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Metaphysics Meets Recovery By: Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Life Coach.

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1 Metaphysics Meets Recovery By: Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Life Coach

2 What you can expect today: Introduction: About me, my story What I do How I do it Metaphysics Meets Recovery: How the environment, the world and how we view them can have a powerful impact on recovery. Law of Sobriety Presentation How I fused together these powerful resources into a working therapeutic framework. Demonstration of how the Law of Sobriety is applied to the addicted population: Clips of Celebrity Rehab: Behind the scenes of Celebrity Rehab: How treating celebrities is a unique experience compared to treating the rest of the population. Questions and Answers

3 About me: I am a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy and maintains a private practice in Agoura, CA. I have over fifteen years of experience as a clinician, and I am a graduate of USC specializing in addictions, eating disorders, parenting, single parenting, divorce, and life coaching, and I am currently serving as a private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients. I also do a considerable amount of consulting for several high profile treatment centers and work with many high profile clients and celebrities. I lecture and give presentations at local and National conferences and to general audiences on numerous topics. I am a practical, interactive, solution-focused therapist. My treatment approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help clients resolve current problems and long- standing patterns. I incorporate a blend of conventional and alternatives approaches, drawing upon a variety of styles and techniques to formulate what will be most helpful for each client. I work with sensitivity and compassion with each client to help them build on their strengths to identify and achieve life goals.

4 And I am the Celebrity Life Coach and Psychotherapist on Celebrity Rehab 2, 3, 4 and 5 Sober House, and Celebrity Rehab's Sex Addiction with Dr. Drew on VH1

5 How watching a movie (“The Secret”) with my clients, helped to transform my life.

6 1# ASK #2 BELIEVE #3 RECEIVE How the “Law Of Attraction” has manifested in my life…

7 Metaphysics Meets Recovery: To understand this union we must first address the “addiction” component as it relates to the world of psychology and the metaphysical world. Addiction is locked in ones thinking/thoughts which is intrinsically tied into ones feelings/emotions, this is why the psychological therapeutic process is so important to the recovery process. The metaphysical aspect relates to the world around us, the energy we put out into that world and the energy we receive. I have had tremendous success by blending the unique attributes of psychological approaches and metaphysics. So much so that I have fused them together into a clinically sound and successful modality of treatment that has proven to have the potential to greatly increase the rate of positive treatment outcomes for anyone working with people struggling with addiction. I have published these principles in my book called “The Law of Sobriety”.

8 One of the most fundamental principals is; we are surrounded by an Infinite Intelligence. Because we are spiritual beings, we sense the presence of an Intelligence which is beyond what we see. The way we access universal energy is thru expanding our awareness, our consciousness which is done by mindfulness, meditation, affirmations, journaling, and awareness. Our infinite intelligence responds to us when we are true to its own nature. When we are in love, inspiration, joy, we are being our true self. Our thoughts are the engine and our emotions are the fuel. Our thoughts create our reality. Words, thoughts, and emotions create our energy and that is what is attracted back to us. What we are and to become depends on what we are thinking. The awareness inside us is the basis of all reality.

9 New age thinking is not new. Prana is a cosmic energy – the breath transforms us. Balanced Chi makes better health. Karma means action – our words and action create our karma. Judaism/Christianity – the power of faith brings about positive change. The Science of Mind – To live successfully, chose positive thoughts. Integrates spiritual truth and science/physics. Louise Hay – You Can Heal Your Life – Positive thoughts are a gateway to healing the body.

10 Deepak Chopra - the energetic force behind the LOA is the field of potentiality. This is where we reach our greatest selves, where our infinite wisdom lies. This is why numbing our feelings, using drugs and alcohol does not allow us to access this core aspect of ourselves. The Law of Sobriety has helpful tools at the end of each chapter that engage and empower the reader to begin the process of reaching our greatest selves.

