Scene: Mom, tired now, sat to relax with her sidekick on a long, green bench. “Courtesy of The Chamber of Commerce” it said. They talked about how trauma can have long lasting effects on a person. Mom, deep in thought about how previous events and decisions have affected her life, said that she had an alcohol problem. Sidekick shared with her that it was a common problem with trauma.
Mom: “You know, I’ve got even more to tell you. I got arrested and I’m in drug court. I was charged with a DUI (BAC .016) and promoting a dangerous drug. The officer found my pipe and a few meth shards. I need help with cigarette smoking too. Can you help me with these?”
Sidekick: “Sure. However, I’ll need more information.”
Surprise now! Deus ex Machina supplies a completed assessment with DSM V codes, recommendations, MPL and TP along with a CJIS report.
Mom: With a surprised look on her face, asks, “What in the world is that and where’d it come from?”
Sidekick: “These items describe your situation and what we must do to help you get unstuck. Are you ready to get started and do the work?” Mom nods a willing yes. “Are you being fully open with me? This CJIS report says you were arrested for prostitution, too. Any comments?”
Mom: “Yes. It’s true. Is my face red! I was too embarrassed to tell you. The stigma, you know? I want to stop that too. Can we use the VAK strengths and resources that we used in the last machination?” Mom grins at the fourth wall.
Sidekick: “Sure. You see, we all have the strengths and resources we need to explore and resolve our issues. Visual, auditory and kinesthetic senses are, our natural resources. We can all use these to help ourselves. Let’s work on one problem list and treatment plan issue at a time.”
Mom: With a rosy, impish expression says, “Great! Let’s get started.” They agreed to work on smoking first.
What? Why not X? ask some readers. No hecklers please! Readers have different beliefs about which should be first. I understand. Personally, I believe permission-granting beliefs about smoking should be addressed first. But I’m not the sidekick.
Sidekick: “Okay, since you are a right-handed person, I want you to visualize a timeline going from left to right. The “Old You” is labeled on the left and the “New You” the right. In between is the journey (dissonance). Do you understand?” Mom nods “yes.”
Sidekick: “On the left is what you have and on the right is what you want. Since we are working first with smoking, I want you to describe to me what you see, hear and feel as a smoker, right now.”
Mom: Looking disgusted says, “I see me, scared, using drugs, drinking, smoking and with my health in danger. I see my labored lungs are brown and clogged with nicotine residue. They look gunky and terrible. My head says “this is going to kill you.” I feel terrible and want something better.”
Sidekick: “Okay. I understand. Now I want you to look at the ‘New You’ and what you could have in the future as a non-smoker.”
Mom: Focusing, looking to the right, squints and she says, “I see white teeth and a nice, clean, smile. I see a pink and clear throat, esophagus and lungs that are healthy. That voice in my head is says “Yes. Great! This is what I want. I feel so much better. Worthy even. Deserving.” I get it! I feel great about these changes too,” says Mom.
Scene: A lot was accomplished and they agree to meet again next week. After Mom desensitizes, they say, “Good bye.”
During the week that follows, Mom has recovery struggles. She does her best but comes across the usual slippery people, places and things that could lead to relapse. She uses her colorful VAK strengths and resources, visualizing staying clean and sober, getting to recovered and moving on to Transcendence. She prefers thinking about what she wants rather than relapse prevention.
She visualizes what she wants, recovered and Transcendence and comes to the realization that, “Sidekick changed my life in 15 minutes.”
Scene: Mom and the sidekick meet again. Mom is describing what happened during the week.
Mom: “I faced challenges overcoming the things that used to bother me. Greedy dealers, jealous and scared buddies still using, self-serving johns, anxious creditors; everyone and everything that used to allow me to react with stress were all dealt with differently. I’ve found a new way to cope. I visualize what I want, make vivid pictures of how it will be that way. I catch my self-talk, question it and then change it to be more useful, empowering and positive. This allows me to feel great about myself, having hope, a new identity, values and being able to control my triggers, urges and behaviors. Then, I anchor those senses and pictures that empower me to be – the person I choose…
…Finally, after years of struggle, I feel I have a bright future to achieve my dreams. Anything is possible.”