RIC 002: Why Cognitive Recovery Will Work For You

​Brief Overview of the Episode

​​This episode provides a foundation of how learning, especially addictive learning is accomplished by our brain's neuroplasticity without any direction from us. As we move about our environment, we change over time, we can't help it. We can't help it, but we CAN direct it, and that's what this session is about.


There are two important reasons that I approach self-defeating behaviors from the standpoint of learning:

  1. Understanding that we learn to become addicted is an important key to overcoming it.
  2. We do not recover from addiction chemically, we recover by changing our beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and therefore our actions.

Recovery is a learning process, which because of neuroplasticity, works in the same manner as addiction itself, making the whole procedure much easier to explain. At least a cursory overview of the learning process is necessary to understand why cognitive techniques work for many in the recovery process.

Recovery is a learning process, which because of neuroplasticity, works in the same manner as addiction itself, making the whole procedure much easier to explain. At least a cursory overview of the learning process is necessary to understand why cognitive techniques work for many in the recovery process.

​Timeline of the Episode

​Time

​Subject

​1:​20

  • ​Overview of episode
  • ​Who are you?

8:​25

  • ​Neuroplasticity
  • ​How we learn self-defeating behaviors

​​22:16

  • ​75% recover on their own
  • ​Next episode

​Links Mentioned in the Episode

​Link

​Subject

​The leading science-based self-help recovery group in the world, with thousands of face-to-face and online meetings available.

Next Episode

​Next week's episode is titled: "The Stages of Change," and is designed to be a road map to recovery. It begins with an explaination of where and when we can make choices, turns out there's only one place we can do it.

Next week's episode is titled: "The Stages of Change," and is designed to be a roadmap to recovery. It begins with an explaination of where and when we can make choices, turns out there's only one place we can do it.

​I wrote ​Thinking Recovery​ to serve as a companion to this podcast. It contains an overview of the principal cognitive recovery techniques that I explore, and some visual aids to help with understanding.

You can download it for free, simply by clicking on the image to the left. I hope you enjoy it!​​​

RIC 001: A Process of Change

​Brief Overview of the Episode

​This is very much an introductory episode to the Recovery in Chaos podcast. In it, I explain why I named the podcast as I did, and a bit about my background and journey in recovery. I also explain what the word "recovery" means, in a clinical sense.

I forgot to mention in the episode that I have released ​Thinking Recovery,​ my new eBook, on this site. Since you're already here, why don't you follow the link on the bottom of the page, and download the book so you'll have it for the next episode.​​​

The episode goes on to discuss cognitive recovery itself, what it is, and how it differs from other recovery methodologies. I also explore the four commonalities present in the recoveries of those who overcame their self-defeating behaviors either without help, or with only minimal assistance.

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New Era

This post is the first of the “New Era” of this website. I recently gave a talk at a gathering here in Ajijic outlining my plans for a new book, “Recovering in Chaos,” and a podcast of the same name. Below is the text of that talk in its entirety, making this a much longer post than usual. Sorry for that, but here are the reasons that I see for writing the book and doing the podcast.

Introduction

I wrote Powerless No Longer because I couldn’t not write it. I saw a need to do what I could to spread the word about cognitive recovery in an environment that at the time was overtly hostile to the idea that there might be a better way to approach addiction than the traditional 12-step modality. Today, most of that hostility has dissipated, at least in the professional community, primarily due to hundreds of studies done in the last five years demonstrating the efficacy of cognitive tools.

One result of this is the exponential growth of SMART Recovery, the leading self-help group using evidence-based methodologies. When I became involved with SMART in 2006, there were perhaps 200 meetings in the US and Canada, period. Today, the story is a little different. There are now 2,500 meetings on six continents, and over a hundred scientific peer reviewed papers on various aspects of the SMART program.

This growth is due to several factors, one of the important ones being the acceptance of cognitive methods in the battle against addiction by the professional community, but one of the primary drivers has been the surge in the need for recovery programs of all types due to the significant recent uptick in overdoses and addictive problems in general.

The tentative title of my new book and podcast is Recovering in Chaos. First I’ll explain why I chose the title, then I’m going to try and make the case that the exploding addiction and overdose problems in the US aren’t totally due to the factors we’re told they are. Lastly, I’ll talk about potential solutions, but unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about the possibilities.Continue reading

Some changes for “Powerless No Longer”

Three years have passed since the publication of Powerless No Longer, and it’s time to make some long-overdue changes. Despite my best efforts to keep the book a secret, it continues to sell. Each and every month I’m amazed by the number of copies that are purchased all over the world, in either electronic, hard copy, or audio format.

A lot of this has been due to the decision by SMART Recovery® to place the book on its “recommended reading list,” and it’s a good thing they did because that’s about all the marketing it has been subject to. That is going to change, beginning now.Continue reading