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Natalie Cole Helps Raise Record Funds for Addiction Treatment in Austin

Natalie Cole Helps Raise Record Funds for Addiction Treatment in Austin
Grammy-winning singer shared her inspiring personal story of recovery from addiction with over 700 attendees at Austin Recovery’sthird annual Speaker Series Luncheon

Natalie Cole on Stage at Austin Recovery Luncheon

Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole on stage at Austin Recovery’s Spring 2014 Speaker Series Luncheon

On Tuesday, singer Natalie Cole opened up about her addiction and recovery to a crowd of over 700 at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, helping raise over $450,000 for Austin Recovery. This year’s event, which raised an unprecedented amount of funds for the non-profit organization, was co-chaired by Val Armstrong and Mary G. Yancy, and featured radio host Ed Clements as MC. Luncheon guests included long-time supporter Edith Royal, Donna Stockton-Hicks and Steve Hicks, Chris Mattsson, and Bobbi and Mort Topfer.

In addition to Natalie’s story, the event focused on the upcoming launch of Austin Recovery’s Center for Recovering Families (CRF) program.  CRF is a unique treatment program for individuals and their families battling addiction, alcoholism, and other mental health issues.  The goal of using a family approach to treatment is for all individuals involved to address the multiple layers of the addiction experience in order to achieve an enhanced quality of life, addiction-free.

“This is a family disease. So many people are impacted when one person goes down that road,” said Natalie Cole.  Regarding Austin Recovery’s Center for Recovering Families program, the singer added “I’m so glad that a facility like this exists because that stigma of shame is so powerful.”

Patti Halladay, Mary Yancy, Natalie Cole, Rob Arnold, Val Armstrong at Austin Recovery Luncheon

Patti Halladay, Mary Yancy, Natalie Cole, Rob Arnold, and Val Armstrong at Austin Recovery’s Spring 2014 Speaker Series Luncheon

“It is no secret that addiction affects the entire family, and that the entire family needs support.  Studies now show improved outcomes for both individuals and families when co-occurring disorders are treated in addition to the substance use, and when family is involved in treatment,” said Mel Taylor, President and CEO of Austin Recovery, who has been involved with the CRF program in Houston for more than a decade. “We are so grateful for Natalie’s opening up about the realities of the disease of addiction, and reminding all of us that a happy, healthy life is possible through recovery.”

Yesterday’s event was the third annual Speaker Series luncheon for Austin Recovery, the largest non-profit drug and alcohol treatment center in Texas.  Each annual event features an acclaimed artist, entertainer, or speaker sharing his or her story of recovery to help break the silence and stigma around addiction. The first luncheon in the series took place in November 2011 and featured actor Rob Lowe as its special guest speaker. Last year’s program was headlined by Hall of Fame Running Back Earl Campbell.  Funds from the luncheon directly support Austin Recovery’s finances and obligations associated with the organization’s overall mission:  to extend the hand of recovery from substance abuse and addiction to all in need, regardless of ability to pay.

Supporting Children Affected by a Parent’s Addiction

Supporting Children Affected by a Parent’s Addiction

By Elizabeth Devine, M.Ed., LPC-S, Director of Treatment Services at Austin Recovery

Supporting Children Affected by a Parent's Addiction Blog Banner

What if cancer was a secret?

Imagine a child who has a mother suffering from untreated cancer but no one explains this to her. She sees her mother growing weaker and sicker, but her mom smiles and tells her she’s fine. Many times her mother is unable to provide her with adequate care or attention. The girl begins to wonder if she’s done something wrong. She wonders if her mother loves her at all sometimes. She tries to make her mother feel better, but nothing seems to help. The other adults in her life make excuses for her mother’s fatigue and fragile moods. Everyone in the family seems somber and burdened but tell her she should be happy.  The adults in her life grow impatient when she becomes upset by what seem like small matters. The girl is chastised for causing a fuss when her balloon floats away. One day, she sees her mom struggling to stand and is quickly ushered out of the room. She is told that she didn’t see what she thought she saw. “Your mom just tripped,” she is told. She is instructed not to tell anyone about her mom’s “accidents” because no one would understand. They would think something was wrong with her and her family, that they were bad. They may even get in trouble. When this child repeatedly acts out at school or refuses to do her work, her teachers become frustrated and assume she is unmotivated and spoiled. She is told in numerous small ways, “Don’t talk. Don’t trust. Don’t feel.”

As you imagine the scenario above, you likely feel as though this girl’s experience is senseless. She needs an understanding of what her mother is going through so that she can also sort out her own experience. She needs to understand that her mother’s sickness makes it difficult for her mother to be available in the way that she needs to be, but that this girl is valuable, deserving of love and attention. She needs to accept that there is nothing she can do to fix her mother, but there are things she can do to help care for herself. She needs to feel validated, to know that she is not crazy for feeling what she feels or thinking what she thinks. She needs to know that there is nothing inherently wrong with her or her mother simply because she has a sickness. She needs someone to advocate for her to explain the family situation to her teachers and school counselors so that they are sensitive to this girl’s struggles and able to provide her with much-needed support. She needs to understand that she is not alone and that many families struggle in the way that she has. She needs to know that there are people who understand and can help.

