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Counseling Victims to Freedom - Lesson 3

by Dr. Ray Self



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  • Follow along with the study notes below video window.
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I. Addictions and Life Controlling Issues
  1. The addictive cycle
    1. Inner pain, unresolved painful issues, denial
    2. Desire to escape or not to feel
    3. Medication administered such as drugs, alcohol, etc.
    4. Guilt and shame
    5. More pain, new problems
    6. More medication
    7. The cycle continues to repeat and worsen
  2. Problems without intervention will get worse
    1. Chemical addictions are progressive
    2. The progression of the disease is like cancer - some people will progress rapidly, some slowly, but all people will get worse without help
    3. A chemical addiction can easily be a fatal disease
  3. Hitting bottom
    1. Bottom is the place that most chemically addicted people will eventually end up
    2. Bottom can be described as a terrible place of great loss
      1. These loses can be bankruptcy, divorce, loss of home, family, job and all self-worth
      2. Consequences of addictive behavior are fully realized
    3. Bottom is the place wherein most chemically addicted people are most likely to cry out for help
  4. Denial
    1. Denial is an unwillingness to face reality and admit the truth
    2. Denial is living a lie
    3. Denial can be a hard place to get away from because the mind is using denial as a defense to avoid the pain of reality
    4. Denial can also invade the addicts family and friends
    5. Denial in itself can be a deadly disease
    6. Without an acknowledgement of the problem it will be difficult to help the individual – not impossible, because of the Lord, but very difficult
    7. John 8:32 - And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free
    8. Christian counseling is always about bring the truth into every situation
  5. The root of an addiction’s problem is almost always unresolved pain
    1. Painful experiences enter the subconscious and remain there and fester like cancer until they are rooted out
    2. The addictions must be dealt with but remember they are only a cover-up for deeper problems
    3. Counselors will deal with two types of pain found in the addict
      1. There is the beginning pain that started the addiction and there is the new pain that the addiction has caused
      2. With addictions always come much shame and guilt
      3. Shame and guilt must be resolved or the pain will never leave and the craving to medicate will also stay
      4. 1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
      5. Isaiah 54:4 - Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth
    4. The family
      1. The family can suffer as much as the handicapped member
      2. The person with the addiction becomes the center of attention
      3. The family becomes so focused on trying to solve their problems with the addicted person that they can totally neglect the needs of all the other family members
      4. The family will try desperately to fix the addicted person
      5. They cannot fix the person
      6. The family must get the focus back on themselves or they will drown
        1. Two people drowning are of no benefit to each other
        2. The family must learn how to, “Let go and let God”
        3. Only God can save a person from himself or herself
        4. Enabling is the removing of responsibility or natural consequences
          1. A prophecy about the New Covenant – Jeremiah 31:29-30 - In those days they shall say no more, “ The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.” But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
          2. God holds each one of us personally responsible for our own sins; we are not responsible for another person’s sin. If we take response-bility for another’s sins then we can stand in the way of their forgive-ness
        5. Enabling can feel like love but actually it is very harmful
        6. The family will need as much counseling as the addicted member
        7. Many families will be in denial that they themselves have a problem
        8. Anyone constantly exposed to the terrible behavior of an addicted person will be adversely affected
        9. The problems are deep and complex and are not automatically solved once the drinking, drug taking, etc. stops

A person may not be responsible for the addiction but he can be responsible to do something about it. There are many resources available for anyone who truly wants help.

Study Questions:

  1. What usually causes the addictive cycle to start?
  2. Explain what is meant by the term “hitting bottom.”
  3. What is denial and why is it a problem?
  4. Explain the two types of pain usually found in an addicted person.

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