Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Attraction Patterns

The term "attraction patterns!" are often used to describe the predictable type of partner that people are strongly romantically and sexually drawn towards. Dysfunctional attraction patterns cause many people to stay in unhappy relationships and to get involved in what seems like an endless sequence of dysfunction or abusive relationships over and over again.

The good news: attraction patterns can be changed! The bad news: change is often a long and difficult process with no quarantees that it will ultimately work. This is because most people who keep making selections areas have key neurocircuits of pleasure and sexual short circuited with fear and pain. The full power of their sexuality can only come alive when afraid of the pain the "we know" will eventually come!" There is hope! Once were are aware that that these attraction patterns were learned, it becomes clear we can understand what happened and change to more positive patterns of attraction. I discuss this in-depth in my book "Getting Love Right" and th ebook "Getting the Love You Want" by Harville Hendrix. If you want to find an ancient but excellent reference find "Sex and Human Loving" by Eric Berne.
--- Terry Gorski ---

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chronic Pain & Stress Management - Seven Tips

Here are seven simple steps for managing stress that could significantly improve chronic pain management: Understanding Stress; Using Positive Affirmations; Emotional Management; Breath Work; Muscle Relaxation; Meditation; and Exercise and Nutrition.

Step One – Understanding Stress: It’s important to learn about stress and understand the stress scale, as well as to recognize that stress can either be a positive influence or make your life overly difficult. When looking at stress on a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 meaning you are very relaxed and 10 meaning you can’t function or you shut down, the danger zone begins at level 7 — stress overload! From levels seven to ten you will experience disruptive symptoms. It depends on how you interpret this distress whether you face the situation with confidence or helplessness. At this point, you could shift into survival mode—fight, flight or freeze. Any of those three modes will amplify your pain levels. The fight mode leads to anger and attacking others; the flight mode leads to fear and hiding; and the freeze mode leads to depression and immobilization. The premise is that when stress goes up so does your pain symptoms.

Step Two – Stress Reducing Self-talk and Positive Affirmations: The premise here is if you change the way you think you will automatically start changing the way you feel. For example if you’re under high stress the thought might be “I can’t stand this pain… I need to escape.” This in turn could lead to, fear, anger, anxiety, or even cravings to use self-defeating behaviors or even inappropriate pain medication for stress relief. You really can talk yourself into feeling better no matter what’s happening around you or to you.

Step Three – Emotional Management: If you are undergoing chronic pain management you may be experiencing many types of uncomfortable emotions such as fear, anger, shame, frustration etc. Emotional management starts with learning to identify which emotions you are feeling and be able to rate them on a 0 to 10 intensity scale. The next step is to develop early awareness of them and then take immediate action to cope with any uncomfortable feelings before they lead to self-defeating urges. Developing healthy feeling management skills is very important. Learning to share with trustworthy people is one way to deal with uncomfortable emotions. If the feelings are too intense or overwhelming, counseling or therapy may be necessary.

Step Four – Autogenic Breathing or Breath Self-Regulation: This is a systematic daily practice of breathing sessions that last around 15 minutes, usually in the morning, at lunch time, and in the evening. One simple exercise is to breathe in deeply to the count of five hold for seven counts and slowly exhale starting from nine to zero. You might consider adding this breath exercise to the next stress tip and practice both three times a day.

Step Five – Progressive Muscle Relaxation: One way to do this is by taking slow deep breaths then hold it while tensing up one muscle group at a time. When you exhale let the muscle group relax. Then move to the next group and keep going until you are tensing and releasing all the muscle groups in your body.

Step Six – Meditation: There are literally hundreds if not thousands of types of meditation. One way is to select a consistent time and a quiet place, either early morning and/or evening. Wear loose comfortable fitting clothing and find a comfortable position that you can stay in for at least 30 minutes. Do deep breathing for a minute or two to help relax the body. Close your eyes and then focus on the point between your eyebrows to help increase your concentration. If your mind wanders be gentle with yourself and just refocus. When you first start meditate for 5-7 minutes then slowly increase your time.

Step Seven – Exercise & Nutrition: A very effective stress management strategy is exercise. In addition to lowering stress levels, regular exercise can also be an important part of a pain management program. Some people with chronic pain find exercising difficult to do, but because it helps reduce overall pain, its benefits will be worth any temporary discomfort. All individuals, particularly someone undergoing chronic pain management, should check with their doctors before beginning an exercise regimen.

