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Confused by RR and the AVRT

Old 04-03-2014, 02:08 AM
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Confused by RR and the AVRT

One of the most fulfilling and rich parts of my life (and recovery) today is practicing critical thinking and healthy skepticism. I am almost 50 and only just have started to see how interesting and rich life can be seeking and discovering what is and isn't real.
On the basis of critical thinking and questioning I am getting stuck on what I am reading about rational recovery, maybe some of the people on Secular Connections can answer a few questions. I am really not prepared to dismiss RR outright without a thorough investigation, so far I have only been reading the website stuff and I will get the book if that is whats recommended. Most criticisms of RR I read are from AA but I cant identify there as I don't like AA (12 steps)

1) whats the science behind rational recovery?

2) when the AVRT is mentioned is that just a framework of identifying how we self justify or is it considered a separate entity to "self"?

3) Why call it a "beast" it looks like a word to describe something horrid and animal like, a word to create a target for self willed attacks, am I missing something here?

I look forward to seeing some first hand input

Thank you
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:27 AM
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Likely the book can best answer those questions. Your library might have a copy if you don't want to fork over the cash. Good luck.
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:19 AM
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Get the book on Amazon for cheap. Worth the read. May answer some questions but not all. I need to give it a second read myself. To me the whole thing seems too simple. If it were that easy to just turn off the light with addition I would. It's hard to think rational when in the grips of an addiction/beast. But yeah. Some great tools in recognizing your AV and what to do about it.
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:40 AM
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1) The science is based on the stimulation alcohol provides to the dopamine production center in the mid-brain. There's not a lot of hard science in the book, but that's what it's based on.

2) Pass

3) The dopamine production center in the mid-brain is (relatively) common among vertebrates. This is extrapolated to mean that addiction is centered in the 'animal' part of our brain. I don't recall it being directly addressed, but 'Beast' tends to be useful to remind practitioners that a) it is animal in nature and can be tamed/dominated by a human, b) it is separate, and c) to demonize.

My $0.02
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:35 AM
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AVRT is, as the last letter indicates, a technique.
a technique for recognizing and then rationally dealing with the "voice".
it is a tool.
personally, and no it's not what you asked about: i didn't really have problems identifying the AV and it's irrationality, nor was it difficult to counter the non-sensical "arguments" it threw my way.
in the end, i was repeatedly left with the irrational aspects of returning to drinking against my better knowledge.
calling it "beast" helped me at the beginning of my sobriety, and yeah, it helped by the separating it out from "myself", but that only lasted/worked a little while, as eventually i couldn't continue with this split; there's one me only and "the voice" is also me.
which is not in line with RR as i understand it.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:02 AM
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1) whats the science behind rational recovery?

Cognitive behavioral or emotional therapy technique as I understand it.

2&3) when the AVRT is mentioned is that just a framework of identifying how we self justify or is it considered a separate entity to "self"?

While I understand the beast concept it never worked for me. To me, I understood my addictive behavior as a protective mechanism not an evil beast. My mind is craving something it cannot achieve naturally so its calling out for me to pacify, as a protection mechanism. To me this is more in response to my ego or false self vs. a reptilian brain function. This is perhaps where RR and I were unable to make a fit - not a cut just my experience. Many others have had great success with this.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:33 AM
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Thanks so much for all your input.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:37 PM
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After 9 months of CBT I didn't find many parallels with RR. In a nutshell, RR says just stop doing it. CBT says learn to do something more constructive.

In my experience, another more popular recovery method seems to have more in common with CBT than RR does.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
After 9 months of CBT I didn't find many parallels with RR. In a nutshell, RR says just stop doing it. CBT says learn to do something more constructive.

In my experience, another more popular recovery method seems to have more in common with CBT than RR does.
CBT works for me.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:22 PM
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never mind
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
After 9 months of CBT I didn't find many parallels with RR. In a nutshell, RR says just stop doing it. CBT says learn to do something more constructive. In my experience, another more popular recovery method seems to have more in common with CBT than RR does.
Guys...is there a good website or book you would recommend on CBT?
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Arbor8 View Post
Guys...is there a good website or book you would recommend on CBT?
Start with wiki, there's a lot of good links there on the CBT page.

Cognitive behavioral therapy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:34 PM
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SMART, or Self Management and Recovery Training, focuses on a CBT approach to sobriety. I found that many of the mental hygiene tools of CBT and SMART were helpful in keeping me on an even keel through the ups and downs of daily life. I know that RR says you don't 'need' anything other than yourself and who you are to become and stay sober, and believing otherwise is to doubt yourself and your ability to be sober. I still think that adding more tools to the kit to make things as easy as possible is a good idea.
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:47 AM
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RR focuses on diminishing the Beast.
CBT focuses on enhancing the Beauty (the Beast Tamer).
For me they work quite well together.

My CBT counselor (with whom I have made great strides) recommended a book called Thoughts and Feelings. I bought it but still haven't read it.
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
I still think that adding more tools to the kit to make things as easy as possible is a good idea.
Agreed. I'm learning and taking in all forms of recovery. No right or wrong here. Something's gotta stick eventually. Thanks for this Freshstart.
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:39 AM
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Avrt

Science isn't required. Excessive drinking is not a disease, so scientific/therapeutic approaches aren't required.

AVRT is a decision-making process taught via a series of lessons and written material. The material teaches people to separate their urges from their bodies.

You don't smash the pie case in the grocery store when you are hungry. You don't act on sudden sexual urges in public. Drinking is no more than a similar bodily urge. AVRT teaches people to recognize that.

The lessons teach a form of self-talk that is useful in responding to the urge to drink. That urge is called the "addictive voice." It is housed in the primal brain, termed "the Beast."

The Beast is dumb and easily silenced with the self-talk and decision making process taught by RR.

If you object to the lower brain being called Beast, that is a sign that you don't recognize the immorality of your drinking.

Yes, immorality. RR teaches that recovery is a self-help effort, alone. That drinking to excess is immoral, not a disease and not because your mommy didn't love you enough or because they teased you too much in junior high.

The lesson plans and decision making process easily lead people to realize the immorality of their continued drunkeness. But it isn't for people who don't believe in self help, who want to involve strangers in their drama or who can't face the truth about themselves without a lot of excuse making and panel discussion.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:59 AM
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Greenwood, I enjoyed reading that, and most who are sober through their own decision making would agree with you. I certainly have arrived at many of these opinions and conclusions for myself. I try not to extend this understanding to others cause it tends to be perceived with an emotional response, a defense followed immediately by an attack.

So, for me, I try to make it clear that when I state these ideas, I state them just for me. (see what I just did there?). You might find this works for you too.

My backstory is easily read here on these pages, so I am curious about you- how did you come to arrive at this position?
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:52 AM
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Easy there big fella, I'm on your side. Philosophically anyway. Did you miss the part where I said I agree with you? I apologize if I seemed patronizing, just sharing what works for me regarding SR.

Anyway, I'm still interested in what you have to say. I'd like to know more about how came to RR, if you are sharing.
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Greenwood618 View Post
See what I just did there?
Undermined your credibility with a senseless ad hominem attack.
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Old 04-05-2014, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
Undermined your credibility with a senseless ad hominem attack.
Yes, perhaps that's true. I am sorry, please accept my apology.

In any case, why don't we leave ourselves out of it and attempt to help the original poster understand RR and AVRT?

I have no interest in any of the other topics raised in response to my original post, and I am sure no one else does either.
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