Become a member of Allies in Recovery and we’ll teach you how to intervene, communicate and guide your loved one toward treatment.Become a member of Allies in Recovery today.

Facing the Obstacles: Part 1

Our Podcast: Coming Up For Air

On this episode of Allies in Recovery’s “Coming Up for Air” Podcast, Laurie and Kayla discuss the obstacles between knowing what to do and putting that knowledge into real practice. In part 1, they focus on avoiding a “crisis” response, and slowing events down to avoid being reactive.

 

Loading

Related Posts from "Member Blogs"

Straight to Treatment After Jail? Do I Stick to My Guns?

Sometimes we can see the likely future: our Loved One returns to the shelter of home, hides away in their room, and simply doesn’t get the treatment they need to make progress with their SUD. Allies’ member HelenBo doesn’t want to see that happen with her son, who is struggling with heroin and other substances. What other housing options will he have upon release? As Laurie MacDougall writes, there are often more than we realize. At the same time, such transitions are critical moments for our Loved Ones. Having a list of specific housing and treatment options at hand—along with the CRAFT skills to communicate about them effectively—can make all the difference.

The Season of Expectations

Having expectations for others can be a difficult trap. When we have ideas about how things should go, we often try to manifest those expectations and have other people do what we want them to do. Instead, learn to manage your nervous system, to calm yourself and have tools to make requests of others. Be careful not to superimpose your expectations on others — it might not be what they want, need, or are able to do. That needs to be okay. Learn to give people room to create their own expectations for themselves.

Cutting Him Off Entirely Isn’t the Answer—Is It?

We’ve all heard the argument: cut the cord. Let them sink to rock bottom. They’ve made their bed; now they have to lie in it. Recently, Allies member erinlewis was offered this sort of advice concerning her teenage son. Data and experience have shown that such an approach is usually the wrong one for our Loved Ones—but maintaining a connection doesn’t mean that anything goes. Laurie MacDougall walks us through a CRAFT-informed approach to self-care, boundaries, and the balancing act of connection and accountability.

Interview with Alex Ribbentrop

Alex Ribbentrop joins the Allies in Recovery hosts to discuss intergenerational trauma, substance use, the importance of family, and finding connection. Alex is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Qualified Supervisor, EMDR Trained Clinician, and Certified Family Trauma Professional, practicing in Virginia, Maryland, and Florida.

Anger: Why Talking About It With a Purpose (And Not Just Venting) Can Be Healing

Anger evolved with the human brain. Though it may not seem so today, its original function was to keep us safe. Unfortunately, for most of us, anger is a deeply unpleasant experience, one that can damage our relationships and sense of wellbeing. The good news is that we can change this dynamic. This article offers a science-based guide to regulating anger and returning it to its constructive purpose.

When Stepping Back Is the Best Help You Can Give

No one wants a Loved One to suffer. No one wants a Loved One to relapse. But in our worry about such possibilities, we can stumble into behaviors that stand in the way of change—behaviors that make problematic substance use easier for our Loved Ones than it otherwise would be. Fortunately, CRAFT can help us learn to offer support within our chosen boundaries: the kind of support that truly encourages progress.

Filling the Gap

How do you handle that difficult time when your loved one comes home from treatment, and is back in an old environment, complete with old triggers? It can be a time of depression and anxiety. Think about reconnection — being present and engaged, making things fun when you can, and using the CRAFT communication tools to leave doors open.

About This Whole “Engage When They’re Not Using” Business…

If you’ve worked your way through Allies’ eLearning Modules, you’re already familiar with the concept: when our Loved One (LO) is using, we remove rewards and allow for natural consequences. When they’re not using, we reward them right away. But as member BRIGHTSIDE has been finding, the real-life timing can be a challenge. Laurie MacDougall reviews the fundamentals of this process, and shares ideas for getting creative when the lines seem blurred.

What Is Enmeshment?

Enmeshment is a blurring of the boundaries between people. How the other person feels affects you intensely. Enmeshment is one-way — your thoughts, feelings, and choices are about the other person’s well-being. Countering enmeshment means checking in with ourselves, calming our systems down, taking pauses, and allowing the other person the dignity of their own process. You can learn to listen and make reasonable requests and develop a healthier kind of connection.

What Is Our Role? Underlying Feelings and Beliefs We Have About Our Loved Ones

Like many of us who have Loved Ones struggling with SUD, Allies member Binnie knows that trust is a delicate matter. Can we trust our Loved Ones to take care of themselves? Do we believe they have the capacity? Or do we think they’re so damaged that they can’t function without our stepping in? Isabel Cooney reflects on how trust is explored in a recent Allies podcast, and offers her own insightful take on this vital subject.

How Do You Handle Anger?

What’s the impact of emotions on how we interact with loved ones? Learn to acknowledge, claim, and identify your emotions. Don’t discuss anything when you’re reactive. Instead, pause, check in with your feelings, and don’t take things personally. Have a strategy that’s not confrontational or accusing, but engaging. Calm your system and engage in a way that you can feel good about. Hopefully this will reverberate with your loved one and create change over time.

When Song, Faith, and Joy are Enough

The full name of the song is “Ndikhokhele Bawo,” which means “Lead me, Father” in Xhosa. These South African youths, assembled in their school’s courtyard, transform their place of learning into a concert hall with nothing more than the power of their voices. But it’s their spirit of joy and solidarity that lifts the beautiful into the realm of the sublime.

Evidence From Oregon: Decriminalizing Drugs Can’t Solve Every Problem, but It’s an Important Step All the Same

Oregon has just rescinded Measure 110, the historic law that decriminalized possession of small amounts of hard drugs. But the reasoning behind the rollback is muddled. As guest author Christina Dent reveals, M110 took the blame for spikes in lethal overdoses, homelessness, and public drug use, none of which it likely caused. Rather, she argues that the law represented a small but important step forward. In the effort to end the drug crisis, its repeal is a loss.

Ah-Ha Moments

When the noise dissipates and there’s clarity, that’s an “ah-ha moment.” You can move forward in a different way. You might even find new commitment to a way of thinking or behaving that you didn’t have access to before. Allies in Recovery uses CRAFT to give you the tool set for your own ah-ha moments, but also to help create the conditions for your loved one to find their own moments and possibilities for long-term change.

Learning About Depression. And Fighting Back.

Forty percent of Americans will suffer a major depressive episode at some point in their lives. Five percent of the world’s population is suffering from it at any given time. It’s a disease that’s too often misunderstood—when it’s not overlooked entirely. Recovery writer Annie Highwater offers this primer on the many forms depression can take, and the variety of paths available for dealing with it.

What Are the Three Questions?

When you’re in the middle of crisis, feeling reactive or uncertain about what to do, use the “three questions” to helps create space and time and take the best action. What am I feeling? What can I do about it (think as broadly as possible)? What am I actually gonna do? Kayla likes to consider a fourth: What’s happening that’s making me feel this way?

Getting the Most Out of This Site

Personal trainers and the like are terrific—when they’re accessible. Unfortunately, individual counseling is still a rarity with CRAFT, despite its proven effectiveness. Allies in Recovery was created to bridge that gap. In this post, founder and CEO Dominique Simon-Levine outlines the many forms of training, education, and guidance that we offer on this website. We hope it helps you find the support you need.