Wednesday, November 21, 2007
We wanted to provide some brief ideas to help her, and anyone else, cope with addiction and the effects on families.
Understanding these effects can help you make better choices.
Even loving parents often let go of their addicted child at some point, after years or decades. They might stop asking about your life because they are afraid of being given more to worry about.
They refused to give you money or a place to stay because you have abused their love and kindness in the past. You have given them many reasons not to trust you; a proven track record of distrust.
Addiction can make good people turn to lying and stealing from family members. Family members separate from you as a way to maintain their own emotional health.
Don’t let anger and frustration derail your efforts at recovery.
Accept that it will take time for them to even begin to trust you again. Focus on getting your life back on track rather than proving to them that you are trying.
That means your recovery has to be the priority in your life, even when no one is watching you.
The bitter reality is that an addict can spend years complaining to the family about how difficult recovery is so they don’t have to really dig in and do it.
We can’t blame others when they become fatigued while dealing with our distorted lives. We all have a limit to our endurance, even Mom and Dad.
Of course this is oversimplifying the process. Many pieces of the puzzle need to be in place to maintain a healthy recovery plan.
We need to recognize that life can always get better but we must make an effort to get there. The first piece is deciding to be responsible for your life and what happens to you from this day forward.
Ask for what you need; people want to help.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
- Master Yoda
These following brief comments are related to a recent conversation with someone who is not a client of Insight Associates. She said she was addicted to drugs and alcohol and other behaviors as well.
She was most concerned with her damaged relationship with her family including her parents, siblings, and her own children. Her treatment history included stays at drug rehab facilities and occasional efforts at maintaining a counseling relationship.
When pressed for my opinion about her need to return to inpatient rehab, I said that it was a good idea, but another question was even more important. Are you ready to take charge of your life?
This is a simple question that many of us can make overly complex with ifs, ands, or buts. Our fear of change, and unavoidable consequences, help to keep us locked-in to unhealthy beliefs and behaviors.
For this young woman, the answer was tantamount to deciding if she would rather live or die. We hope she makes the healthy choice.
We all have the ability to begin anew by answering the question, "Am I ready to take responsibility for the course of my life?" The only good choice is also the most obvious one.
Live Well. Now.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Yesterday, Insight Associates announced a change to our Blue Cross/ Blue Shield billing policy effective 10/29/07. We have received enough questions about this change that we would like to clarify the background for this decision.
In our blog entries, we have promoted an uncompromising perspective on attaining your goals. Having a clear vision about what you want, and don’t want, forms the basis for life decision-making.
We have always known that we wanted to focus on the personal relationships of counseling and coaching rather than the “business” of running a practice. The reality is that we must do both.
But, when we have to make a choice between maintaining the clear simplicity of our vision and growing the business, we have chosen to maintain the simplicity.
We will continue to provide billing services for our clients with coverage by the Crescent PPO insurance companies. Crescent is a locally operated PPO and they have been responsive to our needs and easy to work with. We are still an in-network provider with Crescent.
We are also still an in-network provider with Blue Cross/ Blue Shield; only the submission process for reimbursement has changed. If you would like to use your Blue Cross/ Blue Shield benefits for our services, Insight Associates will provide you with a superbill, with all of the necessary practice information, to forward to your BC/BS insurance company for reimbursement. This way BC/BS reimburses you directly rather than Insight Associates.
This change is an effort to continue to do what we love doing while still being accessible to our clients. We have seen this choice as being roughly analogous to shopping at a boutique versus a big mart store. We have chosen to maintain our small size and simple processes to allow us to focus on relationships.
The choice is always yours and we hope you choose Insight Associates.
Please call or email us with questions. And Live Well.
Monday, October 29, 2007
- Albert Einstein
Dr. Joseph Campbell made the now-famous statement, "Follow your bliss". Great advice, but how do we do this? It can be a life-long process to answer this question.
If you don't already have a clear path, the way to get started toward your bliss is to follow your curiosity.
Most of us have had the experience of being curious about something but never following through with it. Instead we might say to ourselves, "I'll do that when I have time". It might not be practical to do some of those things we would like to do.
How many of us have said things like:
I'd like to learn to paint.
