The Freedom Model for Addictions - 2
Starting this second thread so that we can keep the conversation about this new model going.
Let's try and keep the balloon in the air a little longer this time by discussing our thoughts about what we've read about the model or from other people's posts, and how what we've learnt relates to our personal experience.
I've brought the resource links across from the original thread for convenience:
The Preface and Chapters 1 and 2 of the Freedom Model book:
Extracts from each of the Chapters:
The Freedom Model Chapters
An article on the core principle of the model:
In The Freedom Model, happiness is the central motivator of change, but you don't need to be happy to solve your substance use problem. - The Clean Slate Addiction Site
Good I'm glad the discussion is going to continue. Any method or ideology that boasts a 62.5% success rate should be being talked about on here!
All statistics need to be interpreted of course and I think the best interpretation for this one is that if it gives encouragement.
If I can give ask any favours here as the OP, I really don't want to see this figure being compared with those for other models or the integrity of the third-party company that did the research being questioned.
This model has already helped me and I believe it will help others. I'm sure we all want to see that because we all take the time to write what we hope are helpful posts so let's try and represent this approach to others from positive, personal experience.
No-one wins an argument. In contrast, everyone wins from discussion.
So, 5/8ths remain abstinent “long term” and 3/8ths drink/drug some more after first choosing abstinence to be their happiest state of mind. Doesn’t that just mean that the 3/8ths reevaluated their happiness and decided they would be happier drinking again, and they’re still working a good Freedom Model program?
From my perspective it seems impossible to fail at this program.
I don't know what any of the graduates' first choices were nor whether any subsequently re-evaluated this.
As I said, I'd like to move on to a discussion from personal knowledge and experience if that's OK.
Please, don’t hijack this thread, GerandTwine and Greenwood. I too stopped drinking forever via RR/AVRT, but there must be other models to be discussed and explored, as rational people, surely? As AlericB said, this thread isn’t designed for comparisons, just experience.
Could I ask as the OP that we let Tatsy have the last word on this and no-one else responds to this.
I believe a lot of people will benefit from our shared experience on this thread but I also think it will be closed unless we show restraint.
I had never heard of this method; that's an interesting approach.
As far as I am concerned, anything which can help even one person who is struggling and too shy to join and post here is worth discussing.
I hope the thread will remain open.
I wish I'd said that :) Your "even one person" outweighs my "a lot of people", Spock notwithstanding!
The Positive Drive Principle (PDP)
The authors say that one of the key ideas of the model is the Positive Drive Principle, or PDP for short, and they define it simply as a drive to pursue happiness.
They say this about the PDP in the book:
We consider the following observation to be self-evident: every single person, in everything they do, is just trying to achieve/maintain a happy existence.
As simple as that statement is, it's turned out to be the most important insight we've had over the past three decades of running our retreats. It's important for understanding heavy substance use habits, and it's important for making changes in substance use habits. We call it the Positive Drive Principle or PDP for short, and define it simply as a drive to pursue happiness. We definitely aren't the first to make this observation. Great thinkers over the ages have noted it frequently.
In more personal terms perhaps they they also describe it like this:
From our beginnings of helping people almost 30 years ago, our approach has had a single defining theme in the pursuit of happiness. We have shown people that if they can develop the conviction that a change to their substance use habits will produce greater happiness, then they will happily, easily, and permanently change their habits for the better. They will get “unstuck” and move on. That is the natural way of personal change.
I would like to share this. Just to briefly outline the problem I was having, when I quit drinking my main reason was to save my marriage. I was in the throws of divorce brought about as a direct consequence of my unreasonable behaviour when drinking and I fully accepted this at the time.
I wanted to save my marriage and promised my partner that I'd stop drinking if she'd have me back. She agreed and so I quit. Now I really don't want to sound like I'm whinging but I want to be honest so here goes. Up until recently I've always felt not entirely happy in my abstinence. I was confident that I would stay quit because I believe the tenet that abstinence should not be contingent on any other factors. If my abstinence was dependent on me feeling happy then it would be very precarious indeed. If I thought this then any unhappy occurrence could send me back to drinking and, tbh, on one occasion, it did. Just to briefly describe this unhappiness over quitting, it was a feeling of loss and some resentment that I was committed to doing something that I didn't really want to do. I wanted to save my marriage but not to quit.
So when I was reading about the PDP I thought, is this right? I felt securely abstinent but not all that happy about it so was I going wrong somewhere and doing something that I could change? According to the PDP, my decision to quit was led by the pursuit of happiness but I didn't feel that at all.
