The Space Between Stimulus and Response

Reflections on addictions counseling and creating change

Humbled and in awe.

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I am two weeks into Addictions Counseling I. And I can say that the more I learn, the more I humbly understand how little I know. For example, I have already been given a more concrete framework for motivational interviewing than I have ever had before. Topics we have covered so far, like the biopsychosocial model of addictions etiology, are also a reminder that people (and all living things) are so nuanced and complex.

And don’t even get me started on brain physiology! Like the universe, it seems to have infinite complexity. I am in awe of it. When we think about neuradaptation— tolerance and withdrawal— we recognize that it is a sign of dependence/illness, but this adaptation also highlights the strength and beauty of our bodies. Our brains adapt to maintain homeostasis, to keep us alive. Maybe this is a crazy thought, but I wonder if it can foster just a little bit of acceptance of (not resignation to) the disease of addiction and the desire to take care of ourselves.

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