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OCD Treatment with CBT and ERP
Stellar Response to Integrative Harm Reduction Workshops at the Inaugural NASW Addictions Institute Conference in New York, New York
U.S. finally admits to research findings that prove cannabinoids kills cancer cells.
Smart Recovery, Charlie Sheen and CRAFT
Alternatives When 12 Step Support Groups Cause Harm to a Member of the Fellowship

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"It's time to stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole in addiction treatment."
OCD Treatment with CBT and ERP
A New Trend: Smoking Alcohol
How PTSD Therapy Works
"Inpatient Rehab for Addictions: Is It Worth It and Does It Comply With the Affordable Care Act?"

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Articles, News and Blog

"Is Ketamine Infusion a Safe, Effective Treatment Alternative to Combat Depression?"



At low, sustained dosage, Ketamine Infusion is said to be more effective for those who have been unsuccessful with more conventional anti-depressant medications.



"In New York City, Dr. Glen Brooks has been working with Ketamine Infusion Depression Treatment for many years and founded NY Ketamine Infusions.  According to Brooks, "Ketamine has a well established history as a general anesthetic agent. Recent advances have proven Ketamine to have additional benefits as a treatment for chronic pain and depression. Subanesthetic doses are often effective when other treatments have been less successful."

Located in downtown Manhattan, NY Ketamine Infusions, LLC is a private outpatient practice. We serve patients by appointment only. Please call anytime during office hours at 917-261-7370 to schedule an appointment, or for more information.

Glen Z. Brooks, MD. is a has dedicated himself to the treatment of depression and neuropathic pain syndromes with Ketamine Infusion Therapy. A Board Certified Anesthesiologist, he completed his residency and pain fellowship training at Harvard’s Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston Hospital for Women and Boston Children’s Hospital. He has been a faculty member at Yale University School of Medicine, Chairman of Anesthesia at Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan and is a member of The American Society of Anesthesiologists, The New York State Society of Anesthesiologists and The American Academy of Pain Medicine. If you or a loved one is suffering from disabling chronic pain or depression that has not been well controlled by other treatment, Dr. Brooks may be able to help."

http://nyketamine.com/pain/about-us/

At the Ketamine Treatment Centers of Princeton Dr. Steven Levine’s training is as a psychiatrist who is a therapist first, medicine prescriber second. However, he has expertise in pharmacology, particularly in the treatment of “tough-to-treat” mood disorders.


Dissatisfied with the options available that take a long time to work and cause unacceptable side effects, he was looking for a better option. As the research on ketamine for depression progressed, but was not available outside the research setting, he began to ask, “why aren’t we using this yet?”

According to Levine, major depression, the depressed phase of bipolar disorder (bipolar depression), anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), pain syndromes such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS, also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), and addiction.

Unsafe conditions to use Ketamine Infusion are uncontrolled blood pressure, unstable heart disease, untreated thyroid disease, active substance abuse, current manic phase of bipolar disorder, or active psychotic (hallucinations or delusions) symptoms.

Some may have heard that ketamine is used as a “party drug” and worry about addiction potential. Studies and clinical experience have found that in the very low doses used, medical setting, lack of access at home, and infrequent dosing, there is virtually no potential for addiction or abuse.

He reports the dose used for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders is very low and safe. For a few minutes during the infusion itself, blood pressure and heart rate may increase. This is monitored to ensure safety.

Says Levine, "you will fill out depression and anxiety scales prior to the first treatment and approximately 24 hours later. This will help determine response. It is possible to notice effects as soon as 40 min after the infusion, most typically starting 2-4 hours later, but sometimes taking up to 24 hours. You should not expect to wake up feeling “perfect and overjoyed”, but rather there should be a noticeable difference in feeling more hopeful, less sad, decreased thoughts of suicide, increased calmness, 'weight' of depression lifted, or more inclined to engage with people. Further improvements are often seen over the course of treatment."


For MD's who administer Ketamine Infusions throughout the United States, you can access a directory at: 

"The Missing Link Between Attachment and Substance Use Disorders"

What is Personal Empowerment in Psychotherapy?

Personal empowerment is the process in which we 
gain the knowledge, skill-sets and attitude needed to cope 
with the changing world and circumstances.  
It is a process of transforming powerlessness and 
increasing individuals' control over their lives. 

Empowerment is a multi-dimensional, social process of increasing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes. This process creates the power to use these choices in his or her own life, community and society, with individuals acting on issues that they define as important.