11 Some of the tools that we use are: Journaling Silences the internal editor. No right or wrong way Write down whatever you are thinking. Be non-judgmental Releases emotions related to trauma Helps you access your dreams, hopes, and purpose Meditation Breathing, guided visualizations, non-judgmental, don’t push for anything, mediate on finding harmony in the universe and you may find your answers there. Positive Affirmations Statements that describe what you want to happen in your life that you repeat over and over again. Training the mind to stop bombarding yourself with negative emotions. It teaches your mind to accept positive ideas as truth. Ex: I will never find a job…. A new job is exactly what I allow now….Employers want to hire me

12 Here is how I fused together these powerful resources…. ”The Law of Sobriety”

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14 Here is the framework (along with the therapeutic dynamics) for successful use of the principles and tools that are the foundation of “The Law of Sobriety”:

15 The Components:  The Law of Attraction  Positive Psychology  Cognitive & Dialectical Behavioral Therapies These components are fused together to create a powerful client-centered approach to addiction treatment.

16 The principle of “The Law of Attraction” has been around for thousands of years, even before Plato came up with his “Law of Affinity” (like tends toward like or likes attract). It did not become a popular philosophy however until the early 1900’s when it became the foundational cornerstone of the New Thought Movement. The Law of Attraction

17 The Law of Attraction states: The reality of our life is related to the thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, that we put out into the universe. Thoughts are a form of energy, and the energy we project into the world is the energy we will receive or attract back into our lives.

18 We attract back to ourselves whatever we put out into the universe on two levels: 1. The energy of our emotions & 2. Energy of our thoughts

19 The Energy Of Our Emotions: If you are emanating joy, peace, and happiness, you will attract those emotions back to yourself. and If you are projecting fear, rage, and discontent, those are the emotions you will attract back.

20 The Energy Of Our Thoughts: When it comes to our thoughts, if you think you will never be able to achieve a goal then you never will achieve it. (for example: getting the job you want) But if you think you will get that great job, and you imagine yourself working there, eventually it will happen.

21 Practical Application: When we learn how to consciously control what we think, we are no longer controlled by our own negativity or by ideas about ourselves that come from other people. We can then raise the level of thought at which we attract happiness and serenity to ourselves.

22 You can view The Law of Attraction literally (and many people do), or You can see it as a metaphor for understanding how we can all get trapped in negative ways of thinking (and how much damage that can do in our lives) And then how changing our thinking can change our lives.

23  One idea inherent in the Law of Attraction is that people with a positive outlook tend to have happier lives, and psychologists agree.  In fact, there is a whole branch of psychology that is known as positive psychology.  Positive psychology is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive, and the types of psychological interventions that build happiness.  There is an International Positive Psychology Association, as well as positive psychology centers at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, and other universities that promote research, training, and education about positive psychology. Positive Psychology

24 Researchers in the field of positive psychology have found that the qualities recognized as character virtues and strengths seem to be fairly consistent throughout the world. The most commonly endorsed strengths that contribute to fulfillment (as reported in a 2005 American Psychology article by M. E. P. Seligman, et al.) are: Kindness Fairness Authenticity Gratitude Open-mindedness Emotional strengths such as: Zest Gratitude Hope Love are also more strongly associated with life satisfaction than are intellectual strengths. The article also reported that “Happy people are healthier, more successful, and more socially engaged.” In other words, people who are happy and filled with gratitude and love attract back to themselves health, success, and social camaraderie.

25 Positive Psychology espouses that when we are engaged in exercising our own virtues, we are happiest. When we make a conscious effort to put more energy into our strongest areas, we are happier, and when we strive to improve an area of weakness, it increases our happiness, as well. Here are some examples of virtues (from Marty Seligman’s 2003 book Learned Optimism) and ways to enhance these virtues:

26 Wisdom and Knowledge – Learning and applying insight i.e. artistic achievement, exploring and discovering experiences, embracing curiosity, thinking things through, not jumping to conclusions, have perspective. Ex: create a picture, submit a piece to a blog, brainstorm new ways to do things, Ex: Listen to speakers, lecturers, tele-seminars, ask questions and learn about their insights, discover new places, read a new book that you wouldn’t ordinarily pick up, go out with a new colleague that differs from you, get a quote a day online, interview someone wise and ask how they live. Courage – Accomplishing goals even when fears, insecurities, and obstacles are in the way. Bravery i.e. speaking up for what is right, Perseverance i.e. staying the course in spite of obstacles, embracing integrity, honesty, speaking the truth, enthusiasm i.e. approaching life with excitement and energy. Ex: speak publically, speak up for an unpopular idea you believe in, publically admit when you are wrong, notice when you inhibit yourself because you are afraid to speak, appreciate your genuineness at the end of the day, go out of your way to get more involved in an organization or volunteer work.

