Fostering Resilience with Self-Care

  • By 7016369785
  • 05 Jun, 2017

By Christy Porter

Since the myth of the stress-free life has been shattered for most of us, we are left with managing our stress. Even “good stress,” or positive life events, add to the overall stress load a person carries. Using self-care to offset stress not only involves getting enough sleep and good nutrition; at its best, it universally involves looking for some level of fun and sources of joy.  

Fostering resilience in the face of stress, rather than trying for perfection or pretending stress doesn’t have an impact, gives people more pleasant options for relief, as well as healthier options. Even the definitions of resilience suggest more than one attitude toward managing stress. One such definition emphasizes strength in the face of adversity and the skills that people can learn to foster that strength. Another definition of resilience , the ability to “spring back into shape” or “elasticity,” brings to mind favorite children’s toys, like the hippity-hop, the trampoline, or, for today’s adults, the modern Pilates ball. A well-rounded program of self-care should include fostering habits of mind and body that contribute to strength under pressure and encouraging play as a source of strength and refreshment.

The concept of the need for self-care gained prominence as mental health professionals began focusing on the needs of caregivers; however, everyone needs to consider their own self-care to allow them to live fulfilling lives, manage their health, and contribute to their own well-being.

Self-care is not the same thing as self-pampering. Christine Meinecke points out in “ Self-care in a toxic world ” that “Medical and mental health professionals pioneered the concept of self-care by prescribing healthy lifestyle changes and stress management behaviors.” However, commercials and marketing practices often sell self-care as “self-pampering,” regardless of whether people can afford things like spa days and fancy chocolates, or not. Meinecke suggests that if you can’t afford such things, what is being suggested to you is self-indulgence rather than self-care. The key difference she outlines is that “Self-indulgence is characterized by avoidance of the effortful and substitution of quick and easy antidotes,” while self-care involves attention to needs and proven stress relief tactics. This doesn’t mean that the occasional self-indulgence is wrong, but regularly indulging in activities or purchases that are not readily affordable are more likely to increase long-term financial stress.The “quick-fix” isn’t worth that extra stress and is unlikely to have consistent, long-term positive benefits.

Identifying how stress feels in your body is of primary importance. In “ Taking care of yourself , ” the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) notes that “Stress affects your entire body, physically as well as mentally. Some common physical signs of stress include:

   ·         Headaches

   ·         Low energy [including sleeping more than usual]

   ·         Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation and nausea

   ·         Aches, pains, and tense muscles

   ·         Insomnia

 

In “ Managing stres s ” NAMI also highlights non-physical symptoms such as frequent mood swings, difficulty concentrating and feeling overwhelmed. NAMI also points out that “When experiencing long-term stress, your brain is exposed to increased levels of a hormone called cortisol. This exposure weakens your immune system, making it easier for you to get sick.”

Eliminating all stressors isn’t a realistic option for any of us, but paying attention to the way stress makes us feel gives us a starting point for recognizing when we need additional care or when to make use of acute stress management tactics, even if those symptoms occur after, rather than during, a stressful situation, or if they build up over time.

Self-care plans have to be tailored to individual lives and needs. NAMI has a “ Self-Care Inventory ” with detailed basics and spaces for people to add their own details like playing with pets, enjoying pleasant spaces, or a prompt to go looking for something to enjoy this week.  When under a lot of stress, the idea of taking on another checklist or list of expectations can be intimidating. Rather than using the inventory to criticize yourself or others, consider using it simply as a way to explore what you are currently doing, and ideas you might consider. Not all of the items on the list will work for each person, but they might produce ideas. The general areas of self-care on this inventory include physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and workplace or professional self-care. Sketching out these basics to make sure there’s not a huge gap in self-care tactics, or using the inventory to track changes and results, are just two ways such a list can be useful. Using the inventory as a starting point for really examining specificactions that can help you be more resilient and more flexible regularly and under stress makes this a useful tool. 

