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Below is a well written testimony from one courageous person who decided to experiment with change, health and personal growth.

         What C.P.R. Means To Me

It has been almost a month since I quit smoking marijuana! I had been a daily user for about twelve years, with the occasional attempt to quit; the longest quitting period being about one year in 2005. I had attempted to quit a couple times in the last three years, but always relapsed after a couple of weeks. So, this time I decided to seek help.

Previous quitting attempts always consisted of going cold turkey and using willpower.  I could stick to it for a few weeks, but then would have a smoke with a friend and return to using every day. In 2005, I told myself that I could not have any weed in the house and would still allow myself to smoke socially if someone had it. This worked for almost a year until I had a stressful situation occur, and went back to smoking every day. Therefore, this time I wanted to quit and stay a non-smoker, but how?

I considered going to rehab, but did not want to leave my surroundings. So I googled “how to quit marijuana” and found a self-help program. It was an online program for $50 that included a manual, videos, audio sessions and a detox book. After previewing the material, I decided to go for it.  After I bought the program and began my reading, I was still smoking but that was okay.  The program talked about setting a quit date when I was ready. I watched the videos and listened to the audio sessions for about two weeks before I set my quit date.

Through the program, I discovered that willpower would not be enough to sustain a smoke free life.  I would need to re-focus my thoughts and the direction I wanted my life to go in.  This was very scary at first. But the more I read the manual and listened to the videos, the less scary it seemed.  I began to realize that all the benefits that I thought the weed was giving me were actually the opposite. That’s what the weed does to your mind. It made me think that I needed it for so many things in life. I thought it gave me more energy, made me a more creative person, made me better at sports, made me funnier, made sex better, made food taste better, reduced stress and anxiety and helped with depression.

So I thought, give it up and see what happens.  Will I feel better or worse? I made a quitting contract with myself that included a quit date and the reasons I want to quit. The program prepared me for the withdrawal period, which was toughest the first week and ended around the second week. Wow, I could really feel the difference without the weed. I had gotten so used to feeling good that it’s hard to remember how bad I was feeling on the weed.

I can tell you this though, my energy is way, way higher than ever before. I feel present, in the moment and just happier than I have in a long time. I dream again, and can remember most dreams, and they are very vivid. I have been keeping a dream journal as the program has instructed. Your dreams are a way for your subconscious to give you direction in life and writing them down as soon as you wake will give you the ability to figure out what they represent.

Two days after quitting, I dreamt that I was giving a friend C.P.R. but I did not recognize this friend. I went to my therapist a few days later and was discussing the dream as I was having trouble deciphering the meaning.  He suggested that maybe I was giving C.P.R. to myself; that in a way, I was saving myself from my addiction. He asked me to use C.P.R. as an acronym for quitting weed. I thought about this for a short while and decided it means Clear, Present and Responsive. Since quitting weed, this is how I am focusing on living my life, and that is what C.P.R. now means to me.

 
 
Photo credit: clarita from morguefile.com

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) highlights the important connections between an individual’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours. These personal qualities, along with a systemic focus, an assessment of the person’s bio psychosocial influences (e.g. family history, individual developmental and current environment), help counsellors assist people in their quest to gain insight into the possible factors contributing to their current concerns. Accurate assessment also fosters the discovery of solutions to problem areas, find strategies to better cope with stressors, overcome obstacles and improve relationships. 

At Jeff Packer & Associates Inc., we refrain from using a diagnostic label in reference to the individuals, couples and families we serve. These labels provide a broad classification of conditions based on a mass population. We find that understanding the person’s own characteristics (strengths, resources and areas for improvement) is most beneficial to the task of successfully meeting requests for help. CBT involves linking cognitive behaviour theory and practical solutions with information given by the person seeking counselling.

This is the assessment process, usually only a session or two. The goal of the assessment session is to:

  • Develop a detailed understanding of the client’s problem areas including, but not limited to,  environmental triggers, thoughts, behaviours, emotions and physiological reactions

  • Improve awareness of what factors are helping maintain the client’s problems.

  • Describe the nature and strength of the therapeutic relationship

  • Define the strengths of the client

  • Provide a reasoned and research-based outline of how they will be able to work with the client based on the formulation emerging from assessment

  • (adapted from Grant, Townend, Mills, & Cockx, 2008)

As the assessment process develops, individuals seeking counselling should be able to (adapted from Grant, et al., 2008):

  • Recognize and understand factors that helped contribute to the emergence of their problems
  • Understand and relate to the thoughts, behaviours, emotional and physiological reactions that are maintaining the specific problem
  • Build awareness of the change process, the collaborative nature of therapy and co-create the mutual intervention strategy
  • Effectively implement a planned approach within the therapeutic process

For further information on CBT, and other helpful approaches to resolve issues, and/or to schedule your initial assessment session, call us today!

“Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself who you are, and who you want to be.” ~Sadie Nardini

Behind our stinkin’ thinkin’ lies the secret to our success. And if we could only dig through the negative thoughts on our mind, imagine what we can achieve in this lifetime.

Sometimes my mind is consumed with self-doubt and worry. So much that I have an increased heart rate. Or, I feel like I’m choking, but no one has their hands to my throat. At times, my worry about one small thing may magnify into twenty small things in seconds. I feel as small as an ant, surrounded by giant strands of grass, trying to avoid avalanches of footsteps that can destroy everything: my life, the home I created, and the people I love.

No one can free me from these anxious thoughts and feelings but myself, which is why cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) is so impactful. CBT is helpful for anyone who is having trouble seeing the good in themselves; seeing the possibilities that each one of us are capable of achieving in our lives.

I understand the difficulty it takes to cope with anxiety and doubt. I am utilizing my coping strategies on a daily basis. This has helped me significantly decrease the length of my worrisome episodes. Here are my top 3 ways of coping:

(1)        Self-affirmations: changing my negative thoughts into positive declarations about myself.

(2)        Yoga: a practice dedicated to my mind and body. A flow of movements that allows me to accept who I am and what I can do, and also explore poses in which I once believed I was not capable of.

(3)       Goal setting: I have one, five, and ten year goals set to keep me motivated and focused. I don’t have time for worry!

 Allow me to help you through your journey of thoughts and better identify the real you!  Contact us today !