If you have not already done so, stop right here and watch Part One of the Flashlight of Awareness. This video will not make much sense if you have not already seen that one.
Many of you know from working with me that I am an integrative psychotherapist. In other words I integrate complementary models of therapy in many different ways in order to fit the unique needs of each client I work with.
I want to reiterate, even though I will be talking about the 12-Steps, it will not be in affiliation with any of the many twelve-step programs. While I DO strongly endorse them, their Traditions strictly prohibit affiliating with anyone outside the organization. To avoid controversy, they neither oppose nor endorse any causes or organizations. That includes any specific form of religion and/or therapy models
37 years ago I began my personal recovery from addiction. 6 months later I found myself back in school to begin my educational and professional development as a licensed therapist. I felt led to help others find what I have found through recovery. My greatest struggle has been HOW to share this three-dimensional experience of personal recovery, academic education, and professional development with others.
In the end, it became clear to me that I can only speak of what I know, share what I have seen, and teach what I have learned. For me, all of this has come through the lens of Christianity. It is my sincere hope that, even if your lens is different, somehow these observations of mine will be useful to you.
How Thoughts Become Chemistry…
“We Feel the Way We Think, & Think the Way We Feel”~ Dr Joe Dispenza
We can rewire our brain, by changing what thoughts and feelings we expose it to over time. In a way, we are the authors of our own pain. Our psychology knows the language of the biology and they communicate somewhere in the neighborhood of the pituitary gland - that’s where cognition (Thoughts, emotions, and images in our mind’s eye) is thought to be converted to chemicals that are released into our bloodstream.
This is why we feel the way we think, & think the way we feel, causing us to feel the way we think, and think the way we feel, and so on. This is why rumination is a major culprit in depression.
Our thoughts, whether they're right or they're wrong, are actually changing our biology. The Buddha said, "What we think, we become." Epigenetics is now saying, "What you are thinking is translated into chemistry, which will determine what you will become.” Only 1% of disease is due to genetic defects, while the remaining 99% is directly attributable to the environment and our nervous system’s perception of the environment. What it represents is this: the influences of our thoughts are translated into chemistry, which leads to inappropriate behavior and to what we call disease.
Flashlight of Awareness Therapy Card
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