I'd like to play the piano, guitar, etc.
Some day I'll read that book.
Some day I'll travel to that place.
Some day I'll get what I want.
The best thing you can do is to complete this line of thought by taking action. Complete something you feel passionately about.
Start small if you have to; write a short story rather than your epic novel. Or, write a letter to the editor of your newspaper about that issue that has been in the back of your mind. Bring it out; make it real.
I once worked in a nursing home counseling residents. When I told a resident that I would like to visit her home country one day she said, "Don't wait too long". I've never forgotten it; none of us should.
Live Well. Now.
- Barbara Hall
Someone once pointed out that we don’t wait for every stoplight on a street to be green before we drive ahead. We go forward when we have the opportunity and only stop if we must. This is a great analogy for achieving our life goals.
We often hear of people who have decided to move forward in their lives only when conditions are right. Unfortunately, this often means that they never get to where they want to go.
Waiting, without a plan, can result in frustration, hopelessness and despair. Eventually, this process damages our self-worth and our hope of being able to change our lives for the better.
Make a resolution to move ahead without waiting for stars to align or conditions to be perfect.
Stop waiting and get started, one step at a time. Insight Associates can help.
Live Well. Now.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
It tries to put things into clear categories that are easy to deal with.
Most of us have known someone who has used this style. Sometimes this style works very effectively when used in a work environment. Managers who use this style are often seen as decisive and no-nonsense. Their co-workers know what is expected of them and they often try to keep up with the expectations.
In a worst case scenario, this person can develop a reputation as a “bull in a china shop” because of their seeming to be unconcerned about the feelings of others.
When used in our personal lives, polarized thinking, can make someone appear stubborn, inflexible, and unwilling to compromise. Conflict with loved ones is a common reason for us to begin to examine the limits of our thinking style.
Styles are neither right nor wrong. They simply require us to recognize them and make choices about using them rather than to be on “auto-pilot” with our emotions.
So is polarized thinking a skill or a habit? That depends on how much you use it to the exclusion of rational decision-making. Are you making choices about your life or are you simply doing what you have always done regardless of the facts and feelings involved?
As always the key here is balance. Use what works and avoid what limits your outlook. Insight Associates can help you identify and establish this balance; call us to discuss how.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
-- Benjamin Disraeli
Dr. Albert Ellis, the father of Cognitive-Behavioral psychology, identified some of those thought patterns that contribute to our continued good health and our potential illness.
He called these thought patterns, “cognitive distortions”.
Habitual ways of thinking limit our perspective and tend to keep us doing the same things repeatedly, for better and worse.
Next time you interpret a situation negatively, ask yourself if your conclusions are the result of habitual thinking or an objective assessment.
Having an objective partner to help you see alternatives and develop new, healthy styles of thinking can lead to a more satisfying life. Call us to discuss how Insight Associates can help.
We will identify the categories of cognitive distortions individually in coming blog entries.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Do you feel the way you want to feel most of the time? Are you generally satisfied with the course of your life? If not, do you want to make the effort to improve your life? Having a timeline for gradual and sustainable life change helps keep us on track to getting what we want.
Get started now!
If you know you need or want change in your life, then waiting only delays your potential for happiness. Even if you put off major changes for the time being, begin planning now to take control of your life situation.
Avoid negativity, in yourself, other people and even life situations.
Examine your beliefs about yourself and your life. Which buoy you and which weight you down? Consider changing those that hold you back.
Learn more about how you function in your life.
Notice what you say to yourself and others about the issues in your life and how you handle daily situations. Are you taking responsibility for what you can control or blaming others or leaving things to chance?
Find people who are living the way you want to live.
Note how others live well. What is it about how they live that you would like to emulate? You might find that one person has one aspect of what you want but someone else has another. That’s fine; no one person has the exact life you would prefer.
Get help from others.
Friends, family, clergy, organizations; anyone who cares, likes or loves you can help to some degree. If your current social resources are not enough or you simply don’t want to deal with them, call Insight Associates for assistance.
You can do it.
If you want more from life, try not to settle for less. There are always things we can do to feel better and enjoy more.
