Thursday, August 20, 2015

What is Sexual Addiction?

Sexual addiction is defined as any sexually-related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one's work environment.

Sexual addiction has been called by many names including sexual dependency, sexual compulsivity, problematic sexual behavior or hypersexual disorder. By any name, it is a compulsive behavior that completely dominates the addict's life. Sexual addicts make sex a priority more important than family, friends, and work. Sex becomes the organizing principle of addict's lives. They are willing to sacrifice what they cherish most in order to preserve and continue their unhealthy behavior.

If you are concerned about your sexual behaviors or attitudes, or even a friend or family members, consider professional help.

Pine Grove’s Gratitude program is for those suffering from sexual 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.

Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services is an extension of Forrest General Hospital, located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Pine Grove’s world renowned programs focus on treating gender specific chemical addiction including a specialized track for co-occurring eating disorders. Additionally, Pine Grove offers a focused substance abuse healing program for adults age 55 and over. Other Pine Grove specialty programs include a dedicated professional’s treatment curriculum and a comprehensive evaluation center. Pine Grove also features a program for patients with sexual and intimacy disorder issues. Pine Grove was established in 1984 and has provided nationally and internationally recognized health care for over 30 years.

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

Monday, August 17, 2015

Pine Grove supports UNITE to Face Addiction

WASHINGTON – Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services is proud to join over 450 local, state and national organizations at the “UNITE to Face Addiction” rally, a free event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, October 4, 2015. This coalition will launch a first-of-its-kind campaign to confront America’s denial about the most urgent health crisis facing our nation today – addiction to alcohol and other drugs. The rally is being planned by Facing Addiction, a new organization dedicated to changing the conversation around, and bring new solutions to, the addiction crisis in America.

When asked about Pine Grove's partnership with UNITE to Face Addiction Lauren Kirschberg, Outreach Associate with Pine Grove’s Alumni Program said, "Addiction impacts 1/3 of all American households and of the people who need treatment 90% do not receive it. Pine Grove is honored to partner with UNITE to Face Addiction to help transform the conversation from problems to solutions for one of the most important a issues of our time."

The event will feature musical performances by Joe Walsh, Steven Tyler with his Nashville-based band, Loving Mary, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, The Fray, and John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls; powerful, inspirational speakers from all walks of life who have been affected by addiction; and remarks by celebrities, elected officials and other advocates who will join together to stand up to addiction.

“Together we must find solutions to the addiction crisis and put a face on the hope that survivors offer,” said health expert and television host Dr. Mehmet Oz, in a PSA released today in support of the event. In addition to Dr. Oz, other notable individuals who have already embraced and endorsed this event include Congresswoman Mary Bono, Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Author & Activist Christopher Kennedy Lawford, Author & TV Host Pat O’Brien, Entrepreneur and Music Producer Russell Simmons, former Major League Baseball Star Darryl Strawberry, Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, Former Astronaut Steve Oswald and many more.

“UNITE to Face Addiction will mark the first time our nation will collectively stand up to addiction, a health problem that impacts 1 in 3 households,” said Greg Williams, co-founder of Facing Addiction and a person in long-term recovery. “Twenty-two million Americans are currently suffering from a substance use disorder, far too many of those affected have been incarcerated, and more than 23 million others are living in recovery. When you include the families of the afflicted, addiction impacts over 85 million people – we all know somebody. It’s not ‘those’ people, it’s all of us.”’

“When I lost my son, Austin, to addiction, I had no idea this tragedy was happening all over America – and that in our country, a life is lost to addiction every 4 minutes – the equivalent of a jumbo jet falling from the sky every day, with no survivors,” said Jim Hood, co-founder of Facing Addiction. “We know there are solutions to the addiction crisis and it’s time for America to face addiction and exercise the political and social will to act on those solutions.”

There are many ways to get involved with this groundbreaking event – Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services is organizing a delegation to attend, and there are various volunteer opportunities available. Supporters can also get involved by donating to end the silence around the addiction crisis by texting FACING to 41444.

Additional performers and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information about Facing Addiction, including how to donate and updates about the UNITE to Face Addiction rally, please visit FacingAddiction.org and follow @FacingAddiction and #UNITEtoFaceAddiction on Twitter.

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About Facing Addiction

The UNITE to Face Addiction rally is being organized by Facing Addiction Inc., a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to finding solutions to the addiction crisis, as well as an independent coalition of national, state, and local non-profit organizations. For more information, visit FacingAddiction.org.

About Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services

Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services is an extension of Forrest General Hospital, located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Pine Grove’s world renowned programs focus on treating gender specific chemical addiction including a specialized track for co-occurring eating disorders. Additionally, Pine Grove offers a focused substance abuse healing program for adults age 55 and over. Other Pine Grove specialty programs include a dedicated professional’s treatment curriculum and a comprehensive evaluation center. Pine Grove also features a program for patients with sexual and intimacy disorder issues. Pine Grove was established in 1984 and has provided nationally and internationally recognized health care for over 30 years.

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

Sexual addiction or normal sexual behavior?

Problematic sexual behavior does not necessarily mean you are a sex addict. There are many other conditions and problems which can cause sexual behavior to get out of control. You might wonder if you have a sexual addiction when you actually display normal behavior. It may take some soul searching and professional help to decide if sex addiction is really the problem.

Sexual addiction comes in many different forms. There is no single type of behavior or even amount of behavior that will indicate you are a sexual addict. The problem is much more complex, and if you have been living the life of a sex addict, you know how difficult it is to describe what you are experiencing.

Three questions you may want to look at when considering sexual addiction include:

- Do I sense that I have lost control over whether or not to engage in my specific problematic sexual behavior?

- Am I experiencing significant consequences because of my specific problematic sexual behavior?

- Do I feel like I am constantly thinking about my specific problematic sexual behavior, even when I don't want to?

These are three of the hallmarks that help define the boundaries of sexual addiction and compulsivity. If any of these three questions are answered "yes," then you may want to seek further help to sort out the complexities of your sexual behavior and find out for certain if sexual addiction is the best description of your problem.

Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services is an extension of Forrest General Hospital, located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Pine Grove’s world renowned programs focus on treating gender specific chemical addiction including a specialized track for co-occurring eating disorders. Additionally, Pine Grove offers a focused substance abuse healing program for adults age 55 and over. Other Pine Grove specialty programs include a dedicated professional’s treatment curriculum and a comprehensive evaluation center. Pine Grove also features a program for patients with sexual and intimacy disorder issues. Pine Grove was established in 1984 and has provided nationally and internationally recognized health care for over 30 years.

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

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Celebrating Mothers

by Dr. Tony Calabrese and Patricia Calabrese, PMH-NP

Google trending topics on motherhood and what will you find? Discussions on family dinners, “over-parenting,” gifted children and birthing techniques. Look for articles about Mother’s Day in most popular magazines and you will read, somewhere in the piece, about children. When mothers get together, in any forum, their likely topic of conversation is children. Mothers will talk about their own children, other people’s children, famous children, the behavior of children, and all of the elements that surround their care and feeding. An immediate bond forms between two women when they both realize they are raising 4 year old boys. The joys, pains and worries about kids can consume a conversation for an entire afternoon. To commemorate this all important, and all consuming job, Mother’s Day was created, not just to sell greeting cards, but to celebrate the women who are mothers.

So who is a mother? There is no one way to become a mother. There are mothers who have actually given birth, those that mother children birthed by others, and mothers who birth children they can no longer raise themselves. There are mothers, who temporarily raise foster children, and mothers who adopt. But however you come to have a child is secondary to the gifts that you bestow upon them. Mothering is a verb meaning to provide the loving care, guidance and direction an elder gives to a younger, vulnerable child. Mothering is the mechanism for which we first trust our environment, where we are encouraged to do more and take risks while knowing that love, support and guidance is right behind us. Mothering is the essence of leaving this world a little better than the way we found it. Mother Teresa was once asked, “What can you do to promote world peace?” Her response was to go home and love your family.

You can’t have motherhood without children. But Mother’s Day should also be the celebration of the woman and mother in your life for who she is as an individual. Mothers weren’t always mothers; they started out as children themselves and grew into individuals with their own experiences, passions, interests, work history and dreams. For many mothers, being a mother was a personal dream or at least one of them. Many mothers came into motherhood before some of their personal dreams were realized. Mother’s Day should be a time to celebrate mom for the person she is, the person underneath the caring individual, who works so hard preparing children for their day and life.

For many years women were regarded, in part, as only being useful for their mothering skills. Changes occurred during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when women became more independent, receiving the right to own property, the right to vote and eventually to join a workforce, once dominated by men. Likewise the role of motherhood has also changed, and in some ways it is still evolving. Years ago within in an agrarian society women returned to farm work very soon after giving birth, taking their babies, sometimes swaddled, with them. Compare this to the aristocracy where women sometimes saw very little of their young children, who were primarily mothered by nanny’s.

