The use of medications like buprenorphine, Ativan, Suboxone, and methadone in Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders has been both praised for its efficacy in harm reduction and criticized for potentially perpetuating a cycle of dependence. While MAT can be effective in managing withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings, it often doesn’t address the underlying psychological factors driving addiction. This is where Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) comes into play.

CBT focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to addiction. It helps individuals identify and challenge core beliefs, such as those that grant permission to use alcohol or drugs, and replace them with healthier alternatives. By targeting these beliefs early in treatment, CBT aims to disrupt the cycle of addiction at its core.

Wanberg and Milkman’s assertion that long-term behavior change requires addressing core beliefs aligns with the principles of CBT. Without addressing underlying beliefs that support substance use, individuals may continue to struggle with addiction even if they temporarily abstain through MAT.

Judith S. Beck’s emphasis on addressing permission-granting beliefs underscores the importance of early intervention in changing the cognitive processes that maintain addiction. By challenging these beliefs, individuals can develop healthier coping mechanisms and reduce the likelihood of relapse.

One of the strengths of CBT is its adaptability to different types of addiction and individual needs. It can be integrated into various treatment settings, including MAT programs, to enhance outcomes by addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

Furthermore, CBT has demonstrated efficacy in reducing substance use and preventing relapse across a range of populations and substances. Research has shown that individuals who receive CBT as part of their treatment are more likely to maintain abstinence and experience long-term recovery compared to those who rely solely on medication.

While MAT plays a valuable role in managing the physiological aspects of addiction, it should be complemented with interventions like CBT to address the underlying cognitive and behavioral factors. By incorporating belief change strategies into treatment, we can empower individuals to break free from the cycle of addiction and achieve lasting recovery.

BEMT, Belief Eye Movement Therapy was created to help people with limiting, permission-granting core beliefs about AOD and CTC.

How Do Words and Beliefs Affect Addiction, Criminal Behavior and MH?

How can you use the CBT map below to help patients and clients have better SUD treatment outcomes?

Words and beliefs play a profound role in shaping mental health. The language we use internally and externally can influence our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Matthew Perry had volumes of limiting self-talk, beliefs and values.

What’s an example of using effective words and beliefs?

Positive affirmations and beliefs can foster resilience and well-being, while negative self-talk and beliefs can contribute to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Use your words. Your positive words.

Words affect your beliefs. After reading his book four times, I still can not find where he mentioned any of his treatment providers doing belief change work with him and for him.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) emphasizes the importance of identifying and challenging irrational beliefs to promote mental well-being. Words are the building blocks of beliefs.

You can’t just talk about that with clients. You need to help them to change their permission-granting, AOD beliefs.

The power of language extends to societal attitudes and stigma surrounding mental health, highlighting the need for promoting positive narratives (words) and destigmatizing language.

Understanding the impact of words and beliefs on SUD underscores the importance of fostering a supportive and empowering linguistic environment. That’s HOW. This CBT map shows the process.

Belief Eye Movement Therapy, BEMT, can help clients and patients change their limiting beliefs. DM me if you’d like more information.

The CBT map image is from Belief Eye Movement Therapy. $6.99. Amazon.com

Change Limiting Permission-granting Beliefs with Belief Eye Movement Therapy.

“There will be no long-term (AOD-CTC) behavior changes unless you change limiting, permission-granting core beliefs and values first. (Wanberg, Milkman, Beck.) That’s the purpose for developing BEMT.

How could it make a difference?

Matthew Perry was in treatment half of his life. He’s dead. Could it GET any worse?

Beliefs Eye Movement Therapy is about identifying and changing limiting, permission-granting beliefs.

How would you have used this CBT map image along with BEMT to help “Matty?”

DM me if you would like more information for help or about how this will help your clients and employees.

The CBT map image is from “Belief Eye Movement Therapy.” Amazon.com

How Do You Want to Help Criminal Justice Clients?

How could the criminal justice system help more people succeed? I’m a criminal justice professional, CCJP.

I’ve been doing this a long time. I have a question. What Are the Pros and Cons of Belief Eye Movement Therapy? Here’s an example of how BEMT can be used in the criminal justice system.

“Having a positive outlook on life, and what the future holds for you, is vital in achieving happiness in every aspect of your life. I would like to share with you an amazing transformation of a young woman with the help of Stan Dokmanus.

Stan helped her change her limiting beliefs, almost immediately, by using Belief Eye Movement Therapy. I was participating in a group discussion about beliefs, when this young woman, who had very low self-esteem, said that she had no future, and was going nowhere.

This young woman even predicted her desolate future.

At that time Stan Dokmanus asked her if he could sit down with her for a few moments. He asked me to come along and observe.

Using the BEMT technique, Stan was able to change the way that she looked at herself. She was overwhelmed with hope, and was immediately filled with faith about what she could accomplish.

