Most people identify the “one and only” problem as in the alcohol/drug abuse, the drug addiction, the pornography compulsion, the sex addiction, the defiance, the depression, or the alcoholism. These are definitely major problems! Once addiction is developed it is an irreversible condition of the brain that the counseling field calls a disease. It is something similar to diabetes and a person must accept their addiction and learn how to live a life that is healthy, balanced, fruitful, and fulfilling. Addictions almost never exist alone, but instead usually are more than one that work in conjunction with each other is some way. One example is when a chemical addition to alcohol, cocaine, or pot that coexists with a process addiction to porn, high risk sex, or video-gaming. When an addiction is present it becomes the immediate and primary focus of therapy.
However, to portray an addiction as THE one and only problem is not only inaccurate but also a setup for relapse and a continued decline in quality of life. Capstone’s therapy approach is based on the premise that there are three aspects of treatment/therapy for every client: (1) the addiction(s) or compulsions (addiction-in-the-making), (2) the psychological-emotional-relational-spiritual problems, and (3) the lack of what we simply call, Inner Strength (which basically refers to the ability to prevail over challenges). These three components work against each other recursively to make the whole worse. The disease of addiction makes their psychological-emotional-relational-spiritual problems escalate and the lack of inner strength hurts their efforts to make good recovery / healing decisions and especially, to stick to them, and so on. Therefore all clients have a treatment plan that identifies the problems in these areas so solutions can be constructed and implemented.
In the Discovery aspect of our program we create a picture that answers the question, “What makes ________ (your son’s name) make sense?”
I’m going to list examples of some answers to that question from clients who have been at Capstone. Remember that many of these scenarios overlap with each other. A simple way of describing this is to just ask the question “Why is he doing this?”
We use the phrase “the drug culture” to describe the big picture of what’s going on in the lives of the boys we work with at Capstone. It is much more than drug use and it can look very different than classic “drug addicts”. If I had used the term “drug culture” in the sixties and seventies it would have been referring to a group of people that were “stoners,” “druggies,” or “pot heads” in their appearance, attitude, and behavior. Today however, the drug culture includes kids from all pieces of the social pie. We’ve had boys who were straight A students, all-state athletes, college scholarship material in athletics or academics, youth group members, preps, country boys, Goths, pot heads, stoners, etc. The behaviors also include much more than drugs and alcohol. Sexual compulsions including pornography and acting out behaviors are almost always coexist. Video gaming, food disorders, and other escape behaviors are also common parts of this culture. Our clients mostly come from Christian homes, so conceptualizing the real problem is more complex than it seems on the surface, because there is a spiritual component to all the above.
What all of our young men have in common is that something has gone wrong in life that has led them down the road to, what we call, The Wasteland of Ruin. All of our clients share some flavor of a Learned Instinct, usually “I am not good enough,” that leads them to this double life and then perpetuates it. Their Learned Instinct, and often their acquired addiction, keeps them there in sort of a downward spiral. In their distorted thinking, their connection to the double life / drug culture is solving problems that they haven’t been able to solve any other way (remember, from their distorted Learned Instinct perspective). As adults, parents and professional therapists, we know that their membership in the drug culture is worsening their problems and creating new ones. One secret to winning this battle is to start with creating doubt in the mind of the client that his problems are solved in the drug culture and lead him toward a total exposure of the truth.
An addiction or one-in-the-making, will make the following examples “worser,” as one of my coaches used to say, and left unresolved will make relapse to the addiction behavior more likely. In other words they feed off of each other in a negative spiral. These are common answers to the question, “What makes my son’s behavior, attitude, and feelings make sense?” or “Why is he doing this?”
Failure Avoidance Theme or Performance Based Acceptance
Pleasure or Passive Brain
I Am Bad or Shame
There are other answers and combinations of answers, but these will give you an idea. One of the strengths of Capstone is that we have no ego. We don’t care what a client's core issues are; we just care that we discover it. This is vital to successful treatment. His answer to the question, “What makes this make sense?” is already answered before he comes to Capstone. Our job is to expose it and develop a plan to change it.
If you or a loved one would like more information about Capstone Treatment Center, please call us today at 866-729-4479 for a free phone consultation or email firstname.lastname@example.org.