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Podcast: Goals and Expectations

Our Podcast: Coming Up For Air

Hosts Laurie, Dominique, and Kayla discuss goals and expectations — how greater self-awareness and realistic expectations of our ability to impact our loved ones’ behavior allow us to be more “in the game.” As we continue to focus on practice rather than perfection, the tools of CRAFT can change how we feel and interact with our loved ones, gently shifting the dynamic over time.


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What Do You Want, and What Do You Need?

When you’re dealing with difficult circumstances and the actions of others, it’s important to shift focus from external to internal, to pause and check in with yourself and ask yourself what you need and want. Take your power back. We believe that taking care of yourself in this way has a positive impact on the other person. It’s a demonstration of boundaries and self-care.

Interview with Christina Dent

Christina Dent discusses her new book, Curious: A Foster Mom’s Discovery of an Unexpected Solution to Drugs and Addiction. Christina grew up in a conservative Christian home. Her views of addiction changed dramatically when she and her husband became foster parents. Christina founded the non-profit End It For Good to invite others to listen to the voices directly impacted by our drug laws.

Trust, Hope, and Expectation

When it comes to hope, trust, and expectation, what’s our part, and what’s the part of others? Hope is ours. It’s internal, doesn’t damage anyone, and is loose, open, and a way to stay positive. It’s also ours to accept — to say this is how things are and soothe ourselves. What not ours? Trust. It’s the other person’s job to become trustworthy for themselves. Expectations, too, are theirs — if we impose expectations on others, we set up failure

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?