Archives for May 2016

So People Can Hear, Too


Anne recording a podcast episodeThat’s me in the photo! I’m recording my very first episode for my own podcast channel!

Honestly, I was reluctant at first. How would I have time to both create episodes for a podcast show and co-launch podcast services in our locale with Laurel Sindewald, Handshake Media’s podcast producer? Sure, I could write the talk – I wrote how to prepare to podcast myself – but who had time to record the talk?!

Laurel said people need to be able to hear what I have to say, not just read it.

Look at her face.

I said okay.

I dragged my feet. The task seemed too huge. Laurel broke it down for me. I said, I don’t know what to say. Laurel said, looky, here’s what makes a good podcast. I read her list casually, then intently. I thought, oh, I could do that. And I’ve got that…

I sequestered myself with our recording device over the weekend. I did nothing. I finally tried early Monday morning but couldn’t remember how the buttons worked. I posted an update in our project management software, Basecamp, whining that it was just too hard for me.

Laurel sent an update back (I have her permission to share): Would you like to try doing your podcast recording together? We could feel our way forward on podcast content one bit at a time, recording together and working together on what you might want to say. Perhaps dialogue is an easy way for you to hit upon your truths.

I got tears in my eyes.

We co-created how we’ll price creating podcast channels and the list of needed items for creating a podcast channel. I provided these to Laurel then she she sent me very own podcast URL:

I felt thrilled!

The photo of me in this post is taken by Laurel as she listened to me record my very first podcast episode.

I think I am not alone in needing help to get started with a podcast. When I’m alone, I don’t talk to myself or to my cats. I contentedly observe silence. But when I’m with others, I readily talk and listen.

To start a podcast, I needed help with the technology, a listener for my talking, and an audience for my show. Laurel was stellar at all three.

And now what I have to say can be both read and heard.

. . . . .

If you live in the New River Valley of Virginia and my experience appeals to you, get in touch with me, Anne, [email protected], 540-808-6334. We’ll help you start your own podcast channel so you can be heard, too.

. . . . .

I wrote about getting “podcaster’s block” and more of my personal experience on starting a podcast channel in What I Learned About Myself from Creating a Podcast at

. . . . .

In this episode from my podcast channel, I am reading the preface to Phoenix Rising. My plan is to release the book by chapter in a series of podcast episodes, then compile the entire recording into a single audiobook.

This episode was edited and mastered by Laurel Sindewald and produced by Handshake Media, Incorporated.

DBT Improves Emotion Regulation Skills for Addictions Recovery Success

Emotions are powerful. From emotions come passions, wild and driving, which spur us to create or to destroy.
How Self-Regulation Builds Recovery Success

We define emotion regulation as “the ability to assess and change one’s emotional state, particularly in cases of extreme distress.” Emotion dysregulation – also termed “affect dysregulation” – can manifest as under- or over-regulation.

In our post a year ago, we cited the literature that links emotion dysregulation to substance use disorders:
Emotion regulation requires both-and thinking

“Substance use disorders are strongly linked to emotion dysregulation in the literature (Beckstead et al., 2015, Nikmanesh et al. 2014, Fox et al. 2008, Matthias et al. 2011, Axelrod et al. 2011, Dishion et al. 2011).  It has been proposed that substance use begins as an effort toward emotion regulation or self-regulation, but if use leads to addiction, it only worsens one’s ability to self-regulate.  This is known as the self-medication hypothesis of addiction, an older hypothesis which is still supported by scientific literature.

The perceived need to self-medicate begins when emotions become intolerable, and when an individual is unable to regulate those emotions. In fact, “negative affect,” or unregulated, negative moods such as anger, frustration, and depression, is the primary predictor of relapse for addicted individuals.”
How Self-Regulation Builds Recovery Success

In the year since that post was published, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is showing increasing favor as the treatment of choice for those struggling with addictions. DBT is a behavioral therapy developed by Marsha Linehan to help individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) begin to simultaneously accept themselves and accept that change is needed. The skills DBT teaches patients are applicable beyond BPD, however: mindfulness, interpersonal relations, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance.

While scientists recognize more research is needed to evaluate DBT’s effectiveness outside of BPD, studies have been promising in demonstrating that DBT may improve distress tolerance, reduce depression, anxiety, and other negative affect moods, and has promise for treatment of substance use disorders. As early as 1999, Linehan found that DBT was more effective than treatment as usual in reducing drug use for women with co-occurring BPD and substance use disorders (SUDs). The mindfulness component of DBT has been extensively researched, and shows the most promise for treatment of substance use disorders.

“It is important to note, areas of the brain that have been associated with craving, negative affect, and relapse have also been shown to be affected by mindfulness training.”
Witkiewitz et al., 2013

Mindfulness is essentially a meditation technique borrowed from Zen Buddhism. To practice mindfulness, one must simply become more aware of the present moment, without thought of past or future, and accept it without judgment. Scientists have studied Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), a repeatable mindfulness-based training program, and have found as recently as 2014 that those practicing MBRP report significantly fewer days of substance use and decreased heavy drinking, as well as significant decreases in craving, and fewer legal and medical problems.

Addictions treatment has historically been a field riddled with unsupported and even unconscionable “treatments.” With already such strong support in the literature, dialectical behavior therapy may be the very best behavioral therapy available to people in recovery.

This post was updated on 12/17/2016.