Don’t wait for life to happen to you; take that first step to go after your goals and live the life you choose.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
- Marilyn Ferguson
Additionally, people have different attitudes about asking for what they need, even from a spouse in many cases.
It takes courage to confront our own beliefs about ourselves, and also to risk having others disagree with us.
Even if we are comfortable with asking for help, our fear of how others see us, can inhibit us, sometimes for years.
We can be overly concerned about the opinions of others who believe that asking for help is the last thing we should do.
At Insight Associates, we help you evaluate your attitudes about life, and one of the most important is simply to make decisions based on what is best for you, regardless of other's views.
You deserve to have the life you want. But it does take courage to do things a different way.
Avoid those who are unwilling to accept your healthy choices. Get the helpful assistance you need from family, friends and yes, Insight Associates at Insightfullife.com.
You can do it!
Friday, July 13, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Where have our attitudes come from? Why do we maintain our own roadblocks to a better life?
We can usually identify the reasons for our attitudes easily. Maybe we saw someone else’s difficult situation with a therapist or agency that didn’t go well. We might have been a part of a social group that emphasized self-reliance to the point that “needing help” was frowned upon.
Regardless of the reasons, we have to ask ourselves, “How do I get more of what I want, and less of what I don’t?”
We focus on starting from where we are right now and developing skills and steps to reach our goals. Developing goals often begins with the simple statement, “I want to live a better life.”
Identify your skills and preferences, no matter how insignificant they might seem. These form the foundation for your new life. Everyone has them, but we might not have tallied them up.
Next identify what you want. If you can’t do that easily then list what you want to be different in your life. This process provides a clear direction.
Also, list those people that can help you to reach your goals. Have at least one friend, family member or therapist or coach that believes in you and will help support you when you need it.
This simple process needs to be a regular part of our lives if we want to stay on track to a better life. Maintaining contact with a clear vision of what we want provides hope, clarity and inspiration for living the life we most want.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Saturday, June 2, 2007
This is not necessarily a problem, but going to bed at the same time has its benefits.
Not only does it support a designated snuggle time, but it helps to coordinate energy levels and healthy priorities like sleep.
And of course going to bed at the same time makes it easier for busy couples to have sex. Together you can put to rest all of the competing priorities of the day. Close proximity to one another is a necessity for intimacy.
Bedtime is a shared opportunity to be together in a peaceful and relaxing setting. You can live without a mutual bed time, but with all its benefits, why would you want to?
Thursday, May 24, 2007
We might stay in unhealthy situations because we fear the potential outcomes of doing something differently might be worse than doing nothing at all.
But then frustration, anger, anxiety or depression can build up to further complicate matters. Now we have the original concern and another emotional layer to deal with.
Avoidance of consequences is an understandable and common way of dealing with daily life. We have all gone out of our way at some time to avoid pain, humiliation, etc.
Avoidance can take many forms; substance abuse, running away, lying, sexual affairs, overeating, and numerous other behaviors. These can all serve the purpose of helping to distract ourselves from making difficult decisions and taking difficult actions.
If our use of avoidance prevents us from living the life we want, the way we want it to be, then we are maintaining a roadblock to our own happiness.
Like the kid most of us have seen at Big Mart, gripped by a parent, who dances around to avoid the discipline he knows will be painful, we too can bend over backwards to avoid taking an emotionally painful hit.
We encourage and teach our clients to address problems directly, deal with the consequences effectively and then move on.
Think of coping as being like a ship cutting through a large wave.
Don’t try to outrun problems, hit them head on. This process builds our confidence and helps us move forward in our lives rather than remaining stuck on one problem indefinitely.
Friday, May 11, 2007
-Norman Vincent Peale
We have looked at ways to limit negative thoughts (in the form of negative self-talk) by recognizing them and then consciously telling ourselves to stop. This process is appropriately called “thought stopping”.
The next step is to choose a positive self-statement that replaces the negative. We always have a variety of potential responses available to us. Making the most useful choice for ourselves and then repeating it can help make this process second nature.
This step-by-step process can be practiced at any time and can lead to a less negative outlook when used with other cognitive techniques in a coordinated manner.
It takes practice and it's only part of the change process. If you are having trouble using this technique, a coach or therapist can help. Take care of yourself and your thoughts.