Call Us: (800) 977-6110

  • A Mirror for The Language of Addiction

    Posted on October 13, 2017
    Using Treatment Jargon to Describe Treatment By Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. The insulting, dehumanizing rhetoric of the addiction ‘treatment’ industry never ceases to amaze and dishearten.  People who are hurting and vulnerable are called manipulative, junkie liars so often that such language is widely accepted and implemented in treatment settings by so-called professionals.  What if we fought fire with fire and the same critical, cruel language used to ‘shame addicts into change’ was mirrored back to describe the addiction treatment industry?  Well, let us indulge the imagination a bit and give the addiction treatment industry a taste of its own medicine… (Note: the following is not intended to be a true representation of addiction treatment, it is merely an imaginative exercise to...
    full story
  • The Goal of Addiction Treatment Completely Misses the Mark

    Posted on October 6, 2017
    The Entire Aim of Addiction Treatment is Off by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. The goal of nearly the entire field of addiction treatment is to help people stop using substances forever. However, a closer look at the goal of stopping forever reveals fatal flaws. This article aims to expose the flaws in the goal of stopping forever while proposing the broader, more effective goal of changing. The Flawed Goals of Addiction Treatment A goal of stopping substance use forever is problematic in two fundamental ways. The first fundamental flaw in a goal of stopping forever is that the goal is set in negative terms. Effective goals are constructed in a positive framework, which means goals are phrased in terms of what will be done rather than what will be avoided. For example, a goal set as ...
    full story
  • Teen Boot Camps: America's Legacy of Torturing Children

    Posted on September 29, 2017
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. In modern, “sophisticated” society we like to believe in our lofty righteousness.  We are dignified, upstanding examples of integrity.  We parade about in our chrome-wheeled, semi-electric metal boxes. We adorn ourselves in proper fitting attire from a respectable department store. It is a nice, comforting bubble most of us float around in. Meanwhile, those folks who choose methods of consciousness alteration deemed immoral and unrighteous by the moral majority often experience a dark, shameful underbelly of vindictive tribunals and torturous treatment. Teen boot camps are perhaps the most shameful, immoral stain on the dark underbelly of America’s moral majority and its multi-billion dollar “treatment” industry. When it comes to hypocrisy, there’s nothing ...
    full story
  • God's Place: Is A Higher Power in Recovery Necessary?

    Posted on September 15, 2017
    Is a Higher Power in Recovery Necessary? By Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Most approaches to addiction treatment tout a relationship with a higher power as essential to success. Peddling salvation and threatening damnation are age-old endeavors for humans, rehabs doing so may just be a modern incarnation of indulgences. But what if they’re right? What if a strong connection to a higher power is essential to recovery? This article explores the incorporeal topic of a higher power from the perspective of awe and wonder, and proposes that an attitude of awe is made up of many of the most vital aspects to sustaining success in recovery and to improving wellbeing in general. Awe: The Cornerstone of Religious Experience Awe has been at the heart of religious experience since the dawn of the co...
    full story
  • Drugs Are Medicine

    Posted on September 1, 2017
    Drugs Are Medicine by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. One of the more hypocritical aspects of today’s culture is the distinction between medicine and drugs.  Two weeks ago we explored the power harnessed in a single word.  The stark contrast between the words ‘drugs’ and ‘medicine’ underscores the vastly different connotations that can be elicited by synonyms.  Challenging the social stigma associated with addiction is one of the most important aspects of healing addiction.  In the spirit of challenging the social stigma around addiction, this week’s article highlights the arbitrary distinction between the words ‘drugs’ and ‘medicine’ as a prime example of the double standard and inherent hypocrisy in our culture’s views on substance use. Rarely do two synonyms elicit such distinct emoti...
    full story
  • Self-Defeating Thoughts: The Weight of the Word

    Posted on August 18, 2017
    The Weight of the Word by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Humanity has a keen knack for degrading our most powerful creations.  Many creatures produce sounds, but in an inspired moment of momentous artistry humans harnessed the production of sound to form the word. From the word language was born. Language, in turn, gave voice to our fascinating, mysterious consciousness and made community possible. Cooperation in community allowed our species to successfully colonize nearly every corner of the planet, a truly magnificent accomplishment for a relatively small, slow, land-bound mammal. Sometimes, we honor the true power of language, as reflected in proverbs like, 'the pen is mightier than the sword.'  More often, however, humanity engages in our peculiar proclivity for self-deception and ...
    full story
  • How the Mind Works

    Posted on January 13, 2017
    No Need For A Vacation, Your Mind’s Already On One by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. We like to think we are in control, making conscious decisions, and acting of our own free will.   Causes lead to effects, stimuli trigger responses, nature carries on in an orderly fashion.  We are thoughtful, contemplative, questioning beings right?  Wrong.  Much to our chagrin the world makes far less sense than we think, we rarely question ourselves, and the coherence that we experience is mostly a product of how our minds work. Fascinating research findings continue to challenge our understanding of the world and ourselves.  Nobel Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman (from whom the content of this article is borrowed without permission) breaks the human mind into two systems.  System 1 is qui...
    full story
  • New Year's Resolutions

    Posted on January 6, 2017
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Turn Resolutions into Lasting Change Achieving lasting change can be elusive.  Whether you make resolutions at the dawn of the New Year or at other times in your life, we all make promises to ourselves to change.  However, many times the firm commitments we make to ourselves fade like a sigh within weeks or months.  Those who exercise year-round will attest to the inevitability of their fitness centers becoming more crowded in January than during the other 11 months of the year.  So what gets in the way of adhering to the promises we make to ourselves?  We do. Significant and lasting behavior change is rarely achieved without also looking inward.  Whether you call them your demons, your hang-ups, your vices, your quirks, your outlets, your whatever, nobod...
    full story
  • The Biggest Lies in Recovery, pt. 1

    Posted on September 30, 2016
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. This week’s topic is the first installment in a series that will explore lies that have permeated the recovery culture.  Lies selected for critique will share a common theme of being detrimental to progress.  The first lie on the chopping block is the lie of perfection. How strange would it be if a therapist treating depression told a client to never be sad again?  It would not be at all helpful to tell someone with a phobia of spiders to never encounter a spider again.  Substance use is the only area of mental health in which those being treated are burdened with demands of perfection.  Lifelong abstinence, or perfection, is the unjust measure of success in substance use.  Not only is basing success on perfection unreasonable, it is unethical. Someon...
    full story
  • The Antidote to Depression

    Posted on September 23, 2016
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Depression and substance use often co-exist.  Substance use is a common method of coping with depression.  Thus, abruptly stopping the use of substances can result in the intensification of underlying depression.  It is important to have a specific understanding of what your personal experience of depression is in order to overcome it. Depression is often understood to be a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain.  While this understanding is certainly true, it is only part of the story.  The problem with understanding depression solely as a chemical imbalance in the brain is that it reinforces feelings of helplessness – a cornerstone of depression.  The truth is, the antidote to depression is indeed something that we have a tremendous amount of pers...
    full story