Counseling Objectives and Relapse Prevention

  1. Is there a certain sequence of events that you follow?
  2. Is there certain routines that are associated with your addiction?
  3. Can you identify a list of drinking or drug using partners?
  4. Can you appreciate the power of habit or how powerful these rituals can be and how they can actually be stronger than willpower?
  5. Can you see how preoccupation with drinking will be no match for personal will power in one of these slippery situations?
  6. First, you need to identify slippery situations
  7. Second, change, people, places, things, and routines associated with your addiction if you hope to sustain be sober or clean.
  8. How can you develop:
  9. a new social network--a new group of sober or clean friends?
  10. things to do and places to go instead of drinking or doing drugs?
  11. Where did you spend most of your time with your addiction?
  12. Where will you spend your time in the future?
  13. Include places that are associated with a variety of activities with a variety of sober and clean people.
    1. Example: Going to church and becoming involved in its functions.
    2. Exercise/gym (YMCA)
    3. Pursue hobbies or interests...bowling leagues, etc.
    4. Use the library for books, music, or videos.
  14. Generally relapse can happen for a lot of reasons the most commonly it happens when one is:
Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired or HALT


Helpful Sayings and Slogans

Easy Does It

First Things First

One Day at a Time

Let Go Let God

Turn It Over


Hungry and Tired

  1. A state of exhaustion is an invitation drink or use.
  2. A body in poor physical condition will get tired more quickly than one that is being taken care of
  3. How much sleep should you have on an average?
  4. Is this adequate? The average adult needs eight hours rest. Any more ore less usually leaves the body tired and sluggish.
  5. What changes, if any, should you make with regard to rest?
  6. What is your state of health? Are you capable of some form of regular exercise in the interest of gaining energy?
  7. Avoid excessive hunger.
  8. Regular meals are encouraged.
  9. You are encouraged to use light healthy snacks to avoid getting too hungry.
  10. Do you have cravings for something sweet?
  11. How can you satisfy this need, healthfully?
  12. Anxiety has many sources.
  13. One form of anxiety concerns making decisions or knowing what to do and feeling right about it.
  14. Much of the spirituality is directed at relieving the sense of confusion and anxiety associated with being alone, of having no one or no faith to rely on.
  15. The "serenity prayer" addresses feelings of isolation and confusion:


  1. Study it out in your mind.
  2. Make a decision as to what choice you want to take.
  3. Ask your Higher Power if your decision is the right one for you, at this time.
  4. If you feel a sweet calm or get a sense that what you have asked is good or right, you have gotten a "yes" answer from your Higher Power. Follow through on your decision.
  5. If you feel confused or tend to forget what you are asking, you have just received a "No" answer. If this is the case Ask your Higher Power to help you select the correct choice. Rethink your choices and repeat step 3.


1. Anger that causes anxiety drives the addict to drink or use in order to cover these feelings up.
  1. Resentment, comes from unexpressed or denied anger
  2. Resentments must be confronted and let go in favor of more effective ways of dealing with anger in the present.
  3. How can you express anger better, to avoid building up stores of resentments in the future?
  4. Identify sources of resentment:
  5. What do you do in these situations versus what you used to do?
  6. There is little difference between unexpressed anger you have at the moment and stuffing it and resentment in which you hold on to anger over things that have happened in the past. Examples: Someone breaking your favorite vase and you saying its all right (stuffing it). Someone continually taking advantage of you (holding on to past resentment).
  7. Both types fester and canker your feeling and thoughts.
  8. Both poison your system and ruin future health both mentally and physically.
  9. What can you do to keep either of these types of anger from happening to you in the future?
  10. What can you do to get rid of such anger from the past?
  11. What would stop the patient from expressing anger in the future?
  12. Should you deal with your anger immediately on the spot or take time to figure out why you are angry.
  13. Has this anger incident dredged up old festering anger that has not been dealt with?
  14. Does the amount and intensity of your anger really match the incident at hand?
  15. When you are angry are there times that you cannot figure out how to deal with it?
  16. Are there times that doing anything would only make things worse?
  17. How do you deal with this type of anger? Can you discuss it with your Higher Power?
  18. There will be times when the only best way to deal with your anger is to Turn It Over to your Higher Power.
  19. Make a commitment to express your anger honestly and deal with it as soon as possible in the best possible manner.
Denial This is denying there was or loss or minimizing the importance of what was lost. This includes denying its importance.

Anger The breakdown of denial and the natural reaction to loss.

Bargaining Attempting to replace the lost thing with something else without acknowledging its loss.

Sadness The true expression of undenied loss. Sadness that is dwelt upon for long lengths of time could be depression and may need professional help to overcome.

Acceptance This comes slowly, only as denial breaks down and the individual feels able to come to terms with the reality of loss or limitation and is ready to move on.

  1. Write a "good-bye letter" to your companion, alcohol or drugs.
  2. Write in your journal about losses that you have not adequately acknowledged and grieved, including losses in each of these areas:
    1. Relationships (people, pets, things or goals
    2. Self-esteem or self worth
  3. Dependency on alcohol or drugs needs to be conceptualized as a relationship that must be broken and grieved in order to recover.
The Moral Inventory
Goals of the Moral Inventory

1. Honestly admit and talk about the wrongs and errors you have committed as a result of your addiction.

· Jealousy · Greed · Selfishness · Impulsiveness · Grandiosity · Arrogance · Self-pity · Meanness · Resentment
2. Balance recognition of wrongs done with equal recognition of positive aspects about yourself.
· Generosity · Heroism · Charity · Sharing

· Altruism · Kindness · Humility · Love · Compassion

Making Amends


The Twelve Step Program


To write me:

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Annette Nay Homepage

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