Do You Need to Dumb it Down in Treatment?
One of the things that’s common in some therapeutic communities, when it comes to recovery is telling people to dump it down. And I understand what they mean, but I don’t like it. Because I like to think.
If you learn to reason well, which is not about coming to the conclusion that I had before I started reasoning, that you’re actually trying to figure out the truth of the situation. That has been an incredible asset.
Recovery is cognitive
In my recovery, in many ways, a lot of my recovery was cognitive. It was an intellectual endeavor. I was trying to reason whether or not this made sense to do. Now reason alone won’t do it.
I have to have some foundation, some axiom there. And my axioms are to live is better than to die and to be healthy is better than to be sick. I don’t know why that is. I can’t tell you why that is. It’s a choice that I make. It’s the foundation for the rest of my reasoning.
Once I start there I could build up reasons to get clean, that makes sense to me, reasons to do things I don’t want to do, reasons that I can transcend my ego desires.
A part of what I do when I work with people, is I try to harness that.
If you ask questions, and you’d like to learn, instead of telling people like, “Hey, dump it down. Don’t think. Just show up.”
You can actually harness that asset that people have and use it.
Now, the reason why people don’t like it is because people have the capacity to reason their way into what they want. But just means you’re not reasoning, good enough, well enough. It doesn’t mean don’t use your reason. It means use your reason better. Right? And that’s a huge part of recovery.
If you know, I need to make reasonable decisions to have a healthy life and if I don’t know how to think well, I can’t do it and there are techniques and ways to think well.
They don’t teach you that in school. You memorize a lot of facts in order to figure out how am I supposed to be in my relationship with this person when I’m in a moral conflict between using drugs and my parents, you know, coming into town next weekend. How do I weigh those competing claims and come to a decision, you know. We don’t teach people how to do that, but we can.
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