Advancements in Neuroscience, Psychology, and the Study of Addiction is helping us understand that many individuals struggle with diseases related to addiction.  Within the field, we are making changes in the language and terminology we use to diagnose and discuss addictions to reflect improved scientific methods.  The need for multi-dimensional interventions in the treatment of addictions is apparent. For some, the provision of recovery and prevention coaching as an adjunct to treatment or a 12-step program may be beneficial.

The influence of genetics, life experience, trauma and other situations may all represent complex interactions within the brain-behavior relationship.  Understanding addiction as a medical condition allows for accurate diagnosis and treatment and assists in removing prejudice and social judgments.  Understanding addiction as a medical condition does not remove the responsibility from the individual for the behavioral and lifestyle choices they make.  Frequently, people need to learn new skills and make relationship changes in order to establish a healthy lifestyle.  Primarily, they need to change their personal relationship to the substance that is misused; whether it is drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, shopping or any other substance.  It is important to understand the brain chemistry process that occurs when a substance is misused and the residual outcome after an occurrence.

Perhaps not all substance misuse problems result from the existence of a “shame-based Identity” in the individual; however, it is likely that one may develop if the individual continues to engage in addictive behaviors that result in psychological damage to significant interpersonal relationships.  If we live long enough, it is highly likely that we will experience loss or in some instances trauma.  How we come through the loss is about the choices we make.  Our ability to be resilient is related to our social network and ability to garnish emotional support.   All of us need compassion in life and to be treated with respect.   Learning to live through our pain without avoidance or denial is a critical step toward recovery.  Breaking through this cycle may be a life-long process for some; particularly when patterns of inter-generational substance misuse or trauma are present.

This paradigm for corrective thinking is offered as a reminder to help break through the cycle of shame:


New Choice and Confidence Thinking:

Involvement in coaching alongside therapy that helps re-instate personal dignity, integrity, and an identity of health and wellness may be the difference between a successful or unsuccessful recovery process.  For some, (approximately 10%) involvement in a 12-step program alone is sufficient.  The complex issues of family dynamics, inter-personal relationship, and social losses may require the support of a professionally licensed therapist.  Learning the skills involved in New Choice Thinking and Confidence Thinking, can help the individual regain balance in their life.  Family involvement in treatment can be critical in repairing and rebuilding damaged relationships; along with prevent the patterns of avoidance and denial from occurring.

Co-Occurring Conditions:

Many individuals rely on substances as a means of self-medicating.  Even when the individual identifies this pattern of behavior; they may be at a loss to stop it from happening.  Professional support and intervention can make a difference.  Accurately identifying and diagnosing what may exist underneath the misuse problem, is the only way to get help.  We can’t fix what we don’t know to be “broken.”  Depression, Anxiety or an array of other psychological conditions may be present and when left untreated may result in patterns of self-medication as a means of coping.  This is an ineffective way to address the problem, especially when there are more efficient and effective means of intervention than ignoring, self-medicating, or continued suffering.

Holistic Medical Approach:

Each of us possesses a psychological and physical Homeostasis (balance), that is critical to our total health.   Substance misuse problems can result in nutritional deficits and body deficiencies that leave us vulnerable to psychological and physical imbalances. Attending to the whole person, by seeking medical consultation is an important piece of the recovery process.

Engaging in New Choice Thinking Coaching as a Part of the Recovery Process:

The individual is moved through the developmental process of corrective thinking and retraining via a mentoring process.  Gradually the mentor brings the individual through the three levels of new choice thinking.   Learning new ways of thinking can enable the individual to choose recovery as a way of life.  Building upon the foundations of confidence thinking; the individuals safely learns techniques to reduce fear that may be an obstacle to recovery.  As the individual is guided to make congruent choices that reduce inter and intra-personal conflict, feelings of hope and optimism for life may return.  Skills for healthy decision-making are explored as the individual learns to make new life choices.  Over time, the person learns to experience wellness and to make choices that involve self-empowerment as they build a social network that provides compassion, support and respect.

Contact Clare E Steffen, Ed.D., ND, NCC, CMH, CNHP, CADC II, ICADC, BCC to begin engaging in the process of developing new choice and confidence thinking.  Start the recovery process today by calling (541) 221-3408 or emailing: