain a better comprehension of the internal mechanisms that occur between feeling cravings and after that engaging in addictive behaviours. Patients understand how they think, anything they are thinking and just how themselves is feeling before, during and after addictive behaviours take place. Awareness allows patients to advance towards change. Unawareness of the process chain patients with their addiction and mindfulness seeks to reverse this plight. Mindfulness teaches patients they have a choice not to engage in these automatic addictive behaviours. Mindfulness helps patients to react differently to automatic thoughts, and so disengage from addictive behaviours. Most importantly, mindfulness empowers addicts through self-understanding of automatic thought patterns.
Mindfulness also helps men and women to react to discomfort differently. When an uncomfortable feeling such as a craving or anxiety arises, mindfulness teaches these patients to recognise these discomforts, and observe them non-judgementally, instead of automatically performing addictive behaviours.
Furthermore, mindfulness helps patients admit there is a problem and overcome their denial. Mindfulness thus enables patients forever in recovery.
Since mindfulness teaches the patient to take the present moment, it also helps the sufferer to deal with negative emotions coming from a distance. This ultimately helps the patients to diffuse negative emotions in such a way that is not going to involve the use of drugs and alcohol. Patients thus figure out how to detach from attributions and “automatic” thoughts that often cause relapse.
If you decide to implement mindfulness in your practice, we urge you to definitely adopt the individual-centred or Rogerian strategy to treatment i.e. adopting an accepting and non-judgement outlook that permits you to bond together with your patient and creating an environment of “unconditional acceptance”.
Once you’ve created this environment, you will have to implement a variety of meditation techniques. During meditation, the person must concentrate on a physical object. This really is typically the breath as it is expelled from the nose. This is called mindfulness of breathing. Since the mind wonders, attention should be re-dedicated to the breath dexppky63 it leaves the nose and touches the lips.
Here we list common meditation techniques you could implement:
Body scanning as taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Sitting meditations i.e. focused awareness (breathing) and expanding to body, emotion and thought
The above meditations typically occur in group sessions. Patients receive instructions and perform these meditations alone.
We also recommend you teach the very idea of urge surfing. Urges certainly are a distressing feeling fuelled with a build-up of cortisol. This teaches patients that cravings are similar to waves. Patients are taught to look at the desire wave since it rises and passes, instead of attempting to fight or control the craving. This enables the patient to find out alcohol treatment California with their cravings, and weakens the intensity of urges with time. Each time you surf the urge the weaker that urge becomes. When you consistently surf the urge, the need will eventually go away completely.