The Ghost and the Blue Moon

April 30, 2015

  by Terence T. Gorski,  Gorski Books

In the early night when the moon turns blue, the ghosts of my past come out and dance before my eyes. The ghosts are unseen by others. When I talk of them, most people think that I am mad, or at least confused. 

When the morning comes, my mask of sanity returns. The ghosts dissolve into the growing light of day. I go on my way unnoticed – but only until darkness and the full blue moon returns. 


Black or White Thinking

January 14, 2015

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By Terence T. Gorski
Author (The Books of Terence T. Gorski)

Black and white thinking, also known as all-or-nothing thinking, is the failure to bring together both positive and negative qualities of the self, other people, and the world into a cohesive and realistic whole.

It is a common defense mechanism used by many people that allows them to lock onto one aspect of things while blocking out others. This can make the world appear more manageable and comprehensible.

In reality, apparent opposites often live together in the real real world. Here are some examples.

The world is both …
– Good and evil;
– Loving and cruel;
– Safe and dangerous;
– Understandable and incomprehensible.

In reality, it is all of these things and much more all at the same time. What we see depends upon where we look and what point of view we choose to take.

Never underestimate our ability to lock onto to some things and block out other things based upon our belief in the truth.

It provides great comfort to shrink the world into something small and manageable. This can work in times of great stability. During times of great and radical change it is important to be able to view reality as it is, not as we would like it to be.

Read more about how black and white thinking can hurt us and what we can do about it.

Learn more about Cognitive Restructuring for Addiction. This is practical workbook and guide making cognitive restructuring tools readily available to both therapists and recovering people.

The Books of Terence T. Gorski)


Complexity: The Comprehensive Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual-Cultural-Economic-Political Profile

September 1, 2014

thBy Terence T. Gorski, Author
President, The CENAPS Corporation

Gorski’s Book, Straight Talk About Addiction,
further explains the implications of the distinction between
the brain and the mind in addiction recovery.

Please view this blog as a work in a progress. See it as a passing glance through a partially opened window of my brain/mind, Forgive me, for the room you are glancing into is still cluttered and poorly organized, yet you will see some interesting things emerge from  this superficial examination of the clutter.  As I said, I have not yet fully explored and organized these ideas. I started this blog with a simple idea and became possessed by something newer and for more complex.
I started to write a simple blog asserting that I believe we have both a physical brain and a nonphysical mind and that both are equally important. I wanted to lash out at the flat-landers who would smash human experience into the single dimension of nerve cells  firing as they rub up against each other and band into the environment. My argument was going to be simple: the brain is an important thing, but it is not the only thing.

The paradigm of the BRAIN-MIND is emerging to explain how the physical brain, connects with and is sensitive to the nonphysical actions of the mind. THE BRAIN is the physical structure that supports the nonphysical actions of the THE MIND. We, as human being, are sentient beings with a neuroplastic brain is capable of reprogramming itself based upon experience throughout the entire human life span.The ability to self-regulate the brain-mind assigns meaning to life experiences which can become culturally based beliefs that cause the development complex shared beliefs and personalities that influences our behavior, relationships, and social structures. This can lead to stress, conflict, violence, pain, trauma, stress-related illness, , addiction, and mental health problems. The Brain-Mind takes note and moves to correct the problems.

Medicines can certainly save lives and ease suffering, but so can our interactions with other people who care about us and have well-developed helping characteristics.  The environment in which we live has a lot to do with health and illness. It is incredibly important in terms of alcoholism and drug abuse. Certain kinds of neighborhoods become the incubators of drugs dealers, crime, and violence. Where we live, who we live with, and the nature of our relationship with those we live with has a lot to do with getting addicted, getting clean and sober, staying clean and sober, or relapsing. All these things have a lot do with addition, mental health, and lifestyle-related chronic illness.
As I thought about it, the environment also has a lot to do with illness injury and accident. Some of the greatest improvement in public health did not come from medicine, that came from improved sanitation, safer cars, and the awareness of and elimination of toxic substances in our homes and workplaces. Medicine, of course, base a place in the treatment of heart disease, but so does nutritional science, stress management, and motivational counseling to keep people going with the big changes demanded of heart-healthy living. The lifestyle and stress-related illnesses are among the most difficulty  to treating and the most relapse-prone..
Chronic Life-style-related Illness
Is the Most Difficult To Treat
And the Most Relapse Prone.
In my opinion, the future direction for improving our ability to treat chronic addiction and other lifestyle-related illness will not come from a revolutionary new treatment for these lifestyle-related problems. I would celebrate if that were to happen, I just don’t believe that it will. The next big breakthrough that I see coming in the treatment of addiction and other lifestyle-related illness will not be revolutionary. It will be evolutionary and it is slowly unfolding before out eyes right now.
Brain-Mind Cascade