Recognizing the build-up of long term stressors by checking physical symptoms or running through a checklist can allow a person to review their self-care habits and see if they’ve started dropping helpful habits or if they need to investigate new ones. Cutting back on sleep or numbing out in front of a screen are some of the initial tactics people use when they want to escape stress, but both will actually increase physical stress responses.

In “ Seven types of self-care activities for coping with stress ,” Barbara Markway Ph.D. tops her list with sensory activities that bring a person into the present moment and space, including: breathe in fresh air; snuggle under a cozy blanket; listen to running water; sit outdoors by a fire-pit, watching the flames and listening to the night sounds; wiggle your bare feet in overgrown grass; stare up at the sky; lie down where the afternoon sun streams in a window; and listen to music. Her other categories of suggestions include pleasures like enjoying a favorite meal, mental/mastery activities like cleaning out a junk drawer or reading something on a topic you wouldn’t normally explore, spiritual activities like lighting a candle, writing in a journal, or spending time in nature, and emotional activities such as accepting your feelings, laughing when you can, and practicing self-compassion.

Self-care habits need to be tailored to the individual. In “ 7 ways to help you destress ,” NAMI’s Laura Greenstein recognizes the scientifically proven benefits of meditation for many people, but admits that it just doesn’t help her much at all. Instead, she’s put together a list that includes the reasons these activities are beneficial and how to do them responsibly (particularly “retail therapy”). Making a music playlist is her first suggestion and she points to relatively new research in music therapy which indicates that music “has the ability to affect the speed of your brainwaves, which can help us achieve a therapeutic state.” As you might expect, her next suggestion is singing – in the car, in the shower, to the dog, alone, in a choir. “Research shows that singers have lower levels of cortisol, which suggests lower amounts of stress. It feels good to let something out and your voice, whether you know how to sing our [sic.] not, is something that you always have with you.” Coloring and calling your favorite funny friend are two of my other favorites from her list. Again, check out her article for full explanations and support for her suggestions.

In January 2017 Inc. magazine came out with “ 52 Ways You Can Be Kinder to Yourself , ” acknowledging the importance of finding healthy ways to manage stress and build resilience in our work lives as well as our personal lives. TED talks also put together a playlist of nine of their best talks on “ The importance of self-care ,” available for free on Youtube.

All of this attention to stress and to self-care as a remedy for stress emphasizes the importance of fostering resilience in our lives. Learning self-care tactics helps people manage stress, thereby reducing its traumatic effects. Instead of becoming more stressed, people can take action to become more flexible in their responses and thinking patterns. Stress can be managed, rather than just endured. This change in cognitive thinking leads to real resilience – both strength and elasticity – in our lives.

The New Yorker’s 2016 article “ How people learn to become resilient ,” by Maria Konnikova, covers the history of research into resilience, beginning with the work ofNorman Garmezy with school children four decades ago. Garmezy’s breakthrough was to flip the question from asking about areas of vulnerability in cases of trauma and negative life events, to a focus on resilience -- the “elements of an individual’s background and personality that could enable success despite the challenges they faced.” Later research revealed that not only could the key factors of resiliency be identified, they could be learned.

Konnikova notes the research of George Bonanno at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College and the Loss, Trauma, and Emotions Lab, and sums up his results with this statement: “In a sense, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Frame adversity as a challenge, and you become more flexible and able to deal with it, move on, learn from it, and grow. Focus on it, frame it as a threat, and a potentially traumatic event becomes an enduring problem; you become more inflexible, and more likely to be negatively affected.” Skills identified by the research of  Martin Segilman at the University of Pennsylvania suggest that working to shift:

   explanatory styles from internal to external (“Bad events aren’t my fault”), from global to specific

   (“This is one narrow thing rather than a massive indication that something is wrong with my life”),

    and from permanent to impermanent (“I can change the situation, rather than

   assuming it’s fixed”) made them more psychologically successful and less prone to depression.

   The same goes for locus of control: not only is a more internal locus tied to perceiving

less stress and performing better but changing your locus from external to internal

   leads to positive changes in both psychological well-being and objective work performance.                  


