The road to Recovery and Transcendence can be a long and winding. The hilly, sometimes slippery places, twist and turn with the terrain, demonstrating that we must do this on the road’s terms.

Rules of the Road.

When we choose the road, we must follow its edicts and accept the consequences of that choice.

When we get to a fork in the road, the more difficult choice is probably the correct one.

Beliefs and Strengths.

It’s important to be ever vigilant and honest about what got us here in the first place. Our beliefs, thoughts and feelings, our family, our environment and social learning all play a part. They form our maps of reality.

Even the VAK language we use, our self-talk, each plays a role. These are strengths and resources. There is a Language of Recovery.[1]

This is important to know for both the explorer and the guide. Both subjectivity and objectivity matter.

The subjective experience of the explorer (or client) must be respected. The same rules apply here as do the Rules of Haiku. The objective witness or guide must respect the other’s subjectivity, meeting them where they are at on the journey.

“Froze subjective nouns

Ignore kind transitive verbs

Transcendence denied.”

Counselors, in the role of linguists could keep in mind the 12 verbal clues[2] or expressions that disclose the roadblocks that keep the explorer stuck. Have you ever been stuck in mud, snow or ruts?

Nominalizations can be huge clues about where the explorer is stuck. Substituting action verbs can create the tow truck motion in the mind of the traveler. Ah! Transcendence.

[1] Drug Court Treatment: The Verdict, Chapter 10, p.95

[2] Criminal Justice and Addictions Counseling, NAADC Approved Provider #192679, CEUs, p.25

A Mother’s Journey, “The Road to Recovery.”

Cont’d from previous posts.

Scene: “A winter’s day. In a deep and dark December”[1], a woman, a wanderer, walks alone. Searching for truth.


Mother a Wanderer (she asks a stranger who appeared from nowhere): “Do you know the way to “Recovered?”

Stranger:  “Yes! I do.” Pointing, she says “you take this narrow, cobbled, less traveled road. Keep going straight – passing the frequent roadblocks along the hilly, winding, path, and…wait a minute; It could be confusing. I’ll just take you there.”

Mother a Wanderer [gratefully]: “Oh! Thank you. I’ve been lost for so long. I’m so tired. Tired of being tired.”          

Stranger: [understanding, a sidekick now]: “”Imagine” “The long and winding road.[2]” It begins sweetly, at Birth and wends its way – past Recovered, past even Transcendence, to Eternity.”

Mother a Wanderer: “It sounds like quite a journey.”

Sidekick: “It is. It’s a long, linear journey, not a sprint. But it has twists and turns, hills and ruts. It will have stops and cautions in strange areas that could include your: physiology, safety, sense of belonging, self-esteem, self-actualization and if you choose – Self-Transcendence.[3]

Mother a Wanderer: “Sounds interesting. Will it take long?”

Sidekick: “Sometimes you might stumble, miss a turn and will have to turn back to get on the right track again. But with the right map you will find your way. Being able to backtrack with the map will help show where you went off your intended path. It could be a learning experience.”

Wanderer: “Can you give me an example of how to backtrack if I’m lost?”

Sidekick [now becomes the guide]: “Sure. Where should we start? Where do you feel lost or stuck?”

Wanderer: “Self-esteem feels like a good place.”

Guide: “Ok, sounds like you might have a feeling like you’re not good enough. Or, lacking self-esteem. [Wanderer nods] No problem says the guide. Facing forward on your road or time line I want you to start walking backwards, just “float back[4]” as you continue to feel the way you experience this lack of self-esteem. I’m going to anchor that negative feeling on your left shoulder as you do.” [Wanderer agrees]

“You’ll feel something when you reach the point that you became “stuck” in your past. There’ll be a jolt, a flash, a feeling – something is not right. I’ll feel or see it too. I might even see it in your eyes.”

[The Mother Wanderer gets to the beginning of the Sense of Belonging journey and stops.]

Mother Wanderer: “Something doesn’t feel right, here, in the moment.” (There’s a noticeable blink of the eye, a gaze.) “I feel a little scared. What’s wrong?” She notices a feeling of nothingness, she’s alone, frightened.

