Black or White Thinking

January 14, 2015

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)

Are Alcoholics Allergic To Alcohol?

August 18, 2014

By Terence T. Gorski, Author

In the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) the alcoholic was thought to have a physical allergy to alcohol which caused their Alcoholism. I was recently asked about this and I thought I would share my answer.

The idea that an alcoholic has an allergy to alcohol is more of a metaphor than a statement of medical fact.

There is no doubt that alcoholics have an abnormal response to using alcohol, but technically it is not an allergic response.

Recent brain research suggests that this abnormal response to alcohol is an addictive brain response caused by a disruption in the pleasure or reward centers of the brain. This creates an intense sense of euphoria when using and a state of agitated depression when abstinent. This reinforces reinforces continued use.

As the brain develops tolerance for the alcohol it takes higher doses to feel the euphoria so the quantity of drinking in increases. This creates a pattern of compulsive use described in AA literature as a loss of control.

The metaphor of an allergy to alcohol is easier to understand for a newly sober person than the idea of an addictive brain response, so the metaphor is still useful.

It seems that people who become addicted to other mood altering drugs, including alcohol, have a similar addictive brain response to their drug of choice. I describe this in detail my book Straight Talk About Addiction:

I also have a book based upon Father Martin’s interpretation of the 12-Steps that I wrote as a result of our time spent together designing the Relapse Prevention Program for Father Martin’s Ashley.

I developed a two day workshop for addiction professionals on understanding the twelve steps in a way that could be easily related to cognitive therapy. This workshop was based primarily upon what I learned from Father Martin as he explained his understanding of the Twelve Steps to me. The edited transcription of this workshop was published as the book Understanding The Twelve Steps:

Straight Talk About Addiction

May 4, 2014


Gorski_Addiction_Straight_TalkBy Terence T. Gorski

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


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

Terry Gorski’s Published Books — In A Constantly Updated List

January 12, 2014

I am frequently asked about how many books I have published. In the past I had to say that I honestly didn’t know. I felt dumb every time I gave that answer. As an author I should know how many books and book chapter’s have been published. The truth is that I never kept count. Then yesterday I came a big surprise.

Today the great internet god poured a blessing down upon my head — actually it was printed on my computer screen. I accidentally found a website named I typed my name and there they all were — 27 books, in the order of popularity as measured by sales.

Ranker: Gorski Books

Here is a
to everyone who enjoys and uses my work.
Your support allows me to do even more.
Please Subscribe To My Blog:
I am starting to call this
Gorski’s Legacy Archive
This is where I am posting all of my archival documents
that have been published throughout my career.

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