How to Heal Drug and Alcohol Addiction With Dialectical Behavior Therapy

The One Day At A Time Recovery Podcast
The One Day At A Time Recovery Podcast
How to Heal Drug and Alcohol Addiction With Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Today my guest is Dr Laura Petracek, a clinical psychologist and author of “The DBT Workbook for Alcohol and Drug Addiction: Skills and Strategies for Emotional Regulation, Recovery and Relapse Prevention”. Can I just tell you… I LOVE A WORKBOOK! This one in particular is good for people like us because there are questions and writing prompts that support behavior change.


But before we jump in, it’s resource time! Today I just want to talk about one of the most misunderstood tools, meditation. Whenever I suggest meditation to clients or friends, I’m inevitably met with resistance. The two comments I hear the most are: either “I just can’t meditate”, or “Yeah I should probably do that”, but it never happens. 


So let’s clarify the biggest misconception: Meditation is not about not thinking. If you think you’re failing at meditation because you can’t keep thoughts out, that idea is a misunderstanding. In meditation, there is no goal per se other than to be fully present in the moment. As you notice your brain is thinking, you just bring your awareness back to the breath. If you notice you are thinking 1,000 times, then you simply notice without judgment and bring it back. It’s like casting a line out when you’re fishing. You focus on the breath, notice when you’re lost in thought, and reel it back in. Meditation is a practice, and like any practice, we suck at it in the beginning, then we keep practicing and get better and better. 


In regards to why people consider it but don’t do it, I propose it;s because it’s not a priority. I wonder if it’s not a priority because the value of meditation just hasn’t been made clear enough. But instead of talking about why its so good for you, which a lot of people do, I’m going to highlight the COST of NOT doing it. If we can agree that the quality of your life depends on the thoughts you think and the actions you take, then we have to acknowledge a simple truth which is that it all centers in your brain. And just like you wouldn’t run a marathon without training first, why would you think you could tackle something like getting sober, or make any major change in your life without conditioning your mind first? It’s where all your decisions are made! Meditation is the process of conditioning your mind and your nervous system to help you achieve your goals so that you can ultimately achieve what we all want. Things like better relationships, health, peace, satisfaction, contentment and connection. If you DON’T practice meditation, it could literally cost you the very things you are actively trying so hard to achieve. 


I hope this helps you to decide to make meditation a priority. There are endless youtube videos and apps available at your fingertips. So do it today, and let me know what meditations you like and I’ll share them on the Facebook page!


So that’s it!  Please enjoy the episode with Dr Laura Petracek


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