27 Love – Valuing close reciprocal relationships –kindness and generosity, social, personal and emotional intelligence – being aware of other’s motives and knowing how to be social acceptable in different situations. Ex: express love with a note, send an e-card, give a hug, when being loved, savor the moment, due an act of random kindness, try to see the virtues in others Justice – being loyal, farness i.e. treating all people the same, leadership i.e. encouraging a group to gets things done but at the same time good relations with them. Ex: pick up litter, volunteer, let someone speak without passing judgment, stay impartial in an argument. Temperance – Forgiveness, humility i.e. not regarding one’s self as more special than another, cautious i.e. not saying or doing things that might later be regretted Self-control – regulating one’s feelings and emotions. Ex: see things from another perspective, practice forgiveness, when someone does something you find un-comfortable, try to understand his/her intentions, give compliments freely, don’t gossip,

28 Transcendence – Noticing the beauty in nature, art, everyday experiences, gratitude, optimism i.e. expecting the best, playfulness, spirituality, sense of purpose – believing in a higher purpose and meaning of the universe. Ex: pick out moving music and listen with appreciation, keep a journal and write something that inspired you, keep a gratitude journal, say thank you more often, try to see the optimistic side of something difficult, review lessons of bad decisions you have made, visualize accomplishing your goals, think about the purpose of your life, pray, read a spiritual book, mediate or contemplate a virtue you hope to develop.

29 Some of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques that are used with this approach: Systematic Positive Reinforcement: The systematic positive reinforcement is one of the cognitive behavioral therapy techniques in which certain (positive) behaviors of a person are rewarded with a positive reinforcement. A reward system is established for the reinforcement of certain positive behaviors. Just like positive reinforcement helps in encouraging a particular behavior, withholding the reinforcement deliberately is useful in eradicating a maladaptive behavior. Writing in a Journal: It is the practice of maintaining a diary to keep an account of the situations that arise in day-to-day life. The thoughts which are associated with these situations and the behavior exhibited in response to them are also mentioned in the diary. The therapist along with the client reviews the diary/journal and finds out the maladaptive thought pattern and how do they actually affect the behavior of an individual.

30 Guided Discovery: The objective/purpose behind using this technique is to help the client and enable him understand his cognitive distortions. Modeling: It is one of the cognitive behavioral therapy techniques in which the therapists performs role-playing exercises which are aimed at responding in an appropriate way to overcome difficult situations. The client makes use of this behavior of the therapist as a model in order to solve the problems he comes across. Homework: The homework is actually a set of assignments given by therapists to clients. The client may have to take notes while a session is being conducted, review the audiotapes of a particular session or he may have to read article/books that are related to the therapy.

31 Some of the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy techniques that are used to help clients find their purpose with intention are: Clients learn to use specific skills that are broken down into four modules:  Core mindfulness skills  Interpersonal effectiveness skills  Emotion regulation skills  Distress tolerance skills

32 What is core mindfulness? Comes from Buddhist teachings. It is the balance between the logical mind and the emotional mind to become the wise mind. Addicts are distracted by their thoughts. The wise mind is a balance between an intuitive knowing while experiencing it logically. What are interpersonal skills? Addicts have un-realistic ideas of what others can do and tend to put others on a pedestal and then feel inadequate. Interpersonal skills are maximizing a person’s goals in specific situations while not damaging interpersonal relationships.

33 What are emotion regulation skills? Experiencing emotions without judging, blocking, distracting, pushing them away. Life is painful but don’t have to suffer. Suffering is secondary emotions that you attach to your pain. You are not your emotion. What are distress tolerance skills? The ability to tolerate and accept distress. You accept you are part of some cosmic process. You have reverence for it and you stoop resisting reality. What you resist what is, you are resisting the universe.

