A Lawyer s Antidote to Self- Destructive Habits: Substances and Other Abuses

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1 A Lawyer s Antidote to Self- Destructive Habits: Substances and Other Abuses

2 Mark s Relevant Background Trial lawyer for 25+ years Teaching at UT Law for 11 years JD, UT; MA in Counseling Psychology Formerly therapist at SF Drug Court Treatment Center Coaching lawyers and law firms in career and workplace issues Working with Couples (with and without substance abuse issues) and individuals at Bay Area Community Therapy in SF Author, Why Lawyers (and the rest of us) Lie and Engage in Other Repugnant Behavior

3 Jeena s Relevant Background Former prosecutor Bankruptcy lawyer since 2008 Teaches mindfulness meditation Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher training practicum One-on-one coaching for reducing stress/anxiety Career coaching for lawyers Author, The Anxious Lawyer (ABA)

4 Agenda Self-Destructive Habits Examples & Causes Neurobiology of Stress and Addictive Behavior Focus on Wellness Example of self-care Managing Triggers and Urges People, Places, Things Emotional Triggers Making Choices The Development of Will Power The Power of Habit

5 Self-Destructive Habits What are self-destructive habits? What causes it? Fear of failure Fear of not being good enough Fear of rejection Judgment from inner-critic

6 Why are Lawyers So Unhappy? Vicarious Trauma: Results from the identification with other s suffering. It s the cost of caring, the pain of empathy; the pain of seeing a party suffer at the hands of another. Direct Trauma: Results from aggression including manipulation, verbal assaults by a mediation participant; the pain of dealing with the retaliatory impulse. Burnout: Results from working with difficult clients and is the consequence of frustration, powerlessness, and inability to achieve work goals i.e., inability to get a party to be what we think is reasonable; the pain of dealing with the retaliatory impulse.

7 Which of the following cravings would you most like to manage better? Cigarettes Amounts or types of food Technology use (e.g., texting, game playing (WWF, etc.), videogames Alcohol Caffeine Gambling Prescription medication Illegal drugs (e.g. cocaine, meth, pot, heroin, ecstasy)

8 A Major Substance Abuse Trigger: The Urge to Medicate Feelings!

9 The Neurobiology of Stress & Addictive Behavior

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13 The Serenity Prayer

14 Focus on Wellness Secure your own oxygen mask before helping others. - International Civil Aviation Organization, Pre-Flight Safety Demonstration Importance of Self-Care Self-care vs. Selfish Importance of Self-Compassion

15 Letting Go of Worries, Stress & Anxiety Where is your attention? Past? Future? Or Present? How does it show up in your body? Move a muscle, change a thought (Smile!) Write your worries Back to basics Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Reframe/ Let go of labeling

16 Managing Triggers/Urges What starts the dopamine neurons firing? Select your most pleasurable indulgence: What happens when you just think about it? What happens when you think about something you associate with it? People Places Things

17 Emotional Triggers Anxiety Outrage Despair Helplessness Depression

18 Substance induced brain changes: low dopamine

19 Making Choices:Will Power (Self-Control) Things that adversely affect will power (selfcontrol) Early childhood trauma: marshmallow experiment Decision Depletion Practicing self-control Paradox of self-control: exercise enough pro-active self-control to avoid having to use it in an emergency. And that leads us to a discussion of habits...

20 Making Choices: Habits Developing Habits Cue, routine, reward. Craving

21 Poll Who won the 2006 Super Bowl? A. The Pittsburgh Steelers B. The Indianapolis Colts C. The New England Patriots D. The New Orleans Saints

22 Changing Habits Once you know the cue and reward sought, focus on changing on the habitual routine. Must believe change is possible; group support helps establish the belief. Community support helps prevent relapse into old habits.

23 How to Help the Out of Control Addiction Sufferer Interventions? Pre-contemplation, Contemplation: costs of SQ, benefits of change Focus factually on the emotional impact of the behavior on others or yourself Envision how life could be without the addictive behavior

24 Armistice Day NOVEMBER 11, 1970 NO MATTER WHAT.

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