Healthy vs. Unhealthy Boundaries

What is the quickest way to go from unhealthy boundaries to healthy boundaries? Let's identify a few situations where you could slide into unhealthy boundaries and learn how to turn the situation around.

Whatever side of the issue you're on, everything I will teach you today is helpful, whether or not addiction is in your life. A quick way to figure out if you're sliding into unhealthy boundaries with someone is to determine whether or not you're on the drama triangle. These are healthy skills that we can all benefit from.

In the 1960s, Stephen Cartman came up with this theory called the drama triangle as a way of explaining dysfunctional social interaction. I love to explain this to people because it's so easy to understand and has such a concrete visual, which helps.

There are three roles in the drama triangle--The rescuer, the victim, and the persecutor.

If you find you're demonstrating these characteristics, this is a surefire signal that you are sliding into the unhealthy...

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How to Help an Addicted Loved One

addicted loved one Dec 10, 2021
These are ten prevalent yet INEFFECTIVE things family members do to control their loved one's addiction. These behaviors are slowing down your loved one's recovery process.
  • Yelling, Nagging, Threatening, and Preaching
  • Spying (driving by to see if they're where they said they were, calling friends to see if their story lined up, going through their phone)
  • Soliciting help from outsiders (getting help from other family members, co-workers, friends, and church family) is a surefire way to get your addicted loved one to resent and not trust you.
  • Walking on Egg Shells (this isn't helpful)
  • Making you sign a "home contract" (don't do this!)
  • I am giving Huge Ultimatums- a difference between a boundary and a request.
  • Bailing You Out of Sticky Situations
  • Taking things away
  • Controlling the money
  • They baby you! (protect you from everything)
If you want to find out why family members make these mistakes, watch this video next:

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The Best Way To Communicate your Boundaries

boundaries relationships Dec 10, 2021

This topic is crucial, whether you're the family member, the person who has the addiction, your counselor, or you don't have anything to do with addiction. You need to know how to set and communicate effective boundaries.

The most effective way to communicate a boundary is by not verbally communicating. You see, that's where most people mess it up. They want to tell people what they can and can't do or will and won't do. You say to your kid, you can't have drugs in this house, or you can't come home drunk anymore. I know you want to communicate that way because you feel like you're setting a boundary, but boundaries are about your behavior, not their behavior.

You can set boundaries for your behavior.

When setting a boundary for your behavior, you must stop believing that people deserve a fair warning.

You have in mind that because you've communicated the boundary, you've set this new rule, and the person is to respect that.

It sounds great in theory, but it's ineffective. Someone...

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Are You Sabotaging Your Loved Ones' Chances Of Recovery From Drug Or Alcohol Addiction?

Could you be inadvertently sabotaging your loved one's chance at getting sober? As a counselor, there are a few ways that I regularly see family members do that can undo all the work the counselor is doing to help a person trying to find sobriety.

Families, I'm about to call you out here, but before I do, let me say I've done every one of these. As I said, we don't inadvertently do these things. We're not trying to sabotage their recovery in any way. The things that we say are natural things to say. When you say these things, it can be counter-productive. Not only is it not helpful, it is also pulling everything in the wrong direction.

1. Negative forecasting. Maybe you have it in your head that your loved one can never get better. Perhaps you have it in your head that your loved one can never get better. I get why you'd want to do this. Negative forecasting is like making future predictions that the person's going to fail or it's never going to work. Let's look at...

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Is Alcoholics Anonymous a Cult? 🤐

alcoholism recovery Nov 30, 2021

Recently, I released a video titled "Is AA(Alcoholics Anonymous) a religion?" You can watch it HERE.

Now, I pose the question, Is alcoholics anonymous a cult? What about narcotics anonymous or any of the unknown' for that matter? (read to the end to get my opinion).

You've probably heard that AA is a cult, but we're going to take an objective look and find out what qualities of AA are like a cult, and if AA isn't a cult, what the heck is it? 

I think the best way to tackle this question is to look at the qualities of a cult and see if AA has any of those qualities.
Spoiler alert! -- It has some of those qualities.

The first quality of a cult is having a questionable commitment to a leader. If you're familiar with alcoholics anonymous, you know that it was created by someone named Bill Wilson. Eventually, he brought along a friend named Dr. Bob, if you had to say someone was the leader of alcoholics anonymous, it would be Bill and Bob, for sure, but neither...