Many people may recognize these shifts in thinking patterns as similar to those worked on in cognitive behavioral therapies, using Dr. David Burns’ list of cognitive distortions .

The key take away from Konnikova’s review of the research for most of us is that, “The cognitive skills that underpin resilience, then, seem like they can indeed be learned over time, creating resilience where there was none.” Reducing overall stress loads and increasing self-care allows people the energy and the time to make these cognitive changes and provides more immediate relief.

For suggestions on ways to reduce acute stress reactions, particularly at work, see Melanie Greenberg’s recent article “ 7 Stress Hacks You Can Use in the Next 5 Minutes ” for suggestions, including deep breathing, sitting or standing up straight, and looking at a nature seen for several minutes. Her additional tactics are all also great for immediate relief while a person works to develop a self-care plan with more individualized options for both long-term and acute situations.

MyStrength.com is a free online resource to track wellness and self-care, and can be used for both acute and long-term self-care, as well. After helping a person develop a wellness profile, it makes use of prompts, video resources, articles, and stress management tactics. As of May 1, 2017 MyStrength.com has also introduced a “robust” set of new stress management resources as well. If you are interested in using the free myStrength.com online self-help resource, please contact our office at 724-981-7141 to receive an access code. MyStrength is a nonprofit, privately owned business dedicated to making behavioral improvements.


You can learn more about Community Counseling Center of Mercer County at www.cccmer.org . We also invite you to connect with us on Facebook, or to contact us by calling (866) 853-7758 or 724-981-7141 for information or to schedule an evaluation if you’d like assistance in developing a self-care plan.


Resources

Burns, David, Dr. (1989) "The feeling good workbook" New York: William Morrow and Co.

Daskal, Lolly. (2017, January 30) 52 ways you can be kinder to yourself. .Inc Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/52-ways-you-can-be-kinder-to-yourself.html

Greenberg, Melanie Ph.D. (2017 April 24) “7 Stress hacks you can use in the next 5 minutes.” Psychology Today . Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201704/7-stress-hacks-you-can-use-in-t...

Greenstein, Laura. (2016, January 22). “7 Ways to help you de-stress.” National Alliance for Mental Illnes. Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/January-2016/7-Ways-to-Help-You-De-stress

Konnikova, Maria. (2016, February 11) “How people learn to become resilient.” The New Yorker . Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/the-secret-formula-for-resilience

 Markway, Barbara Ph.D. (2014 March 16) “Seven Types of Self-Care Activities for Coping with Stress” Psychology Today . Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shyness-is-nice/201403/seven-types-self-care-activities-coping-stress

Meinecke, Christine, Ph.D. (2010 June 5) “Self-care in a toxic world.” Psychology Today . Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/everybody-marries-the-wrong-person/201006/self-care-in-toxic-world

National Alliance for Mental Illness (n.d.) “Managing stress.” Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Living-with-a-Mental-Health-Condition/Managing-Stress

National Alliance for Mental Illness (PDF) (n.d.) “Self-care inventory.” Retrieved from https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nami.org%2Fgetattachment%2FExtranet%2FEducation%2C-Training-and-Outreach-Programs%2FSignature-Classes%2FNAMI-Homefront%2FHF-Additional-Resources%2FHF15AR6SelfCare.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHj1E___o5OqIpmhYBnnH-gyc4GTw&sig2=XUfp3mGsKcSdGpXH6zwWQQ

National Alliance for Mental Illness (n.d.) “Taking care of yourself.” Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Family-Members-and-Caregivers/Taking-Care-of-Yourself

TEDtalks (videos) “The importance of self-care.” Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/playlists/299/the_importance_of_self_care










Community Counseling Center Blog | Hermitage, PA

By 7016369785 19 Sep, 2017

When the Great Recession struck the nation in 2008, it decimated the economy. Many people lost their jobs and homes. Many people struggled to get by for years.

