A summary that purports to give you a deep understanding of RecoveryMind Training will inevitably leave out many of the most meaningful and robust qualities of this addiction treatment system. With that reservation in mind, here is a short list that summarizes the seven key concepts in RecoveryMind Training, which asserts that:
1. When one develops an addiction disorder, addiction overrides many of the brain’s control mechanisms, including the reward, motivation and attentional systems, and its memory and consciousness networks. Addiction hijacks all of these brain systems to its own ends, setting up a second tightly organized and efficient command and control center in the brain.
2. This second system is called AddictBrain. AddictBrain is produced by a complex set of brain systems that collude together, establishing a biological imperative to continue alcohol or other drug use. Recognizing and accepting that AddictBrain is trying to destroy its host helps rally its victims, helping patients engage in treatment.
3. The process of addiction recovery is, at its core, a learning process. The learning required is procedural learning (learning “how”) and not declarative learning (learning “what”). All useful recovery skills must be acquired and practiced in treatment. Listening to lectures has little value.
4. These skills (called Recovery Skills) are divided into six Domains:
- Domain A: Addiction Containment
- Domain B: Basic Recovery Skills
- Domain C: Emotional Awareness and Resilience
- Domain D: Internal Narrative
- Domain E: Connectedness and Spirituality
- Domain F: Relapse Prevention
5. The aggregate of definitions, domains and skills create a treatment system called RecoveryMind Training. When recovery skills are acquired and practiced, the individual with addiction develops RecoveryMind, out of which recovery emerges. Recovery is a state of significant change and often substantive transformation for the afflicted individual. As this recovery builds, he or she moves further and further away from relapse. AddictBrain and RecoveryMind are yin and yang; RecoveryMind repairs AddictBrain.
6. The needed recovery skills are many and complex. However, these skills can be taught and their acquisition measured. Therefore, treatment providers and researchers can study the efficacy of this organized treatment system.
7. RecoveryMind Training defines treatment, not recovery. It does not replace twelve-step support groups and step work (a recovery management process). RecoveryMind Training is complementary to twelve-step principles. Patients who do not want to use Alcoholics Anonymous or any other support system to assist their recovery will still benefit from RecoveryMind Training, but may be at a disadvantage regarding outcome.