Down To Earth Newsletter
Volume 6 – Issue 7 – August, 2007
ART OF RECOVERY EXPO – Saturday, Sept. 29th – Please join us at the Phoenix Convention Center for the 3rd Annual Art of Recovery Expo, an enthusiastic FREE celebration of recovery in all of its forms. Twelve Step participants can bring their recovery medallions to our Mardi Gras themed booth where we encourage attendees to “Show Us Your Chips!” in exchange for beads and novelties. I will be doing a FREE workshop entitled, “Achieving Empathy, Actively,” to teach parents how to help their teens understand the limits parents must place on them in a fun manner, and without arguments. This event is FREE and is open to the public from 10a-5p. Stop in and visit!!!
Debunking Myths – It’s Good For the Children
Myth: I meet with many parents who struggle with child custody issues when the other parent of their children is a drug addict or an alcoholic. They know that the addict’s behavior is not good, but they don’t want to ‘take their children away’ from the other parent, thinking that it’s good for children to know both of their parents.
Fact: Although it is very important for children to have both male and female role models and although it is painful for a child to lose a parent, it is not a good idea to leave small children in the care of a drug addict or alcoholic who is actively engaged in serious substance abuse.
Parents who are in the grip of addictions do a ton of damage to kids. They demonstrate how to be an addict and young children are such quick learners that is is no problem for a tiny child to easily learn how to roll a joint, mix a Martini, or prepare heroin for injection. Some addicts even think it’s “adorable” that their kids can perform such “adult” tasks and will allow kids to do these things at parties to impress their friends.
Parents who are frequently under the influence of substances don’t provide good supervision, either. Kids are often free to do as they please without the calming effects of having limits like bedtimes, meal times, and weekend chores. Children with no supervision or structure become very nervous and then very angry and they eventually act out in all sorts of destructive ways, often long before they are even old enough to abuse substances themselves, although that often follows eventually, too.
Many addicted parents think nothing of driving their children around town while completely loaded. Of course, fatal or crippling accidents are a main concern, but getting arrested and having the kids sit in the police station waiting for the other parent to come pick them up is also a possibility that is not beneficial to the kids.
If a parent is actively engaged in serious substance abuse, it does more harm to leave small children in their inadequate care than it does to deny the children unsupervised contact with that parent. No one’s saying they can’t have a relationship with the addict, just that the addict does not make a good babysitter and that all visits should be supervised. A court of law can help you arrange for this if your former partner will not agree to it voluntarily.
July Discussion Question: How has the Internet helped or harmed your health?
Holly R., a reader from NM, offers this interesting response:
Both. I get lots of medical information online especially about my kids and then I don’t have to always take them right to the doctor if it’s something simple that I can help them with, but also I spend to much time online and I think I get stress in my neck and back from sitting at the computer.
Thanks, Holly! Your DrMarlo prizes are on their way!
August Discussion Question: What’s your favorite family tradition?
E-mail answers to: email@example.com and answers will appear next month. Your state of residence, your first name and last initial will be used unless you tell us not to use them. Anyone who responds and also includes a mailing address will receive our NEW INFORMATION CARDS. The new temporary tattoos are also in and you’ll receive some of those as well.
Thought For The Day: Speak your truth.
PERSONAL GROWTH EXERCISE
To spotlight our E-Coaching services, our newsletter includes a personal growth exercise each month. These exercises illustrate the kinds of activities our clients are asked to complete when they are using our E-Coaching services. The exercises printed here are quite general in nature, but the exercises sent to our E-Coaching clients are individualized to meet each client’s specific needs. We currently offer a package of 10 E-Coaching Sessions for $500.
The “Hate Letter”
My girlfriend and I invented this technique when we were in high school and I bring it back here because it really has therapeutic benefits if you carry it a bit further than we did as teens.
You use this activity whenever you are in a bad mood. It works best when you are feeling angry, irritable, frustrated, hostile, or disgusted.
Get paper and a pen and get comfortable. Make sure you have several full sheets of paper. Your goal is to write as many sentences as you possibly can that begin, “I hate…” Do not judge whether what you are writing makes sense or not. If you feel compelled to add reasons why you hate a certain thing, go ahead, but you don’t have to. Your goal is to simply make as comprehensive list as possible of all the things that you presently hate. A portion of such a letter might look something like this, although there are no right ways to do it:
I hate when I miss my shower. I hate dirty bathrooms. I hate cat puke. I hate my insert-your-relative’s-name-here. I hate yarn. I hate sweaters. I hate snow. I hate insert-co-worker’s-name-here. I hate being tall. I hate mittens. I hate when people die. I hate confusing computer technology. I hate stomach aches. I hate long airport lines. I hate blueberry muffins. I hate Jerry Springer and every guest he’s ever had. I hate Michael Moore……
Continue to write until you are certain you’ve made a list of absolutely everything that you ‘hate’ at the present moment. The first thing that does for you is to move some of that negative energy out of your body and put it outside of you, onto the paper.