In recent times, one of the latest trends is this notion of “Having it all.” This notion has described women, who can be the best mother and wife, excel at their careers, and fulfill their personal passions while holding firm to important values. This for sure is a very difficult task indeed. Mothers who attempt to give one hundred percent of their efforts, time and passion to being a mom, wife, employee, PTA member, school fund-raiser, sister, daughter, health-club member, and friend may feel guilty, disappointed or unfilled. Often times, this combination results in one very tired woman, who feels guilty for not being somewhere else. This may also result in many mothers covering up to hide their guilt and fatigue, or mothers who develop a constant state of anger and irritation for the situation they have put themselves into.

However, some mothers feel they actually have it all by redefining what “Having it all” means to them. By prioritizing their roles in the order of importance, mothers may make daily decisions easier. For instance, many mothers need to split their time between work, relationships, children and themselves. Careful insight into important values and priorities help ease these difficult decisions. In doing this though, the person who most often gets lost when prioritizing is mom herself. What happened to the woman who loved architecture or medieval art, basketball, or tennis? Where did she go? Does she no longer love those things that were her passions? Or has she suppressed these personal passions and forgotten what they mean to her? If she enjoyed volunteering, playing the piano, or drawing before being a mom, becoming a mother didn’t take those interests away. So this Mother’s Day, if you are lucky enough to have a mother in your life, take the time to talk to her about the woman she was before her mothering role. Or better yet, plan a day to allow mom to show you her passions, and celebrate the woman who is the mother in your life every day.

Dr. Tony Calabrese is the Director of Psychology and Outpatient Services at Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services. He also serves as the Chief Psychologist for the pre-doctoral Psychology internship training program. Patricia Calabrese is a licensed Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and she currently treats children and adolescents at Pine Grove Outpatient Services. She has a professional interest in ADHD and parenting education.

Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services is an extension of Forrest General Hospital, located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Pine Grove’s world renowned programs focus on treating gender specific chemical addiction including a specialized track for co-occurring eating disorders. Additionally, Pine Grove offers a focused substance abuse healing program for adults age 55 and over. Other Pine Grove specialty programs include a dedicated professional’s treatment curriculum and a comprehensive evaluation center. Pine Grove also features a program for patients with sexual and intimacy disorder issues. Pine Grove was established in 1984 and has provided nationally and internationally recognized health care for over 30 years.

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

Friday, April 10, 2015

A promise to do and give something: PRAISES


By Philip Hemphill, Ph.D., LCSW

When we make a promise to be loyal to someone it requires an attitude of commitment and acceptance which hopefully is transferred into behavior. In 1956 Erich Fromm explained in The Art of Loving,

"Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward an “object” of love. If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to the rest of his fellow men, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism…If I truly love one person I love all persons, I love the world, I love life. If I can say to somebody else, “I love you,” I must be able to say, I love in you also myself."

This reflects the principles of Love that includes the Love we have for ourselves. Love's first ambitious step is knowing what we think and feel which is followed by the willingness and capacity to communicate it our loved one. Love is grand, idealized, and lasting. It requires us to live in interpersonal harmony with mutual respect. We are expected to have a comfortable balance of individuality and couple hood. When we experience Love both internally and with another, we evolve, mature, and are better able to cope with life's demands. Love becomes a label for the courtship arrangement during which we privately weigh various aspects of the other person. We are trying to determine whether the tenacious bond we have encountered compliment our moral commitment. Love is a force of nature as we grow older and care for each other. Love is a complex array of emotions and includes several illusions. Finally, Love is "because I Love him or her." This phrase is a euphemism for keeping our true experiences private and accepting the spiritual journey that guides our lives. These ten interlocking nouns do not attempt to fully express the complex nature of Love but represent the foundation for an explainable model. Fromm later wrote that Love is so difficult to understand that we can only show acts of it by caring for, knowing, responding, affirming, and enjoying the person.