This immediate change, in how she perceived herself, brought her to tears.

The new energy that she brought with her from that day forward was truly inspirational. What made this sudden change in her totally amazing was that it took Stan about 10 to 15 minutes to bring this out in her.

I would strongly recommend Stan Dokmanus to anybody that would like to fulfill their potential. Totally Incredible.”
SEMT Rph (Registered Pharmacist)
November 25, 2012

There are no cons. DM me if you would like more information or to book a training.
“Belief Eye Movement Therapy” is available at Amazon.com

Last Week: What Are Shared Problems of Mental Health Providers?

Could it BE any worse?

Matthew Perry spent half his life in treatment for substance use disorder, SUD. He could afford the best money could buy. He’s dead.

No doubt, some of the treatment providers he used were included in Newsweek’s Top 350 SUD providers. That would be the top 2% of 17,353 organizations in the U.S.

Each of these treatment providers would claim to be using evidence based, best practices. What went wrong?

What kinds of problems are criminal justice, addiction and mental health treatment providers facing?

These are shared pain points between non-profit substance use disorder (SUD) organizations and drug courts according to OpenAI ChatGPT.

“1. Budget Constraints.
2. Diminished Quality of Services.
3. Inadequate Request for Proposal (RFP) Criteria.
4. Lack of Good Faith Bargaining…

…In summary, both non-profit SUD organizations and drug courts face similar challenges related to budget constraints, diminished service quality, inadequate RFP criteria, and issues with good faith bargaining when collaborating on substance abuse treatment initiatives.

Addressing these shared pain points requires enhanced communication, transparency, and accountability mechanisms to ensure that resources are allocated efficiently and that individuals with substance abuse issues receive the support they need for successful rehabilitation.”

What was the missing piece in treatment for Matty? How did these providers address Matty’s limiting, permission-granting beliefs about alcohol and other drug, AOD, use and abuse?

Many SUD treatment manuals show images of the beliefs, thoughts, feelings and behavior process. But how many organizations actually help the client to elicit and change core beliefs about SUD?

These ideas may be introduced in group treatment. But the work is done one on one in individual sessions. That is the purpose of BEMT, Belief Eye Movement Therapy.

This needs to be done for clients struggling with SUD and seeking what should be Transcendence rather than serial abstinence, relapse, and recidivism.

In my next post, I’ll include a description of the process.

The CBT map image is from Drug Court Treatment: The Verdict. Amazon.com.

What Are Common Problems for Troubled Treatment Organizations?#rapport#trust#rolemodels#support#honesty#stigma#trauma

Staff burnout, recruiting, retention, stigma, morale and burnout, are just a few of these problems. All of these can be considered using the CBT map image below. Why?

Because all of these areas involve beliefs, values, attitudes, etc. Employees are affected by each of these areas. The CBT map is their GPS.

Look at each of the cognitive categories as links in a chain. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

This is true of the chain of command too. Administration members and the subordinates are all links of the chain. It should work like a symphony.

When there is too much discord the harmony suffers. What causes the discord and morale problems?

A disconnect between administration and the subordinates affects rapport, trust, burnout and retention. Recruiting qualified staff is difficult enough. Poor retention is costly.

We can look at employees as links and ‘parts’ of the organization. The employees are made up of ‘parts’ too. These ‘parts’ also have beliefs and values. Consider the employee. She has a partner part, a parent part, an employee part, role model part, a counselor part, a therapist part.

Each of these parts has needs, wants and fears, just like the whole person has. Imagine when there is a ‘parts conflict’ within the employee.

There is always at least one ‘part’ that will object.

All of the other employees agree that X would be a good idea. But one link, one employee has objections to X. Why? What’s the fear? There is probably a positive intent or secondary gain of avoiding that which is feared. What is it?

Is it a trauma-based fear? Is it imposter syndrome? What is the limiting belief that is driving the probably irrational fear?

Administrators and employees can benefit by learning how to do a Parts Reframe.

That’s where Belief Eye Movement Therapy, BEMT can add to the quality and outcome of treatment. There will be no long-term behavior changes unless you change limiting, permission-granting, core beliefs first.

Everyone has limiting beliefs about something important in their lives.

DM me if you want more information for you or your employer group.

Meet the Clients Where They are At Using the CBT Map Image.#Beliefs#Values#Attitude#Thoughts#Feeling#Behavior#BEMT

Helping criminal justice clients understand where they are at makes it easier to help take them where they need to go.

Once you’ve identified the unwanted limiting beliefs or thoughts together, you can begin the Belief Eye Movement Therapy, BEMT change process to replace those unwanted beliefs with empowering, hopefully prosocial beliefs and behaviors.

Always change the beliefs or thoughts first. The behavior will follow if you’ve done it correctly.

