What Counselors Say About Recovering From Addiction

Counseling can play an integral part for someone recovering from substance use disorder. However, many counselors will tell you that a treatment plan should include more than just going to counseling once a week. Counseling can be a great resource for people in recovery because the counselors are an objective third party for the addict or alcoholic.

“We’re really opening the portal of inner dialogue,” said Lindsey Stanley, a co-owner of Prime Counseling. “We help people with addictions normalize and identify thoughts that are part of being a human.”

That normalization takes a lot of work. With addiction, it is not enough to just tell someone about your feelings. You actually have to do work to stay sober. What helps most people is doing work that challenges you while having faith.

But for an alcoholic or addict, just going to church once a week or talking to a counselor is not enough.

Lindsey works with people seeking recovery from alcohol use disorders, substance use disorders, and sexual addiction. She takes a collaborative and transparent approach to care.

Generally though, someone who is in active addiction has a problem with inner dialogue and they focus more on external factors.

The goal is to help clients recognize their thoughts. Often this is something addicts and alcoholics do not do well.

“Our thoughts are something you should notice but they are not who you are,” Lindsey said.

Chris Shanks, a counselor in Austin who helped Renewal Lodge launch its mindfulness training, said that this fundamental knowledge of not being your thoughts is transformative.

The nature of the mind is that it can make you feel emotions even if they are not true. The brain at rest creates tens of thousands of thoughts and often brings an illusion to our thinking.

“We really help you swap negative narratives with a positive narrative about yourself,” Chris said.

Chris said that with so many thoughts, often his clients and others get lost in thinking that they are their thoughts.

“But we are the listener,” he said.

Renewal Lodge serves people who struggle with addiction, co-occurring disorders, and find themselves ready to accept help. Our specialists focus on meditation and holistic practices to help build a better recovery for you. We include your family and meet you where you are emotionally and spiritually to support your journey of healing.

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Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness
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