In the same manner, the secrecy of addiction within the family is just as senseless. It is true that there is a stigma around the disease of addiction and that some will look on with judgment. Nonetheless, children need to be empowered to speak to someone who can understand. It is reasonable to explain that this family problem is private, but not a secret. Many times adults feel it better not to burden children with the facts related to addiction, but, even if a child has never seen an adult drink or use, they have often sensed the tension in the home. They’ve witnessed fights or the absence of someone who had promised to arrive. Unfortunately, without an understanding of addiction, they will often assume that what they are experiencing is in some way because of them, a perception worse than the reality. It is imperative that children growing up in a home where someone is abusing substances know they are not responsible for the problems in their family, nor are they responsible for fixing them. They need to feel empowered to ask for help, to express their feelings, to ask questions, and to learn healthy ways to cope.

With the care and support of healthy adults, children growing up in homes with those suffering from addiction have the capacity to develop resiliency. The challenges of living in such a home can cultivate excellent problem-solving skills, emotional depth, and a witty sense of humor. Many grow into appreciative, grounded adults. By learning how to talk, trust, and feel, they are better equipped to break the family cycle of codependency and addiction within their own families. They can put an end to the secrecy and shame, senseless pains to endure.

Mark Your Calendars for April Events at Austin Recovery

Happenings at Austin Recovery and around the city of Austin this month:

Gateway to Recovery - April 2 & 9, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Gateway to Recovery series provides information on how to detect addiction and what friends and families can do to help those needing treatment. This information series is free and often the first step in helping people find treatment and begin the healing process. Facilitated by Mary Boone, LCSW, LCDC, Gateway to Recovery is held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the first and second Wednesday of each month at Austin Recovery (8402 Cross Park Dr., Austin, TX, 78754).  Click here for more information.

Second Saturday Workshop – April 12, 10 a.m. to 12 noon
“Science of High-Risk Behavior: Integration of Neuroscience in Counseling Practice” presented by Crystal Collier, PhD, LPC-S, Director of the Behavioral Health Institute, The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston
In this presentation, learn how the teenage brain processes information at different stages of development in order to create a roadmap for group process that increases the prefrontal cortex skills of group members. Traumatic events and drug or alcohol abuse can delay the brain’s developmental growth, a state commonly called arrested development. Teens who suffer from this arrest may present a challenge in treatment centers or private practice groups due to their lack of insight and processing ability. Adolescent parents and group facilitators can increase these skills in their teen group members by adding specific skills building activities and directives during psychotherapy group. Presentation participants will learn how to identify developmental deficits in their adolescent clients and develop a road map for lifting this developmental arrest. Two hours of continuing education credits are offered to chemical dependency professionals with LCDC, ADC, LMFT, LCSW and LMSW certifications as approved by DSHS and TCBAP. Second Saturday is held at Austin Recovery (8402 Cross Park Dr., Austin, TX, 78754). Click here for more information.

AR - 2014 Spring Luncheon - Square Home Page Button - Natalie Cole - 4Austin Recovery Speaker Series Luncheon with Natalie Cole – April 15, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The Austin Recovery Speaker Series is an annual fundraising luncheon speaker series that began in the fall of 2011 with guest speaker Rob Lowe, taking place at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater. Each gathering features a nationally acclaimed artist, entertainer, or speaker who shares his or her story of recovery. The goal of the series is to break the silence and stigma placed on addiction, while raising essential funds in support of Austin Recovery’s commitment to provide high-quality services to all in need. This year’s event takes place on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 and features Grammy-winning songstress Natalie Cole as the keynote speaker. Event Chairs are Val Armstrong and Mary G. Yancy.  For more information, visit www.austinrecovery.org/speakerseries.

Austin Recovery Alumni Events
Join the Austin Recovery Alumni for fun events and fellowship throughout the week. Events include Sunday Night Alumni Speaker Meetings, Big Book study groups, Musical Journey, skating, hikes around Lady Bird Lake, drum circles, bowling nights, game nights, evenings at the coffee shop and more. For more information, contact Austin Recovery Alumni Services Coordinator Cary Acevedo at 512-697-8513 or click on the Alumni events link on www.AustinRecovery.org.

