Month: August 2011

The Importance of Desire for Change and Therapy

The issue of how therapy can help a person move away from excessive, self-harming use of a substance or activity cannot be discussed meaningfully without attention to the actual intention of the person entering therapy. To use learning a foreign language as an adult as a useful analogy, if the person being instructed does not actually want to learn the language and does not make a real effort to pay attention, concentrate, study, practice, etc., he/she is unlikely to benefit much from instruction. The degree to which the person genuinely opens to the subject matter and the instruction cannot realistically be overlooked (I draw upon my own foreign language instruction experience in high school and college, in which I engaged minimally, resentfully, and inattentively, with predictable results).

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How Does Change Occur in Psychotherapy?

I think it will be helpful to me and to prospective and beginning clients to try to provide an overview of how I think about …

Make-Believe in the Addiction Treatment Industry

Therapists shouldn’t be in the business of make-believe. There is a great deal of make-believe in the addiction treatment …

Magical Thinking About Drinking

Most of the people I see who have serious drinking problems express the hope that they can over time acquire the ability …