The Two Pillars of Recovery® Presentations

The Two Pillars of Recovery® Presentations

I often present the metaphor of the two pillars of recovery to patients during their treatment for addiction—in both group and individual sessions—as a tool to help them understand and remember the actions that are essential to maintain sobriety.  My teaching aids with patients are usually just a whiteboard and the nearest piece of furniture with two sets of legs.

Thinking in terms of the two pillars of recovery also helps hospital staff and other healthcare professionals who treat addiction to understand what their patients are up against and what those patients must learn and do in order to succeed.  So I also regularly give talks to professionals.  My teaching aids with professionals usually expand to include PowerPoint.

You may review the PowerPoint presentations from three recent talks by clicking on the links below.

ppt How Nature Works

  • Like gravity, addiction never takes time off
  • Addictive substances alter the instinctual part of the brain
  • What you think may not matter
  • Where you are and who you are with may matter very much

ppt Bare Essentials

  • Because you can’t trust yourself, Keep Your Distance!
  • Because you can’t recover alone, Ask for Help!

ppt Promoting Patient Responsibility

  • Take responsibility or take nature’s consequences
  • Honesty is more important than image
  • Respecting autonomy and exploring consequences helps patients change

Each of these talks has similar learning objectives.  After participating, I expect all present to be able to:

  • Explain how addiction and recovery are subject to the laws of nature (cause and effect)
  • Give an example of how lower centers of the nervous system can, and routinely do, act independently of higher centers of the central nervous system
  • Describe in general terms how repeated use of addictive substances changes peoples’ brains and behavior so that they can no longer trust themselves to be around the substances
  • Describe in general terms why humans need to cultivate positive interpersonal relationships with other humans to enhance resilience and become better able to adapt to the requirements of addiction recovery.