While politicians and Wall Street claim the economy has recovered, Main Street has a vastly different view of its current state.

Today, more than one in five children live in poverty, according to the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book , an annual publication that assesses child well-being nationally and across the 50 states, as well as in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It uses an index of 16 indicators to rank states on overall child well-being and in economic well-being, education, health and family and community. Of all 16 indicators, the one that carries the most weight and has the largest social impact is child poverty.


The report found that 22% of children live in poverty, up from 18% in 2008. Hardest hit were African-Americans and American Indians, whose rates of poverty had nearly doubled. The South and the Southwest were the regions most impacted by child poverty.

The reasons for this are multitude and complex, but things like slashed social safety nets, decreased incomes, decreased income stability, and single-parent (and therefor, single income) homes have all contributed to the rise in child poverty.


According to the KIDS COUNT report, 1 in 3 children from Mississippi live in poverty. The state with the best overall child well-being, based on indicators including economic standing, education and health, was Minnesota.


By 7016369785 19 Sep, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf today announced a decline in the commonwealth’s uninsured rate from 6.4 percent in 2015 to 5.6 percent in 2016, the lowest on record. Before the Affordable Care Act was implemented and Governor Wolf expanded Medicaid, Pennsylvania’s uninsured rate was more than 10 percent.

“This reduction shows that our steps to expand Medicaid and stabilize our individual market are working in Pennsylvania,” said Governor Wolf. “Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Insurance Department and Department of Human Services to advocate on behalf of all Pennsylvanians, and despite the conversation around health reform at the federal level, we remain committed to furthering the progress made by the Affordable Care Act. We will continue to work to ensure that Pennsylvanians have access to quality coverage at an affordable price and advocate in a bipartisan way to fix Obamacare at the federal level.”

Pennsylvania’s 5.6 percent uninsured rate was released as part of a national study on health insurance coverage for 2016 based on current population reports issued by the United States Census Bureau earlier this week. The decrease continues the downward trend Pennsylvania’s uninsured rate has been on since 2013, making 2016’s 5.6 percent the commonwealth’s lowest ever uninsured rate, down from more than 10 percent when the Affordable Care Act was passed. The national uninsured rate fell 0.3 percent to 8.8 percent in 2016.

“The Affordable Care Act has helped more than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians access health coverage,” Acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said. “Governor Wolf’s adoption of Medicaid expansion has helped more than 711,000 people receive coverage since January 2015, and 426,000 have purchased coverage on the individual market at Healthcare.gov.”

“When Governor Wolf expanded Medicaid in Pennsylvania, hundreds of thousands of uninsured were then able to obtain access to health care coverage,” said Acting Secretary for Human Services Teresa Miller. “Before expansion, most of these individuals either couldn’t afford coverage or didn’t have access to it. Additionally, the ACA provided the commonwealth’s former foster kids with health care coverage until age 26. This decline in the uninsured rate is truly one to celebrate.”

For more information about health insurance options in Pennsylvania, visit

www.insurance.pa.gov  or

www.healthchoices.pa.gov .








By 7016369785 19 Sep, 2017

Kindness Matters

While being kind might sound easy, it is complex. If kindness was simple, then everyone would be kind and no one would experience meanness and bullying. Imagine a world where kindness is the norm. Is it possible to create homes, schools, and communities where kindness is the norm? The answer is, yes – but to make this imagined world a reality, we need to teach, model, and reward kindness.

Being kind means that you think about the needs and concerns of others. Kind people volunteer, help others, and think about bigger issues that affect their communities. Compassionate thinking and generous actions demonstrate kindness.

Unfortunately, many schools respond to negative behaviors such as bullying with punishment, which is thought to reduce or eliminate such behaviors. After years of research on “zero-tolerance” to end bullying and violence, we know that these punishment-based approaches do not work. Given this knowledge, it makes better sense to focus on teaching and modeling pro-social behavior, like teaching kindness.


