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Anyone use Rational Recovery???

Old 06-24-2014, 01:21 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
Not pertaining directly to the quote you provided, but to the AVRT approach in general, I found it instrumental to differentiate between my addiction and my self. Before recognizing this difference I knew I needed to stop drinking, but I also had a seemingly endless compulsion to drink. I didn't understand this constant battle in my head and that lack of understanding increased my anxiety and perpetuated the problem. AVRT/RR offers a simplified version of what is really going on in an addicted person's brain. I like 8-syllable words and additional detail so I did additional research, but not everyone wants or needs the long version of the game plan: When addicted, a part of the brain over which we have no direct control in terms of its particular function (the Beast), compels us to seek our substance of choice. Our superior frontal cortex (the Self), wherein lies our reasoning, inhibitions, logic, decision-making, etc., needs to recognize that compulsion for what it is, and refuse to act on it. This made eminent sense to me on a personal level.

Follow up questions

You mentioned you did research, and it is true the structure of the brain and its processes in addictive behavior are available to read and are not that difficult to understand, however I am wondering where or which scientific research you found that talks about the brain as you suggested as a kind of Hierarchy of systems. Where in the science does it talk about a SUPERIOR frontal Cortex and especially where is it described as "self". These ideas of 'beast' and 'self' from my research, misinterpret the ideas of brian function and in particular Neuroplasticity. One of the main points which is pointed out by David Linden in his book the Accidental Mind is that most people in pop culture misunderstand how the brain functions. Yes our brain can be looked at through a evolutional biological lens showing certain areas developed first (in evolutionary terms) however the brains functionality is better seen as a whole.

It is important for me to try and understand the attitudinal ideas behind AVRT, what are the beliefs behind the "divide and conquer" approach suggested in the technique.
Why is it important for me? Because I have been doing versions of mindfulness practice now for many years, and I enjoy reading others experiences and agree with most of what is discussed on SR, however I cant understand how rational free thinking people make sense of Rational Recovery.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:11 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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I read several clinical/research papers available on the internet, but never bookmarked any of them, so I am unable to provide those specific resources. I found them using Google, so it shouldn't be difficult to find them. There is a video called Pleasure Unwoven by Dr. Kevin McCauley that also does a good job of explaining brain processes as they pertain to addiction. It was available on YouTube when I watched it, but I believe it has been removed and is now only available for a fee.

I refer to the frontal cortex as superior because it can override the desires created by the actions of the (pleasure-seeking) nucleus accumbens/amygdala/hippocampus in the mid-brain. I want to drink, I want to feel up the hot chick, I want to throw my stapler at my boss - but my frontal cortex is able to override those desires. It has top down control over my actions.

All of my memories, learning, logic, reasoning, morals, inhibitions, decisions, etc. are contained in the frontal cortex. Those are all the things that make me who I am. I haven't encountered any research to suggest that my self resides anywhere in the brain except the frontal cortex.

I have been reading quite a bit about the hierarchy of mental systems recently, but in relation to investment mistakes that are made based on emotional responses vice rational thinking. I saw many parallels to addiction, however. I thought a book titled Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them did a fair job of outlining the hierarchy of mental processes.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:30 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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The Willpower Instinct is a good resource describing the difference between pre-frontal cortex activity and midbrain activity. It is more of an applied science book rather than a theoretical science book. There are hundreds of footnotes in it to the actual studies backing it up.

Zen and the Brain is another book that gives excellent detail on how the different parts of the brain interact. It is an applied science book and it tries to come up with a scientific explanation for how meditation works. It does go into painstaking detail about the different interactions between the components of the brain. I just took a look at it and the footnote references run from pages 712 - 824. The majority of those are references to research publications, and many of those are on this topic.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:25 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Thanks

Great Materials, Folks, and I appreciate the direction you're taking this Thread. It's been JUST a few years since I hit these Topics at University. I might find the time, after moving f/t to this Solar Retirement House I designed and built, to revisit these Topics.

