Using your Strengths and Resources for Recovery.

We perceive the world through our senses. These are mainly see, hear and feel. We can learn to change these in order to feel better or to set goals.

As an example, let’s say that you want to be better at your work. Make a postage stamp size picture of that. For more effect make it a dull gray color.

How compelling is that picture?

Compare that to this picture. Make an 8×10 color picture of you doing your work with excellence. It’s a beautiful color picture of you smiling while you work. How does this feel compared to the other picture?

Something as simple as size and color made this difference in how you feel. There is much more to learn about these skills. We will cover those in more detail later.


Addiction and SUD (Substance Use Disorder) often are tied to past life changing experiences. Any type of abuse, witnessing any type of abuse or ‘trauma inducing’ behavior can haunt a person for a lifetime.

When considering how this happens, maybe you weren’t beaten yourself but you witnessed someone else get beaten. That could do it. You perceived the negativity and your brain coded this as a traumatic experience. Probably coded it as a visual, a picture.

We all are mostly either visual, auditory or kinesthetic (feelings) people. We do however, code our lives in pictures.

How to create change.

So you can see all of these issues are important to consider when searching for the correct modality of treatment to get the person unstuck.

It’s things like these that lead to PTSD, Post traumatic stress disorder.

If you read my past posts you’ve noticed I’ve mentioned that there will be no long term changes in behavior unless we first change core permission granting beliefs about the behavior. This is also included in my CEU document.

My preferred method for changing limiting beliefs and extinguishing effects of trauma is brief eye movement therapy, BEMT. This is a hybrid of EMI, Eye Movement Integration and EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.

Brief eye movement therapy can be used along with Sensory Acuity (VAKOG), the Meta Model and Motivational Interviewing (MI). They should be used together in treatment. VAKOG, imagery and the Meta Model enhance MI exponentially. This is all covered in the CEU document (catalog).

If you are not trained for eye movement therapy I’ve included a couple pieces you can use in the CEU class.

Better outcomes.

The goal and outcome of my method is to create a corrective emotional experience so the response to the original traumatizing event can be reprocessed allowing for emotional and behavior changes.

So, if you want better outcomes you see that it’s a choice. If you want different outcomes you must do something different. Clinicians have told me that my method is as good or better as any they have witnessed. One clinician said “it’s the best treatment I’ve had in 11 years.” “This is what you should be doing,” she went on to say. See Drug Court Treatment: The Verdict in the catalog.

If this makes sense to you and you would like better outcomes call me now at 808 385 4550.

CEUs too. If you are working remotely or have fallen behind with CEUs my NAADAC Approved CEU class could solve those problems. (Catalog)

Is Addiction a Disease?

“Non-12 Step Addiction Treatment Philosophy” Palisades of Malubu.

Not with me!

I believe in 12-Step Recovery. If you wanna it will work.

Some professionals and lay people say addiction is a disease. Some say No, it’s a choice. Just like the Non-12 Step idea just above. Some say yes, some say no. I know a well run 12 step program, especially with a hard working sponsor can produce as good or better results as any other platform.

“Unlike other rehab centers, we don’t believe that addiction is a disease,” says Palisades spokesperson. “Our research shows that people become dependent on drugs and alcohol because of one of these four causes:

1. A chemical imbalance
2. Events of the past you have not reconciled
3. Current conditions you can’t cope with
4. Things you believe that aren’t true”

Folks – addiction is a progressive and deadly disease. If not treated correctly and necessary changes are not made for the patient, client, sufferer, addicted: the person could die.

I do agree with items 1-4 just above.

I do agree with the common goal of treatment as Chris Prentiss states it: “Our goal is to find out what’s driving you to use drugs or alcohol. Once we locate the cause of your addiction, we will begin the work to heal it. Our entire program revolves around accomplishing this goal using an advanced one-on-one approach to therapy.” Passages Malibu.

I’ve described several times on this blog that “there can be no long term behavior change unless “core permission-granting AOD/CTC beliefs are changed first. You can read all about it in the continuing education piece in my catalog.

If you buy that for self-help I will give you coaching if you choose. Just call or email me.

Court mandated clients can go along with the program faking it as they continue to use alcohol and other drugs in treatment. The sad part of this is that they never give themselves a chance to change their beliefs and show themselves that they can live without AOD. How’s that for irony?

Regarding the disease idea, sure; this behavior can lead to disease, addiction and all kinds of other personal, relationship and legal problems. Drinking or using AOD is a choice.

So, it’s a behavior choice that if repeated enough will lead to disease, addiction and possibly death.

If you want help with your problem or for a loved one buy the book or CEU piece in the catalog. Or, call me now at 808 385 4550. Remember the time difference as I’m on Maui – enjoying sobriety.


Four days ago, we left our Mother and her sidekick stranded as they were about to maybe discuss why the fire came to mind on her “timeline floatback”; described in the prior post, May 26.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs formed the basis of the timeline in a linear format. When Ma reached the Sense of Belonging there was a noticeable sensation. Is this the point where they could learn about Ma’s subjective experience?

What is the significance of that experience according to EMI (Eye Movement Integration, Circa 1960-1970) framers (Andreas and Grinder) and practitioners, or Francine Shapiro? (1948-2019, EMDR).

Whichever of these folks developed the eye movement therapy models first we owe them a debt of gratitude. Any of us is entitled to our subjectivity – our truths, our perceptions.

When one’s subjectivity begins to cause them relationship, family, job, living or legal problems that’s a different story. Then it is time to collaboratively and with the explorer’s consent take a closer look.

This is especially true for court mandated clients who may be having problems understanding and changing permission-granting AOD/CTC beliefs. Alcohol and Other Drug/Criminal Thinking and Conduct.

There can be no long-term AOD/CTC behavior changes unless core, permission-granting beliefs are changed first. (Beck, Wanberg and Milkman)[1] Drug court clients could access this information on their phones.

EMI, my specialty is great for extinguishing limiting, AOD/CTC permission granting, hurtful beliefs and replacing them with useful, empowering beliefs, thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The truth shall set you free.

To Thine Own Self be True as AA, NA and Shakespeare tell us. This helps with alcohol problems too.

Taking a closer look involves revisiting the what, maybe a traumatizing event and looking at it from a distance, a different perspective that allows safe analysis. Working together the guide and explorer discover ways to desensitize, to reprocess and reframe the original perception to make it more empowering, even enjoyable today.

People can, according to Shapiro, do this on a DYI self-help basis. It is better to learn how first in a one on one session. After you know how, you could probably work on most limiting beliefs and whatever level of beliefs. These are discussed thoroughly in the CEU program in the catalog.

So, this could be helpful for Ma as she explores her timeline now, wondering about the significance of the fire, her Sense of Belonging or, maybe even Safety Needs?

This is fruitful work for CEUs available from me in 47 states, Japan and South Korea. NAADAC Approved Provider #192679. You get to keep the study guide as a print desk reference. Great for mobile apps too.

If you would like to discuss these helpful ideas you can call me at 808 385 4550. Learn more about other tools at

[1] Cognitive Behavior Theory, Judith S. Beck, Criminal Conduct & Substance Abuse Treatment Strategies for Self-Improvement and Change. Wanberg and Milkman. Both are excellent reads.