Volunteer Opportunities at Austin Recovery
Austin Recovery is always looking for volunteers to provide additional support to our clients in residential addiction treatment in the following areas: financial planning, parenting skills, healthy relationships, job readiness/ interviewing skills, stress management, anger management, self-esteem and abuse issues. We also need volunteers for clerical work, yoga, arts and crafts, dance, spa days (pedicures, manicures, hairstyling), recreation and weightlifting. If you are interested or have questions, please contact Austin Recovery Director of Volunteer Services Sinclair Fleetwood at 512-697-8537 or sfleetwood@austinrecovery.org.

Guest Blog Post: Prevention Principles That Work

Happy Friday! Dr. Crystal Collier, LPC-S, Director of the Behavioral Health Institute with our sister organization, The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston, led the team that created the Choices prevention program at The Council. The Choices program encompasses a successful integration of current, effective prevention techniques with comprehensive, culturally relevant implementation and application strategies in local Houston high-schools. It incorporates system-wide prevention and treatment programming that targets 15 different high-risk behaviors. Today, Crystal imparts some of her knowledge about the prevention principles that truly work.

Prevention Principles That Work

By Dr. Crystal Collier, LPC-S

Prevention Principles That Work Blog Banner

Prevention programs are designed to inhibit initiation of high-risk behaviors by addressing social influences and teaching resistance skills. Long-term empirical evidence of the effectiveness of such programs exists and indicates that certain high-risk behaviors have been prevented or reduced for up to 15 years (Skara & Sussman, 2003). For decades, prevention programs have been the focus of rigorous study in the hope of discovering what models and key elements are most effective in preventing diverse youth problem behavior. Most of these researchers agree with the key findings of Tobler et al.’s (2000) meta-analysis of 207 prevention program evaluations that interactive, universal change programs with adequate delivery lengths and teacher training possessed the highest level of effectiveness. According to Tobler (2000), interactive teaching techniques emerged as an essential element with interactive programs showing a 21% reduction in high-risk behaviors prevalence rates as opposed to 4% for non-interactive programs.

This research indicated that youth risk behavior is unlikely to change by offering information and persuasion only. Change is more likely to occur by teaching skills and increasing dynamic interactions among peers in order to allow for skills practice throughout the entire school-system. In addition, the duration or intensity of the interactive program was significant. Programs with higher intensity or longer duration were significantly more effective than were lower intensity or shorter programs (Nation et al., 2003; Porath-Waller et al., 2010; Tobler et al., 2000). Lastly, the program leader’s characteristics were extremely important in determining a program’s success. The leader’s training and ability to lead interactive activities determined the success or failure of large-scale program implementation (Gottfredson & Wilson, 2003). Other important prevention elements included active involvement of family and community, relationship building elements, and cultural relevancy.

Thus, in order to maximize school-based prevention effectiveness, a program must include long-term, interactive programming activities that saturate an entire school system including faculty, parents, and students.  The program must possess a dynamic leader that can offer teacher training and support, student skills coaching, and muster active involvement of family and community. The programming should include culturally relevant information and foundational relationship building elements that garner interest and support from all key stakeholders within that school system.  Such tailored programming should target the multiple high-risk behaviors youth struggle with today.

Prevention of early engagement in high-risk behaviors is crucial. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (2011) reported that if early youth drug abuse continues into later adolescence, the youth typically become more involved with alcohol and marijuana while simultaneously advancing to other illegal substances. However, alcohol and drugs represent only part of the problem. Youth of today are faced with a growing variety of choices regarding high-risk behaviors. The diversity includes driving while drinking, gambling, pornography, self-injury, criminal activity, bullying and cyberbullying, eating disorders, video game and technology addiction, suicide, dating violence, and risky sexual behaviors. Many adolescents engage in multiple high-risk behaviors simultaneously. In 2010, Fox et al. conducted a national study that revealed more than one half of U.S. high school students were engaged in two or more significant risk behaviors, and 15% were involved in at least five. This study also revealed a pattern of increasing prevalence rates from freshman to senior year in high school.

Unfortunately, in the United States, most prevention programs target the entire student body universally and focus only on two to three high-risk behaviors (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices website [SAMHSA NREPP website], 2011). Although universal programs are effective, most neglect students at high-risk as well as those who are already engaging in high-risk behaviors who need targeted programming. Research has taught us that effective prevention programming should target all three levels of students including parents and community. In light of the variety and prevalence of multiple high-risk behaviors involvement of our youth today, effective prevention techniques must also contain innovative programming that keeps up with the trends occurring in modern student environments and integrates programming into multiple levels of students’ social influence sphere.

For more more information about Choices, please contact Dr. Collier at ccollier@council-houston.org.

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References

Fox, H. B., McManus, M. A., & Arnold, K. N. (2010, March). Significant multiple high-risk behaviors among U.S. high school students (Fact Sheet No.8). Washington, DC: The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health.

