Sunday, 25 October 2020

Use What Works

When you aren't seen and affirmed for you are, the self fragments, generally into anxiety, shame, and inadequacy. Toxic relationships abound in this society. Overbearing bosses on power trips, angry co-workers, scary relatives, bullying classmates or teammates or colleagues, hostile so-called friends, rage-aholic in-laws, emotional vampires that feed on your good feelings, narcissistic clients, the list is endless. They all produce stress, but not the good kind. One way to reliably produce anxiety, stress, depression, and cognitive decline in a mouse is to put it in a cage with a big bully mouse that bites it, pins it down, and dominates it. After an initial period of freaking out, the subordinate mouse becomes deeply depressed and slumps over, unresponsive to other stimuli. It's called a social defeat model of depression. Psychologists? Counselors? And what are their qualifications specifically for treating substance problems? In the United States, substance treatment evolved in a tradition of recovering people providing clinical care, with the premise that those who have been through it can help best. In fact, this has never been shown to matter in studies that have measured outcome differences based on the recovery status of the counselor. What has been demonstrated to matter is the treatment provider's ability to feel and show genuine empathy for another's situation and struggles. An empathetic substance abuse counselor without advanced training and degrees may provide good treatment; What is the provider's level of training in the approaches he or she uses? Some evidence-based approaches involve specialized training and supervision (eg, CRA, CRAFT, Motivational Interviewing, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy) while others are available for professionals through manuals, and less so through certification trainings. You can inquire into a practitioner or a program's use of supervision after their training. You know it's unpleasant, but someone's got to talk to that co-worker about their personal hygiene or spearhead an intervention for a loved one who's hooked on drugs. Better to alert someone to what's at risk than to stand by and do nothing. URANUS IN SAGITTARIUS

You still believe in a global village. Yes, walls have gone up and borders are closed, but you're convinced we're all in it together and that your universal outlook will ultimately win out. You believe that if people got a chance to truly engage one another they would discover, learn, and thrive. Each of us carries a piece of the puzzle. Maybe it's tucked inside a point of view, sealed in a reverie, or passed down through a people. The answers we're looking for aren't shut away in vaults or towers or industrial complexes. They are in each of us. And depression leads directly to brain shrinkage and cognitive decline. The longer the depression, the greater the cortical loss. One of the goals of therapy is increase nourishing relationships and let go of toxic relationships. Cutting off toxic relationships and surrounding yourself with loving, supportive people is one of the surest ways to feeling better. Here again therapy can help navigate this process. Unfortunately, no one can live entirely free of annoying people. Sometimes a person marries into a dysfunctional, toxic family that must be tolerated at times. A person can't always quit a job due to a boss who delights in demeaning subordinates. A bullying team member can't always be avoided. In these cases, it's important to get a break from such relationships, just as with stress. Do the clinicians get follow-up supervision in that method? Do the supervisors get follow-up supervision in a particular method? Plenty of data indicates how difficult it is to train clinicians up to a level of competency in a new treatment approach.

It helps to ask how much training they receive and how much ongoing supervision is given to keep them trained to a level of competency. Is the provider or program capable of assessing and working with co-occurring disorders? If your loved one has other psychiatric or emotional issues, can the treatment provider identify the problem and work with it effectively? Co-occurring disorders are common. While prevalence rates depend on many factors, including the substances being used, gender, age, etcetera, across the board estimates are that 50 percent of people with substance use disorders also have other psychiatric disorders, most commonly depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders. It is not always clear what explains the link; Equally unclear is the course these co-occurring issues will take in response to treatment for substance problems. Sagittarius Uranus . Electrifies: Sagittarius Suns when it frees the mind. Gadflies: Scorpio and Capricorn Suns because it won't write people off. Enlightens: Libra and Aquarius Suns through alternative beliefs and esoteric practices. Overthrows: Virgo and Pisces Suns when it gets militant. Galvanizes: Aries and Leo Suns by educating them about the issues of the day. Is anyone's guess with: Taurus and Cancer Suns by making them spiritual, but not religious. Sometimes good because they're responsible for their own belief system, sometimes bad when there's no real group or community to share these experiences with. Opposes: Gemini Suns. You see others as wanting to change you. It's necessary to spend time with other people who do care about you and can empathize with your difficulty. Nourishing relationships are the antidote to toxic relationships. Just as toxic relationships reduce neurogenic capacity and increase inflammation, positive relationships stimulate neurogenesis and neuroplasticity and reduce inflammation.

Love is neurogenic One of the greatest discoveries of neuroscience is that love is neurogenic. Love produces oxytocin in the brain, which stimulates neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. When stress goes down, neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, and cognition go up. Neuroscience confirms what spiritual traditions, poets, and philosophers have said for millennia: We thrive in love. The brain thrives in love, too. Emotional health and brain health are linked. For many years, it was assumed that when a person stopped using substances, other problems would vanish. And sometimes that was true. And sometimes it wasn't. Sometimes they got worse. Following a thorough assessment, you'll need to know if the clinicians are trained to understand, assess, and treat these other issues. For years, many treatment programs claimed to offer dual treatment, meaning they dealt with both substance and psychiatric problems as part of a comprehensive treatment. More often in practice however, clients would encounter a 12-step oriented program that provided the opportunity to talk to a psychiatrist once, or a psychiatric program that told clients to go to 12-step meetings. We are not being cynical; Now you can find more integrated services in practice, but you still have to be careful. Tag-on services that are not really robust in their own right are not so helpful, and the more severe your loved one's co-occurring issues, the more this matters. When Uranus is opposite your Sun sign, you don't connect to its energy naturally, so you always get thrown for a loop until you do. The best way to harness this energy is to see what they have to say. Some zodiac signs get bent out of shape when people try to change their lives, while others feel controlled or manipulated.

You're pretty relaxed. As a Gemini you know you can always change things back. Meanwhile: Who knows? They might have a better idea of what would make you happy than you do. URANUS IN CAPRICORN Nothing lasts forever. And you don't say this because you're being jaded or blase. Chronically feeling bad damages brain function and cognition. Conversely, poor brain health produces negative, painful emotional states. Improving one helps the other, though this doesn't necessarily fix the problem with the other. Generally, life and relationships run on automatic. Paying attention to how you feel and the quality of your relationships brings the power to change. Changing your emotional and relationship patterns is an essential part of the holistic healing of cognitive decline. The Mental Level When your brain is sharp, you think well--lucidly, logically, creatively. There is a clarity that comes when your mind and brain function well. Your thinking is flexible and dynamic, not rigid or narrow. Overlooking major psychiatric challenges can lead to years of no progress, frustration, ruined relationships, and hopelessness. There is a high prevalence of trauma in the history of substance-abusing clients, including childhood trauma, sexual trauma, violence, accidents, and war trauma. A trauma history can be a complicated and insidious player, exacerbating erratic behaviors, apparent lack of motivation, an uneven route of progress, and self-destructiveness.

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