I am embarrassed to admit I was a little reluctant to begin reading John Flaherty’s new book, ."Addiction Unplugged"” Yes, he generously provided me with a copy, and I knew I could not, not read it!
I was expecting another quasi-academic treatise into the therapy and practice of addiction treatment and to be quite honest due to recent experience, I had had my fill of those. How wrong can you be?
Instead, by reading"Addiction Unplugged" I have undergone an amazing, experiential journey into change. My change…..the book brings the reader face to face with critical life issues and then provides solutions to overcome the challenges. It does that by means of hypnotic languaging patterns and some other powerful tools taken from NLP as well as the remarkable power of Hawaiian, Ho’pono’ pono. This roughly translates to “make it right”. John uses the Hawaiian technique as a hugely potent re-framing tool which makes the book itself a near miraculous healing strategy. He does this by inviting the reader to examine distressing events of the past. This is not an invitation to wallow in the painful emotions that surface. Instead, we acknowledge the uncomfortable trigger with a simple “thank-you”. This stills the turmoil and brings peace to the event. The occurrence is no longer a drama and we do not need to spend hours processing the feelings that bubble to the surface. What happened, happened.! It was part of the developmental journey we call life. We are now ready for the next step, which is acceptance and the learning that goes with it. “I am sorry, please forgive me.” We are really detaching from all blame and judgement. We dealt with the events as best we could. We had no resources to behave differently, but now we do, “thank you”. Personally, I found this to be hugely powerful when it came to reviewing certain happenings in my own life, not least of all was my own “rehab” journey.
In 2011 I was invited to join a new rehabilitation project that was being launched in a breathtaking location on the tropical island of Koh Samui I was asked to join the team, not as an addiction counselor , which I am not,but as a meridian energy technique specialist to aid the treatment process as it helped the clients to make their way back to sobriety. I can only say how disappointed I was to witness the dysfunction inherent in the “Center” itself which was sadly also reflected in the amount of relapse experienced when people returned to the environment they called home.
During my stay there, I witnessed and participated in a drama fully worthy of Greek tragedy . I was present and witnessed the public sacking of the clinical director during a staff meeting that had been stage managed for that very purpose. I felt like Judas when the new director came over and hugged me after the meeting in an effort to elicit my unwilling support.
Events quickly unraveled. The new director was deeply committed to a 12 step approach and my fate was quickly sealed when I made an impassioned plea that it was essential the residents came to recognize their power and not their frailty. I wish I had this book then, because I could have waved it in the faces of those who sought to control by fear and instead demonstrate that to heal those who craved to break free from addiction, could do so from a place where they could see that they were never separated from the source of their own power which would unfailingly provide them with the strength to find their own healing. This message comes over strongly, well done John for bringing it for all of us to see! "Addiction Unplugged" is an essential read for everybody addict or non-addict, therapist or non-therapist. I urge you all to beg, borrow or steal a copy and let it assist you on your own journey, because by doing this You cannot Not create a better experience of life, you know!
Alister Bredee D.HH, DCN MD (Alternativa Medicina)
May 18th 2014