Gottfredson, D. C., & Wilson, D. B. (2003). Characteristics of effective school-based substance abuse prevention. Prevention Science, 4(1), 27-38. doi:10.1023/A:1021782710278

Nation, M., Crusto, C., Wandersman, A., Kumpfer, K. L., Seybolt, D., Morrissey-Kane, E., & Davino, K. (2003, June/July). What works in prevention: Principles of effective prevention programs. American Psychologist, 58(6/7), 449-456. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.58.6-7.449

National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. (2011). Adolescent substance use: America’s #1 public health problem. National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University: Author.

Porath-Waller, A. J., Beasley, E., & Beirness, D. J. (2010, June). A meta-analytic review of school-based prevention for cannabis use. Health Education & Behavior, 37, 709-723. doi:10.1177/1090198110361315

Skara, S., & Sussman, S. (2003). A review of 25 long-term adolescent tobacco and other drug use prevention program evaluations. Preventive Medicine, 37, 451-474. doi:10.1016/S0091-7435(03)00166-X

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices website. (2011). https://preventionplatform.samhsa.gov

Tobler, N. S., Roona, M. R., Ochshorn, P., Marshall, D. G., Streke, A. V., & Stackpole, K. M. (2000). School-based adolescent drug prevention programs: 1998 meta-analysis. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 20, 275-336. doi:10.1023/A:1021314704811

The Spiritual Warrior in Recovery

The Spiritual Warrior in Recovery

By Rosemary Wentworth, MA, CGS, CAGS, CCDP-D, LCDC, Experiential Counselor at Austin Recovery

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Spirituality affects things of Spirit, which can be described as a person’s view on life. The practices and beliefs that one chooses to live by.

The Spiritual Warrior is a person who fights his self-ignorance. He is a person who struggles with improving his attitudes and behaviors. He is willing to discover the truth about reality. He is not fighting anyone else. He is placing distance between himself and his addiction and developing the qualities that will keep him in recovery.

Warrior means one who is brave and can see with his heart. The warrior commits to growing his heart and soul and becoming creative in decision and problem solving.

A Spiritual Warrior in Recovery travels the Path of Serenity, no matter what the chaos is outside of him, inside experiences peace. It becomes easier to have more meaningful relationships. Self- confidence grows with the passing of time. There is an emotional sobriety in which the Spiritual Warrior embraces life rather than isolating or feeling self-pity. He lives in the present moment without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. He helps others with humbleness and this enjoyable and rewarding way to strengthen sobriety. There is an acceptance of whatever experiences come.

Process Questions

  • How would you describe yourself as a Spiritual Warrior in your quest for Recovery?
  • What qualities do you have that help you in your journey to recovery?
  • What feelings and thoughts do you have when in the Spiritual warrior stance?
  • What are the things that prevent you from moving forward?
  • What advice would you give to a younger person in recovery who wants to take on this mantle of a Spiritual Warrior?
  • What symbol would you create for yourself as a Spiritual Warrior?

 

What is a Warrior?

Warrior Artwork 2

A Warrior is… Fearless, Confident, Strong Of Heart, Vigilant, Determined, Courageous, Knows How To Love and Hold Love, Courageous, Intelligent, A Leader, A Teacher, A Mentor, Brave, Skilled, Perseverance, Unflinching, Nimble, Lucid,  A Searcher, Honorable, Willing To Help Another Person, Fearless, Knight of the Round Table, Follower of the Light, Grounded in A Spiritual Path, A Man of Character, Accountable, Masterful, A Mentor, A Planner, Eager To Develop Self, Continues to Stay Open to Growth, Nurtures Group Interaction, Uses Intuitive Intelligence, Confident, Generous, Loyal, Integrity, Empathetic, Resilient, Practices Meditation And /Or other Spiritual Disciplines,  Validating, Authentic, Knows Self and Character Defects, Discerning, Relentless, Persistent, An Achiever, Fearless, Passionate, Brave, Honest, Humble, Honorable, A Fighter of the Truth, Diligent, Vigilant, Stands Tall, Does Not Surrender, A Man who Knows How To  Use His Power Well, Focused, Devoted, Dedicated, A Guardian, A Sponsor, Focused, Practices at Being Skilled and Disciplined, Committed, A Visionary, protects His Sobriety, Willing To Fight For His Sobriety, Open To Learning, Uses Creative Visualization, Curious, Investigates, Gets Into the Solution, Leads By Example, Fair, Open To Feedback, Uses His Tools and Plans When He Needs to Get Onto Action,  Grateful, Open to Self- Examination, Sincere, Connected to His Heart…

 

What is Hope?

