1. Shame and addiction: a personal window

We frequently hear about the intimate relation between addiction and shame, and many of us have experienced it. But what is the subjective feeling of shame that makes it not only very unpleasant but a potent trigger for further substance use? Today I want to explore my own experience of shame and get down to […] (Read the rest.)

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Brain parts, mind parts, and psychotherapy for addiction

My blogging days may be winding down. But if they do, as they do, I want to put more energy into methods for helping beat addiction than ideas for explaining it. It’s critical to understand addiction in depth, and I still believe that linking neuroscience with lived experience provides a potent frame of reference. But […] (Read the rest.)

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Recruiting “parts” to fight addiction: a three-step exercise

Last post I promised to share some ideas for breaking the feedback cycle of addiction. Today I want to suggest a three-part intervention strategy for doing just that. In a nutshell, (1) tune into your emotions, (2) see what “parts” (in IFS terms) those emotions belong to, and (3) help those parts calm down and […] (Read the rest.)

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Befriending the part that wants to get high

People who use drugs (or drink) addictively are caught in a feedback loop. The addiction makes us feel like losers, blameworthy, perhaps worthless. We carry around this negative self-concept almost constantly — and it’s painful! Perhaps ironically, using or drinking seem the only way to relieve that pain. Yet the net result is that we […] (Read the rest.)

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Part 2. Hiding the bad stuff

The concept that a person is either authentic or inauthentic (either a liar or not) is based on the premise that people have unitary, coherent personalities. In contrast,  IFS takes the view that people’s inner worlds are made up of parts, or sub-selves, each of which has its own distinct style, motives, and beliefs. Interestingly, […] (Read the rest.)

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