Like a close friend whom we want to be helpful to, we need to be there for ourselves and continue to cover our bases as our recovery continues. We can do this by staying “plugged-in” to our program of recovery. As our recovery continues and we live symptom-free we will no doubt begin to feel better than we ever have before. It is crucial that we do not become passive in our recovery despite the positive side-effects that our program has done for us. We will need to continue to do the things that are working for us and stay active in our own recovery. This may sound like a bit of a drag. After all do we really need to do these things for the rest of our lives to have a successful recovery? We will surely find that the things we do for our program will become second-nature and we will begin to seek the spiritual growth that they bring us more and more. Our program will become less of a task and more of a lifestyle as we begin to reap the rewards of a healthy spiritual lifestyle. Of course problems will arise in or lives and we may become discouraged, but using our program of action we will hurtle our obstacles and they will become less and less important on our path to recovery. The notion of resorting back to our disordered behaviors will become more and more a fleeting and distant thought the longer we stay active in recovery. The message here is to keep on keeping on, rain or shine, everyday. It isn’t a task that HAS to be done but it is an approach to our journey through life that offers us a better, happier and healthier way than we had before our recovery. Just for today let’s change our perspective on the work that successful recovery demands and see this work as a proven formula for the journey of spiritual growth. Fight the good fight just for today!
In recovery it is imperative that we experience peace and positivity. Negative emotions and feelings are what keep us sick. So how do we let go or “get over” the things that bother us and make us resentful, agitated or scared? We can make a great start by understanding that other people are sick too and that nobody is perfect. It is inevitable that people, places and things will bother us in one way or another in our day-to-day lives. While we cannot control these people, places or things we can control ourselves and how we react. When we are mistreated by someone we have to pause and reflect on the fact that they are projecting their own spiritual sickness that makes them feel that they need to act in a way that has hurt us. It is also unlikely that by retaliating with our own anger or frustration they will suddenly realize how they were wrong in doing what they did. Instead we can show them love even when they don’t deserve it because we know better and we realize that they are sick and need help. When someone is angry they are projecting their fear that lies deep within them. They are afraid of either loosing something they already have or not getting something that they want and they lash out using the anger emotion in an attempt to gain some control over the situation. So just for today let’s let go of the negative emotions and replace them with tolerance, understanding and acceptance of the people, places and things in our lives
Recovery cannot be successful without a support network of friends who are either in recovery or are supportive of our recovery. We will experience times in our recovery when it won’t feel worth it and we will want to give up. When we experience negative feelings it is crucial that we share our feelings with friends who will understand our struggles and be there for us. A trusted friend of mine once told me that in recovery “if you don’t share your bad feelings with someone your trouble is double”. Meaning that holding in negative emotions and trying to deal with them alone won’t work for us, it will lead us back to old behaviors as a means of coping with the stress. We have to be open and honest with our friends in recovery if we want to receive help for our problems that are sure to come up, even in recovery. When you can talk about your problems to a person who truly understands where you’re coming from, you will feel the strength of true friendship. Your new connections with your friends in recovery will be a constant source of strength and encouragement to see you through the tough times and they will be your friends to celebrate and share your happiness with in the good times. How do we build a network of trusted friends in recovery? Simple, be there for someone else when they need someone to talk to. Reach out to find other people who are also serious about their recovery and offer your friendship to grow with them in recovery. Most of all love yourself and these around you and you will begin to be an attractive friend for the people around you to trust in and to love. Instead of sitting and waiting for friends to come our way we need to be that person for someone else and reach out to others who need a friend and show compassion and love towards all no matter what.
Insight-oriented psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach that focuses on developing an understanding of the interanl processes inside oneself. Understanding one’s past relationship connections and how they enter into the here and now, in terms of one’s thoughts/beliefs, felings, and behaviors, is the essence of insight-oriented therapy.
This approach occurs during intimate conversation – between client and others (typically, a therapist trained in this approach), client and self, and client and God/Higher Power. Although “it can be distressing for a person to reveal thoughts and feelings that he or she may experience as embarrassing or shameful” there are great emotional benefits to be had in doing so. The University of Toronto Counseling and Psychological Services states that “insight-oriented psychotherapy can be effective for many clinical conditions including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse disorders and some personality disorders.” It is our belief that in talking out more uncomfortable memories and thoughts, you can make progress in discovering the root issues that have caused the emotional distress both in the past and currently.
Although this approach sounds simple enough it can be very difficult, if not impossible for some clients to reveal their honest troubles to both themselves and their therapists. This approach can only be effective if the client is able to get completely honest with his or her therapist so that the emotional healing process can begin. Insight-oriented psychotherapy, as a practice, relies on the “belief that psychiatric symptoms and patterns of behavior, are partially determined by unconscious forces related to a patient’s early life experience.” We find that clients (especially with ED) have internalized events in their early lifetime and these events subconsciously affect their everyday living and emotional security. In this particular method of therapy the patient “is encouraged to speak as freely as possible while the therapist listens in an empathetic way, paying attention to the felling component of the material including any discomfort or anxiety that the patient experiences.” So it is through an honest and open dialogue that the therapist can help the client to identify underlying issues that may be causing him or her to experience emotional distress. (“Insight-Oriented Psychotherapy”, University of Toronto Counseling and Psychological Services)
When developing insight, it is typically common to experience it in an “a-ha!” or “lightbulb” moment. Many times in my practice, clients typically state, “I’ve never thought of it that way.” When having an insightful mement, it is usually felt by the client as having a “mental shift” that yields a more empowering position in the relationship or situation with which they have been struggling.
Although insight-oriented therapy does not necessarily provide a “cure-all” for eating disordered behaviors, this type of learning, in conjunction with others, can help a client to rationally stop doing a behavior once they understand it. This, ultimately, leads to healing and freedom from the behavior.