34 How do we fuse together all of these powerful concepts into one functional therapeutic framework? The answer is: “The Law of Sobriety”

35 This approach combines all of the effective and powerful techniques and philosophies we have just discussed. The concept consists of seven action steps that galvanize the resourcefulness that is unique and inherent in every client so they can achieve a life of meaning, purpose and value that is free from addiction. The steps are: 1. Find your purpose with intention 2. Live a life that is true to your values 3. Live a life of authenticity 4. Learn to live in appreciation, forgiveness, and compassion 5. Live a life of right action 6. Live with awareness and mindfulness 7. Learn to let go of resistance and attachments This unique blend of solution oriented approaches and philosophies have been fused together into a clinically sound and successful modality of treatment that has proven to have the potential to greatly increase the rate of positive treatment outcomes for the addiction treatment profession.

36  The Law of Sobriety takes the principles of the Law of Attraction and puts them to work for a specific purpose to help individuals recover from addiction (be it alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, eating disorders etc…).  The Law of Sobriety states that by taking certain action steps and applying conscious energy to these steps, a life of peace and serenity is possible.  The goal of the Law of Sobriety is to take actions in recovery that will not only bring sobriety, but will also promote a life that is purposeful and meaningful. Some Important Principles of The Law of Sobriety

37  The Law of Sobriety is about our clients living their lives on purpose, clean and sober, and mustering up all the energy they have to go after exactly what they want.  Our clients are not only going after sobriety, but they are also pursuing whatever it is that brings them joy.  Discovering their life’s purpose in sobriety may be the most important breakthrough they will ever make: it may even be one of the key elements that helps to save their lives.  That’s because deciding why they are here and what gives their life meaning, will help to keep them on track by enabling them to choose (maybe for the first time ever) where to put their energy. Some Important Principles of The Law of Sobriety

38 The First Action Step in The Law of Sobriety is: Finding Your Purpose with Intention  The Law of Sobriety is about living your life on purpose, clean and sober, and mustering up all the energy you have to go after exactly what you want.  You are not only going after sobriety, but are also pursuing whatever it is that brings you joy.  Discovering your life’s purpose in sobriety may be the most important breakthrough you will ever make: it may even save your life.  That’s because deciding why you are here and what gives your life meaning keeps you on track by enabling you to choose where to put your energy.

39 Living on purpose and with intention means living with focus and clarity, with self-determination and an insatiable appetite to be the best you can be. It’s about getting out of a negative mind-set, turning up the positive frequency, and going after what you most desire, starting with recovery.

40 The Second Action Step in The Law of Sobriety is: Living a Life that Is True to Your Values  The Law of Sobriety is about being more purposeful and less random, more powerful and less impotent.  It is based on the concept that if you are willing to put your energy into sobriety, that same energy will come back to you—and you will reap the rewards.  The Law of Sobriety is grounded in accountability for your actions. Your actions and the consequences of them are not the results of chance or luck, but rather are a direct result of the values you live by and believe in.

41  If you are not living a life that is true to your values, there is a good chance that you feel dissatisfied, depressed, angry, frustrated, and fearful.  If you are not living in alignment with your core values, you will have very little energy to pursue what you desire in your relationships, work, spiritual life, health and well- being, and, of course, recovery.  When your values align with your true essence, you are doing the things you are good at and truly enjoy.

42  We all have unique talents. When your gifts are manifested in your life, you will feel whole, complete, and fulfilled. It’s important to remember that not all gifts involve your career or a job. Your special talent may be fostering a happy family life, playing a musical instrument, writing, working in your garden, acting, speaking, being a volunteer, or something else that just “feels right” for you.  Your gift comes in a form that authentically expresses who you are. When you find it you will know it, and you must follow that knowing.  It will be what brings you the most inner peace, joy, freedom, and exhilaration. It will resonate from the values that you will be most proud of when you look back on your life.

43 The Third Action Step in The Law of Sobriety is: Living a Life of Authenticity  Authenticity is about being honest, especially with yourself, in everything you think, say, and do.  The Law of Sobriety states: “when you are living authentically, the energy of who you are on the inside will be expressed on the outside”.  Behaving in an authentic manner is the only way for your true self to emerge. If you have spent years lying and hiding from yourself, this may not be easy for you. What you need to remember is that not living a life of authenticity carries a very high cost, while living in your truth brings huge benefits.

