The Meadows Blog

The Meadows’ Senior Fellow, Claudia Black, MSW, PhD, will be featured on BlogTalkRadio’s program “Hope-Strength-Recovery” with host Carol Juergensen Sheets, LCSW, CSAT, PCC, on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 9:15pm (EST).  The program can be accessed by visiting http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sexhelpwithcarolthecoach.

Dr. Black is a renowned author and trainer internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders.  Since the 1970's, Dr. Black's work has encompassed the impact of addiction on young and adult children. She has offered models of intervention and treatment related to family violence, multi-addictions, relapse, anger, depression and women's issues. Dr. Black designs and presents training workshops and seminars to professional audiences in the field of family service, mental health, addiction and correctional services. She has authored numerous books and educational videos for use with addicted clients and the families affected by addiction. Dr. Black’s latest book is Intimate Treason: Healing the Trauma for Partners Confronting Sex Addiction.    

During the program Dr. Black will talk about her work over the past 35 years and discuss with listeners the relationship between trauma in the family and addictive disorders. So often, people think of trauma as an incident or experience; Dr. Black will explain the distinction between what are called “big T” and “little t” traumas focusing specifically on the impact they have on children and the ramifications of the trauma in adult life. Recognizing that people often become addicted to not just substances, but also to behavioral processes, she will help listeners recognize the similarities and distinctions. Dr. Black will also offer direction to the family member still in the throes of being impacted by an active addiction. 

Carol Juergensen Sheets, LCSW, PCC, CSAT, is currently in private practice in Indianapolis, IN. She speaks nationally on mental health issues and is featured in several local magazines. In addition, she is featured in regular television segments focusing on life skills to improve one’s potential.

The Meadows is an industry leader in treating trauma and addiction through its inpatient and workshop programs. To learn more about The Meadows’ work with trauma and addiction contact an intake coordinator at (866) 856-1279 or visit www.themeadows.com.

For over 35 years, The Meadows has been a leading trauma and addiction treatment center.  In that time, they have helped more than 20,000 patients in their inpatient center and 25,000 attendees in national workshops. The Meadows world-class team of Senior Fellows, Psychiatrists, Therapists and Counselors treat the symptoms of addiction and the underlying issues that cause lifelong patterns of self-destructive behavior.  The Meadows, with 24 hour nursing and on-site physicians and psychiatrists, is licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services as a Behavioral Health Inpatient Facility and is accredited by The Joint Commission.

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Many people ask how they can determine whether they have the process addiction known as sexual addiction. Theorists in the field explain that there are 3 areas that they assess to identify whether someone should be treated for sexual addiction. The framework for addiction is comprised of the 3C's (1) craving; (2) loss of control; and (3) negative consequences. If your behavior as a potential sex addict meets these 3 criteria, then it is likely that you need to be seen by a Certified Sexual Addictions Therapist who can further assess your behaviors and determine a treatment plan that will best assist you and your family in getting help. Let's imagine that you spend hours on the internet and you wake up thinking about pornography, think about it during your work day and go to bed with the fantasies of what you have viewed. This, very simply meets the criteria for craving. Most addicts take more advanced risks with porn and they purposely try to "steal" opportunities to get a quick fix...wife jumps in the shower and you hop on the internet before work. Or maybe you purposely leave late so that you can spend 20 minutes getting your fix only to find that 20 minutes turned into an hour and 20 minutes which then means you don't get to take your shower and you spend your entire drive time making up excuses as to why you were late (again) for work. Perhaps you got a smart phone and you find yourself isolating at work or going out to your car instead of eating with your buddies because you would prefer checking the sites to see what is new. The allure of finding things that are new keeps your brain craving more opportunities for porn.