The Brain-Mind Cascade

There are evolutionary changes pushing us inevitably toward conquering addiction and other lifestyle-related diseases. The evolution involves examining everything we have ever done that helped out clients. It also involves bring all these success stories, no matter how small, together. We view each little success story as a piece in the puzzle to a complicated life-long chronic disease management process.    Then we put them into a big pile (the big pile is actually a high power computer) and start looking for similarities and complimentary components. (The computer actually does most of the looking. We push a button and let the computer do the hard number crunching in the cyber-space world of correlations and algorithms.)

This will allow us to dramatically increase the amount of data that get analyzed and integrated our current knowledge-base of addictive, mental, and stress-related  illness.  This future direction that I believe holds the most promise. We integrate what we already know and look for new combinations and insights. We do this by  organizing the mountain of data into a new grid. I believe that if we could pull off this comprehensive BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL synthesis of what we have already know, we will be able to find ways of matching patients to treatments and to prevention strategies that could reduce stress-related and life-style related illness by up to 75% in ten years.  It is possible, but it would take a major effort. The necessary funding would require financial reorganization that would probably fail to gain any political traction.
We would need to bring together everything we have learned that helps people to recover across all areas of study. This would mean mapping out a … well a …  Heck, there is no name for the type of map we would be creating. It would be as big a deal as mapping out the human genome, but at least the genome has a name. I can’t think of a good name for dynamic ever-growing map of the human condition so I will call it a comprehensive human bio-psycho-social-spiritual-cultural-ecnomic-political profile. (This name sounds simple and easy to remember, does it not?)
This task is as challenging, perhaps more challenging than mapping the human genome. It would involve getting dozens of different professionals, working in different areas of speciality expertise, who operate in different profession cultures, who use different specialty language, who compete for the same funds, and who usually dislike communicating  across the professional and specialty lines because they don’t really respect what the other professionals are doing. We need to get several million of these professionals to become committed to a collaboration that could change on multiple levels the health of billions of people and the planet they live on.
This collaboration could change on multiple levels
the health of billions of people and the planet they live on.
All specialties would be important. Collaboration and the willing to learn across disciplines would be the cultural organizing theme.  Since each speciality tends to have it own unique professional jargon, it would mean creating a new common-sense language tha could be understood across disciplines and by the common folk who suffer from the illnesses being studied.. It would involve many cross-walks between different ways of thinking: people doing pure science would have t cross-walk their ideas with people doing clinical work.
The people suffering from the human condition, which is nearly every human being alive at some pint in his or her life, needs to be invited to participate. They would be invited to log  onto smart social networking bulletin boards. These smart bulletin boards will allow people to tell the story of their disease and recovery, to describe their symptoms and related issues, and to report what they found helpful, not helpful, and harmful. There would be social networks linking people together to exchange information.
This would require big computer power — and we have that already. It needs to be designed for easy use by ordinary people who can easily enter their experiences with their disease or conditions. This probably means both key-board and voice-activated input — and we have those already.  The computer will organize the information into a big number analysis. The most difficult part of the model is that a wide variety of social, cultural, spiritual, religious, and political factors which affect the health or illness generating capacity of the environment must be included.
The next big breakthrough in the treatment of
addiction and other lifestyle-related illness
will not be revolutionary. It will be evolutionary and
its is slowly unfolding before our eyes right now.
It it were possible to build  this comprehensive multidimensional map of human existence, interesting links and new approaches to cross-disciplinary treatment would begin to emerge.  The technology s here right now. I am sure I am not the only on generating this idea or some variation, so the idea is coming of age.  The financial resources are there, but would need to be redirected which would force a cultural change in values. So what s missing? The only missing element is an army of willing of professionals who are wiling ton take up the challenge. People don’t like change and most people don;t like to take risks. The fear of launching into a new comprehensive paradigm of total  a comprehensive human bio-psycho-social-spiritual-cultural-ecnomic-political profile could open up a whole new environment paradigm and a new way of doing medicine.
This vision is emerging from studying the trends presented by Jeremy Rifkin in his books The end of Work, The Third Industrial Revolution, and the Zero Marginal Cost Society. tThe world is well into the information age that allows us to do things that seemed impossible just two decades ago.  
It is interesting to see the emerging correlations between brain function and such diverse areas as behavior, stress, personality, addiction, violence, interpersonal communication, individual and collective problem solving, and mental health disorders. Looking at these relationships  raise a very old question: does the physical brain or the non-physical mind determine our ability to control our behavior or does behavioral control result from the proper use of the non-physical mind?
There is another factor pushing the process in the information age. Health care is becoming patient driven as the internet provides readily available and scientifically valid descriptions of symptoms, illnesses, medications, and other treatment modalities. The mutual support groups starting with 12-Step programs are expanding through the internet to include high level patient collaboration and even patient initiated studies. Relatively inexpensive websites with smart bulletin boards organizes and sort information into categories to give a bigger picture that could have ever been seen before.