Stranger: “Can you see anything?”

Mother Wanderer: “Yes! There’s a fire! A huge, blazing fire! Oh no! The neighbor’s house is on fire. It’s so close. I feel like I could die in the fire.”

T0 be Cont’d

[1] I am a Rock. Simon and Garfunkel

[2] Imagine, The Long and Winding Road, The Beatles

[3] Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

[4] The Float back technique, Francine Shapiro, Richard Bandler

A Mother’s Experience

How are a mother’s experiences different from yours as the reader? If you are a mother you may want to add to this conversation. If you are a male I’d like to hear your responses. What have our parents really gone through?


While we are exposed to similar events out there, in our environments, we do come away with different perceptions. Trauma informed readers know that we have all been exposed at one time in our lives to a potentially traumatizing event.

Unfortunately, too often women get attacked, sexually abused, raped and these memories, beliefs and feelings of the experience get burned into the brain like a white hot cattle branding. Imprinted!

Some people suffer with these memories for decades or a lifetime. They can affect identity and every area of one’s life. You’ll be happy to see they can be undone.


Yet – there does not need to be physical, verbal or sexual violence done to the person. An event, any event could be a traumatizing event. If the person who witnessed the event perceives it as such – it is traumatizing. This leads to PTSD.

Paraphrasing Francine Shapiro, PhD., “a person needs to revisit these experiences,” “in a healthy environment” as Carl Rogers suggested in order “to explore and resolve their issues with the strengths and resources they already have.”

Shapiro’s treatment modality for this was EMDR along with other attending skills. EMDR is another complete discussion and the reader can Google that to learn more.

Desensitize Past Memories.

There are more brief intervention eye movement therapies available. These methods are very effective in ‘desensitizing past memories, beliefs and feelings. Clients and therapists have told me how my interventions and CEU courses have changed how they will live and do individual and group counseling.

This can be learned in workshops or online. I’ve helped professionals to do this for themselves, on the phone.

You might want to know how this is done. Once these troublesome beliefs and issues are identified, they are ratcheted down to where they are no longer traumatizing, to be reprocessed.

The way I do this is to help the explorer create a new empowering belief and then ratchet up that acceptable belief to where we have created a new positive re-imprint.

There is more to it than that thumbnail description. There are Meta clues learned in workshops or on the phone that I and other therapists have learned to look and listen for to determine how to structure the solution-focused collaboration. It’s very effective and can be done in one episode for some people. It works as well for males.

We may not or ever know what our mothers have been through. Could that be true with our children too? Dads? It all started somewhere. Is it time for a conversation?


We all have our own issues or baggage. Trauma informed therapy can be more effective in helping women to Transcend the pain that all too often leads to SUD, Substance Use Disorder and even CTC, Criminal Thinking and Conduct: endless, needless, haunting, agonizing, lifelong, pain.

Self-help and self-transcendence are possible. Shapiro, Maslow and Frankl have written about these.

Six Steps on the Trail to Transcendence could help with these issues. You can find a chapter on that in my book: Drug Court Treatment: The Verdict. It’s in the catalog above.

It’s also in my CEU piece, Criminal Justice and Addictions Counseling in the catalog at this site. You get free coaching with that purchase.

If you would like to talk about this subject why not call me now at 808 385 4550.

If you are a counselor or therapist in need of CEU we can incorporate this material into your course plan.

Transcendence The 7th SOC

Stage of Change (SOC) is a term casual readers may like explained. It refers to where the explorer, person or client is regarding ability to or readiness to change. One school of thought is there are five stages.

Another mentions a sixth category. I’m proposing yet a seventh. The first five are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. Simple enough. Each has its own characteristics and behaviors.

The sixth stage is Relapse/Recycling to some. Again self-explanatory. If you need an explanation and would like to discuss this you can call me: 808 385 4550. Or email: standokmanus1@outlook.com.

Relapse and Recidivism are two terms common to the field. They are thinking about or returning to using AOD (Alcohol and Other Drugs) or CTC (Criminal Thinking and Conduct).

