HUM Open House: Save The Date!Posted on December 6, 2012
On Wednesday January 23, 2013 from 5:30-7:30pm HUM will be hosting an Open House for all interested clients, organizations, healthcare providers, and the general public to visit our new office and hear about new workshops and services that we will be offering in 2013. Refreshments will be provided as well as exciting raffle prizes, in addition to our speakers. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone who may be interested.
View the Open House Invitation Here
Chronic Pain – Q & APosted on November 28, 2012
Q: If I struggle with chronic pain and also have Addiction, does this mean that I cannot receive any medication therapy and need to suffer in pain for the rest of my life?
A: Absolutely not! Having Addiction as well as chronic pain means that it is important you have healthcare practitioners who have familiarty and expertise in both areas and can work with you to find a medication regimen that is effective for pain management but not contraindicated for Addiction. Typically this will mean avoiding benzodiazipines but there are lots of other medications out there that can aide pain relief. In addition to medication, exploring alternate ways to take care of your emotional, physical, social, and spiritual self would be recommended for lifelong recovery and pain management.
HUM Group Therapy AnnouncementPosted on November 26, 2012
Effective December 3, 2012, group therapy will begin five minutes later and end five minutes earlier. This is to accommodate for our new location where street parking is available for two hours. New group therapy times are as follows:
Friday: 1:05-2:55pm (Men’s Group)
3:35-5:25pm (Early Recovery)
Mental Health – The Johari WindowPosted on November 25, 2012
By Sue Newton, Registered Nurse
The Johari window is a technique used in individual and group counselling. It was created by 2 psychologists in the 1950s, Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham to help people better understand their relationship with themself and others. Luft and Ingham called their Johari Window model ‘Johari’ after combining their first names, Joe and Harry.
The Johari Window helps you to categorize conscious and subconscious areas of your life. The window works much like a grid. It goes from the obvious and more conscious areas of your life to the less obvious areas that you may not be aware of. The Johari window is useful to increase self awareness, personal development and interpersonal relationships.
The Johari Window focuses on four basic forms of the self:
- the public self (open)
- the private hidden self (secret)
- the blind self (“blind spots”)
- the undiscovered self (unknown).
1) The public/open self is what you and others see in you. You typically do not mind discussing this part of yourself with others. Most of the time you agree with this view you have and others have of you.
A goal of individual and group therapy is to increase the size of the open area by decreasing the blind space or “blind spots”. This is done by being receptive to feedback from the counsellor or group members. The size of the open area can also be expanded downwards into the secret or avoided space by the person’s disclosure of information, feelings and thoughts to their counsellor or to group members. Also, group members can help a person expand their open area and lessen the secret area by asking the person more about him/herself.
2) The hidden or secret self is what you see in yourself but others do not. In this part you hide things that are very private about yourself. You may not want this information to be disclosed for the reason of protection. It could also be that you may be ashamed of these areas due to vulnerability and to having your faults and dysfunctions exposed.
A goal of therapy is to move hidden information, thoughts and feelings into the open area through the process of ‘disclosure’. The aim is to disclose and expose relevant information, thoughts and feelings thereby increasing the open area. By telling others how we feel and other information about ourselves, we reduce the hidden area and increase the open area, which enables better understanding and trust.
3) The blind self is what is known about a person by others but is unknown to the person themself. This blind area is not an effective or productive space for individuals or groups. This blind area could also be referred to as ignorance about oneself, or issues in which one is deluded. A blind area could also include issues that others are deliberately withholding from a person.
By seeking or soliciting feedback from others, the aim should be to reduce this area and thereby to increase the open area to increase self-awareness.