The answer, of course, is yes! At different times the survival responses of the brain (fight, flight, freeze) plus our deeply conditioned habits take over control and we do things we either are not aware of that, in spite of our awareness, we would prefer not to do. (Have you ever had your mouth take on a life of its own during an argument?). At other times we make conscious rational choices governed by the lifestyle we live and the people places and things we choose to associate with.

Today we are coming to the end of a failed paradigm that the physical brain is all that there is. All of the accomplishments and tragedies of mankind ia causes  by a clump of cells that accidentally at some point became self-aware.  Everything is pointing to a non-physical mind that inhabits and works with the physical brain to allow human beings to survive, thrive, maintain health, manage illness and keep moving forward with courage in to an uncertain future.

 

 


Addiction Can Be Understood and Treated

August 15, 2014

RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE
STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT ADDICTION

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Straight talk means giving clear, honest, and plain-English descriptions of important issues related to addiction, recovery, relapse prevention. Straight Talk means discussion the artistes for addiction — sobriety and responsible living.

This book tells it like it is without a great deal of concern for political correctness or the tentative guarded language that so often hides the truth about addiction, recovery, and relapse.

After 40 years of following the new research and treatment practices for addiction, Terry Gorski became frustrated at the misinformation about alcohol and other drug addictions and the narrow and incomplete approaches to treatment, recovery and relapse prevention.

In this book, Terry provides the best information on the current science-based upon an accurate understanding of what the core addiction syndrome is and what the an effective addiction treatment process needs to look like if it is to increase the chances of recovery and decrease the risk of relapse.

This book is easy to read and loaded with useful information. The book can be quickly read from beginning to end, and then kept as a handy reference to find specific information that can be used as a guide to manage the problems and crises that are so often a part of the addiction and recovery process.

The message is simple: addiction is a biopsychosocial disease. science-based understanding of what the core addiction syndrome is and what the core addiction treatment process needs to look like if it is to increase the chances of recovery and decrease the risk. Here are some of the key ideas developed in depth with the book:

Addiction is a biopsychosocial disease. Bio means biological or of the body, Psycho means psychological or of the mind, Social means the relationships that develop among people and with the social and legal systems that are needed for responsible living.

Biologically, addiction is marked by brain dysfunction that disrupts the reward chemistry of the brain creating cycles of intense euphoria and powerful craving.

Psychologically addicted people slowly adjust their ways of thinking, feeling, acting that allows them to deny and rationalize the problems caused by the it addiction.

Gradually, over time, an addictive beliefs develops that create a powerful denial system. This denial blocks the ability to recognize the addiction, interferes with the ability to ask for and accept help, and creates a deadly spiral of progressively more severe relapse episodes.

Socially, addiction pushes away sober and responsible people while attracting and feeling attracted to addicted and irresponsible people. The result is a tragedy. The addict abuses, disregards, and destroys those who love and try to help them. Active addicts set themselves up to be exploited by other addicted people and are vulnerable to predators who use and abuse them.

Most importantly Straight Talk About Addiction provides hope. Addiction and be understood, recovery is possible, and relapse can be prevented it effectively managed should it occur.

This book is easy to read and understand. It is loaded with useful information. Many people read it from beginning to end to get a comprehensive understanding of addiction, recovery, relapse, and related problems. Many people keep the book handy so they can use it as an easy-access reference to find useful information that can be used to effectively manage addiction-related problems.

The message is clear: Recovery is possible. Relapse can be prevented or effectively managed should it occur. There is hope.

LIVE SOBER – BE RESPONSIBLE – LIVE FREE

Get The Book By Terence T. Gorski
STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT ADDICTION


Straight Talk About Addiction

May 4, 2014

 

Gorski_Addiction_Straight_TalkBy Terence T. Gorski
Author

Accurate and up-to-date. Easy to read and understand.

