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Reaching Out in the Right Way

by Jeff Ford, LMFT, Clinical Director

Years ago I was working with an individual who happened to be in school. One day he showed up to class only to realize that he had to take a test that he wasn’t expecting. In seconds, he felt an immediate change. Physically, his heart rate increased and his stomach dropped. He felt the need for more spiritual connection and began to say a prayer for help. As he looked around the classroom, he began sexually objectifying the women in his class. That also triggered him relationally and he sent a text to his wife to tell her he had forgotten about the test.

He took the test, and failed it.

When he walked out of the classroom, he was in pain. Not physical pain, but emotional pain brought on by the surprise test that didn’t go well. The experience put him into a situation where he was at a stage of the addiction cycle where he was at risk of acting out.

Now, as he was zoning out and in his emotional pain, he got on his motorcycle and...

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The Bike Ride

by Jeff Ford, LMFT, Clinical Director

It’s not uncommon for couples who are going through recovery to experience some emotional abuse. Ironically, this can happen when the addict doesn’t know how to deal with the emotions they are experiencing in recovery. They are missing the skills they need to manage these emotions and take it out on their spouse or other loved ones in the form of emotional abuse. Let me give you an example. 

I love to go on bike rides. I try to go at least a few days each week. However, I also live in a desert, which means I try to plan my rides when it’s as cool as possible outside. Recently, I was going out for a ride in the evening. My wife came along to go for a short run, and my daughter and one of her friends joined us to walk along the path. After I had gone a couple of miles, I ended up getting a flat. It was frustrating and I had to walk my bike back to the car. While I was walking, my wife called me to tell...

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