Serenity Prayer – Acceptance Therapy
Acceptance Therapy by Simon and Paul
Accepting being an addict is the first important step to recovery and healing, which also means accepting having a brain disease according to the experts. The solution usually requires an unconditional surrender to an alternative way of life. The old behaviour and attitudes needs to give way to a new spiritualy based philosophy.
“The lack of self-acceptance is a problem for many recovering addicts” NA
Accepting difficult situations helps us stay calm and therefore we can stay clean and sober. Not getting what you want is something addicts find challenging so at Hope we set a treatment task in order that clients learn the value of acceptance.
Things not going their way is also something that addicts find difficult to accept so not getting angry helps stay clean and sober. Control causes frustration and expectations leads to disappointment. Anger and disappointment are common triggers to use. Stress in a the number one trigger. Resistance causes stress. We say reduce stress at all costs.
“Many of us believed that using drugs was our only problem”NA
At Hope Rehab we use CBT types of distortions to help identify and dispute distorted thinking, irrational resistance that stresses us, instead we use positive affirmations to help accept the here and now.
- I cant stand-it-titus
- I must have it
- Fallacy of fairness
Self Acceptance in Recovery
Self Acceptance helps us achieve happiness so a balance of changing what you are ready and able to change, together with accepting the rest, even if you don’t particularly like the rest, is going to help. Importance of Acceptance in Recovery cannot be emphasized enough
“Even after we stop using, this denial can continue to plague us. Many of the problems we experience in ongoing recovery stem from an inability to accept ourselves on a deep level” NA
How to Develop Acceptance
Acceptance is a mental attitude that can be developed by saying an affirmation or prayer….
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
the courage to change the things I can change
and wisdom to know the difference”
What we can change and what we can’t change – Knowing the difference comes with time in recovery, after a while we are aware of what is worth changing and what can wait. As time passes we are ready to change more and more as the benefits are so great.
Flag of surrender – Acceptance therapy
Acceptance-Action as opposed to wishing it were different
The opposite of acceptance is resistance >>
Resistance causes stress >>
Stress causes pain >>
Addicts medicate pain >>
Acceptance takes practice – remember we always have an option, so its up to you which choice you make
Acceptance is an essential tool for those in recovering from addiction
Think of examples of something you cannot change that you don’t like?
- The weather
- The economy
- Other cultures
- Our genes
- Our childhood
- Our past mistakes
Worrying about things we cannot change is unhealthy because;
- It means unnecessary stress that make us sick.
- We waste time we could use to fix the things we can change.
- It means we feel helpless.
- It can be an excuse to drink or use drugs.
Write down 3 things you find difficult to accept but are not able to change….
How to decide if Acceptance is Needed;
- Identify steps needed to fix a problem?
- Decide if other people could help you fix the problem (e.g. a therapist)
- Decide if you can realistically take the steps needed to fix the problem
- If you can’t identify a way to fix things, the only option is acceptance
Example: “jon’s train is late” John has an interview for a new job. The only way to get to the office where the interview is taking place is to go by train. He gets to the train station on time, but the train arrives an hour late. He is not going to get to the interview on time, and he feels very anxious.
How to use “acceptance therapy”
- Identify the problem? The train is late.
- Identify any steps to fix the problem? There is nothing John can do to stop the train being late
- Decide if other people could help fix the problem. There is nobody John can talk to that can make the train come on time.
- Decide if you can realistically take steps needed to fix the problem. There are no steps identified
- If you can’t identify a way to fix things, the only option is ACCEPTANCE
Once we accept that there is nothing we can do to change a situation? It can be like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders!
Mindfulness and Acceptance therapy