Monday, March 03, 2014
Once again, Mr. Richardson is published!! Four of his articles can be found in the new publication from Michigan State University Press. His topics range from family life with incarcerated parents to prison relationships to The Convict Vote.
Check out his work and this great new reference!!!
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Learning to live From inner life.
In codependency the locus of control is external. We cut off all contact with the painful in life and cling to external cues to tell us that we are okay and what to do next. In recovery need to begin to make contact with our inner world of emotions, pain, regret, happiness, and all of those things that make up what goes on inside of us. We've lost touch with that. If we can gain contact with this in our lives then we can make more meaningful, healthy relationships with others. This is an essential aspect of making recovery go more smoothly.
Learning to tolerate emotional pain.
Building upon what we just discussed, a large part of codependency is running from emotional pain. Just as the alcoholic or addict uses a substance to emotional pain, the codependent individual runs from the emotional pain through other people. It is at this point we need to get in touch with this pain and learn to tolerate it. This means being present to the emotional pain and allowing your inner world to surface to the top. In this way we can start to open up in therapy and groups and allow the healing process to begin.
Learning to set healthy boundaries.
A large part of codependency is based upon unhealthy boundaries. We become enmeshed in other people and their lives. We do this to such a large extent that their lives crowd out any needs that we have whatsoever as a codependent people. To allow our true selves to develop, we need to separate ourselves from other people through healthy boundaries. Without creating healthy boundaries, we can never recover.
Getting our needs met.
For many codependents, they have absolutely no idea what their needs are. They only live to meet the needs of other people due to their codependency. Therefore it is crucial in recovery to begin to understand what our needs are as human beings. By understanding what are physical, emotional, and psychological needs are, we can begin to meet these needs and become home, thereby giving ourselves completely to recovery and moving towards healthy relationships with other people.
Working through our core issues.
For many people, there are core issues which hold back healthy productive personal growth. These core issues very from fear of abandonment to all or nothing thinking. They stem from personal trauma as children in dysfunctional family relationships. This is where many people develop their codependency and this is where they have to start when it comes to the recovery process.
(based upon Charles Whitfield's theory of Codependency)
Thursday, February 13, 2014
THE 12 STEPS OF CODEPENDENCY RECOVERY EXPLAINED........
COREY RICHARDSON, MPAS, LCASA
The first step says "we admitted we were powerless over others and that our lives had become unmanageable." For the codependent this is a very important and necessary step. It's counter-intuitive because the one thing in recovery we wish codependents to do is assume power and control over their lives. But we cannot change the past and we cannot change the fact that we are codependent. Therefore we are powerless over that and we must therefore accept that reality of our lives today . It is this acceptance that allows us to move into recovery.
The second step says that "we came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." This Power greater than ourselves can be a higher power as in the God of our understanding or it may be something as in a codependent group or possibly the 12 step program. It is important to believe that past failures as individuals with regard to codependency can now be overcome in recovery through some other mechanism greater than what we have used so far as individuals.
The third step says that "we made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God." Again this is counter-intuitive to codependency recovery because previously allowing others to control us caused us much pain. This step is very important because it is based upon trust. Previously our trust in other people and other things failed us and we were hurt because of it. At this point we need to trust the right people and trust in the recovery process as a positive thing as we move towards healing.
The fourth step says that "we made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." This is a very important step as we move toward honesty in self reflection about our lives and ourselves as individuals. Many of us have believed the wrong things about ourselves and have had these beliefs supported by people who were very unhealthy influences in our lives. It is during this step that we are able to address our codependency issues. These will be our core recovery issues as we move through the rest of the 12 steps.
The fifth step states that "we admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." It is in this step that we not only learn to trust another human being but we begin the process of healthy communications with people and we move away from the irrational thoughts and perceptions about ourselves and our lives as we begin to listen to caring, objective people who support our recovery.
The sixth and seventh steps state that "we were entirely ready to have God remove all of these defects of character," and "humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings." This is not a self deprecating process but is honest reflection of whom we are and the necessary commitment to the recovery process. Just as it is with alcohol and drug addiction, the codependent is reluctant to let go of her codependency.
