Inner Dialogues of Addiction, Treatment and Recovery IV


Inner Dialogues of Addiction, Treatment and Recovery IV

In our last entry we looked at how our addictive inner dialogs with specific absent others become repetitive such that the dynamic of our inner conversations themselves keep us trapped in our addictions. Underlying this dynamic is a closed feedback loop. It is this closed loop that keeps the addict from “seeing” the downward spiral that is occurring-sometimes unfortunately even unto death.


This phenomena is classic systems theory wherein closed systems-systems that do not change-eventually die. The key then is to break out of the closed system of repetitive thoughts.


Recall that our inner dialogs always require our inner speaker and an inner listener. The first step in breaking out of the repetitive dialogs is to simply become aware of what is going on within the dialog itself. As we learn to “watch” our own Inner dialogs we note that as the observer we can-at will-at least change the inner listeners we choose to converse with.


This small change has profound implications for as we learn to change our inner listeners from the perspective of an inner observer we can begin to break the closed loop of addiction itself.


In our next entry we will look at how our inner observer can become the gateway to recovery.



Rick Murphy, M.A.

Post Discussion

  1. Addict

    Breaking the closed loop of addiction is contigent upon the development of one\'s ability to observe, with non-judgmental awareness, all passing cognitions in the present moment. Within the context of the inner dialogues of addiction, the fresh perspective of the \"watcher\" can lead the addict from what Jon Kabat Zinn refers to as the impulsive \"Doing\" Mode to the rational and composed \"Being\" Mode. It is \"Doing\" mode that is often propelled by automatic, well-worn routines, that which keeps one trapped in the cycle of addiction.

    In developing awareness of the present moment and sitting in Being Mode (shifting weight to eye of the \"watcher\"), one is capable of seeing that there is a CHOICE. One can choose not to become involved with the negative conversationalists of the mind. The core skill in developing mindfulness is learning how to step out of involvement with self-perpetuating cognitive routines. It is these cogntive routines that will irreverantly threaten the human life.

    What\'s more, non-judgemental awareness of the present moment frees oneself from the continued attempts to avoid unpleasant stimuli or acheive happiness--it is this pleasure- seeking mentality that fuels the repetitive dynamic of our inner conversations.

    Through the practice of mindfulness, one learns how to utilize the inherent wisdom of the watcher to encourage ruminations to end their power struggle. Rather than escaping, fixing, or repairing problems, one can observe things just as they are in order to see more clearly how best to respond.

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