By Simon Mott
These reflection questions for addicts are an exercise that will help you visualise how the future could be if your problems were no longer present. You can also use it to establish your goals.
Take a leap of faith and focus on what you want to become and how you will get there. This exercise helps you to stop thinking about past difficulties and focus only on what you want to be. It takes you out of the problem and into the solution.
Are you sitting comfortably? Allow your breathing to slow and relax, let your mind wander where my words take you:
You are the expert and it is your goals that are important.
Focus on what can be done or changed.
Imagine and create your own future.
Let go ofthe history of the problem.
Decide what you want, and visualize it clearly.
This will start to motivate you too achieve your goals.
What are the first things you notice? Calm surroundings, feeling healthy
What do you (and others) notice around you? Sunshine, etc.
Where are you? On a beach, at home, …
Who else could be with you? Loved ones, friends, family, …
What do you see? Bright colours, …
What do you smell? Flowers, fresh air, food,…
What do you hear? Laughter, familiar voices, …
What do you feel inside yourself? Joy, peace, …
How are you different? Relaxed, excited, happy, …
Think about those questions for a while.
Next ask yourself: What would the other people in my life, see, hear, and notice, that was different? Think about each of the people in your life: What is going through their mind as they deal with the new you? What would they think about your behaviour, attitude, and values in your new life? Now I want you to think back in time… look into your memories:
When have you had these positive feelings before?
When has this experience happened in the past?
What was different about you then then?
What were you doing or thinking differently at that time?
What would need to happen to do this again?
How could you cope with your challenges effectively?
Are there times when you expected to use… but remembered something that helped you calm down?
What keeps you going?
Who or what is your greatest support?
What do they do that is helpful?
What could you do?
What advice would you give to someone else who has similar problems?
Scaling questions range from “the worst the problem has ever been” (zero or one) to “the best things could ever possibly be” (ten).
Exception Seeking Questions: There are always times when the problem is less severe or absent for the client. The counselor seeks to encourage the client to describe what different circumstances exist in that case, or what the client did differently. The goal is for the client to repeat what has worked in the past, and to help them gain confidence in making improvements for the future.
Coping questions are designed to elicit information about client resources that will have gone unnoticed by them. “I can see that things have been really difficult for you, yet I am struck by the fact that, even so, you manage to get up each morning and do everything necessary to get the kids off to school. How do you do that?” Genuine curiosity and admiration can help to highlight strengths.
Problem-free talk can be a useful technique for identifying resources to help the person relax, or be more assertive, also gather information on the client’s values and beliefs and their strengths.
Resume your normal tasks, go through the rest of your day. The following day, think about how you acted when you assumed that miracle had happened, and how many things you actually did that were part of the miracle. Then imagine your life after the miracle in even more detail. Repeat the Miracle Questions for addicts exercise every day until the miracle has happened.