Walk away from the letter for a day, then come back to it, and ask yourself, about each item that you hate, what is the thing that you’re really AFRAID OF?
When you miss your shower, are you afraid you will get an infection? Break out in acne? Disturb your colleagues? Offend your spouse? What are you afraid of?
When you think about yarn, what is it that yarn reminds you of that is frightening? Do you think of a deceased grandmother who used to knit? Do you think of a time you cut yourself accidentally with sewing scissors trying to cut some yarn? What bad memory does yarn bring up for you, and what does that memory make you afraid of? Are you afraid you’ll lose your other grandmother or an aunt that currently has breast cancer? Are you worried that your clumsiness will cause you to have a serious injury on your next ski trip? You’re afraid of something, and it’s your job to figure out what it is.
Go through every item and figure out what the underlying fear is. You may be surprised that lots of them are the same fear, or that there are just one or two main themes running through the whole list. Once you’ve identified all your fears, then let go of all the hate and re-name it as fear. Fear is okay to have, hate is not. Then go forth boldly and face the fears you’ve identified rather than going forth in an angry, belligerent, hateful manner, attacking the people and things that remind you of your fears.
For a FREE 5-Session Trial of E-Coaching, send us a report of how this activity worked for you! We may share your report in our next newsletter with your name, last initial, and state of residence (unless you tell us not to). Send to FreeSessions@drmarlo.com. (Offer Expires 9-16-07)
E-Coaching! Try it Now!
Not every problem is a mental illness. Not every issue is a trauma. Not every botherment is an emotional disorder. For life’s daily issues and for personal growth, now there is E-Coaching! Dr. Marlo Archer offers a 10-session consultation package for people who are not diagnosed with any mental illness who would just like some coaching, some guidance, or some personal growth. We are offering the 10-Session package for $500. Begin by using PayPal to send a $500 payment to DrMarlo@drmarlo.com, then send an e-mail to that same e-mail address, expressing your specific area of concern to begin!
Dr. Marlo’s Movie Madness – Entertainment and Education
Each month we show a free movie with a mental health theme. Interested parties can stay after the movie for a discussion about the movie. One credit informal CE awarded for a $10 fee. Networking 7:15-7:30pm, Movie at 7:30pm, Discussion until 10pm. Upcoming Features: Thursday, August 30 – The Devil Wears Prada, Thursday, September 13 – Radio (Suggested by Duane Brickner), Thursday, October 18 – Harold & Maude, Thursday, November 8 – Chocolat (Suggested by Dr. Michelle May, of Am I Hungry? book and workshops). Suggest movies for December 13, January 17, or February 21. If your selection is chosen and you have included your mailing address, we will send you a FREE DVD MOVIE from previous years’ Dr. Marlo’s Movie Madness. Sign up for Movie Madness updates by sending a blank e-mail with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line to MovieMadness@drmarlo.com.
Publish Your Work – Promote your Practice – Two ways to publish – for free as a semi-anonymous author (your state of residence, your first name and last initial will be used), or, for $10, as a professional promoting a mental health practice (your full name, with credentials, address, phone number, and e-mail address will be included). We reserve the right to decline to publish any submissions. Current subscribers = 2755. New Subscribers THIS MONTH = 164. Send creative contributions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Marlo in the Media
We write a monthly column about teenagers for Arizona Together Newspaper, Arizona’s Good News “Newspaper,” Established 1991. Read August’s article, “School is Always in Session” online. Arizona Together currently reaches 50,000 readers monthly who are interested in recovery from addictions of all kinds.
The Psychology Session – Internet Radio Show – SEASON THREE BEGINS WITH A BANG – We’re Back! We had a fantastic guest on our Season Premier Show – Dr. Chamberlain of Chamberlain Orthodontics. Dr. Chamberlain uses psychological concepts to encourage patients to take good care of their teeth and braces. Take a look at his GAME ROOM. All three seasons of The Psychology Session are now available online – and – you don’t have to even download them anymore, you can just play them right out of the webpage! Let’s hear it for Producer Jon! We continue to welcome show suggestions and advertising sales. E-mail suggestions or inquiries to PsychologySession@drmarlo.com. Order SEASON ONE AND TWO ON CD! Only $20. Send requests to PsychologySession@drmarlo.com.
We again request you join us in our continued prayers for J.R. in IA. –Marlo J. Archer, Ph.D.
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