Hope Artwork

Hope is… A Journey, Excelling, More, The Best Yet To Come, Better, Looking Forward To, Value, Pot of Gold, Just Around the Riverbank, Motive/Motivation, Unfinished Canvas, The Bigger Picture, Amends, Dreams, Determination, Ambitions, Willingness, Family, A Future Miracle, Puzzle Pieced Together, Joyous, Belief in a Future, Revelation,  Fearless, Willing, Sobriety, Grace, Perseverance, Broken Chains, Optimism, Enlightening, Vision, Salvation, Forgiveness, Enthusiasm, Safety, Second Chance, Empowerment, LIFE !,  Surrender, Happiness, Enthusiastic, Safety, Another Chance, Sunshine, Cared For, New Beginning with Higher Power, Concentration, Grateful, Fearless, Educational, Mercy, Foundational, A New Beginning, Faith, Belief in a Higher Power, Confident, Rainbows, Forgiveness, Advancement, Goal Fulfillment, Soul Fulfillment, Understanding, Goodness, Knowledge, Empowering, Dreams and Revelation, A Relieved Survivor, Determination, Angelic, Faithful, Joyful, Fulfilling, Peace, Belief, Freedom, Valuable, Valued, Value, Inspiration, Heart , Warmth, Optimistic, A Way Out, About Not Giving Up, Saying the Serenity Prayer, Still Being Loved, Comforting, About Being a Fighter, About Being a Survivor, Strong, Courageous, Brave, Giving, Positive, Light, Self Love, Vision, Prayer, Spiritual, Happy, About Not Giving Up, A new Day, Support Groups, Light At The End Of The Tunnel, Happiness For Others, Options, Stopping The Cycle for My Child, Opened Pathways, Spiritual Experiences, Independence, Willingness To Believe, Belief That Things Can Change…

 

What is Serenity?

Serenity Artwork

Serenity is… Peace, Comfort, Love For Self, Happiness, Calmness, Acceptance, Belief, That You Can’t Control, The World,, Fulfillment, Sobriety, Experience, Livelihood, Humble, Understanding, Compassion, Welcoming, Joyous, Tranquility, Music, Nature, Calm, Peaceful, Curious, Botanical, Soft, Pleasurable, Love, A Garden, Cupids, The Wind  And The Air, Worry Free, Forgiveness, Self-Acceptance, Belief, Wisdom, Serene, Meditative, Tranquility, Courage, Strength, Friendship, Healthy Boundaries, Meditative Restoration, The Passing Of The Storm, Lavender, Letting Go and letting God, Allowing Love Into My Life,  The Wind In The Long Grass And The Fields, Calm, Energized, Accepting, Being here Now, Spiritual, Grace, Mystical, Interconnections, Self- Love, Beautiful, Inspired, NOW, Gently Flowing, Whole, Comfort, Enlightened, Gentle, Connection to Higher Power,  Living For Life, Calm, Relaxing, Compassion, Kind, Humble, Stillness, Sobriety, Welcoming, Music, Understanding, Quiet, Natural, Oceanside,  Within One Self,  Love Gratitude, Acceptance, Loving, Gentle, Pleasant, trees, Water, Sky, At One With God, Surrendering, Pleasant, Sweetness, Honesty, Loving One Self, Heaven, Prayer, Solitude, Safety, Rainbows, God Consciousness, Joy, Hope,  Natural Calm, Self Acceptance, Balance, Knowing My Beliefs and Values, Service, Courage, Curious, Courteous,  Starlight Wisdom,, Soft, Pleasurable, An Orchid Garden, The Future, Flowers, Aromas, No More Obstacles, Clouds, Gliding, Broken Chains, Forgiving And Forgiven…

 

What is Spirit?

Spirit Artwork

Spirit is… Unseen, Stamina, Full of Hope, Unbroken, Full of Energy, Truth, Teacher, Comforter, Merciful, Enlightened, Communication, Openness, Willingness, peace, Connection, Freedom, Inner Goodness, Love, Guiding, Honesty, Peace, Humble, Pure, Hungry, Free, Patient, Kind, Steadfast, Grounded, Hopeful, Enduring, Faith, Hope, Higher Power, Belief, Life, Relaxation, Meditation, Moving The Soul, Praise, Gratitude, Wisdom, Heart, Serenity, Compassion, Understanding, Kindness, Clairvoyant, Inspiring, Inner Self, Will Power, Peace of Mind, Power, Search for a Higher Power, Mystical, Giving, Of Value, Infinite, Always Present, Eternal, Stillness, Tolerance, Humble, Pure, Love, Tenderness, Simplicity, Bonding, Empathy, Depth, Lucidity, Epiphany, Simplicity, Humility, Trust, Consciousness, Refreshing, Uplifting, Sacred, Faith, Vulnerability, Healing, Awareness Growing, Playful, Belief, Heaven on Earth, Unseen, Transparent, Kind, Invisible, More Than meets The Eye, Inseparable, Unity, Compassion, Revealing, Deep, Togetherness, Present, Serenity, A Life Condition, Of the Light, Illuminating…

You Can Help Austin Recovery’s Amplify Austin Campaign

Austin Recover - Amplify Austin Combined

Mark your calendars! Austin Recovery is thrilled to announce our participation in the second annual Amplify Austin campaign sponsored by I Live Here, I Give Here. Amplify Austin is a 24 hour giving period starting at 6:00 pm on March 20 and ending at 6:00 pm on March 21 in which the Austin community will be encouraged to donate to their favorite local causes, including Austin Recovery.