Key Elements in Teaching Kindness

Although kindness programs can vary, most share these approaches:

  • Include gratitude activities;
  • Include volunteer activities or service learning;
  • Include students to develop activities to help others;
  • Facilitate respectful conversations;
  • Generate open-ended discussion questions;
  • Encourage working together; and
  • Teach and model naming and expressing emotions.

Ways to Teach Kindness


  • Mindfulness involves becoming aware of a specific thought, emotion, or behavior. This means being mentally flexibility, and through training, even young children can learn mindfulness. Mindfulness skills are taught in schools, and researchers are beginning to study the effects of mindful kindness. All children can participate in setting daily goals and age-appropriate practices to be more mindful and caring.
  • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) teaches kindness by focusing on cooperation, responsibility, self-control, empathy, and provides specific actions to build these skills. Classrooms that use SEL include daily morning meetings to check in with students. Teachers ask open-ended questions, encourage working together, and use healthy conflict resolution. Schools using SEL show improved academic performance and prosocial behavior, and decreases in discipline referrals.
  • Acts of Kindness are actions to do something nice for someone else. Doing acts of kindness is free and has positive ripple effects to those who experience and witness kindness. There are online lessons and social media messages that inspire, empower, act, and share acts of kindness – which helps to make everyone more aware of how positive this can be.

The Impact of Teaching Kindness

When elementary students performed three acts of kindness per week they significantly increased their acceptance of peers compared to kids who did not perform three kind acts of kindness. Students who are taught kindness are more empathic, more socially aware and connected, and they receive higher grades too. Be kind—it is free and the payback is good for all!


Additional Online Resources





By 7016369785 15 Sep, 2017

Originally from Lexington, Dr. Wozniak moved to Louisville to attend Bellarmine University where she also played soccer. She received her medical education and residency training at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Together with her colleagues, she started River City Psychiatry in 2009 upon completion of residency training. Dr. Wozniak is a Board Certified adult psychiatrist who commonly treats people with adult ADHD, PTSD, mood disorders such as bipolar and depression, and anxiety disorders. She also has a special interest in treating athletes with mental illness and is a member of the International Society for Sport Psychiatry. She collaborates with patients and other providers/therapists when necessary, to create a customized treatment plan for each individual.

 


By 7016369785 08 Sep, 2017

Part of eliminating the stigma surrounding the disease of substance abuse disorder includes fostering the same attitudes granted toward others with chronic conditions (such as heart disease, asthma, or cancer). As Mary Pollock, MA, LPC, notes in her article Chasing the Dragon (Part Two) , “Addiction is a brain disease. Many people have difficulty separating the person from the disease. . . what we see are the behaviors that develop over time which support the addiction. These behaviors are what cause relationship issues within a family. . .The addicted individual becomes unable to respond to his environment in a healthy, adaptive manner as the addiction takes over the brain.”  

For those with substance abuse disorders or their families and friends, finding a genuinely helpful response can be difficult. Training in true compassion can provide a path and a framework for decision-making. But true compassion is not well understood.

As Deniz Ahmadinia, Psy.D explains in Practicing Mindfulness Through Kindness and Compassion , “We hold all these misconceptions about what it is to be compassionate and kind, including that it makes us weak, that it’s a form of self-pity, that it’s indulgent, and that it gets in the way of success. Our competitive, tech-driven, busy culture instead believes that being hard on one’s self is the key to achieving goals.” A strong will and drive to succeed is necessary in recovery as in life, but being harsh and unrealistically cold with ourselves and others is counter-productive.

Ahmadinia continues by pointing out: “The reality is that the great majority of us struggle with a judgmental voice when we don’t live up to our own expectations, and it is this voice that judges others as well.” She suggests this can lead “to persistent negative emotions, doubt, feelings of worthlessness, shame and feeling disconnected from people around us.” These negative emotions and a lack of connection to the people around us can be triggers or barriers for those with a substance abuse disorder or other mental health disorder.

