Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Changemaker Difference

It’s fairly infrequently that I take the time to recommend a particular website but I’ve come across one recently that I think most of us here would be able to benefit from in one way or another. If you have time, please try to check out Changemaker: Change Your Life. It’s been around since 2004 and has a tremendous amount of links concerning recovery. Primarily it is a site to aid in one’s path of self-discovery and healing. Following is essentially the site’s mission statement. I think that the author of the site can do a much better job explaining and describing her site than I could ever pretend to do. No doubt that I would end up doing a disservice!

The Changemaker Difference

Addiction treatment by the medical model means that an addict is “sick” and that someone else knows how to get that addict “well”. In reality, each person has a part of themselves that is perfect and was given to them at birth.

The basic problem with the medical model of addiction recovery is that the medical field calls someone “well” by sending them to take classes about symptoms and this determines the level of “help” that the “well” person will be able to give.

The reality of any emotional/mental help is that the healer can’t help beyond his/her level of recovery. We are all wounded healers but growth only happens after surrender to the need for recovery.

What other field of medicine focuses mainly or only on the symptoms? I mean, where is the cure? Certainly a label can help by identifying what information is needed to lead to a cure. But how does telling someone that they are in denial help that person to understand that their thinking is faulty?

Denial is not about lying but about someone not knowing the truth. Isn’t it more helpful to say that an addict is someone using a learned pattern of behavior to deal with uncomfortable feelings? If there are problems because of the addiction, then the learned pattern has to be given up and a new pattern of behavior has to be chosen for the energy used to be a positive for the addict.

In other words, some of the main issues in addiction treatment are maturity issues. The age at which a person started drinking, using, eating, buying, being overpowering to others, using sex, etc. is the emotional age he/she still is. If he/she started at age 15, which is pretty normal, then he/she is age 14 emotionally.

So recovery is generally about growing up. Another main issue of why people are addictive is to continue to live life in their head or in their imagination. No one knows reality–we only have a perception of reality.

As the hero in 10 Million Ways to Die says,”I never knew that I lived in a world that I hadn’t created..” That is why the addict experiences such anger at having to give up the addiction. The addict believes that his/her using only affects him/her and is no one else’ business. In reality, the addiction is affecting everyone in the addict’s life.

In the self-discovery model of group healing, everyone in the group is a student. The sharing of power in relationships defines the health of the relationship. No hierarchy is needed when people enter groups to help each other. The leadership of the group can be shared by all on a rotation basis.

The group members in the self-discovery group must agree to follow guidelines that the group chooses. The main goal of the group should be short-term with the idea of splitting up to form new groups. Some people may choose to recycle–repeat the same group–before branching out to their own group. After 2-3 times recycling, the other group members may help with the formation of new group to a group member who needs more support.

The Mental Health Institute claims 20% of the population suffers from mental illness. These people generally can benefit from mental health counseling. In America, with all our wealth, many of these poor souls wander our streets as the homeless. They have no medical insurance so menat health care is a sometime thing. Since most of the population isn’t mentally ill, education groups can be a great source of comfort and growth for those not needing therapy.

Go here to read the original.

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