The CBT map image is from Drug Court Treatment: The Verdict. p. 15. Amazon.com

DM me if you would like more free information for you or your employer group.

How Can You Benefit Using this CBT Map to Help AOD Clients Change?

It’s easy to help clients to identify their belief and thinking errors using this map. You can show clients how to backtrack from the unwanted, perhaps CTC behavior to where the error occurred.

Some people will object saying. you can’t change people. I had a colleague who said, “You can’t change People. Your expectations are too high.”

You ‘can’ help people to identify and change limiting beliefs.

Once you’ve identified the unwanted limiting beliefs or thoughts together, you can begin the Belief Eye Movement Therapy, BEMT change process to replace those unwanted beliefs with empowering, hopefully prosocial beliefs and behaviors. Always change the beliefs or thoughts first. The behavior will follow if you’ve done it correctly.

The CBT map image is from Drug Court Treatment: The Verdict. p. 15. Amazon.com

DM me if you would like more free information.

How Do You Help Addiction Clients to Change Behavior?

Last week we covered a real current example of the challenges facing treatment providers.

You read about how administrators discuss treatment issues, make decisions and then the staff carries out the mission statement.

Wonderful! But Matthew Perry is still dead. Why? What went wrong?

“Nothing worked long-term before,” Matthew Perry stated, in his book, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.” P.168.

Is this on Matty? Or is there some Mea culpa for treatment organizations?

“There will be no long-term behavior changes unless you change core-beliefs first,” warn Wanberg and Milkman, regarding criminal behavior and substance abuse. Great! But how do you do that?

Hazelden-Betty Ford Foundation agrees:
Event-Core Beliefs-Thoughts-Feelings-Behavior, as explained to us by Albert Ellis. Your staff needs to be proficient at teaching this to your clients.

How do you signal the brain about what you want? VAK.

VAK are our three primary senses. Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (feeling). It’s our GPS.

Visualize what you want, Transcendence. Hear the positive, constructive self-talk. Feel the energy as you create a new neural pathway through the limbic system. Enjoy the new behavior created by the ABC-DE Theory of Albert Ellis.

Do you really want to reduce relapse, recidivism and the cost of treatment for your community? Teach belief-behavior changes to your staff and clients.

Where is the long-term change?

You must address the limiting AOD-CTC core beliefs and correct them before there will be any long-term behavior changes in your system, or for your clients.

Belief Eye Movement Therapy, BEMT, is the shortest route between two points: Limiting beliefs and empowering beliefs.

Thats’ the difference that makes the difference in treatment. Should you or your organization consider learning how you can do this for your staff and clients?

DM me for more information.

The CBT map image is from Drug Court Treatment: The Verdict. Amazon.com

Why Are Beliefs So Important to Addiction Professionals?

What role that you play is most important to you? Dad? Citizen? Provider?

How do beliefs in yourself affect your roles as parent, citizen and financial provider? Are these beliefs important?

Can you share here what that is?

What about CTC and AOD beliefs? Good question.

Permission-granting criminal thinking and conduct, CTC beliefs are critical regarding family and public safety. When the permission-granting beliefs are about using, dealing, or trafficking in alcohol and other drugs, AOD, we are talking about a deadly social cocktail. If it’s illicit it is a real problem.

People die. Even under or after the care of professionals, people die.

Mathew Perry is the latest public figure example. His death was tragic and avoidable.

What are your beliefs about the quality of care he received? He reported spending $7M-$9M on 15 or more rehabilitation programs over 30 years.

“Yougottawanna” change as AAers have heard for decades. Did he want to change? Did he want to live? He says yes. He wanted to change and live, as he stated in his book, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.”

What were his beliefs?

Newsweek published a list of the Top 350 Treatment Organizations in the U.S. That’s the top 2%. There are 17,353 of these according to Google.

Is your organization on the list?

How can all agencies have an 85% success rate when the department of justice reports an 85% recidivism and reincarceration rate after 10 years?

Do you believe ten years is long term? I do.

“There will be no long-term behavior changes unless you change permission-granting, CTC beliefs, regarding AOD first.” Wanberg, Milkman, Beck and Dokmanus.

You, we, I have got to work with the clients and offenders to help them to identify and change their CTC beliefs.

No B, therefore, No A. Where B equals long-term behavior change and A equals belief change.

KISS. Simply address the limiting beliefs ASAP in treatment. Begin the first hour, day and week. Time will fly. People die.

Keep it simple with ATA. Ask, tell, ask. “If I could show you a way to change that limiting belief, would you be interested in seeing how it works?”

Then you have permission to start your first BEMT session. Do it now. People die.

Belief Eye Movement Therapy, BEMT, is the quickest, shortest route between two points in treatment. But, “Yougottawanna!”

Message me if you are interested in getting started individually or as a group.

The CBT map image is from Drug Court Treatment: The Verdict. Amazon.com.