44  When you are using drugs or alcohol, you get caught up in a vortex of lying to yourself and everyone around you.  In some situations, lying may seem easier than telling the truth. But hiding your truth makes you defensive, fearful, angry, shameful, and unwilling to change.  If you can escape the vortex of lying and access who you really are, the Law of Sobriety says you will awaken to your true nature.  No matter what the circumstances, you will be aligned with your true self. This is what it means to live a life of authenticity.

45 The Fourth Action Step in The Law of Sobriety is: Learning to Live in Appreciation, Forgiveness, and Compassion  Appreciation, forgiveness, and compassion are interrelated concepts.  To live in appreciation means living so that you fully appreciate your life.  The Law of Sobriety says you should begin appreciating the gifts of your sober life even if you haven’t fully achieved sobriety, because embracing positive change brings more positive change to you.  To live your life in appreciation, you must first learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes and forgive others who have caused you emotional pain. And forgiveness stems from compassion.  You cannot forgive until you develop a profound compassion for yourself and others, and understand that those who came into your life were put there for a reason—even if it was to teach you a painful lesson.

46 The Fifth Action Step in The Law of Sobriety is: Living a Life of Right Action  Living a life of right action means acting in accordance with who you are truly meant to be—not just doing what is right, but doing what is right for you. It means directing your energies toward what makes your heart sing.  To live a life of right action, it is imperative to ask yourself whether the choices you are making align with your goals or with someone else’s.  Addicts and alcoholics are often suffering from low self-esteem. It’s important to realize that until you raise your sense of self-worth, you will continue to attract negative results into your life.  The Law of Sobriety says you get what you expect to get. It is therefore vital to exercise your muscle of self-respect; when you respect yourself and the path you are on, you “expect” a better life—and you get it! You build your self-respect by following the path that is yours and yours alone.

47 The Sixth Action Step in The Law of Sobriety is: Living with Awareness and Mindfulness  Mindfulness means being aware only of the moment you are in, without thinking about the past or the future or getting caught up in opinions or judgments about what’s going on.  Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and without judgment.  Mindfulness provides a simple but powerful route for getting ourselves unstuck, and back in touch with our own wisdom and vitality.

48  Living mindfully on purpose is all about a life fully lived with each breath you take. Each moment is meaningful and joyful because you are being the authentic person you are meant to be.  All the choices and actions you take are done thoughtfully, with your values and goals at the forefront of your mind.  Living mindfully on purpose enables you to live in gratitude each and every moment in whatever way the moment unfolds.  The energy of mindfulness emerges when you stop grasping for whatever you think you don’t have and accept what you do have right now, in this very moment.

49 The Seventh Action Step in The Law of Sobriety is: Learning to Let Go of Resistance and Attachments  The final step of the Law of Sobriety is learning how to let go of your attachment to the idea that your life ought to be a certain way, and to let go of resistance to who you really are.  When you live with the Law of Sobriety as your guidepost, you are able to deal with whatever is in front of you because you are not attached to having things turn out exactly as you imagined them.  When you let go of the way you believe things are supposed to be, you free yourself from negativity—the perpetual disappointment, doubt, and frustration that come when things don’t turn out as you thought they would.  When you let go of your attachment to a false sense of who you are and what your life should be, you invite positive energy into your life.

50  What does it mean to resist the reality of who you are? If you continue believing that the next time you use drugs or drink the outcome will be different, you are refusing to accept the part of your true self that cannot control your alcohol or drug use. Instead, you are embracing a false self that does not embody your authentic nature.  Acknowledging the reality of your disease is not a prison sentence, but rather a personal truth.  The Law of Sobriety works best when you recognize your true self. Making the shift from wanting things to be different to being honest with yourself about how things truly are enables you to take actions that are constructive and energizing.  Only when you make that shift can you attract all you desire in life.

51 Questions and Answers

52 Thank You For Your Time and Attention


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