Composing Your Treatment Plan
Perhaps the most valuable result of all education
is the ability to make yourself do what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done, whether you feel like it or not
- Thomas Huxley
Taking the time to think through and write out a treatment plan forces you to take the time to focus your intellectual gifts on figuring out what you want to how to get it. As is often the case when taking on a complex challenge: Thinking things through in advance can often save you a lot of time and effort over the long term.
The Goal Section gives the plan direction and focus.
Core Motivation: For many individuals the clarification of core motivational issues is a critical part of the passage from dependence to self-determination. Specifying your decision unambiguously brings closure to the contemplation stage. The deep processing required to arrive at your decision provides the foundation for the heroic demands of the action phase. Even though you may have already completed a Decision Matrix, it is recommended that you examine and describe your Core Motivation in some depth here.
The Decision: “Complete abstinence; no exceptions no matter what the circumstance” is an example of a Decision. Abstinence, at least for a specific time period, is recommended for most people who have developed a corruptive relationship with an incentive. A major advantage is that it is so easy to define. Controlled use of the incentive requires a detailed description of the rules; any possibility of a loophole dramatically increases the likelihood of failure.
The Implementation Section describes what you will do during crises and conflict
Coping Tactics provides a place to describe your plan to respond to situations that would put you at risk of behaving counter to your intentions.
Most individuals are vulnerable to several different kinds of high risk situations. Your task is to predict what these will be and develop coping tactics for each.
Recommended format: When (high risk situation X), I will perform (coping tactic Y). Note: The likelihood that you actually will perform coping tactic Y when faced with situation X is a measure of your willpower.
Different coping tactics might be required for particular situations such as, stress, social pressure, etc. Consider the range of coping tactics that best match your circumstance. Two or three coping tactics can cover a wide range of circumstances. It is recommended that you carefully and concretely think through how it would look and feel to perform the particular response and how it would play out in situations that would be high risk for you. (You may need additional space, so please add additional pages as appropriate for you circumstances.)
The “No Exceptions” Clause reminds you that you cannot be reasonable when it comes to corruption.
Review your decision as well as your coping tactics. Understand what you are committing to, and do not make commitments that you are not prepared to honor to the letter. Once you make the commitment you cannot be reasonable! Follow your rules exactly as specified, with no exceptions.
Don’t sign unless you are willing and able to honor your decision. If you have any doubts consider a shorter duration, or invest more time developing and rehearsing coping tactics until you are ready to finally make your decision and act.
The Relapse Prevention Section describes how you will continue to develop after the immediate crisis has passed.
There are several predictable and unpredictable high-risk situations waiting for you. Good long-term outcome depends upon your ability to stay your path and learn from your experiences.
Your plan to learn from successes is listed first. (There are more ways to fail than to succeed, so successes tend to have a lot of information value.)
The important part of this section is your plan for responding to a lapse. It is essential that you prevent a single lapse from leading to complete relapse. For many individuals with an excessive appetite it is important to develop an approach that allows you to benefit from the lessons of cause-and-effect and yet prevent ruminative self-focus, demoralization, and the other primitive reactions that promote relapse.
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