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Is Someone Else's Addiction Controlling Your Emotions?

Uncategorized Nov 16, 2021

Do you feel like your loved one's addiction has turned you into a person you don't even recognize anymore? If so, that's pretty standard. It's easy to get on the emotional roller coaster with your addicted loved one.

Are you behaving and doing things that you can't believe you're doing? How do you get control of yourself and get back to being yourself, so you can live the life that you want to live?

How has your behavior changed?
How has your emotional life changed?
Are you constantly worrying?
Are you constantly obsessing and checking?

Those are pretty normal things that happen when you have a loved one who's addicted to drugs or alcohol. If your loved one lives with you, you're probably fixated on trying to figure out the lies from the truth and gather evidence. The more you do this, the more you lose yourself. It's like the person is chasing the substance, and you are chasing the person. Before long, everybody is being controlled by addiction.

What behaviors do you want to stop?...

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Advanced Strategies For Overcoming Addiction that Nobody Ever Talks About

Advanced strategies of recovery.

How do you create a life that you love and that you can maintain?

Let's identify what those beginning strategies are.

  • detox
  • managing triggers/craving
  • changing people, places, and things

All of those seem so blatantly obvious and that's why it's so important to learn those skills to get sober from substances. Keeping your sobriety is another story, am I right? There are some more advanced skills that you need to adopt if you want to manage them.

You see, for me, recovery management is, is all about sanity management. If you want to keep your sobriety or recovery long-term, you have to keep your head on straight. The reason why that's so important is that when you get yourself in an awful situation or you're upset when life throws you curveballs. These are the times that are likely to send you spiraling backward.

The first one on the list of advanced recovery skills is you have to learn to deal with problems and address them as they happen. We all...

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Is Tough Love The Best Approach To Take With An Addicted Loved One?

addicted loved one child Oct 22, 2021

We hear this all of the time. People say tough love is the only thing that works. When talking to people in recovery, if you ask them how they think you should help or not help your addicted loved one, they'll probably tell you to use tough love.
Research shows that tough love isn't the most effective strategy for helping an addicted loved one.
In this video, we're going to take a look at what tough love does. So what do I mean when I say, tough love? I have a thought process or vision and definition of my head, but you may have a different awareness about what it means.

When people usually talk about cutting someone off emotionally, they're letting them figure it out and allowing their loved ones to hit bottom. Now there's a little truth in that. I'm not one hundred percent against that. I do think that there are times where you have to back up and let people learn some hard lessons.
But in general, do I think you have to cut your addicted loved one off emotionally, financially,...

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When A Family Member Refuses To Acknowledge The Addiction

When you have a loved one with addiction, the pain, suffering, and loneliness are sometimes overwhelming. Do you know what makes these feelings worse? Having someone else in the family in complete denial over the loved one's addiction.
It's particularly frustrating when you can see the problem but someone else is 
sabotaging you behind the scenes.

We see this play out so often in our office.  The person in denial is either a parent, grandparent and occasionally a sibling.  This creates a big problem because you have
one person who doesn't want to believe that the person has an addiction. It can interfere with the whole process of getting the addicted person to recovery. 

This happens in almost every case. I get it, it's uncomfortable to absorb this information and to sit with it. It's much like a grieving process. 

The denial is a self-protective mechanism of some sort. Denial is always protecting you from something that you're not...

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Early Recovery From Addiction (Avoid These 3 Major Pitfalls!)

Uncategorized Sep 27, 2021


Early recovery is a super vulnerable period for everybody involved. For the person who's in early recovery and for the family who's in early recovery. We're going to share some experiences about the major pitfalls that can happen especially during times of
transition and what to look for to what's a reasonable expectation and how to navigate that without everything falling apart. I do think that going through transitions is where people fall through the cracks.

The number one first big pitfall that can happen in early recovery is not understanding each other's perspective.

With the family, it's a very fearful time when we think of the transition out of rehab. We finally got to relax for a few months or weeks however long they were in rehab and got a break because the facility was handling it.
Then you start thinking of the transition coming up and your fears go up because you don't know how it's going to go and so what happens is we...
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