And as the addiction worsens you find yourself giving into the addiction. You tell yourself 100 times that you won't get on Craig's list or that you will stop being a voyeur or that you won't check in with the newest porn site and then no matter how much you mean it, you succumb to its seduction and you are right back where you started or worse....staying up all night to chat with other adults in the chat rooms or you sneak out after church to head to the new massage parlor. It is baffling how you could be so addicted to the behaviors that you love and hate at the same time.

And then it happens. The wife gets a call from your mistress or your children find your emails or you are arrested for prostitution and you hate yourself because you have not only ruined your life but you have tarnished the family's ideal of what  a father should stand for.... you become so despondent that you promise never to act out again and then the despair which is part of the addiction cycle begs for medication and you use your sexual addiction to medicate the pain that was created by the sexual addiction and the cycle continues.

Despite the negative consequences, you continue to act out until you find the resources that are strong enough to ally with you to fight this battle. That might look like a specialist ----- a trained certified sexual addiction therapist who can help you navigate to the right resources. That might be a workshop designed to give you the basic principles to maneuver you into recovery. That might be the 12 Step Program where you can find men  who have been where you are at and want to help you find the 12 step formula that can guide you into an improved life. Or it may require a hospitalization in an addiction facility that has a specialized treatment program that will help you to heal your wounds and heal your life.

Ask yourself if you are a victim of the 3 C's and if it sounds like I am describing your life, you need to address this now because it never gets better without outside resources and specialized services. You deserve to be free of this compulsion and replace it with a healthy sense of yourself, your behaviors for YOU and your family.

Carol Juergensen Sheets, LCSW, PCC, CSAT, is currently in private practice in Indianapolis, IN. She speaks nationally on mental health issues and is featured in several local magazines. She currently has an internet radio show onwww.blogtalkradio.com/sexhelpwithcarolthecoachand does regular television segments focusing on life skills to improve one's potential. You can read her blogs atwww.carolthecoach.com. To contact Carol about sexual addiction:www.sexhelpwithcarolthecoach.

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The Meadows’ Senior Fellow, Dr. Patrick Carnes, will teach the Twelve Principles Weekend Retreat Series from December 2103 through August 2016 scheduled for every three months in Phoenix.

Gentle Path at The Meadows will sponsor a lunch at the December 2013 retreat and Allan Benham, Gentle Path Executive Director, will be available to meet the retreat participants and discuss the new Gentle Path program. 

For more information regarding the retreat visit www.TheTwelvePrinciples.com.

Click here to download the retreat flyer

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 00:00

Is There Happiness in Recovery

They say that sexual addiction is baffling and may be perhaps the toughest addiction to recover from because of all the triggers in society that may set up a person to succumb to urges and cravings. What I know for sure is sexual addiction recovery starts with total honesty and it is that rigorous honesty that keeps a person living one day at a time and being filled with gratitude. These two elements are essential in breaking the denial and maintaining the foundation for good recovery.

What is equally interesting is that these two life skills are also in the formula for happiness. Marci Shimoff in her book Happy For No Reason found that there were three traits in happy people that were a part of daily functioning.

·        Staying in the moment

·        Gratitude

·        Reframing

These three qualities were essential in a person's ability to be happy and make life better. I find these same traits are critical in an addicts recovery. The slogan "One day at a time" keeps sex addicts focused on living in the moment and not ruminating in the past and not fearing about the future. When a sex addict focuses on today  they are less likely to become overwhelmed with their sadness about their past or their anxieties about what lies before them. The process of living in the future assists an addict with looking at the present moment which is much more manageable and attainable. It keeps the fear factor down and assists them in realizing that they can only control what happens in the present day.

Having gratitude is a life skill that keeps addicts focused on what is working in one's life. Think about it. Are you more likely to feel better about what is working in your life or what might be your current struggle? Did you know that what you appreciates ....appreciates?  In other words, when you focus on what is working in your life you are less likely to get bogged down with what seems to be the  insurmountable barriers that will keep you having a negative attitude. Recovering addicts manifest the attitude of gratitude because they know that when they are working on recovery; their life is authentic and transparent. Choosing to live in honesty and gratitude brings about freedom that builds self esteem and confidence. Most addicts remember what it was like to hate their impulses, their behaviors and their addiction so recovery means liberation which increases gratitude. No matter where you are in your recovery right now...are you able to list 50 things that you are grateful for? My speculation would be that you are more likely to list gratitude moments as your recovery grows stronger because you appreciate life more because you can appreciate your own personality strengths and accomplishments.

