Connecting to the Addicted2018-05-30T17:33:19+00:00

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Connecting To The Addicted



TAKE 2 minutes FOR TRAINING – Part 1


We tend to want to be rescuers. We want to fix things. We want to make people feel better.

Somebody comes in and my tendency, our tendency, is to want to talk them into stopping and I want to argue with them a little bit, right? And what can happen when we do that is we end up polarizing.

And there’s a certain – Melody Beattie in CoDependent No More calls it – healthy detachment, and that is that you are allowed to make the decisions that you need to make and be an individual that is completely separate from me.

And when I’m hearing that – where my mind goes, and hopefully I’m kind of addressing what you are talking about is – it goes to that they are allowed to be addicted. And I am allowed to be the grace of Jesus beside them.

And so it’s not going to be in my words. It’s not going to be in me trying to talk them into it. It’s going to be in my presence. Just being there. Being there. Being there. For that time when they are ready.

I remember, my supervisor was over 30 years in addiction services. And I had a client that had come in just raring to go. And then all of a sudden they didn’t make it to a session. And we kind of knew. And I remember him just turning around; we had this conversation, and he turned around and kind of sauntered off. And he said, “They’ll be back when the pain is great enough.”

And there is a certain amount that we always have to keep in mind that the decision is theirs.

And I think in addictions, if anything, that’s the hardest place to have that mindset, because you can see what is going on with them.

TAKE 2 minutes FOR TRAINING – Part 2


I might offer some tools, but my most important thing that I do with somebody who is working on coming out of addictions is just really good listening skills.

So the first skill..  4 skills…

OARS – really simple; just things for you to remember

O = Open-ended questions

A = Affirm

Your presence is a powerful thing especially when Jesus is in you. Then His presence, through you, is a powerful thing.

How do you share Jesus? Let Him out!

R = Reflect (transcriber’s note:  i.e., reflect back to them what you hear them saying)

Reflecting non-verbals that may be giving you information.  7%. This is huge. Right there.  7% of what we learn in communication is words. The other 93% is in tone of voice and non-verbals.

I’m going to be picking up on the tone of their voice. I’m going to be picking up on that whole picture. I might be saying back to them, “I’m seeing your head hanging. Feeling pretty bad about what you did last night.”  “Yeah, I’m feeling pretty bad about it.”

You are not advising.

You are not solving for them.

You are not warning them.

You are not educating them.

You are not persuading them.

You are not sympathizing.

You are being a presence.

You are caring about, and you are loving.

You are sharing who Jesus is with them.

See them as a partner. Respect is huge.

I’m not here to get you better. I am here to walk alongside and figure this out with you.

They are the expert. You are the learner.

S = Summarizing

The best gift I can offer is to listen.

90% listening. 10% feeding back, reflecting, summarizing, observing, caring in some way.

The person who is addicted is really the person who has control. And I need to be okay with that.

And just walk alongside them.

And pray my heart out. God does miracles.

So I pray.

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  • TRAINER: Cath Thorlakson, Psychologist, PhD, RPsych

     SOURCE:  Volunteer Training Workshop (2016 10), Edmonton

    POSTED:  Feb 2017

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