Books about addiction are boring! — REALLY?
Not when they’re written in STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT ADDICTION!

I have found my voice as a writer. It’s the same voice I use as a speaker: Direct! No nonsense! Factual! Authoritative!

My new voice is clear and easy to understand. Yet it’s engaging. I write as if I’m sitting directly in front of you and putting the information right in your face. You may not like what you’re hearing, but, believe me, you’ll listen.

Straight Talk is direct and entertaining; it explains useful information in clear and easy to understand language. I provide clear examples to back up th information. Yet with all of that, my sarcastic but “incredibly funny” sense of humor shines through.

I’m glad I finally learned how to write with the same clarity and impact in which I speak to audiences. I am proud of my new “writers voice” and, using this new voice, I am in the process of updating my previous works. The concepts have a new clarity, research findings are presented in an easy to understand way. The new works are just plain interesting and filled with useful information.

The First Books In The Straight Talk Series

The first book in the “Straight Talk Series” was Straight Talk About Suicide.” Not a fun topic, but a necessary one. Too many recovering people, especially out veterans, are dying at their own hand. This book is short, straight and to the point. It is written as if I am talking a suicidal person away from the ledge of a tall building while the crown is yelling “jump, jump, jump!” Its key message is brutally simple: Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem! Wait and think it through. Even though it may not seem like it, there are better choices than killing yourself.

The second and newest book in the straight talk series is Straight Talk About Addiction. I talk to the reader in a clear and logical way that explains what addiction is, tells you how to figure out if you have it, and then explains how to b-pass your denial and motivate yourself to stand up and get moving ahead in recovery.

Why Straight Talk About Addiction Is Important

You don’t have to be bored to death to learn about addiction. As a matter of fact, the absolute worst way to learn about addiction is to read or listen to something boring. You learn best when you are engaged with what you are reading or listening too. things get interesting when the material smacks you right in the face because it explains your real life experiences in a new and more meaningful way – a way that gives you new choices in recovery.

The Biopsychosocial Addiction Model in presented in short and concise conceptual area that build upon one another to paint a complete picture. After reading the book you will be able to describe in a model of Addiction that has proven to be both accurate and memorial. In other words, a model that bas stood the test of time. Don’t take my word for it. Decide for yourself by reading some examples from the book.

Excerpts from the Book Straight Talk About Addiction

Excerpt #1: The Progression of Addiction:  Addiction is not something that suddenly happens.  It usually progresses just fast enough to start changing how you think, feel, act, and relate to other people; and just slow enough to make it difficult for you and others to notice the changes that are slowly developing into serious alcohol and drug related problems.

Excerpt #2: What Causes Addiction To Progress: The progression of addiction is caused by a complex interaction among four things. (1) The Addictive Brain Responses: This is the unique way the brain of addict responds to alcohol or other drugs; (2) Addictive Psychodynamics: This is the unique way the mind of an addict responds to alcohol and other drug use that results in denial and addictive thinking; (3) Addictive Behavior: This is the drug seeking habits that addicted people develop. Addictive behavior puts us around the people, places, and things and things where alcohol and other drugs are readily available and support for sober and responsible behavior is slim or nonexistent; and (4) Addictive Social Systems: These result from the way addicted people structure their lives. They are the social systems that make heavy, abusive, and addictive alcohol and drug use possible by driving away sober and responsible people while both attracting and feeling attracted to others who have alcohol and drug problems.

You must address all four of these areas simultaneously to increase your chances of recovery. So it’s suggested that you take ownership of this information. Taking ownership means finding what applies to you and then using it to make sense out of what is happening in your life. Reading this book with an open mind will help you to see the truth, either good or bad, about what alcohol and other drugs are doing in your life. The truths allows you to see new ways of solving your problems and moving ahead in recovery without relapse.

Excerpt #4: Mind Altering Substances: Mind-altering substances are chemical agents that alter how the brain works in a way that changes how we think, feel, act, and relate to other people. In other words, mind-altering substances physically change how our brain works.

The human brain is a complex chemical factory. Millions of nerve cells communicate with each other by releasing and absorbing chemicals called neurotransmitters. Mind altering substances have a powerful physical affect on how our brains function.  They can chemically change our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by changing how our brain functions.  As a result mind-altering drugs can cause damage to the brain.  They make us feel better by disrupting the normal functioning of our brain, but we always pay a price.

