The protocol for the treatment of substance abuse and psycho-emotional disorders is undergoing a major change. Published by Alternative Treatment International, Inc. (“ATI”), this includes the use of its Perception Therapy® Wellness Treatment Model which utilizes a Mind-Body-Spirit-Environment® approach to ‘whole person’ healing. The Model is combined with other insight-oriented clinical techniques and alternative healing methods to affect change in perceptions, thinking, and behaviors.
TREATING THE ADDICTIVE THINKING AND/OR PSYCHO-EMOTIONAL BEHAVIORS
The philosophy of Perception Therapy is to examine all aspects of the individual’s life in a clinical and holistic way to determine the best course of action to treat the whole person, while uncovering and resolving the underlying problems. This is enhanced by employing Perception Therapy and Mind-Body-Spirit-Environment techniques which are designed to raise the therapeutic arsenal currently in use. We believe that the answers do not lie in behaviors but in the thinking that produces the behaviors. Therefore, current behaviors are accepted in a non-judgmental, compassionate way and take an indirective approach to changing perception and thinking, rather than the standard direct approach that is aimed at changing behaviors. Treating only the behavior does not address the cause of the problem, as behaviors do not just happen by themselves. Thought (the Mind) produces behaviors as well as emotions, both being positive and negative.
Many addictive and psycho-emotional behaviors are a result of psychological, physical, spiritual, and environmental issues in regard to the individual, and can be successfully treated utilizing a variety of clinical techniques combined with alternative healing methods. In some cases, medication management may be indicated and can be a helpful adjunct to the therapeutic process. Success can also be improved if one’s belief system embraces holistic healing methods.
Rather than employing a directive and controlling approach that may produce a defensive attitude and hamper the transformation process, the indirective and metaphorical techniques allow the individual to come to his/her own conclusion. This yields a more productive therapeutic result, not only in one’s thinking, but in behaviors, sobriety and “whole person” well-being. The philosophy of Perception Therapy considers that each individual is coping with her/him life in the ways that they know or have been taught.
In light of this, it is possible to obtain successful results with addictive thinking and/or psycho-emotional behaviors utilizing the unique therapeutic processes of Perception Therapy that address the whole person and underlying causes, not just the symptom.
BY CHANGING PERCEPTION – THINKING WILL CHANGE
For an individual to discontinue substance abuse or other self-destructive patterns and begin a health-oriented process, one must be open to the philosophy that will bring him/her to their own conclusion and learn to affect change. This can be achieved through the process of transforming perceptions and thinking.
Generally, human beings do not like or rebel against “change” and many perceive it as a negative experience. This is actually fear, based on the fact that it is out of their control. When one’s perception about this lack of control is transformed to a more realistic view, she/he is able to work through the experience in a balanced and productive way.
Most people accept the basic concept that there is always another way to view things. Once a certain way of thinking has been formed in an individual, it generally requires applied therapeutic techniques to open the mind to accept a change in perception.
By addressing the thinking as the primary therapeutic target, the individual is given the opportunity to decipher their formed perceptions to be true or false. These may have manifested the dysfunctional thinking which has produced the behaviors that are interfering with a healthy lifestyle. Once clarity has occurred regarding the formed perceptions, the therapeutic processes of making a positive change in thinking are easily accepted. This allows the individual to come to a productive conclusion, because perceiving and thinking are being internalized in a new way. These perceptions, which have now been modified, allow clearer thinking to occur and positive choices to be made, resulting in an automatic improvement in behavior.
WHEN THINKING CHANGES, BEHAVIORS WILL CHANGE BY THEMSELVES
In order for behaviors to improve, the thinking mechanisms that produced those behaviors must be altered. “When thinking changes, behaviors will change by themselves.” Understanding this simple concept, it appears a waste of time to spend our efforts on trying to help or force people to improve their behaviors. It has proven not to work, and hence, relapse and/or destructive behaviors continue. Even if one discontinues their substance abuse and/or destructive behaviors, many continue to be unhappy, unfulfilled, depressed and continue to experience life problems, because their thought process remains a result of their perceptions. We see this every day, even with clients who have spent months in rehabilitation programs, in therapy of one kind or another, and with counselors who promote a variety of techniques.
MIND IS THE MAKER and will always produce the thinking and emotions that are productive or unproductive for all of us. How then do we assist people in changing their thinking? Helping people to think differently is a complex process, but is an attainable goal. By uncovering and resolving the underlying causes of the problems utilizing Perception Therapy and Mind-Body-Spirit-Environment techniques, healing of the whole person occurs and the result is hope, peace and happiness. Relapse, substance abuse, behavioral problems, anti-social acting out, low self-esteem, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness are removed as the perceptions and thoughts have been transformed.
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Dr. Alan Meyers and Julia Stewart are the Developers and Authors of the Trademarked Perception Therapy® and the Founders of Alternative Treatment International, Inc., (ATI WELLNESS), in Clearwater, Florida, USA. ATI Wellness is a private, exclusive residential and out-patient nationally recognized program for the treatment of addiction and mental health disorders. The program focus using the Perception Therapy® Model is Clinical, Holistic and Dual-Diagnosis.
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