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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Step Four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

By Carver Brown, Pine Grove Alumni Services

Step 4 is where we hunt down the green dragon. If we are to believe as it says in the Big Book “that “our liquor was but a symptom” (page 64) then battling addiction is facing the wrong monster. No wonder my best efforts to control or eradicate addiction were fruitless. I was facing the wrong problem.

In the fourth step we begin a new journey to discover the truth about ourselves. This is done by putting pen to paper and keeping the mantra flowing of nothing mattering except thoroughness and honesty. If you begin like me it starts with a blank page and a nervous twitch.

We write about our resentments, our fears and our harms done to others. Every stroke of the pen moves us further down the path to come to the great green dragon of our very own character defects. We stand before him fully revealed without the fog of addiction obscuring the truth. Our inventory becomes the sword we use to strike in the Fifth Step.

Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in Hattiesburg, Mississippi is known as one of the nation’s most comprehensive treatment campuses. For over thirty years Pine Grove has offered a continuum of services ranging from outpatient to inpatient and residential treatment for adults, children and adolescents suffering from psychiatric and addictive diseases. Specialized services include the treatment of addictions, eating disorders, and professionals struggling with interpersonal difficulties. The Pine Grove Mission is to be a leader in healing and changing lives by providing the highest quality behavioral health services.

Visit http://www.pinegrovetreatment.com/ or call 1-888-574-HOPE (4673) for more information.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Keeping New Year Resolutions

How’s that New Year’s Resolution working out for you?

You’re not alone or maybe you are.

Ok by now you’ve had about a month to institute the changes you pledged for the New Year. Often, these are rooted in punishments for misbehaving (i.e., overindulging) during the month of December or unrealistic expectations of yourself. Typically what follows the mystical January 1st restrictive phase (e.g., giving up… or do more …) are feelings of deep resentment and deprivation. Simultaneously, you may find yourself making comparisons to others which can lead to distorted thinking about your efforts, motivation, barriers, etc. Eventually, your self-appraisal or ‘goal discrepancy’ (i.e., the difference between your present and ideal level of accomplishment) will determine your sense of success or failure. This could lead to abandonment or continued pursuit of your pledge.

Unfortunately, this is usually the approach and path most individuals take in attempting to create change in their lives. Make no mistake; goal setting will generally improve your performance. However, the type of goal you set is a key determinant in the extent to which your goal translates into performance gains. Not surprisingly, the more difficult and specific your goals are, the greater the effort required and reward experienced through achievement. Consider these guidelines when reviewing your most recent set of goals:

1. How convinced were you that the goal was important?

2. How convinced were you that the goal was attainable?

3. Was the difficulty level of the goal chosen or accepted?

4. What was your level of commitment to your goals?

5. What plan did you have for negative feedback or failure?

6. Did you have a feedback process for showing progress?

7. Did you have a plan for managing your goals when disruptions occur?

Lastly, your best chance of achieving goals requires a commitment rooted in Self-Determination and the ability to satisfy your basic psychological needs as you pursue and attain your valued outcomes. The need for autonomy in your world, a sense of competence or mastery, and the ability to relate provide the structure for internally driven desires. This contradicts the belief that we are externally driven. I’m reminded of a wonderful example of self-determination in a recent movie I saw, All Is Loss, starring Robert Redford. Although his goal setting is based on survival and can parallel recovery, his determination to persevere in the face of grave adversity warrants reflection.

Philip Hemphill, PhD

Dr. Hemphill is the Director of the Professional Enhancement Program at Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services. The Professional Enhancement Program (PEP) is a comprehensive continuum of integrated behavioral health treatment services for professionals offered through Pine Grove, one of the nation’s leading treatment facilities. PEP is designed to help professionals with addictions and addictive illnesses, disruptive behavior, boundary violations, personality disorders, interpersonal difficulties, and vocational issues.

For more information call 1-888-574-HOPE (4673) or visit www.pinegrovetreatment.com

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years Resolution or Addiction?

With the New Year now upon us many of us will take time to reflect on the previous year and our lives. It’s a natural thing to do, to evaluate and reflect on the past. Many of us may make New Year’s resolutions while some may simply hope for a better year.

For those who do make New Year’s resolutions it may be as simple as finally taking that dream vacation, going back to school, or joining a fitness club. For others it maybe more difficult to keep such resolutions, especially if they involve alcohol or other potentially addictive substances.

While making resolutions (and not keeping them) is extremely common, it’s also important to remember that the inability to stop a behavior (or substance) is a potential sign of an addiction. If you or someone you know needs help fighting addiction, we can help them change their lives, to become free from addiction.

