During the last month, experienced addiction counselor and motivational speaker Neil Paul has presented three more “life-coaching” sessions at SHAFA HOME, Delhi. These sessions have adopted more of a discursive format than previous ones wherein Neil Paul focuses less on “lecturing” our conscientious participants. Instead he now acts as a passive ‘facilitator’ watching from the sideline. He has gradually encouraged the residents to take the reins themselves to generate their own peer-to-peer discussion regarding their recovery.
Neil Paul’s fourth session residents viewed and debated well-known recovery slogans and therapeutic community maxims. These included “one day at a time”, “keep it simple”, “this too shall pass” amongst a throng of other impactful and poignant words of advice and guidance. We were encouraged to think about the impact of recovery words (maxims) upon our behaviour. Neil Paul posed a question; “how do certain words manage to infiltrate our mind and shape our responses? Why and how do we become emotionally influenced by others? The atmosphere was lively and residents were chirpy to share their unique points of view. The next level of the discussion revolved around how residents implemented these slogans into their recovery and how. All-in-all, this session gripped our enthusiastic participants, allowed them to develop on their self-expression skills alongside their broadmindedness and compassion towards different perspectives within recovery. All in all, another successful movement forward in their mission of building upon their personal growth!
His fifth session involved an interactive discussion regarding the adorable but incredibly informative psychological short story entitled “Who Moved My Cheese?” a tale regarding the importance of adapting to new situations. The story involves two mice and two humans who live to seek out and consume their beloved “cheese”. This “cheese” is a psychological buzz-word for what they desire in life. The residents were urged to consider the applicability of the story’s message within their own life. What was their favourite cheese? How did they respond when it was removed? Residents were urged to reassess the priorities within their life and most importantly remember that new experiences lie ahead of them.
His sixth session involved our residents discussing their feelings regarding their recovery journey so far. This was undertaken in a senior peer-to-younger peer forum. Neil Paul gave occasional verbal prompts in order to steer the discussion down different tributaries of subject matter. Key topics covered teamwork, positive thinking and the applicability of TC skills in the outside world. One of our coordinators mentioned that younger residents let small issues eventually overpower them and spark a mental breakdown within treatment. Another key problem is that they don’t verbally offload their problems. This procrastination is totally dangerous!! They result in a massive backlog of unresolved fears and anxieties which block a resident’s attainment of personal growth.
So the hot question searing our lips was “WHAT CAN WE DO TO SUCCEED IN TREATMENT?” –It came down to one clear answer...”bite the bullet, suck up your apprehensions and just do it [treatment]. Do what is asked of you with blind faith”. After viewing a short story called “The Old Wise Man”; we realized that it didn’t matter if we were 92 or 22, in an old folk’s home or in a drug de-addiction centre. As long as we challenged our menacing ‘stinking thinking’ to vomit out our prickly cynicism and ‘smart-alecky’ probing, then we would find gratitude for treatment.
Neil Paul’s sessions have been successful reminding the residents that currently being in treatment is the best thing for them at the moment. They are continuously adding to their self-confidence, self-worth and positivity! The content discussed over these three sessions gave them an opportunity to consider the necessary steps needing to be taken to progress forwards. Our ongoing thanks to Mr. Neil Paul for his time, dedication and edifying sessions with our residents.
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