The concept of learning and practicing compassion and self-compassion is starting to gain a foothold in the literature about other mental and behavioral health issues as the fight against stigma grows. It is time to bring this powerful and useful tool and skill set into our discussions of recovery from substance abuse disorder as well, not as something only offered by others to someone on the path, but as something the person engaging in recovery can learn, practice, and use.

Life is messy. Waiting for the perfect time to start living wholeheartedly with a focus on wellness and recovery doesn’t work. No perfect time exists. Now is the time to consider recovery as a path to the life you actually want to live. Everybody starts where they are, no matter how messy or disorganized it is, and they move forward.

Living with the profound discomfort and agitation caused by giving up a substance or a behavior adopted to try to manage life’s difficulties is not easy, but recovery does happen. People are successful, even if relapse is a part of their path, just as relapse is often a part of many chronic diseases. Many paths to recovery exist, so a person can tailor their recovery path to their own needs and circumstances.

Practicing compassion for self and others can be a powerful tool for those who have chosen a path of recovery and for those of their loved ones and friends who are walking this path with them. As Pema Chodron notes in Comfortable with Uncertainty , “We cultivate compassion to soften our hearts and also to become more honest and forgiving about when and how we shut down” toward ourselves or toward others (73). She also draws attention to the fact that “we learn as much about doing this from our failures as we do from our success. In cultivating compassion, we draw from the wholeness of our experience – our suffering, our empathy, as well as our cruelty and terror.” (73)

The need for total honesty, for seeing ourselves and our behaviors clearly and with perspective, is an essential part of cultivating both compassion for others and self-compassion. Compassion does not excuse behaviors, but instead comprehends the difficulty of change. Compassion includes setting proper boundaries for others and for ourselves, to promote positive interactions and discourage negative interactions.

The practice of compassion encourages people to recognize difficult emotions, and learn to sit with them, live with them as a normal part of life, and not try to escape them. It does not mean repressing negative emotions, but accepting them and dealing with them without taking actions that might injure ourselves or others. According to Pema Chodron, “It has to be this way. Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” (73) Learning about compassion illustrates both our need for compassion and for the connections to others and to the larger world that is an essential component of a recovery plan.

Fostering true, clear-sighted compassion for oneself – that accepts flaws and works with them rather than trying to escape the past or push them down – is not necessarily easy to achieve. Serious thought, and yes, actual practice are necessary to train your mind toward compassion and away from harsh judgment or negative self-talk. In Learning Compassion for Yourself , Rita Chin discusses her battle with panic disorder and what it took for her to really consider her self-talk when dealing with panic.

Chin remembers ”thinking about those forty million Americans I’d read about. Where were they? Were they sitting on their front steps clutching their knees to their chests like me? Did they also feel alone? Hopeless? Defective? . . . I wondered how many people I’d unknowingly passed who were also struggling under the weight of a fear that seemed as vast as the universe itself. And I wondered what I would do if I met such a person. Unlike the elusive answers to the many questions I’d asked about my own panic, this answer was easy: I would reach out my hand. I would say, ‘You’re not alone. And you’re stronger than you feel in this moment.’”

Discovering what you might say to someone else, even a stranger, who came to you struggling with the same things you are, is often a first step. Many of us are kinder to strangers in our thoughts and ideas than we are to ourselves or loved ones. This is often because a stranger has not disappointed us in any way. We can react with compassion, find out how a compassionate response feels to us, by considering what we would say to someone who doesn’t have an emotional history with us. Then we can work on granting ourselves and our loved ones a measure of this same compassion.

Deniz Ahmadinia’s article Practicing Mindfulness Through Kindness and Compassion   also outlines a way to literally practice being compassionate by extending your compassion outward from someone you care about or a pet, to yourself, and to others, slowly, a step a time, simply observing your reactions without judgment as you practice. It takes time and resolve to begin making the changes involved in a recovery journey. Practicing compassion as a skill to be developed is one way you can work to make the path kinder to yourself and to others.