4) The undiscovered or unknown self is the self that you cannot see nor others around you. In this category there might be good and bad things that are out of the awareness of others and yourself. Examples of unknown factors include a natural ability or aptitude that a person doesn’t realize they possess; an unconsious fear or aversion; repressed or subconscious feelings and conditioned behaviour or attitudes from childhood
The processes by which this information and knowledge can be uncovered are various, and can be prompted through self-discovery, observation by others or collectively through mutual discovery within a group setting. Counselling helps uncover unknown issues when therapeutically appropriate. Again as with disclosure and soliciting feedback, the process of self-discovery is a sensitive one. The extent and depth to which an individual is able to seek out and discover their unknown feelings are at the individual’s own discretion. Some people are more keen and able than others to do this. The unknown area could also include repressed or subconscious feelings rooted in formative events and traumatic past experiences, which can stay unknown for a lifetime.
What people are saying
I just wanted to thank Dr. Hajela, Sue and everyone else at the clinic for teaching me so much on this very short elective. I can see the tremendous difference your clinic makes in the lives of its patients, and it’s very inspiring.
“I am forever grateful for the opportunity and the staff. Each played a crucial role on my journey in recovery. It’s a safe place to be knowing I will be met with understanding, honesty, and compassion.”
“Exactly what I needed-a holistic approach to recovery. Fantastic team approach by the HUM team. Would highly recommend HUM for a successful start to recovery.”
“It was nothing like what I had expected, it was even better and where I am in my journey was originally unimaginable. Thank you for helping me find hope and curiosity!”
“I see that IOP gives me a chance to hear, absorb, integrate, and practice new ways of thinking and acting. Each phase and the time in between also allowed for this knowledge to start to become practical.”
“I really appreciated the professionalism of all the staff. The environment and the people are very welcoming”
“I am convinced this is the single most important program I have and ever will attend. Phenomenal!”
“I’m so impressed with how [Paige] and Dr. Hajela SO understand addiction, and how to help me see the blind spots, release some shame (or at least see it!), gain insight and connect with actually FEELING what is going on with me and how the disease shows up for me ….so amazing… Thank-you very much.”
“[The IOP] was an amazing opportunity. I liked the topics that were covered and the group therapy.”
“[For the IOP] I liked the balance of education, self-care, and sharing. I really like the ongoing discussion in the education sessions and sharing during this time, as well as in group [therapy]”
“[The IOP] was great-not just for recovery, but for life”
Anonymous Evaluation Form
“[IOP] group was great for opening up and constructive feedback”
Anonymous Evaluation Form
“[The IOP was] informative, interactive and entertaining. Keep up the great work!”
“Thank you for the very excellent group [therapy session]. The small change in perspective of my communication is making waves.”
“The newsletter sent to me was a reminder to thank you for your weekly video messages. They are quick but helpful bits of info which give you food for thought! Keep them coming!”
“The Family weekend [of the IOP] was incredible for me personally. Thank you many times over for this wonderful opportunity.”
Rebecca Foster, Foreward Reviews
The mixture of practical information and reassurances make this essential reading for patients and their loved ones.
With their first book, Addiction Is Addiction, Raju Hajela, Sue Newton, and Paige Abbott aim to foster “more open and honest dialogues about the role of Addiction in society, without stigma or judgment.” This comprehensive, well-organized guide discusses the features of addictive thinking and feeling, suggests holistic recovery methods, and offers useful definitions, diagrams, and case studies.
The authors are affiliated with Health Upwardly Mobile Inc., a health and wellness company based in Calgary, Alberta. Tracing the history of addiction back to the eighteenth century, when it was first known as “alcoholic disease syndrome,” they present an expert view of the disease’s symptoms and outlook. By stressing that addiction is a “chronic brain disease” rather than a “moral failing or personal weakness,” they evince a compassionate perspective that will encourage patients and their family members to examine their emotions and take a proactive, spiritual approach to recovery.
Addiction is influenced by both genetics and environment, the former accounting for perhaps 50 to 60 percent of incidence. Trauma does not cause it, but can aggravate it. Although the book is full of such relevant background details, the facts never become overwhelming thanks to the variety of materials included. Intriguing case studies, most of them narrated in first person, are set in italics, and diagrams and tables illustrate patients’ likely feelings, relationship roles, and recovery stages. Reading this should be an interactive experience, what with self-assessment questions and affirmations, a journaling template, and a recovery activities checklist with a sample schedule. Extensive endnotes and bibliography plus a helpful glossary provide ample resources for further research, and chapter summaries will ensure that all the take-home messages sink in.
