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This Paschal Easter greeting – Christ is Risen is a rich source for CBT, Cognitive Behavior Theory exploration. The statement reflects beliefs and values of many who inhabit the earth. Additionally, it is a powerful and timely beating death metaphor for the Coronavirus challenge facing us all now.

Followers of other beliefs and faiths have different names for the same figurehead as well as different seasons and timelines.

Some strongly believe this person has not yet arrived. 

Each group left to their own does well. Only when we force our wills and beliefs on others’ we have conflict. These conflicts can lead to an imbalance creating a slippery slope for relapse.

Different strokes for different folks. In this time of need to fight this disease globally, ironically, the Christian, Jewish and Muslim calendars choose this month for great holy days. Ramadan, Passover and Easter are celebrated.

This disease does not recognize different strokes or folks.

It wants us all – Dead! How do we come together to fight the invader?

The framers of modern psych theory explained in a nutshell that, it’s our beliefs, values, thoughts and feelings that lead to our behavior. We have all the strengths and resources to resolve our own issues in a healthy environment. This is as true for recovery as it is for mitigating the C-19 threat.

Today with the Coronavirus Pandemic threatening our existence we need to pull together nationally and globally to create this healthy environment. Let’s find some common, sensible ground for agreement.

Our outcome or fate will be determined by our behavior choices. C-19 has been in charge so far. Do we want to rush it? Or do we extend our timeline with proper testing, prevention and treatment?

You cannot rush recovery from alcohol or other substance use disorders. It’s a day at a time. It’s the same with the virus: we beat death one day at a time.

Some believe it’s more important to reopen the economy knowing we will sacrifice human lives in doing so. Others say that opening too soon will lead to a resurgence of C-19. People are literally using a cost-benefit analysis with human lives and a rebounding economy as a barometer: e.g. beliefs and values

At this point logic, science and best practices are the strengths and resources we already have to resolve this issue. To mitigate the threat of this virus our differences must be put aside. Our survival calls for working together. We need scientific, smart goals that reflect our collective human life and survival values.

Do we want our civilization to be left to the crows? No!

Only unity will save the world. Now – as we put aside our historic differences – we can defeat the common enemy.

Christ is Risen!


BELIEVE IT AND ACHIEVE IT. I give credit for that statement to both Jesse Jackson and Zig Ziglar. It is very powerful.

Credit needs to go to Albert Ellis and Aaron T. Beck, M.D. too. These are the founders of ABC Theory, REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Theory and CBT (Cognitive Behavior Theory). What’s the takeaway from their messages.

It’s all about our beliefs. More on this as we go along.

Number Nine is one of the favorite Recovery Themes of the people I have worked with. It is probably the most favorite based on how the print characters were nearly worn off the page.

I had a copy of these themes on the wall just left of where my clients sat during our talks. “Meeting the clients where they are at” is a mantra or credo of this field. It was the same in my previous profession where we were taught to “know thy client.” Their theme choices gave me insight to their beliefs.

The clients were asked which of the Recovery Themes they liked the best. That’s why the lettering was worn off of Number Nine: Anyone can do anything. Most people chose that one.

Why do you think that is? Think of this. If he can do it, I can do it. If she can do it I can do it. If they can do it we can do it. It’s empowering. Because it’s true.

I had a dear friend, Jose Krall who was from France. He was a master chef and baker with 40 years experience. He owned the Maui Bake Shop. His product cases were like an art gallery. His food was just excellent. His cheesecake was a delight.

If I wanted to make a cheesecake like his would I have to practice for 40 years? Or could I model him and use his recipe to produce a fine pastry? If he can do it, I can do it if I follow his instructions and recipe. Anyone can do anything using this approach. Modeling is powerful.

If you want to learn more about modeling using VAK (visual, auditory and kinesthetic – feeling – senses, you may want to purchase the Criminal Justice and Addictions PDF.

I can be your model for sobriety, abstinence and Transcendence. If I can do it anyone can do it. Believe it…


Sometimes it’s easy to be really hard on ourselves and heap on the blame – for everything. That is an example of irrational thinking and hurtful, negative self-talk. We and therapists need to listen to our Meta Model clues or violations. The Meta Model will be explained more later.

Due to a faulty belief/values system our map of reality becomes clouded or distorted. Recovery Theme Six points out that “People always make the best choice available to them at the time.” There could have been many other choices had we been aware of them or stopped to examine them.

But, “Every behavior is useful in some context” as Recovery Theme Seven tells us. Even illicit drug use or other crimes are useful in some way. They’re just not legal. Selling drugs to support a habit could be useful. Quick cash, no forty hour week, pays the bill now, are all reasons one could find to use or do crime.

It’s as Oprah says: “When you know better you do better.”

So, it’s not a matter of “will you be caught? It’s a matter of when.” And if you always do what you’ve always done…you know what will happen. Back to the slammer. If you live. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. This includes drunk driving or OUID, maybe marijuana.

So, trying to build a “New You” is about and exploring more new and better choices. Carl Rogers said “Clients have the ability to explore and resolve their own issues given a healthy environment.” Hopefully this blog will provide the healthy platform you need. And remember, Choice is Better Than No Choice (Recovery Theme Number Eight). You will learn more and better choices here so you can do better.