Pine Grove offers specialized treatment for men, women, and senior adults struggling with chemical dependency. We also offer evaluation and outpatient services, treatment of sexual addiction, and support programs for families or spouses of those struggling with addiction.

For more information call 1-888-574-HOPE (4673) or visit http://www.pinegrovetreatment.com/

Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in Hattiesburg, Mississippi is known as one of the nation’s most comprehensive treatment campuses. For over thirty years Pine Grove has offered a continuum of services ranging from outpatient to inpatient and residential treatment for adults, children and adolescents suffering from psychiatric and addictive diseases. Specialized services include the treatment of addictions, eating disorders, and professionals struggling with interpersonal difficulties. The Pine Grove Mission is to be a leader in healing and changing lives by providing the highest quality behavioral health services.

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thanksgiving and Gratitude



Fall is a time of reflection and thanksgiving and Gratitude is in the air. Like the shift of the seasons, the early phases of recovery often seem to be filled with change, challenge and chill; and some find it hard to remember that the dormant time of winter is so very essential for growth.

The frigid winter can chill and challenge the remnants of the “old self” with the passing of time and the deeper challenge is to remember that the dormancy of winter is not death. For those without the benefit of being evergreens, the outer appearance is dramatic. Without the fullness and warmth of the summer sun, we can no longer hold on to the leaves and blossoms that shield us from our truth…it’s in this stillness of time that growth and preparation take place.

In the dormant state, the barren tree works the deeply inward process to prepare for the subtle burst of life that is spring. At Gratitude, we not only welcome change, we nurture it. We help those struggling to get through the chill of the winter so that they can celebrate their own personal spring and summer. And even though we have seen some changes in our own program, the treatment and treatment team are as solid as they have been over the last ten years and we are working with Gratitude in every context.

We are grateful for those who allow us the opportunity to do what we do best and we are grateful for the recovery community that supports the continued growth of individuals. The field is ever changing and growing. For the opportunity to walk that journey we are grateful. Amazing, in nature, every season is filled with Gratitude if we only keep looking.

Different name, same faces. We are Gratitude.

Pine Grove’s Gratitude is a program for those suffering from sex addiction, relationship addiction and sexual anorexia. Founded by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D., C.A.S., world-renowned speaker, and author on addiction. Dr. Carnes’ 30-task-model serves as the basic curriculum for treatment. The staff on-hand is multi-disciplinary and includes psychiatrists and addictionologists. The Gratitude program consists of two components: A Comprehensive Diagnostic Assessment and a Residential Treatment Program. Housing and most of our sex rehab treatment services are provided in cottages on the Gratitude campus, located a few miles from the main Pine Grove campus.

Visit http://www.pinegrovetreatment.com/gratitude.html or call 1-888-574-HOPE (4673) for more information.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Pine Grove’s Sexual Addiction Treatment Program Announces Name Change

September 11, 2013

Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services announced the new name for their sexual addiction treatment program. After considering more than 200 individual submissions from their alumni and staff, the new program name is “Gratitude.” Pine Grove’s Chief Officer, Debbie Sanford, says, “The Gratitude program will still provide the same great treatment that we have provided for the past ten years to those suffering from the disease of sexual addiction, sexual anorexia, love and relationship addiction and sexual trauma… just under a new name.”

Gratitude is understood as thankfulness or appreciation and Gratitude is a feeling or attitude that acknowledges the benefit that a patient has received or will receive. The alumni and staff of Pine Grove feel that Gratitude is the appropriate name since hundreds of alumni actively express appreciation for the help they have received. Deborah Schiller, Gratitude’s program director, says, “It is remarkable to witness our current patients advance from their disease of addiction toward recovery, freedom and gratitude for the healing transformation they begin during treatment at Pine Grove.”

Pine Grove’s Gratitude program will still be guided by Deborah Schiller, Program Director, Dr. Jes Montgomery, Psychiatrist and Dr. Gregory Futral, Clinical Director. Their combined experience in treatment, supervision, and patient care remain essential to the development of Gratitude’s Comprehensive Diagnostic Assessment and Residential Treatment Program for sexual addiction.

Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services is an extension of Forrest General Hospital located in Hattiesburg, MS. Pine Grove’s internationally renowned specialty programs focus on treating sexual addiction including intimacy disorder related issues, eating disorders & chemical addiction for women, men’s chemical addiction, alcohol and drug abuse treatment for older adults 60 and over, specialized professional’s treatment, a comprehensive evaluation center and intensive workshops.

Visit http://www.pinegrovetreatment.com/ or call 1-888-574-HOPE (4673) for more information.

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