Without any hint of Black Humor intended, it interests me what a MRI would indicate about my, or any, Brain re: which areas I baked 'the most' while Drinking. It intuitively seems unlikely that all Functional areas mentioned above were baked 'equally', so to speak. I did develop some serious 'Shakes', but those went away with B Vitamin ingestion, as did Neuropathy symptoms. I understand those Symptoms likely were Muscular/Neural, but it begs the question if some Brain areas are affected by Ethanol first/primarily. I don't know that I'd ever spring $$$$ for such a MRI to find out, however. At this point, it is what it is.

Any thoughts on this? It would not surprise me at all that what I'm asking about is well Researched. My House Design/Build efforts have kept me focused on other things, like Solar heating Radiant Floors and maximizing returns on Super-Insulation.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:56 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Research...

3 Simple Steps to Manage Lizard Brain & Turn Team Conflict into Consensus | Leadership Training & Executive Coaching Programs Supporting Sustainable Leadership Strategies
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:55 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by samseb5351 View Post
Follow up questions


It is important for me to try and understand the attitudinal ideas behind AVRT, what are the beliefs behind the "divide and conquer" approach suggested in the technique.
Why is it important for me? Because I have been doing versions of mindfulness practice now for many years, and I enjoy reading others experiences and agree with most of what is discussed on SR, however I cant understand how rational free thinking people make sense of Rational Recovery.
Metaphorically?
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:57 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
 
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Samseb, one doesn't need to completely understand exactly how each part of the brain functions to be able to apply AVRT. By Trimpey's own admission, it's a very simplified model of how the brain works. The key for me was the split, because much like the Buddhist approached to dealing with hindrances, AVRT teaches the split as a technique enabling one to become the observer of the desire or craving, to stand at a distance and not act on it, but rather watch it come, watch it go.

For me, the purpose of the approach is not to actually believe there is a beast, or to think I'm literally of two separate minds, but rather a technique (the T in AVRT) for stopping a behavior. It's actually an age old technique. Trimpey tweaked this approach based on what he learned from the self-recovered population.

To the OP, yes I'd say it's been effective for a great many people. What that number is, I have no idea. And personally I'd say Trimpey is a bit of a weirdo, but I don't see him as "anti AA" just to be a big meanie pants. He very sincerely believes that there are flaws in popular recoveryism that keep people addicted. Since he believes this is a serious problem, it's not so shocking to me that he would speak passionately against it.

But hey, it's a book. It's not going to open itself and position itself in front of anyone's eyeballs. Trimpey himself says no one need avail themselves of the technique if they don't want to.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:14 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I'ma gonna go fictional here.

Two guy's standing in the line at the meat and three buffet of the local grocery store at lunch. The guy in front queues up and orders fried chicken, mac n' cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, peach pie. Two rolls, sweet tea.

The second orders the baked fish, greens, and beans. water to drink.

They are both me.

But, it's not always about food. It's about the hindbrain, the animal brain controlling the entirety of you.

Your pleasure center and your reason center argue. You decide...DECIDE...which one wins.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:05 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Yes, that's it exactly. We decide, we choose to quit drinking, and underpinning that is the fact that we MAY choose. When you understand that's how it works, you are on your way. Take a look around the forums here, and you will see many who believe that they are unable to choose. This is one of Trimpey's beefs with recoveryism.

Meanwhile, back at the RR Ranch, you have the ability to quit drinking, and you can choose to do so. You are here because consuming alcohol is messing you up. Believing these things, what does a rational person do?
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:56 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
Yes, that's it exactly. We decide, we choose to quit drinking, and underpinning that is the fact that we MAY choose. When you understand that's how it works, you are on your way. Take a look around the forums here, and you will see many who believe that they are unable to choose. This is one of Trimpey's beefs with recoveryism. Meanwhile, back at the RR Ranch, you have the ability to quit drinking, and you can choose to do so. You are here because consuming alcohol is messing you up. Believing these things, what does a rational person do?
Freshstart, have you been able to maintain your sobriety with RR? Thx! :-)

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Old 06-25-2014, 06:05 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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After drinking for 35 years, I quit drinking once, on August 21, 2011. 'Maintaining sobriety' isn't really a thing anymore because I made my 'final decision', my Big Plan. I do not drink, and I won't ever change that, no matter what. No maintenance required.
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:49 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
 