Steps eight and nine require making amends. They state "we made a list of all people we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all," and "made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except to do so would injure them or others." It is first and foremost a willingness to recover and move toward health and well-being - evaluated our past and working toward recovery is woven into this step. It is important to take an honest look at the people we have harmed as part of the healing process, and be willing to make amends when appropriate. A sponsor is very important in this process so that these two steps can be a healthy part of recovery and not a continuation of our codependent behavior.
Step 10 states that "we continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong probably admitted it". This allows us to take our recovery into our daily lives and live according to the principles we have learned so far. It is easy to slip back into codependent behavior and therefore this step allows us to stay the path of recovery.
The 11th step states that "we sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out." This allows us to be reflective about our lives and to begin to experience our lives in a healthy meaningful way. It is in this way that we allowed ourselves to gain balance and direction in recovery.
The 12th step says that "having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and the practice these principles in all of our affairs." This step acknowledges that we've gained an awareness about ourselves and our codependency. That we have now gained insight and balance in our lives and have been able to incorporate the principles of recovery into daily living. Now we not only live healthy lives but it allows us to bring recovery to other people. We're not trying to save other codependents, but we are trying to bring them the tools necessary so that they can save themselves from their codependency through the 12 steps of recovery. It is very important aspect of continuing to heal ourselves as we present our recovery to others suffering from codependency.
Please add your input on these 12 steps and how they relate to recovery!!! THANKS!!!
Friday, February 07, 2014
P = A + R
Some feel confused and lost within codependency. This is how this equation works toward RECOVERY.
Awareness (A) is how I am gaining insight into this disorder and how it effects my relationships. Awareness changes my thinking. But knowledge alone is NOT enough.
It takes ACTION through personality Responsibility (R). Action moves me from old codependent behaviors. New behaviors equals new relationships and a new life.
Thereby I have gained the Power (P) which I did not have while suffering from Codependency.
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It is easy to see how some of these characteristics of the true self can lead to healthy relationships and balance in our lives.
1. Seeing love in other people it changes our perspective completely and allows us to be more forgiving and caring. It also allows us to be more accepting of other people just as they are. And in doing so we begin to love and accept ourselves just as we are.
2. In taking responsibility for our own shortcomings and suffering, we begin to take personal responsibility and by doing so claim our personal power and begin our journey away from codependency. It is this responsibility that is extremely important been recovery from codependency.
3. Much of our co dependency stems from shame, guilt, hurt, anger, and resentment. By addressing these issues within our lives, we begin to see what the cause is and we can begin to forgive ourselves and others. Much of the pain caused by these issues forces us to act in very codependent ways as a coping mechanism. Through forgiveness we can claim our personal power and take responsibility for our own happiness.
4. Much of our co dependency may stem from fear of abandonment and therefore we cling to other people for fear that they will leave us. A perception that love is limited and therefore we must attempt to capture and hold it from other people may cause us much of this fear of abandonment. To begin to appreciate an abundance of love, allows us to lose much of our fear.
5. The perception that we are complete just as we are is very important in the treatment of codependency. Very often a codependent people feel that they are not worthwhile and this low self esteem is demonstrated in their relationships. If they began to perceive if they are perfect just as they are, that they have nothing that is lacking, and that they are good enough, they begin to act that way in all their relationships. It is just low self esteem that drives codependency and therefore positive self esteem is necessary for the treatment of codependency.
Keep the conversation going.......
What are some other traits???
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Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Corey Richardson today gave a talk to the Dept of Social Services in Catawba County about substance use disorder screening, assessment, intervention, and treatment. He offered an overview of numerous screening tools which can be used in a clinical setting by a patient's primary care provider. Also, he offered some insight into comprehensive outpatient substance use treatment, including various modalities such as Motivational Intervention and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, as well as Medication Assisted Treatment with Suboxone. It was a lively discussion and well-received by AccessCare nurse case managers, local doctors, local healthcare administrators, etc.
Posted by Corey Richardson at 2:27 PM
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