Last year, Austin Recovery was lucky enough to be a part of the first campaign that helped raise a collective total of $2.8 million for local Austin non-profits and philanthropies. This year, the goal is set at $4 million so we are hoping to help make an even bigger difference in our community!

During the 24 hour giving period, there are many ways in which the money received is amplified by I Live Here, I Give Here’s generous partners to help your gift truly make an impact. One such way is that the “winner” of each hour receives an extra $1000 towards their cause. This year, Austin Recovery wants to be the 4:00 am winner, and we can only do so with your help! Don’t worry, you don’t need to stay up until all hours of the night waiting for 4:00 to roll around so you can enter your donation. You can simply schedule your donation ahead of time by clicking the following link: https://amplifyatx.ilivehereigivehere.org/index.php?section=organizations&action=newDonation&fwID=361

Austin has been Austin Recovery’s home for nearly 50 years. We are delighted to take part in any event that supports our local community, especially ours in the non-profit world. Amplify Austin, only in its second year of existence, has grown to include 400 organizations in the Central Texas area and personifies the entrepreneurial spirit and grassroots efforts associated with our great city.

As always, we are extremely grateful for any donations towards Austin Recovery that ultimately help us fund our mission of keeping the Austin community healthy, productive and safe by providing services and information to all who may be adversely affected by alcohol and drugs. Please feel free to spread the word about Amplify Austin. Every dollar counts!

More Than Words: What Do Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy Even Mean?

Have you ever truly thought about what self-esteem means to you? Lauren Boe, LMSW and therapist with The Council on Alcohol and Drug Houston’s Center for Recovering Families, explores the topics of self-esteem and self-efficacy in today’s blog post.

 

More Than Words Blog Banner

 

More Than Words: What Do Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy Even Mean?

Most of us began learning about self-esteem as far back as we can remember. Parents, teachers, and coaches all had something to say about believing in yourself. Now as an adult, after hearing, “It’s really important to have high self-esteem” enough times, you might find yourself uttering a silent inner groan, “Oh great, more about self-esteem.”

Despite how frequently the term is tossed around, you might not realize how relevant this concept is to you. You probably know that self-esteem has to do with your self-image, but there are many factors that impact how you see yourself. Maybe you make a nice living, but you don’t really value the work you do or feel that it serves an important purpose. Maybe you have a large group of friends but don’t feel truly connected to any of them. Perhaps you are successful at work and home but still spend your day comparing yourself to those around you. Unfortunately, external measures of happiness often greatly misrepresent how a person feels on the inside. You can be successful, competent, attractive, and still dislike yourself. Self-esteem is not about how an outside observer would judge you or your life, it’s about how you judge and view yourself.

Unlike self-esteem, your elementary school teacher probably didn’t mention self-efficacy, but it plays an important role in self-esteem. Self-efficacy is your belief in your ability to be successful in a particular situation. For example, let’s say a high school student named Amanda really wants to be on the school dance team. If she has high self-efficacy, Amanda will audition for the team and try really hard because she believes that it is possible for her to make the team. If she has low self-efficacy, she may not try out for the team at all because she has no faith that she could succeed and be chosen for the team.

When you believe you can succeed, you are more likely to try. It is the trying that results in higher self-esteem. There would be less positive impact on Amanda’s self-esteem if she was just given a spot on the team instead of having to try for it. Self-efficacy is what determines whether or not Amanda will try.

We begin forming our beliefs about where we can and cannot be successful in childhood and those beliefs continue to develop and evolve for the rest of our lives. It will probably come as no surprise that individuals with high self-efficacy are also likely to have high self-esteem. Working toward greater self-efficacy by accomplishing goals and managing your reactions to stressful situations can have a powerful impact on your sense of self-worth.

If you are interested in exploring how you can work toward a more positive self-image and gain a deeper understanding of your own self-esteem and self-efficacy, please contact Lauren Boe at 281-200-9376 or lboe@council-houston.org for details about a self-esteem workshop on May 10, 2014.

Mark Your Calendars for March Events at Austin Recovery

Happening at Austin Recovery and around Austin this month:

Gateway to Recovery – March 5 and 12, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Gateway to Recovery series provides information on how to detect addiction and what friends and families can do to help those needing treatment. This information series is free and often the first step in helping people find treatment and begin the healing process. Gateway to Recovery is facilitated by Mary Boone and is held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the first and second Wednesday of each month at Austin Recovery (8402 Cross Park Dr., Austin, TX, 78754). Click here for more information.

