1. Addiction recovery education topics–these are suggestions only.
Is addiction learned behavior, a disease, or both? Emerging voices about addiction: Maia Szalavitz: “Can You Get Over an Addiction?”:
“I SHOT heroin and cocaine while attending Columbia in the 1980s, sometimes injecting many times a day and leaving scars that are still visible. I kept using, even after I was suspended from school, after I overdosed and even after I was arrested for dealing, despite knowing that this could reduce my chances of staying out of prison.”
“My parents were devastated: They couldn’t understand what had happened to their “gifted” child who had always excelled academically. They kept hoping I would just somehow stop, even though every time I tried to quit, I relapsed within months.”
“There are, speaking broadly, two schools of thought on addiction: The first was that my brain had been chemically “hijacked” by drugs, leaving me no control over a chronic, progressive disease. The second was simply that I was a selfish criminal, with little regard for others, as much of the public still seems to believe. (When it’s our own loved ones who become addicted, we tend to favor the first explanation; when it’s someone else’s, we favor the second.)”
“We are long overdue for a new perspective — both because our understanding of the neuroscience underlying addiction has changed and because so many existing treatments simply don’t work.”
“Addiction is indeed a brain problem, but it’s not a degenerative pathology like Alzheimer’s disease or cancer, nor is it evidence of a criminal mind. Instead, it’s a learning disorder, a difference in the wiring of the brain that affects the way we process information about motivation, reward and punishment. And, as with many learning disorders, addictive behavior is shaped by genetic and environmental influences over the course of development.”
Dual diagnosis– Codependency– Emotional problems–PTSD– Multiple addictions
WHY THE PAIN?
Observer mind– Transactional Analysis– ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)–Helping Others– Treatment– Self Parenting
2. Explore books together. Goodreads has several great lists where 100,000+ readers voted on the best books on a topic. For example, Best Books on Recovering From Childhood Trauma.
3. I have collected recovery quotations for years. These quotations can also be used to start group discussions.
Topics for these quotations include the following:
Abandonment, Awareness, Becoming, Beliefs, Boundaries,Challenge, Choices, Control, Coping, Depression, Effects of childhood trauma, Enemy, Facing the pain, Family of origin, Feelings, Flow, Grief, Healing, Helplessness, Higher Self, Letting Go, Life, Love,Men, Motivation, Perseverance, Process, Racism, Recovery,Recovery is hard, Reeducated, Self care, Self discovery, Self esteem, Sensitive, Sexual abuse, Shame, Spirituality, Stages
4. Use Learning Your Labels to find 10 of your personality labels. each of the group members can post their personality labels to identify with each other.
About Learning Your Labels–Having been a teacher and counselor in addiction/mental health, I learned that most people love to learn about themselves. I realized that many of the labels used by counselors are unknown to all the people who never attend therapy. So I took these labels and developed a short test that will teach anyone 10 of his/her labels.
As individuals, we sometimes choose paths that are harmful to us. To get off that path and onto a new path takes exploration and experimentation.
My test, called the Changemaker Test, offers education for self-discovery as I believe that change within a person involves the courage to see(insight) and the courage to act (action). Therefore by using the labels to change themselves, the changemaker is the person who decides to learn and make the change happen.
Learning Your Labels links:
You may decide to have several Facebook groups for different topics.