The individual is never blamed for his or her problems but is responsible for generating a solution.

The process of empowerment is a process which enables one to gain power, authority and influence over themselves, institutions or society. Empowerment is probably the totality of the following or similar capabilities:

• Having decision-making power of one's own
• Having access to information and resources to make proper decisions
• Having a range of options from which you can make choices 
• Ability to exercise assertiveness in collective decision making
• Having positive thinking on the ability to make change
• Ability to learn skills for improving one's personal or group power.
• Ability to change others’ perceptions by democratic means.
• Involving in the growth process and changes that is never ending and self-initiated
• Increasing one's positive self-image and overcoming stigma
• Increasing one's ability in discreet thinking to sort out right and wrong
In short, empowerment is the process that allows one to gain the knowledge, skill-sets and attitude needed to cope with the changing world and the circumstances in which one live.
 



What are the Stages of Empowerment?


Pre-contemplation
In this initial stage, individuals may be outwardly unaware of their problems or be in denial. Either way, they definitely do not want to appear broken or damaged. As a general rule, "Pre-contemplators" often wish other people would change, as in: "How can I get my superior to quit bothering me about my poor people skills? That's just who I am." or "Things will change during the next quarter when I get through this especially tough assignment."
 
Contemplation
Contemplators are aware that they face problems and are seriously thinking about grappling with these problems sometime within the next six months.

Preparation
Individuals and organizations at this stage intend to take action within the next month. These individuals have taken personal responsibility for causing or contributing the need for change. In addition, these individuals have set a personalized measurable goal - a change that is under one's own control, rather than dependent on someone else's behavior.
 
Action
In this stage, individuals and organizations are taking concrete steps to change their behavior, experiences, or environment, in order to overcome their problems. Because action often brings up feelings of guilt, failure, coercion, and yearning to resume old familiar behaviors, individuals and organizations typically need a lot of support during this period. A sobering statistic: at any given time, only 10-15 percent of individuals or organizations in the process of change are engaged in the action stage.
 
Maintenance
During this stage, individuals and organizations work to consolidate their gains and prevent relapse. It is important that individuals and organizations remember that all merger experiences are different. Assuming a one-size-fits-all approach will not work! Instead, assess the group as individuals, to determine their stage of change.
 
Go slowly. Anticipate backsliding. While the term "stages of change" suggests that change marches forward in a step-by-step, linear fashion, it actually occurs in a spiral pattern, meaning change comes in both forward and backward movement. This is normal and to be expected. Good leaders should educate their staff and clients about the inevitable spiraling nature of change to help counteract doubt, shame, and frustration about regressing to earlier stage.



 
 

"Inpatient Rehab for Addictions: Is It Worth It and Does It Comply With the Affordable Care Act?"


Commentary By Scott W. Stern, Psychotherapist/Empowerment Professional:

Kudo's to to producers Greg Horvath and Adam Finberg for their brutally scathing documentary, "The Business of Recovery," and to colleague Gabrielle Glaser for her article about the inpatient rehab industry.

The film documents various perspectives about the billion dollar rehab business, unnecessary and expensive for most who can be treated more effectively in appropriate outpatient treatment therapy. (So much for reducing costs of health care!) It premiered at The Newport Film Festival in California on May 3rd.

Noteworthy are contributions of San Francisco's Dee Dee Stout who, like me, got sober in the rooms of AA without bias against evidence-based alternatives to Twelve Step Facilitation (TSF).

The film takes a scathing view of promises and guarantees made by inpatient rehabs (focused primarily in Southern California) via advertisements and literature."The filmmakers compare the services offered at Betty Ford (it has since merged with Hazelden), which costs $53,000 a month, to those of a nearby retirement home, which cost $4,005 a month. (One notable difference: at Betty Ford, you eat what’s being served that day. At the retirement home, you have your choice of a restaurant-style menu.)A spokeswoman for Hazelden said that they had not had the opportunity to see the film.

Other facility directors, including New Directions’ Rebecca Flood, did not return calls for comment."In fairness, I believe there is tremendous value to inpatient treatment for people with Severe Substance Use Disorders (i.e. extreme medical and legal consequences should they drink again). But this does not constitute the majority of people with substance use disorders who would greatly benefit from treatment alternatives.


"DRINK ME"

Throughout Lewis Carroll's book, Alice in Wonderland, the child Alice discovers and relies upon substances that alter her size to comfortably fit Wonderland's uncomfortable circumstances. Similarly, in the real world, many individuals discover and rely on substances to adapt.