Excerpt #5: The Gorski Simplified Drug Classification System: A useful drug classification systems need to be easy to understand for the person using it. A system based on the effect that most users experience when they use alcohol and other drugs. The Gorski Simplified Drug Classification System has four basic drug groups:

People tend to use drugs because they like their effects – they like the way the drug makes them feel. If the drug makes them feel good enough, many people are willing to risk the consequences of breaking the law in order to get and use the drug. Most people use alcohol or other drugs to experience one of four effects produced by drugs in one of four different groups. Here are the drug groups: (1) Uppers stimulate and excite. (2). Downers relax and sedate. (3) Pain Killers take away both physical and emotional pain. (4) Mind Benders that scramble consciousness and produce pseudo-spiritual and pseudo-intimate experiences. We that think that we are communing with God when in fact we are worshiping the effects of a drug! We believe that we are getting intimate with a partner when in fact we are making love to the effect of the drug effect. The drug effect makes our partner irrelevant.

Excerpt #5: The Addictive Brain Response. The Brains of people who are at high risk of addiction react to the use of alcohol and drugs differently than the brains of at low risk of addiction. This is because high risk people experience an addictive brain response when they use alcohol and other drugs. People at low risk experience a normal brain response.

When you have a Normal Brain Response, the drug makes you feel what it was designed to make you feel – an upper creates a feeling of energy, a downer creates a feeling of relaxation, and so forth.

The Addictive Brain Response causes a feeling of euphoria that enhances the mood altering effect the drug was designed to produce. In other words, you feel both the normal drug effect of the drug plus a euphoric effect caused by the drug tickling the pleasure centers of the brain causing a flood of pleasure chemicals. As a result the “hole in your disappears when using alcohol and other drugs and you feel whole and complete, maybe for the first time in your life. As a result you really like how the drug makes you feel, so you want to use it again and again.

So there it is – my new straight talk voice

You should have a good feel for Straight Talk About Addiction. Did you understand the concepts? Will you remember them? Can you see how this information applies to you?

These are only brief excerpts from a 245 page book that explains everything you need to know about alcohol and drug use, abuse, and addiction. I think you’ll like reading this book. I know the ideas will be easy to understand and stick in your mind. Reading this book may reorganize the way you understand and respond to addictive disease.

I’m proud of this book. I believe it is one of the best books I’ve ever written. I hope you will enjoy it and find the information useful.

Terence T. (Terry) Gorski

Live Sober — Be Responsible — Five Free

Gorski BooksGorski Training


DENIAL MANAGEMENT WORKBOOK

March 26, 2014

Denial is a normal and natural response for coping with painful and overwhelming problems. This workbook describes the twelve most common denial patterns and guides the reader through a series of exercises that help them identify and more effectively manage their own denial.

This workbook is Designed to help people overcome denial, recognize their addiction, and make a personal commitment to recovery.

The structured exercises contained in this workbook teach the reader how to recognize and more effectively manage their denial when it occurs.

Other exercises invite the client to put these new skills to use by identifying and clarifying the problems that caused them to seek help, their life and addiction history, and their personal symptoms of addiction. Clients are then guided through the process of making a firm and deep commitment to taking a next step in recovery.
Denial Management – A Cognitive Restructuring Approach


Language Is Important

March 20, 2014

THE LACK OF UNIFORM LANGUAGE for addiction and psychology has hindered the development of the field substantially.

We spend more time arguing about what a word should mean than we do about what is wrong with the patient and what treatment is being used.

This is more than a superficial problem of semantics. It causes serious problems in diagnosing addiction and related problems. It also makes accurate charting and evaluation of treatment for the purpose of reimbursement unreliable.

This lack of uniform language cuts to the core of behavioral health care credibility. Here are a few examples;

– Is it alcoholism, addiction, substance use disorders, substance dependence, substance abuse, compulsive use, or problem use?

– If we can’t agree on what the disorder/disease etc. should be called how can we actually expect get paid for the treatment of “whatever-it-is?

Establishing uniform language really makes a lot of difference:
– Are we treating the right thing or the wrong thing?
– Does the treatment help patients get well, do nothing, or make them sicker.
– What professionals, in what settings should be providing treatment?

The time spent continuously arguing about the meaning of basic terms would be better spent discussing the nature of a problem, and the best approaches for treating it

There are still serious and very STUPID debates about whether the people who have “it” should be called patients, clients, or consumers; and if those who believe that that they have overcome “It” should be called cured, in remission, in recovery, etc.

This problem has driven me crazy for over forty years and there is no solution insight.

http://www.relapsewww.relapse.com.org
www.terrygorski.com


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