September is National Recovery Month, a time to celebrate those in recovery or on the path to it, and to encourage those who are beginning a recovery journey. As noted in What is Substance Abuse Treatment: A Booklet for Families , substance abuse disorders affect families and friends as well as the person with the disorder. If you or someone you care for needs help managing self-care, or if you are someone who is interested in pursuing a recovery journey, please contact Community Counseling Center of Mercer County to make and appoint by calling 724-981-7141 or toll free at 866-853-7758 and TTY: at 724-981-4327. For more information about Community Counseling Center of Mercer County, visit our website or our Facebook page .

Community Counseling Center regularly provides speakers for community groups, employers, schools and other audiences interested in behavioral health topics. For more information or to schedule a speaker, contact Mary Pollock, outpatient administrator, at (724) 981-7141, ext. 143, or by email at mpollock@cccmer.org .

 

Resources

Ahmadinia, Deniz, Psy.D. (2016, Nov. 2) Practicing Mindfulness through Kindness and Compassion. Retrieved from: https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/November-2016/Practicing-Mindfulness-through-Kindness-and-Compas

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2014) [PDF] What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families . HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4126. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from: https://store.samhsa.gov/product/What-Is-Substance-Abuse-Treatment-A-Booklet-for-Families/SMA14-4126

Chin, Rita. (2015, Aug 14) Learning Compassion for Yourself . Retrieved from: https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/August-2015/Learning-Compassion-for-Yourself

Chodron, Pema. (2003) Comfortable with Uncertainty : 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion . Boston: Shambala.

Pollock Mary, MA, LPC, CCDP, NCC, MAC, DCORT. (2017) Chasing the dragon (Part 2) Retrieved from: http://www.cccmer.org/chasing-the-dragon-part-2

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By 7016369785 09 Aug, 2017

To help an addict recover from addiction, Mark Britton believes you have to listen to the addict. He’s speaking from experience.

“Not only do I work in recovery, but I’m active in recovery,” he explained. He works as a certified peer specialist in the field, while celebrating nine years clean and sober himself.

What does he believe loved ones should hear from addicts?

“We do not plan to fail. I do not wake up every morning and say, ‘I’m going to fail,” he said. “I do however fail to plan.”

By 7016369785 08 Aug, 2017

Gateway Rehab's mission is to help all affected by addictive diseases to become healthy in body, mind and spirit. A key word in our mission is the word "all." We're not just about the recovering addict or alcoholic, but everyone involved in the processes of recovery: friends, family, therapists, counselors, the public in general, and others touched in some way by addiction.

To help connect those affected by addiction, Gateway Rehab is excited to announce the launching of The Roads to Recovery , a blog that will provide hope, inspiration, motivation, education and other insights about the world of addiction.

Our first blog entry focuses on the lifelong process of addiction. Future posts will help inspire and motivate those in recovery, as well as educate and inform others about addiction treatment and further aspects of the addiction industry. Additionally, there will be frequent posts featuring our founder, Dr. Abraham Twerski.

We invite you to connect with The Roads to Recovery by visiting www.gatewayrehab.org/blog . Our hope is that we provide an impactful account of the many roads to recovery. 


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By 7016369785 27 Jul, 2017

Preparing to go to college involves many things to consider, including living arrangements, transportation, finances, managing class loads, and managing healthcare using the resources at your chosen college. As a college student, it’s important to understand that good mental health practices can help you maintain your equilibrium during a period of significant growth and change.

The Stamp Out Stigma campaign was launched in 2014 as multiple agencies recognized that stigma about mental health kept people from accessing care. Contrary to common belief, 90 percent of those who seek help for mental health issues are able to greatly reduce their symptoms. Stigma about mental health care for those with or without a specific diagnosis is usually based in misunderstanding and myth. Those false beliefs about mental illness can cause significant problems, including a lack of understanding or support, discrimination, reluctance to get treatment early, or a loss of hope.


Other significant facts at the core of the Stamp Out Stigma campaign include:

   An estimated 26 percent of adults have a diagnosable

   mental illness in a given year; about 21 percent of children