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-   -   The Freedom Model for Addictions - 2 (https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/secular-exploration-different-recovery-methods/424808-freedom-model-addictions-2-a.html)

AlericB 03-12-2018 09:08 AM

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:
https://reader.paperc.com/books/The-...08/ch005_xhtml

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

Wholesome 03-12-2018 09:28 AM

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!

AlericB 03-12-2018 10:15 AM

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.

GerandTwine 03-12-2018 12:35 PM

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.

AlericB 03-12-2018 12:41 PM

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.

Greenwood618 03-12-2018 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlericB (Post 6819927)
I'd like to move on to a discussion from personal knowledge and experience.

You sure do have a lot of conditions on your discussions, just like the Freedom Model has on abstinence.

Tatsy 03-12-2018 12:53 PM

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.

GerandTwine 03-12-2018 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlericB (Post 6819927)
As I said, I'd like to move on to a discussion from personal knowledge and experience if that's OK.

Sorry, I was going off what you said in the OP quoted here:

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlericB (Post 6819616)
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 ...

I guess I don’t understand what you’re talking about.

AlericB 03-12-2018 12:57 PM

Thanks Tatsy.

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.

Carlotta 03-12-2018 03:33 PM

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.

AlericB 03-12-2018 04:13 PM

I wish I'd said that :) Your "even one person" outweighs my "a lot of people", Spock notwithstanding!

AlericB 03-13-2018 03:09 AM

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 :)

Tatsy 03-13-2018 04:23 AM

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?

AlericB 03-13-2018 04:28 AM

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.

dwtbd 03-13-2018 11:53 AM

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 ?

LBrain 03-13-2018 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlericB (Post 6819927)
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.

So am I to understand that unless anyone has actually used this (personal knowledge)method to get sober, they are to be excluded from this discussion?

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...

andyh 03-13-2018 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LBrain (Post 6821241)
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.

from my point of view, negative, constructive, criticism is welcome, just not "this is rubbish because it isn't <poster's-preferred-method>"

AlericB 03-13-2018 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LBrain (Post 6821241)
So am I to understand that unless anyone has actually used this (personal knowledge)method to get sober, they are to be excluded from this discussion?

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.

No one is excluded from this discussion. I was just hoping that we could keep the focus on learning about this model. I was also hoping to avoid pointless arguments.

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.

Wholesome 03-13-2018 12:42 PM

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.

AlericB 03-13-2018 12:47 PM

Wow, are you a speed reader BJ? That's exactly what it's saying!

Tatsy 03-13-2018 12:54 PM

I’ve just started reading my downloaded book, nearly 9 hours estimate: ............more will be revealed.

Wholesome 03-13-2018 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlericB (Post 6821294)
Wow, are you a speed reader BJ? That's exactly what it's saying!


More of a skim reader lol

AlericB 03-13-2018 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tatsy (Post 6821307)
I’ve just started reading my downloaded book, nearly 9 hours estimate: ............more will be revealed.

The price of being open-minded Tatsy. Otherwise you could do it in a couple of minutes, easy!

AlericB 03-15-2018 02:34 AM

Just going back to the PDP, it sounds odd to say that we drink in the pursuit of happiness knowing that from past experience the consequences are likely to be anything but. What really motivated me when I used to carry on drinking knowing that I was making my partner unhappy or that I wouldn't be really be fit for work the following day?

I guess the inconvenient truth is that when I was deciding whether to have another drink or not I did not always, or even usually, make the rational choice. Most of the time I wanted the short-term benefits of relaxation or stress-relief more than I wanted the long-term benefits of a healthier and more fulfilling life and I choose accordingly. Occasionally I may have made the right choice - I never drove over the limit for example - and so I believe I always had the power to choose. I just usually chose not to use it.

AlericB 03-15-2018 02:09 PM

Thought I'd share this article written by someone who describes how the Freedom Model and especially the PDP helped him overcome his drug and drink problem and how it benefitted his life generally. It's a fabulous piece and I think really shows just how well the model matches people's needs.

The link: https://www.daimanuel.com/2016/08/30...freedom-model/

AlericB 03-17-2018 06:39 AM

Craving
 
The book makes an interesting point about cravings which is that cravin isn't something that happens to you and you passively experience them, but rather you actively crave because it's something that you choose to do.

It says that the issue is distorted by the language we use. If we say "I want a drink" it's easy to see that that's a choice we're making whereas if we say "I crave a drink" it suggests that there is some force out there called a craving that has somehow 'got' us and that we need to resist in some way.

This way of looking at it is seeing the craving as an activity that we choose to do rather than a thing or a force. If you think "I want a drink" then you'll feel a craving and if you think "I need a drink right now" you'll experience a stronger craving.

If says that you can get rid of craving by changing your perception of drinking and seeing that you heavy way you used to do is no longer something that you wish to continue. If you do that then you won't experience craving because you simply won't be having thoughts like "I really need a drink right now" again.

How does the model say that you can change your perception of drinking so that you don't get anymore thoughts like ³hat you need to drink right now? It's by no longer believing in the myth of powerful cravings but knowing that you're free to challenge that thought by asking yourself "Do I really want to drink right now?"

So, it says that craving is just thoughts like "I'd like a drink" or "I need a drink" and you're free to think differently. It isn't something that just happens to you, it's something you actively do.

AlericB 03-17-2018 07:11 AM

Apologies for the appalling typos above. No excuses!

dwtbd 03-17-2018 08:41 AM

Heavy use?
It really seems from your reporting , perhaps it is just your reporting of the model and not specifically the model itself, it just seems that continued use isn’t an issue, that part and parcel of the model is its ambivalence toward use.

Does the model speak at all to the experience of intoxication? Why it is appealing , or does it just take for granted that it is of course appealing , that the sensation is pleasurable?
I understand being happy about being rid of the consequences of over or heavy use, but I haven’t yet heard an explanation, from this model, about how the absence of the pleasure of intoxication is reconciled.

AlericB 03-17-2018 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwtbd (Post 6826006)
Heavy use?
It really seems from your reporting , perhaps it is just your reporting of the model and not specifically the model itself, it just seems that continued use isn’t an issue, that part and parcel of the model is its ambivalence toward use.

It isn't ambivalent towards use. It's an educational tool not a prescriptive program and tries to help people make informed choices about their own substance use habits. It says that you should do whatever offers you the greatest level of happiness and helps you to figure out what that is. Without getting into the statistics, most people who have gone on their retreat and learnt the model decide that they want to quit and are long-term successful. Others decide that they want to moderate, whether successfully or not I don't know - the statistics do not include this category in the published success rate quoted above - and unsurprisingly some decide to continue with their heavy substance use.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwtbd (Post 6826006)
Heavy use?
Does the model speak at all to the experience of intoxication? Why it is appealing , or does it just take for granted that it is of course appealing , that the sensation is pleasurable?

I assume it addresses this because Chapter 20 is entitled "Pleasure"! I haven't got that far yet so I can't answer your question but the in the little I have read it does say that alcohol does not contain pleasure in the way an apple contains nutrients. Pleasure isn't a quality that exists within things - it's more subjective than that. That seems right - I didn't find that drinking gave me "pleasure" in any meaningful sense around the time I decided to quit.

dwtbd 03-17-2018 10:21 AM

They do explicitly state that their model has no proscription on individual use, yes?
That is obviously rhetorical, in that that subject has been covered in this and related threads. This model explicitly states that addiction is nonexistent and therefore is in no way a method for cessation of a non entity.
My question is why the mods allow its discussion and consequent promotion on a site intended to promote abstinence.


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