On this page, we discuss the mindfulness approach to California substance abuse treatment. Mindfulness can be defined as “a non-judgmental way of paying attention to emotions in the present moment.”
This implies mindfulness seeks to permit us to focus our attention in the present moment. As soon as your mind wonders for the future or past, or when powerful emotions for example cravings arise, mindfulness refocuses our mind for the present moment.
Addiction and cravings are clearly behaviours that harm you physical and mental health and tied in with compulsion in which you feel like you can not stop.
Buddhism teachings state that humans hold onto desires and objects that ultimately cause suffering. This can include attachment to objects, people, substances, behaviours and abstract concepts such as identity.
Mindfulness permits us to forget about these desires bit by bit by increasing our knowledge of these desires and compulsions. Through this heightened state of awareness, mindfulness promotes the liberty and motivation to cease harmful activities.
Intense longing for drugs and alcohol is one way humans manifest this want to ‘hold on’. Mindfulness thus increases our understanding of these desires and ultimately offers us the strength to discharge these negative desires permanently.
Since mindfulness is focused on the non-judgmental knowledge of thoughts, feelings and cravings, patients are discouraged from ‘fighting’ cravings that typically produces a negative state for being.
Before we outline mindfulness and addiction therapy, we shall outline how an addiction arises to begin with. Essentially, you have stimuli that makes you feel good about yourself. You consider this good feeling and then attempt to experience this stimuli that ‘recreates’ these good feelings. Overtime this behaviour is reinforced by either negative or positive affect to the stage where cravings arise. You essentially experience urges for these positive feelings to keep.
Alternatively, when others are open to a definite environment, negative opinions may lead to negative emotions including anxiety, anger and depression. So that you can reduce this anxiety, the person may resort to 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” the individual and so the addiction takes hold. Addiction is thus an exaggeration from the basic human desire to move toward pleasure and depart from pain.
Negative emotional states and cravings are the primary reason behind relapse. Traditional anti-craving medications for example topiramate try to reduce cravings for drugs and alcohol use. However, these medications are merely effective for some, and research indicates the potency of these treatments is largely affected by patients’ genetics.
Traditional cognitive therapy likewise targets these cravings. As an example, CBT teaches patients to protect yourself from identified triggers of addiction, or to engage in substitute behaviours for example bubble gum or chewing carrot sticks as an alternative to smoking. Traditional CBT also seeks to modify belief systems and alter unhealthy ‘automatic thoughts’ that California drug intervention. Generally, these therapies are merely moderately effective. As an illustration, around 70% of smokers want to quit, but only around 5% succeed when traditional CBT is employed.
Mindfulness has a different strategy to traditional CBT. Mindfulness efforts to uncouple the website link between cravings and drug/alcohol use, and tries to prevent the craving from arising to begin with. Mindfulness promotes self-regulating attention so that it is maintained on an immediate experience, thereby making it possible for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment.
Unlike traditional CBT, mindfulness is not going to attempt to let the patient to avoid or substitute addictive behaviours. Instead, mindfulness drives a wedge between cravings in addition to their resulting behaviours.
The notion of utilising mindfulness inside the combat addiction was basically proposed by American psychologist Professor Alan Marlatt during the early 1980s. Professor Marlatt utilised an early kind of mindfulness referred to as Vipassana to help you heavy alcohol and drug users overcome their addiction. During an 8-week period Prof. Marlatt taught addicts the way to meditate from the Vipassana tradition. Every one of the participants were prison inmates. Professor Marlatt’s study showed an improvement inside the participants’ mental outlook in addition to a lowering of substance abuse upon their release from prison.
However, these gains were not sustained as time passes. Professor Marlatt attributed this to the reality that the participants did not consistently meditate once they were released from prison.
If you’ve ever taken part within a mindfulness meditation session then it’s not difficult to image why this activity has potential in aiding those who experience an addiction. Mindfulness helps the sufferer to enhance his or her ability to concentrate on emotions as they arise inside the present moment. This improved level of attention helps the person to achieve an improved knowledge of his / her addiction triggers, including automatic behaviours that provide 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 usually takes place.As an illustration, if you would like stop smoking cigarettes, mindfulness will assist you to recognise the vile nature of inhaling harmful chemicals and therefore keep you motivated to need to stop. Mindfulness replaces automatic responses with disenchantment for the addictive behaviour. For example, this woman who attended mindfulness sessions for smoking addiction realised that “cigarettes smells like stinky cheese and tastes like chemicals”. This woman was only able to come to this realisation due to her increased understanding of her habit gained through completing mindfulness treatment.
Patients achieve a better knowledge of the inner mechanisms that occur between feeling cravings and after that undertaking addictive behaviours. Patients learn how they think, the things they are thinking and the way themselves is feeling before, during and after addictive behaviours take place. Awareness allows patients to maneuver towards change. Unawareness of such process chain patients on their addiction and mindfulness seeks to reverse this plight. Mindfulness teaches patients there is 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. First and foremost, mindfulness empowers addicts through self-awareness of automatic thought patterns.
Mindfulness likewise helps people to respond to discomfort differently. When an uncomfortable feeling just like a craving or anxiety arises, mindfulness teaches these patients to recognise these discomforts, and observe them non-judgementally, as opposed to automatically engaging in addictive behaviours.
Furthermore, mindfulness helps patients admit these people have a problem and overcome their denial. Mindfulness thus enables patients for years in recovery.
Since mindfulness teaches the individual to take the present moment, it also helps the individual to handle negative emotions from the distance. This ultimately helps the patients to diffuse negative emotions in such a way that is not going to involve the application of drugs and alcohol. Patients thus learn to detach from attributions and “automatic” thoughts that often bring about relapse.
If you want to implement mindfulness within your practice, we urge you to adopt anyone-centred or Rogerian approach to treatment i.e. adopting an accepting and non-judgement outlook that permits you to bond with the patient and creating an environment of “unconditional acceptance”.
Once you’ve created this environment, you have got to implement many different meditation techniques. During meditation, the person must concentrate on an item. This can be often the breath as it is expelled through the nose. This is called mindfulness of breathing. As the mind wonders, attention needs to be re-centered on the breath dexppky63 it leaves the nose and touches the lips.
Below we list common meditation techniques you may implement:
Body scanning as taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Sitting meditations i.e. focused awareness (breathing) and expanding to body, emotion and thought
These meditations typically take place in group sessions. Patients receive instructions and perform these meditations alone.
We also recommend you teach the thought of urge surfing. Urges can be a distressing feeling fuelled by a increase of cortisol. This teaches patients that cravings are like waves. Patients are taught to observe the desire wave because it rises and passes, instead of attempting to fight or control the craving. This permits the patient to learn California alcohol treatment for their cravings, and weakens the concentration of urges over time. Any time you surf the need the weaker that urge becomes. Should you consistently surf the need, the need will ultimately go away completely.