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What do you mean by maintain, serenidad? RR and AVRT are not programs that you must continually "work" per se, in order to stay abstinent. Quitting is seen as an event, not a long(and especially not a lifelong) process.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:33 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
What do you mean by maintain, serenidad? RR and AVRT are not programs that you must continually "work" per se, in order to stay abstinent. Quitting is seen as an event, not a long(and especially not a lifelong) process.
While not part of RR, many of us have also found that giving our brains a workout using mindfulness, CBT, spirituality, meditation, ACT, etc. has benefits that enhance life. Things I never did find searching in that bottle started showing up in abundance when I put my mind to it.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:50 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by nonsensical
While not part of RR, many of us have also found that giving our brains a workout using mindfulness, CBT, spirituality, meditation, ACT, etc. has benefits that enhance life.
Of course! I agree 100%. I am engaged in a ton of things that enhance my life. Every day I give my body and mind a workout in one form or another. I run, I belly dance, I bake, I make soap from scratch, I read on SR, I read a new article on Buddhism, I enjoy good relationships with my children, my extended family, my friends. I'm always teaching myself some new hobby, refining the hobbies I already love, or reading up on subjects that interest me: mindfulness, fearlessness in the Buddhist sense, the most recent research on autism, newest soapmaking techniques, the refashionista blog on upcycling, and on and on and on...

My point is, my abstinence from substances in not contingent on any of that. Quitting is quitting, the rest is simply living well.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:54 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
My point is, my abstinence from substances in not contingent on any of that. Quitting is quitting, the rest is simply living well.
I know.
You know that I know.
I know that you know that I know.
Freststart57 knows, and we know that he knows it.
We are a knowledgeable bunch.

I wasn't sure that everyone knew, so I thought I would add a little extra.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:58 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
 
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Lol
"I know you are, but what am I?!?!"
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:29 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
Yes, that's it exactly. We decide, we choose to quit drinking, and underpinning that is the fact that we MAY choose. When you understand that's how it works, you are on your way. Take a look around the forums here, and you will see many who believe that they are unable to choose. This is one of Trimpey's beefs with recoveryism.

Meanwhile, back at the RR Ranch, you have the ability to quit drinking, and you can choose to do so. You are here because consuming alcohol is messing you up. Believing these things, what does a rational person do?
At first it seemed unbelievable to me that it was this simple.........but it was! I was relieved that I didn't have to carry around the yoke of "addiction" for the rest of my life. I didn't have to debase myself at the altar of powerlessness. I didn't have to tear down my "self" and rebuild it according to someone else's interpretation of how I should live.
Honestly, had I been exposed to these techniques years ago I might have saved myself much heartache, frustration and failure.

I have quarantined my AV and that nasty virus is NEVER getting out again!
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:06 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Samseb, one doesn't need to completely understand exactly how each part of the brain functions to be able to apply AVRT. By Trimpey's own admission, it's a very simplified model of how the brain works. The key for me was the split, because much like the Buddhist approached to dealing with hindrances, AVRT teaches the split as a technique enabling one to become the observer of the desire or craving, to stand at a distance and not act on it, but rather watch it come, watch it go.

For me, the purpose of the approach is not to actually believe there is a beast, or to think I'm literally of two separate minds, but rather a technique (the T in AVRT) for stopping a behavior. It's actually an age old technique. Trimpey tweaked this approach based on what he learned from the self-recovered population.
Samseb, Soberlicious expressed it better than I would have. Usually, I'm all about understanding the details behind a technique, but I just accepted that AVRT would work. I was a little biased though because long before I heard of AVRT, I had used something similar to quit smoking. So when I was exposed to AVRT, I had a bit of an ah-hah moment, and thought, "I vaguely recognize this, and I know this does work".
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:10 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
After drinking for 35 years, I quit drinking once, on August 21, 2011. 'Maintaining sobriety' isn't really a thing anymore because I made my 'final decision', my Big Plan. I do not drink, and I won't ever change that, no matter what. No maintenance required.
Wow! That's awesome Freshstart! Any tips for me as I start down the RR road? Tips in how to deal with cravings? Thx!

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Old 06-25-2014, 01:29 PM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Not answering for freshstart but if you're worried about withdrawal and cravings go see your doctor.
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