Have you ever heard the expression? – “you get what you think about.” Earl Nightingale is credited with that quote. It’s true. You become what you think as he said.

That’s why I like the concept of Transcendence. Maslow described it as rising above; even higher than Self-actualization. See Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Transcendence is the sixth of the Hierarchies. Victor Frankl too espoused this theory. Maslow described Self-Transcendence.

So, if a person needing to get “unstuck” from say, alcohol problems thought about rising above it, to be sober, healthier and happy, what would you say about his chances? Could they be better than 30%.

Letting the thoughts of relapse occupy your mind 24/7 always seemed a little strange to me. I get the concept. But it’s strange. Why not think about being successful and sober instead? About Transcendence…

So, if other recovery programs have not worked for you, why not call me now if you want to get on the trail to Transcendence.

Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs could be handy as a recovery tool couldn’t it. SUD could apply to each level. ASAM has a model showing this.

If this concept appeals to you I have a chapter about this in my book. The chapter is called: Six Steps on the Trail to Transcendence. The book is Drug Court Treatment: The Verdict. You can find it in my catalog on this site or at Amazon.com.

See standokmanus.com for more information.

Happy Mother’s Day

Gratitude seems to be the word that has the most meaning. Think of all the sacrifices our Mothers have made for us.

Mothers put themselves at the bottom of the needs list. You get the new dress, suit or shoes first.

Mom is cooking and cleaning for you and the family. Moms sit up with you all night if they must.

Who kisses the booboo to make it all better? Thanks Mom!

Who saved up all the pennies, nickels and dimes so you could go to school? Thanks Mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day and thank you to all the Mothers today.

Herding Cats with ADD

Attention Deficit Disorder, ADD, or its fraternal twin, ADHD, Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder begin in early childhood but may not be detected until later. This could be during middle school when courses can become more difficult – requiring more focus.

You might ask, what courses? Good question. Algebra is a good example. Now, for the first time since Kindergarten, a student is challenged to sit down, keep the chair warm and concentrate until you understand and can demonstrate an algebraic problem.

“Concentrate?” That’s a first. “It’s an interesting concept” the student might reply. “Do you mind explaining that to me – in detail – while I’m interested.”

“Whoops! I’m not interested anymore! Little Johnny over there is just moved and must be interested in something else.” Who knows? Maybe it’s FOMO too kicking in. Fear of missing out could be common for ADDers in my ADD opinion.

“Bright, shiny objects” as a colleague of mine describes them “always pull you off topic. You come up with these great ideas but never follow-through.”

That is typical for people with these mental health issues. But why am I addressing thinking and behavior problems like these? My niche and mission is to help people with alcohol and drug problems.

Now you might suspect that I’m suggesting that young kids with ADD stress-filled lives could be attracted to alcohol and other drugs. Bingo! You’ve it!

As a young boy of 14 years hanging around with the wrong, older, slippery people, I and my ADD brain were introduced to alcohol. “Wow!” my hyperactive brain said. “Whatever that is, I want more of it.” I remember the exhilaration of the moment.

Sure enough, me and my excited brain were determined to do this more often. The feeling freed us of the stress, frustration, self-loathing and torment of of our humdrum, yet frantic lives.

I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. But my ADD has been like herding cats my entire life. Only later did I learn the CBT (Cognitive Behavior Theory) and skills that could help me with this.

The older I got, the bigger the cats. The more and bigger ideas I got, the more and bigger the cats became until I could hear them thundering across the plains of my mind.

To calm down; to help myself, requires structure and a schedule being provided by myself or employment. “To do” or checklists are a must for me. I literally, could benefit from a to-do list going from the table to the kitchen sink.

All phases of one’s life can be affected by this condition. It has destroyed many relationships and marriages. It has led many to alcohol and other drug problems.

You might like to discuss this with someone. If so, I’ll listen. Call me now at 808 385 4550.

If you, a child or another loved one are having thoughts, feelings, behavior and outcome problems that you just don’t understand you can learn more with this clip. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/adhd/symptoms-causes/syc-20350889