Sometimes the book goes into too much detail for laymen. However, this means that it can be used by professionals as well as patients. An appendix on chakras seems out of place, even with the book’s focus on spiritual means of recovery. The authors have also made the unusual decision to always capitalize Addiction, “to emphasize that it is a proper noun and the name of a serious disease.” That’s as may be, but in practice it can look like a repeated typing mistake. Information appears to be specific to North America, especially when it comes to funding limitations and patient advocacy, but the general principles of care should be applicable worldwide.
This book is strongly recommended to those who have participated in groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. The mixture of practical information and reassurances will make it essential reading for patients and their loved ones.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have his/her book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Review make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Three health care professionals present an approach to treating addiction as a disease having both physical and psychological components.
In this debut health book, Hajela, Newton, and Abbott address the challenges of addiction from a holistic medical and social perspective. The book opens with an explanation of addiction—which the authors capitalize throughout, part of their effort to mitigate the stigma associated with the word—as a condition that impairs the functions of the brain. They address the physical and behavioral symptoms associated with it, using pathology as a framework for understanding and treating addiction. Without blaming the patient for developing the condition in the first place, the book attempts to acknowledge the role of personal responsibility in managing a condition often attributed to individual shortcomings. The authors address medical treatments that can be effective for some forms of addiction, like alcohol and opiates, as well as the role of psychotherapy in treating underlying psychological problems and combating the thought patterns that lead to addiction behaviors. While much of the book is aimed at people dealing with addiction, later chapters discuss the roles of friends and family and treatment providers, along with strategies each group can employ in supporting the patient. For the most part, the book advocates a balanced, reasonable approach to dealing with addiction in its many forms, drawing on research and standard practices developed by mainstream organizations. As a result, it is disconcerting when the text introduces energy healing as a component of treatment: “It is important to understand that when people are out of balance in any of the energy centres, or chakras, people run at either a higher or lower level of energy.” Although an appendix explains the concept of chakras in more detail, energy healing is not essential to the book’s mission, and skeptics will still find it a useful resource for developing an approach to treating both the mental and physical aspects of addiction and understanding it as a chronic disease.
Comprehensive approach to treating addiction as a condition affecting both mind and body.
I have found HUM very supportive and non-judgmental, yet I have been challenged every step of the way. The spiritual, emotional, social, and intellectual teaching has been clear and consistent but never forced.
My experience has been mainly positive for the most part. Anything negative or perceived as negative, I have been able to discuss with staff and it is professionally dealt with.
I value my weekly [group therapy] sessions at HUM greatly. My personal experience there means more to me than I can describe in one paragraph. It helps me really understand my recovery and my life when sometimes I feel that everything is lost or in a state of confusion.
I was very fortunate to hear about HUM and then become a patient. I may well have averted death if I did not receive the guidance and support of HUM. Having the backing of HUM as I returned to work and went off again was invaluable. Dr. Hajela listened to me and had the knowledge and understanding that gave me the confidence to be patient in my early recovery. I was never judged though I expected to be. I am grateful beyond words for the help I received in battling my addiction.
Very professional , discreet, and honestly committed to helping people in recovery.
Thought provoking sessions that focus particularly on my addiction. Understanding a problem and all of the subtleties that come with it are crucial to my recovery.
I felt very safe and comfortable and I felt truly cared for by the staff and never judged
[The HUM IOP] was great, I learnt so much
I am very satisfied with the services I receive at HUM. I feel that I am recognized and acknowledged by the staff…I feel very comfortable coming to HUM and appreciate the team approach. In closing, I must say that I feel very supported by the professionals at HUM.
The HUM group is a great asset for any person struggling with addiction as well as the complicated issues that surround them.
I really like how open the staff are. They are easy to connect with and talk to.
The IOP is awesome! This was life changing for me
I appreciate the attitude that recovery is approached with
The IOP provides fantastic support and the feeling that problems are manageable, there is hope in recovery, and it is never too late to seek help