This is turning into a longer post than I thought so I'll be as quick as I can. I looked at my sense of resentment that in some ways I felt coerced into quitting. Now was that true? When I looked at it directly I realised that it wasn't. It was actually my decision - no-one can make my decisions for me and it was freely made. So was it made in the pursuit of happiness then? Again, when I thought about it in the light of the PDP I saw that it was. I freely choose the happiness I wanted from my marriage over the happiness I got from drinking and every moment since I was also choosing my marriage over drink. I was free at any time to start drinking again if I wanted to if I chose to value that over my relationship. So what was the happiness I had been feeling all this time then? Again, when I looked at it in the light of the PDP, I realised that it was just illusionary. It certainly felt real and it was real in a way but not in the sense that it existed in an independent kind of way that I couldn't do anything about. It was dependent on the beliefs I had about quitting. I saw it as a deprivation and as something forced on me by circumstances. But by looking at my initial decision and my subsequent experience of quitting as all being done in the pursuit of happiness, these unhappy feelings dissolved away and I don't feel them any more. It's actually quite hard to remember them even though it's only been a week or so :)
AlericB, I’m just a little muddled though.....probably haven’t drank enough coffee to activate my brain cell, but in the following extract:
“So what was the happiness I had been feeling all this time then? Again, when I looked at it in the light of the PDP, I realised that it was just illusionary. It certainly felt real and it was real in a way but not in the sense that it existed in an independent kind of way that I couldn't do anything about. It was dependent on the beliefs I had about quitting.”
Is this happiness felt when drinking, or should it be unhappiness felt at stopping drinking?
I was wondering who was going to be first to spot my deliberate mistake. Well done Tatsy :)
It should say unhappiness - the unhappiness felt at stopping drinking. Sorry for the confusion.
Reading the links from the OP, the best part of their approach, imo, is their stance against recoveryism and the disease model.
They tout their rate, which seems as though they mean the current Method, only to find out their rate incorporates people who attended their program going back decades when their method was modeled more on a step and self improvement approach. Ironically this buttresses the claim that no 'method' is necessary given their rates stay consistent regardless their content. And also the logic that says that people who voluntarily agree to or seek out treatment have made a conscious effort to change their pursuit of intoxication behaviors.
Their participants seem to be younger people in the aggregate and their over all approach or view of success is to be happy with behavior geared toward the pursuit of intoxication and not necessarily the abolition thereof.
On his blog Slate states he is a successfully happy moderate user. The impression i get from all of this is that the only reason I too can not be a happy moderate user is.. well truthfully I'm not sure what I'm missing other than more drinks, I'm happy without but maybe I'd be happier with some moderate level use ?
From all that I've gathered, that would be pretty much everyone who has posted so far, including the OP.
If reading about something counts as personal knowledge, then I had read enough about it and read many of the "reviews" from various sources to have very good knowledge of the program and what it entails.
I do agree that the "disease model" is the absolute worst idea ever created - it's made a lot of people rich. But for this organization to claim a 62% success rate is ludicrous (based on what I've read from independent sources). I myself make the best chili in the world, just ask me. Their "independent" review is actually not "independent" at all.
I'm not saying that people are not helped by this business. But I'm really curious as to why someone wants to exclude others from the "discussion" surrounding it. I understand wanting to promote something, but to attempt to monopolize the "discussion" on the subject and only wanting to hear the positive responses to it, it loses any credence it may have had.
This is an open forum. If one doesn't like or agree with other views, they just can't take their ball and go home. And that's what I'm kind of getting the feeling is happening here.
If you do a little research on its founders, you may see what spawned this idea in the first place. It is basically someone throwing their hat into the ring of the rehab industry with an alternative approach to cater to the 'anti' 12 step crowd . It is touted as CBT, but it is actually not, among other things. But, it can and does help people, and that's the bottom line. What may work for some may not work for others. It's hit or miss much of the time. And some approaches can actually cause more harm than good.
If a person is "ready" and is open to an idea (any idea), that person will succeed. Every single person who got sober wanted to get sober and would have gotten sober reading a Dr Seuss book dedicated to the subject. 'I will not drink I think. I think because I will not drink.'
The "happiness" aspect of it and the planning to improve your life is all well and good. But as I've always said, if you cannot stay sober, your plan just went to...
I'm British, and I can't help that :), so I'm an Empericist by tradition and believe that all knowledge comes from experience. And personal knowledge and experience includes reading of course.
My copy of the book arrived today. It's longer and denser than I was expecting. It seems to be a deprogramming, demystifying, information based book, more about guiding people towards making an informed choice about what to do about their substance use. The method seems to be about making a decision and then believing in yourself. Even if the decision is to moderate, they say you have to actually want to moderate, not just say you do so you can actually drink or do it all. It seems that their message is, You were always in control and doing what you wanted to do and will continue to do what you want to do until you decide to want something else, and then you will do that. They help you want something else.
Wow, are you a speed reader BJ? That's exactly what it's saying!
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