Nutrition and diet can influence chronic pain symptoms. Many people find it extremely difficult, but reducing or even eliminating nicotine, caffeine, and sugar will go a long way toward developing healthy eating plan that can impact pain symptoms. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, certain foods aggravate some musculoskeletal conditions; they include dairy products, gluten (found in wheat, oats, barley, and rye), corn, sugar, and members of the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and tobacco). Seeking out an experienced nutritionist can be very beneficial for both stress and chronic pain management.

These seven steps are just a starting point and I encourage you to learn as many stress management tools as you can. When people are more aware of their stress levels, they feel more empowered to take action to reduce the stress in their lives, which in turn leads to a decrease in their pain symptoms.

My call to action for anyone undergoing chronic pain management is to implement a proactive and strategic stress management plan. Doing so will improve your health and quality of life and most importantly reduce the severity of your pain symptoms.

Addiction-Free Pain Management® Certification School in Sacramento

Time is Running Out for the January 28, 2011 Early Registration Discount.

Space is Limited to 10-15 Participants—Sign Up Now to Ensure Your Space!

I'm very excited to announce that we are once again presenting my Addiction-Free Pain Management® Certification School in Sacramento on February 24-26, 2011 again in our new office space at 4200 North Freeway, Suite #3 in Sacramento.

If you are living with chronic pain or working with others who are and you'd like to receive education for helping people with chronic pain and coexisting disorders, including addiction, please join us. To learn more about this and my other upcoming trainings you can check out our Calendar page at:


Gorski Home Studies for CEUs:
Gorski’s Book on Understanding the 12-Steps:
Straight Talk About Suicide by Terry Gorski:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Incomplete Recovery – A Primary Cause of Relapse

The first and primary cause of relapse is that many addiction recovery programs do not use a comprehensive bio-psycho-social-spiritual model in treatment.

Biologically addicted people must understand the addictive brain response to alcohol and other drugs, acute and post acute withdrawal, and the role of stress management, diet, and exercise in recovery.

Psychologically the primary goal is to help people to make a distinction between addictive and irresponsible thinking vs. sober and responsible thinking. The most important element is to teach them to lower stress in the moment and stop to identify and challenge addictive and irresponsible thinking and replace it with sober and responsible thinking. This, of course, leads to reaching people how to identify and stop using drug seeking behavior that increases stress, takes them away from people, places and things that support their recovery, and puts them around people places and things that support using alcohol or other drugs.

Socially it is important to teach people how to transform their social lives and families from one that is alcohol and drug centered and incapable of meeting their needs as sober and responsible people, and rebuild a social network that is capable of meeting their needs.

Spiritually, the quest is to find a personal sense of meaning and purpose in life based upn an understanding the the individual addict is not the entire world nor the center of the universe (this is called addictive grandiosity). Instead, all human beings are born as part of a larger universe, world and social system and has been culturally indoctrinated both verbally and through role modeling a set of beliefs about self, others, the world, and whatever powers greater than self tat govern the "way things are" in the world.

In recovery people need to be challenged to learn how to examine themselves through introspection (the process of reflectively looking within) andextrospection (process of consciously and mndfully looking outside of self) with the purpose of learning and growing in their ability to navigate the complex inner and outer world.

The ultimate goal of recovery is to to develop an age appropriate sense ofmeaning (answering the question: "Why am I here?") purpose (answering the question: "Who am I and what do other people and the world require of me to survive and thrive?), and mission (deciding for themselves what they choose to for improving themselves, helping others, and leaving the world a better place.

I think you can see from this brief description of what Total Recovery looks like, that many treatment programs don't teach clients about addiction, self-assessment, and how to set proper goals for themselves in recovery. Many fail to teach vital thinking, feeling management, social, stress management, and spiritual skills so they can find meaning in purpose in life as a sober, conscious, and rational human being who does need alcohol or other drugs to manage internal experiences and the external challenges of life.
Gorski Books: www.relapse.org
Gorski Home Studies: www.cenaps.com
Gorski’s Office: Tresa@cenaps.com 1-353-279-3068