The third factor in happiness and in recovery is being able to reframe your journey.

Reframing is the life skill that allows you to look at your life and ask yourself how did you become stronger and what did you have to learn from it. It takes you out of the victim role and allows you to feel empowered by the lessons that you have learned. This is imperative for the addict who feels much shame about their sexual behaviors and falls into the "I hate myself” and “I can find nothing redeeming from this horrid, despicable behavior.” Well the truth of the matter is that your addiction has taught you how to change your life and live it more authentically! Recovery is a lifelong process of living and when you use your reframing skill you are able to recognize what life has taught you and how far you have come in becoming a genuine person.

You are only as sick as your secrets and you are choosing to no longer live in the chronic lies, deceit and secrecy of addiction. It frees you up to be the person you were meant to be and when this occurs ... you are much more likely to live up to your potential.

So stand up for yourself and live these three life skills and thank your addiction for teaching you about true recovery. You are going to live an awesome life in recovery because the real you is going to show up!

Carol Juergensen Sheets, LCSW, PCC, CSAT, is currently in private practice in Indianapolis, IN. She speaks nationally on mental health issues and is featured in several local magazines. She currently has an internet radio show on www.blogtalkradio.com/sexhelpwithcarolthecoach and does regular television segments focusing  on life skills to improve one’s potential. You can read her blogs at www.carolthecoach.com. To contact Carol about sexual addiction:  www.sexhelpwithcarolthecoach.

Published in Blog

The Meadows is pleased to announce two new videos featuring Meadows’ Senior Fellow, Claudia Black. Dr. Black is a renowned author and trainer internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders.  The content of the videos focuses on The Meadows’ signature Survivors Workshop and the additional workshops offered at The Meadows.

The Meadows offers a variety of unique, five day workshops available to all interested individuals. Participants work on sensitive issues in a concentrated format allowing them to practice new relational skills within a safe environment.  The Meadows’ workshops are a cost-effective alternative, when long-term treatment is not an option and cater to those who have already undergone treatment, as well as those who cannot be away from their work or families for an extended period of time.

“We are thrilled to have Claudia Black as the spokesperson for The Meadows’ workshops,” said Jean Collins, MSW, LISAC, CSAT, Director of Workshops at The Meadows.  “The new videos give an in-depth explanation of how a Meadows’ Intensive Workshop is an effective method of accelerating a client’s progress. It is a great opportunity for clients who could benefit from a strong jump-start; it provides a container, allowing a client to go deeper, and an impetus to strengthen their resolve and propel them forward.”

The videos can be accessed on The Meadows website by visiting http://www.themeadows.com/workshops/ and http://www.themeadows.com/workshops/healing-intimate-treason-workshop-for-partners-of-sex-addiction.

The Meadows is an industry leader in treating trauma and addiction through its inpatient and workshop programs. To learn more about The Meadows’ work with trauma and addiction contact an intake coordinator at (866) 856-1279 or visit www.themeadows.com.

For over 35 years, The Meadows has been a leading trauma and addiction treatment center.  In that time, they have helped more than 20,000 patients in one of their three inpatient centers and 25,000 attendees in national workshops. The Meadows world-class team of Senior Fellows, Psychiatrists, Therapists and Counselors treat the symptoms of addiction and the underlying issues that cause lifelong patterns of self-destructive behavior.  The Meadows, with 24 hour nursing and on-site physicians and psychiatrists, is a Level 1 Sub-Acute Agency that is accredited by the Joint Commission.

Published in Blog

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