Second Saturday Workshop – March 8, 10 a.m. to 12 noon
Abi Williams Photo (Cropped)“Journey to Awareness: Embracing Your Shadow” presented by Abi Williams, Ph.D., LCSW, CSAT, CMAT, CGP, Senior Clinical Advisor at Austin Recovery.
What if there was a part of our personality that others could see but we simply cannot? How often have we wondered why we act or react in a particular way? Early in our lives, most of us learned to hide parts of ourselves we were told were “bad”. This is what Carl Jung identified as “shadow”, the parts of us that we hide, repress or even deny. These parts, however, in spite of our best efforts to avoid, continue to show up unexpectedly. There are ways to identify these shadows and learn more about how they work and don’t in our lives. By uncovering the messages or self talk, we can learn from them and transform them into positive life-changing allies. This presentation will support participants in an examination of early contributions that led to the need to disown parts of one’s personality, the self-talk used to perpetuate the withholding, and simple tools to discover the full spectrum of one’s self. Two hours of continuing education credits are offered to chemical dependency professionals with LCDC, ADC, LMFT, LCSW and LMSW certifications as approved by DSHS and TCBAP. Second Saturday is held at Austin Recovery (8402 Cross Park Dr., Austin, TX, 78754). Click here for more information.

Amplify Austin – March 20-21
Amplify Austin is a 24-hour giving day from 6pm Thursday, March 20, to 6pm Friday, March 21, 2014.  Amplify Austin’s first year results in 2013 were spectacular, the goal was $1 million, but you showed us just how generous Austin really can be! Together we raised $2.8 million! We’re carrying that enthusiasm and excitement forward into 2014, our goal this year is $4 million. Get ready to crank up the giving! Austin Recovery is again partnering with this “festival of giving.”  So on Amplify day, click here to give to Austin Recovery and help our city reach our collective goal!

UT School of Social Work Presentation at Austin Recovery – March 21, 9 a.m. to 12 noon
“Neurobiology of Attachment and Personality Disorders: Clinical Work Addressing Arousal Regulation Issues” presented by Arlene Montgomery Ph.D., LCSW
This seminar addresses the relationship among the Autonomic Nervous System (known as the ANS, an important emotional and physiological arousal system throughout the brain and body); the arousal differences among the secure and insecure attachment styles, including the associated defense mechanisms and Personality Disorders); the impact by the ANS and attachment styles on the person’s preference for certain classes of substances; and the implications for the therapeutic experiences. 3 CEUs available.  Click here to RSVPPresentation is held at Austin Recovery (8402 Cross Park Dr., Austin, TX, 78754). Click here for more information.

Austin Recovery Speaker Series Luncheon with Matthew Perry – April 15, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
AR - 2014 Spring Luncheon - Square Home Page ButtonThe Austin Recovery Speaker Series is an annual fundraising luncheon speaker series that began in the fall of 2011 with guest speaker Rob Lowe, taking place at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater. Each gathering features a nationally acclaimed artist, entertainer, or speaker who shares his or her story of recovery. The goal of the series is to break the silence and stigma placed on addiction, while raising essential funds in support of Austin Recovery’s commitment to provide high-quality services to all in need. This year’s event takes place on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 and features actor and “Friends” star Matthew Perry as the keynote speaker. Event Chairs are Val Armstrong and Mary G. Yancy.  For more information, visit www.austinrecovery.org/speakerseries.

Austin Recovery Alumni Events
Join the Austin Recovery Alumni for fun events and fellowship throughout the week. Events include Sunday Night Alumni Speaker Meetings, Big Book study groups, Musical Journey, skating, hikes around Lady Bird Lake, drum circles, bowling nights, game nights, evenings at the coffee shop and more. For more information, contact Austin Recovery Alumni Services Coordinator Cary Acevedo at 512-697-8513 or click on the Alumni events link on www.AustinRecovery.org.

Volunteer Opportunities at Austin Recovery
Austin Recovery is always looking for volunteers to provide additional support to our clients in residential addiction treatment in the following areas: financial planning, parenting skills, healthy relationships, job readiness/ interviewing skills, stress management, anger management, self-esteem and abuse issues. We also need volunteers for clerical work, yoga, arts and crafts, dance, spa days (pedicures, manicures, hairstyling), recreation and weightlifting. If you are interested or have questions, please contact Austin Recovery Director of Volunteer Services Sinclair Fleetwood at 512-697-8537 or sfleetwood@austinrecovery.org.

Guest Blog Post: The Secrets of Validation

Today’s blog post comes to us from Dr. Karyn Hall, Director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Center in Houston and co-author of “The Power of Validation.” She and Dr. Alan Fruzzetti, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy & Research Program at the University of Nevada, will be hosting a full-day workshop on validation techniques at our sister organization, The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston, coming up next Saturday, March 8.

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The Secrets of Validation

By Dr. Karyn Hall, Ph.D.