This explanation provides us with understanding human Love; however spiritual Love is beyond these expressions. First let's consider our life experiences with different attachment figures to fully understand our skill set for Love and relationships. Our early bonds whether secure, unstable, unpredictable, or chaotic ultimately predict our capacity for Romantic Relationships (choice), Relationship Adjustment, Emotional Well-being, Working Models of Ourself/Others, Marital Quality, and Parenting Capacity. I'm reminded of the need to restate the Cartesian dictum of “I think therefore I am” to “He/She [the caregivers] thinks that I am, therefore I am.” These experiences allow us to have a strong commitment to a romantic relationship which is associated with a high degree of cognitive interdependence—signified by tendencies to think about the relationship in a pluralistic (i.e., “we”-focused) manner. This allows us to perceive an overlap between ourself and our partner, and to regard the relationship as a central component of what is significant in our life.

The we-ness includes a powerful Love chemistry of different neurotransmitters: Norepinephrine, Dopamine, Phenylethylamine (PEA), Oxytocin, and Endorphins. This familiarity breeds predictability and leads to greater comfort as our proximity is often reflected in shared interests. Generally, we begin to reveal our concept of human ethics which pertains to matters of RIGHT and WRONG -also referred to as ”good and evil."We openly explore our individual conscience and system of principles while integrating our different cultural, religious, and philosophical beliefs. This produces our Codes of Behavior or Conduct. Therefore, a wonderful way to include our Love for God that is expressed through the Love for an intimate partner is to remember this simply PRAISES intimacy model:

PHYSICAL INTIMACY- Simply means being present for each other; standing together in major and minor tragedies which persist in life; standing up with and to each other, or “fighting” in non-destructive ways; facing and struggling with differences together; ultimately knowing that we are not alone and we must create moments of time together daily; this togetherness is derived from dedication to a common cause, value, and effort.

RECREACTIONAL INTIMACY- Sharing experience of fun, sports, hobbies, recreate your relationship as it develops over time; having ways of refilling the wells of energy and leisure; having a public relationship that mirrors your private relationship; you should commit to doing 15-20 of these activities per week.

AESTHETIC INTIMACY- This is where you are physically attractive to the beauty of each other; sharing experiences of beauty - music, dance, art, theatre, nature, movies, drinking from the common cup of beauty; being creative and helping each other to grow; being co-creators (not “reformers”) of each other and trusting in the beauty of God's Love.

INTELLECTUAL INTIMACY- Sharing the world of ideas; a genuine touching of persons based on mutual respect for each others intellectual capacities (reading, discussing, studying, respectful debating); sharing common tasks; supporting each other in bearing responsibilities; communicating honestly, trusting, truthful, loving; giving constructive feedback; making sure the message you are sending is the message that is being received; and positive confrontation.

SPIRITUAL INTIMACY- Accepting your oneness with God; sharing morals, values, and beliefs with each other; the “we-ness” of sharing any ultimate concerns; sharing the meaning of life, philosophies, and religious experiences; being open to God's Love through your partner; being in the moment but also being committed to the future "Where would you like your relationship to be in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years..."

EMOTIONAL INTIMACY- Making sure you have access to all emotions with your partner not just select ones; this depth awareness and sharing of significant meanings and feelings are required; touching of the innermost selves of two human beings; not being responsible for your partner's emotional state; not trying to change their emotional state (i.e., giving each other space.)

SEXUAL INTIMACY- The beauty of sex is expressed in sensual-emotional satisfaction; the experience of sharing and self abandon while physically merging two persons into one is a representation of God's Love for us; the importance of communicating likes and dislikes is critical; be spontaneous and plan for intimate sexual time; commit to agreed upon variety; accept the limitations that sexual behavior has; don’t worry about frequency “standards”; use the five senses to express.

Consider these gifts that God has given us to verbalize this beauty we call Intimacy: Loving, Sensitive, Brave, Intelligent, Thoughtful, Generous, Loyal, Truthful, Strong, Energetic, Sexy, Decisive, Creative, Involved, Expressive, Active, Careful, Reserved, Adventurous, Receptive, Reliable, Responsible, Dependable, Nurturing, Warm, Open... and try PRAISES.

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.

Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services is an extension of Forrest General Hospital, located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Pine Grove’s world renowned programs focus on treating gender specific chemical addiction including a specialized track for co-occurring eating disorders. Additionally, Pine Grove offers a focused substance abuse healing program for adults age 55 and over. Other Pine Grove specialty programs include a dedicated professional’s treatment curriculum and a comprehensive evaluation center. Pine Grove also features a program for patients with sexual and intimacy disorder issues. Pine Grove was established in 1984 and has provided nationally and internationally recognized health care for over 30 years.

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