The Dynamics of Addictions in Human Systems

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Louis D. Cox, Ph.D & Laura C. Snyder, CSW
International Neuroscience and Addiction Conference
2009

Published in: Health & Medicine
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  • TITLE
  • LOUOur goal for you:[CLICK]A clearer understanding of the patient you are talking to, when your patient is not the addict,but a member of a pre-existing system, a family with an active addictive process occurring within it.[CLICK]the forces that patient is dealing with, [CLICK]the role your patient plays within the family, andwhat helps your patient and the family system.[CLICK]
  • LOUWhen an addictive process enters a family system, it acts like a virus, unrecognized by the system, gradually growing and spreading its effects within and throughout the system.The system becomes more and more compromised as a whole. A whole system can become an addict and have a collective addiction (cults, financial institutions, rock and then roll bands).Or a member of a system can become an addict and impact the whole system (families, teams).We will be focusing on the impact of a family member becoming addicted on the family system as a whole.
  • LOUOne of the unique things about this mental and emotional virus is that, as it is busy invading the system, it is simultaneously busy ‘fooling’ the family’s systemic immune system into thinking that the invasion is not addiction but something else.There are any number of ‘disguises’ it uses to operate undercover.
  • LOU[CLICK] OnceALL Reasons build and populate slide.after: the right way to say it:[CLICK] to forward to next slide.
  • LOU… the list goes on.
  • LOUAs long as everyone in system is fooled (i.e., blames the bad things happening to them on something else), the impact of the virus keeps mounting. One of the consequences of this ‘fooling’ is that the family member who shows up in your office asking for help does not identify the virus, addiction, as the problem. Even though by the time they show up in your office, the virus has deeply affected the system. So you could be fooled too … we all can. [PLAY VIDEO]
  • LAURALaura’s presentation on the family system; shortened version, with emphasis on family roles.
  • LAURA[CLICK] to build each bullet.
  • LAURA
  • LOU / LAURAFamily systems who have very little or no ability to do the above have compromised systemic immune systems.Hand out Questionnaire
  • LOU / LAURAWe are handing out a list of questions designed to give you an assessment of the status of the family’s immune system.These questions will surface how the family communicates as well as healthy and unhealthy systemic operating principles or rules.They will also surface to what degree the system is capable of fooling itself about the presence of an addiction.
  • LOU / LAURA
  • LOU / LAURA
  • LOU / LAURA
  • LOU / LAURA[HAND OUT QUESTIONNAIRE]
  • The Dynamics of Addictions in Human Systems

    1. 1. The Dynamics of Addictions in Human Systems Louis D. Cox, Ph.D & Laura C. Snyder, CSW International Neuroscience and Addiction Conference 2009
    2. 2. Our goal for you … Increase your knowledge and methods to assess:  the forces impacting your patient  the role your (non-addict) patient plays within the family  what will help your patient and the family system as a whole 2
    3. 3. Addiction = Systemic Virus
    4. 4. Fooling the Immune System
    5. 5. HATEFULNESS ECCENTRIC / CREATIVE BAD PARENTING MADNESS IRRESPONSIBILITY / IMMATURITY SELF-DESTRUCTIVENESS It’s not addiction, he/she drinks/drugs because … LACK OF CONTROL / WEAK WILL NOT TRYING HARD ENOUGH LOVE OF A GOOD TIME SELFISHNESS POVERTY NOT HAVING FOUND: SUBCULTURE THE RIGHT THING TO SAY - SEX - ROCK & ROLL - LACK OF or COLLEGE - BUSINESS THE RIGHT WAY TO SAY IT MORALS BAD LUCK NOT BEING A GOOD ENOUGH PARENT OR FRIEND LOW SELF-ESTEEM STUPIDITY NOT ENOUGH LOVE
    6. 6. It’s not addiction, he/she drinks/drugs because … …the list goes on.
    7. 7. SEEKING HELP: Who asks? When? For What?
    8. 8. Impact of Addiction on a Family System
    9. 9. Family Roles  The Addict: “ I want what I want when I want it.”  Chief Enabler: “ I will fix it.”  Hero: “ I can handle anything and succeed.”  Scapegoat: “ I’ ll show you; I don’ t care what I say.”  Lost Child: “ I’ ll be invisible; I don’ t need anyone.”  Mascot: “ Let me entertain you.” 9
    10. 10. Powerlessness and Shame in Impacted Family Systems
    11. 11. A Healthy Family Immune System The family’s immune system to this kind of stealth virus lies in its ability to avoid getting caught in shaming/blaming, to talk honestly with each other, to listen to and be curious about each other’s perspectives on the problem, to admit ignorance, to listen to and respect the wisdom in their feelings, to problem solve together, and to seek help when they are powerless to mend themselves. 11
    12. 12. Questionnaire to Assess the Family Immune System
    13. 13. Actions That Help  Education/strengthening of self  Alanon/ACOA/CODA  Boundaries/limits  Understanding and releasing guilt/shame 13
    14. 14. Intervention and Treatment  Johnson Model  Systemic Model  Treatment Options 14
    15. 15. Resources for Family Members and Family Systems  Books / articles / lectures / online  Treatment Centers – 5 day progs; family progs  Cox/Snyder – 58 East 79th Street NYC 10075 USA 212.717.6997 www.egomechanics.com drloucox@egomechanics.com 15
    16. 16. Thank You

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