Jamie cries herself to sleep most nights, worried about her twenty-three year old daughter April. Most days they argue to the point that April walks out. Jamie is afraid to say no to April as April screams that her mother doesn’t love her, threatens to get high and slams the door behind her. Jamie doesn’t know what to do because April doesn’t help around the house and she is failing her college classes. Jamie is struggling financially; primarily because of the money she gives her daughter. She doesn’t want to lose her daughter and she can’t keep saying yes to whatever she wants.  April believes that her mother criticizes her all the time and doesn’t understand how hard it is for her. April feels very alone.  So does Jamie.

If you’ve ever wondered what you could do to have more positive conversations with someone you love who has intense emotions, then learning how to validate is an important step for you. Validation is a communication tool that helps people manage emotions effectively and strengthens relationships. Using validation makes a positive difference in your relationships in many ways, including reducing conflict.

Validation is often misunderstood. Some people see validation as kind, gentle acceptance of whatever someone else says or does, similar to unconditional positive regard. Validation is not just acceptance of the other person. Validation is also not compliments or positive statements, though it can be both. Validation is not saying, “I understand how you feel,” in a sing-song voice and validation is never about supporting untrue statements.

According to Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., validation means to confirm or strengthen what is relevant, true or effective about someone’s response, be it a thought, emotion, physical sensation or action. Dr. Linehan noted that validation requires empathy but goes a step further. While empathy is the accurate understanding of the person’s experience, validation also includes the communication that the person’s response makes sense.

Validation requires effort and willingness to seek to understand the other person’s point of view. You actively listen for the meaning in what the other person says and keep listening and asking questions until you “get” their truth. That can be difficult when it seems that what the other person is saying makes no sense, is untrue, or is only about avoiding responsibility. Validation does not mean you agree with their thoughts, feelings, or actions.

Many times in heated discussions you may invalidate the other person though you don’t mean to do so. Ignoring someone, interrupting, blaming, or saying that they are wrong about the way they think or feel can be invalidating. When you invalidate someone they are likely to become more upset and thus the conflict gets more heated. Even giving a compliment to someone when the statement isn’t what they believe to be true about themselves can be invalidating. For example, if April believes that she can’t do well in her college classes, then saying that you are sure she can pass or that she is smart and can do well if she tries is invalidating and likely to result in a negative reaction. April will believe that you don’t understand.

Saying, “I get it, you struggle a lot in college and you worry that you can’t pass,” would be validating. Validation is about recognizing the other person’s point of view. You don’t have to agree with the way the other person thinks.

Sometimes what seems like a simple step can make a world of difference. At the Secrets of Validation workshop taking place at The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston on March 8, Dr. Alan Fruzzetti and I will discuss the specifics of the importance of validation, how to validate, how to not invalidate, and give you lots of opportunities to practice with real world situations.  If you are interested in registering, please follow this link for more information: http://www.council-houston.org/event/secrets-of-validation/2014-03-08/. I hope to see you there.

Vulnerability: Do I Have To?

Today we have a guest blog post from Tony Aucoin, LCSW, LCDC, DWF-Candidate with our sister organization The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston, who will be leading The Daring Way™ Intensive on vulnerability and courage taking place at The Council on March 7 and 8.

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Vulnerability: Do I Have To?

By Tony Aucoin, LCSW, LCDC, DWF-Candidate

I want to be the first to confess to being mesmerized by sensationalized stories, candid photos and “gotcha” journalism. These media tactics can have us begin to feel like we are living in a time where we do not have a right to our personal information.  We probably all know more about Justin Bieber, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Chris Christie than we need to. I am not the first to notice that at each turn of the channel or click of a website we are being fed personal information about people we have never met. We begin to mistake invasive journalism and sensationalized stories for openness and vulnerability.

So what is vulnerability anyway? Acclaimed author, presenter and researcher Brené Brown, Ph.D. says vulnerability “sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” With this definition I think it’s safe to say that what is going on in the media is NOT vulnerable or courageous, but that’s the deal: we think it is.

We are trained to think that when we expose ourselves, we get hurt. When we get hurt, we stop doing the thing that hurt us. If I touch a stove and it burns me, I stop touching it. With vulnerability though, at least true vulnerability, we can also open ourselves up to love and joy. I can certainly always use more love and joy in my life.

So what if the stove only burned you sometimes? Would you still touch it?

The hope with looking at issues like shame, vulnerability and courage is that is allows us to learn how to stop being burned every time. We learn who the safe people are, how to take care of ourselves, how to trust, love and to live a life authentically our own. We practice vulnerability by building the courage to touch a stove that has burned us so many times before, trusting that we have done the work to understand when the stove is safe to touch.

If you are interested in attending The Daring Way™ Intensive in Houston on March 7 and 8, please visit http://www.council-houston.org/event/the-daring-way-intensive/2014-03-07/.