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Ride that Wave with Urge Surfing

Confession time … I love bagels. As a native New Yorker, it’s in my DNA to be pulled towards them. Unfortunately, it’s also in my DNA to metabolize carbohydrates poorly, so bagels aren’t really something that I should be eating regularly (according to my doctor, at least!). And yet, every day on my way to

Re-Thinking Communication

Human beings are social creatures; we are wired to communicate with each other for survival, for companionship, and for progress. After practicing this skill for all of human history, talking to another person seems like it should be easy for us. Yet somehow we seem to struggle with it, especially when we are trying to

Change is Hard!

If you are trying to change a habit, like drinking too much, eating too much, or taking too many pain pills, you have probably realized that changing behavior patterns is a complicated and often a very difficult process. Sometimes you may find that engaging in the behavior feels “compulsive,” like you can’t quite resist the

Let’s talk about Reinforcement

People spend a lot of time trying to change behaviors. Everything from changing your diet, exercising more, spending less, and changing your substance use is behavior change. In many ways, we’re so used to trying to change our behaviors that we don’t focus on the basics anymore. We just want to change better and faster!

The Willingness to Change

If you or someone you love is considering making a behavior change, you may want to spend some time thinking about the concept of willingness. It’s something you’ve likely heard before, the idea of being willing to change or willing to engage in something that is difficult. The dictionary definition of willingness is the state

No Pain, No Gain

People don’t use substances because they’re crazy. People don’t use substances because they’re bad people. People use substances because they get something they like, or want, or need out of it. As human animals, the things we do are motivated by what happens next: we repeat or increase our behavior if something good happens. These

Finding Your True North

If you’ve ever used a compass, you know that the little metal pointer inside is always pointing north. This is how people throughout time have been able to find their way through the wilderness. If you know where north is, you can orient yourself and get where you want to go. Even in the most

This is Your Brain on Drugs

For many people, there is an iconic commercial from the 1980’s about the influence of drugs on your brain. A man holds an egg, which is meant to represent your brain, has a hot skillet, which represents drugs, and he cracks the egg into the pan, which begins to sizzle and cook as he says

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