Self-help online: Does it work?
In this exclusive Q&A with LiveFree Online Recovery Program we discuss the advantages of online recovery programs and the ways these type of programs can benefit people, and help them achieve and maintain sobriety.
With programs based on 25 years of practice and success, LiveFree uses a combination of cutting-edge Neuro Restructuring Techniques (NRT), hypnotic, and Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) techniques, alongside A.A.’s 12step program to provide an inclusive program.
After reading the interview, feel free to use the section below for any questions that you’d like to ask. We do our best to provide you with a personal and prompt response.
ADDICTION BLOG: For a start, can you please explain to our readers the basic expectations anyone in recovery should have from an online recovery program? What SHOULD every program have in place?
LiveFree: All programs should offer the participant the ability to access the core material 24×7. In today’s world the need to be flexible is paramount so the person in recovery can get the help they need when they need it.
An online program, if set up properly like here at LiveFree, will give the participant the same basic tools and information they get from an in-patient setting. The majority of the time spent at an in-patient treatment facility is not directly related to addiction recovery care. A lot of time is focused on keeping the person present in the treatment and not thinking about home. When you add the extra stress of being away from home and work for 28 days it makes the process much harder.
The biggest drawback to most online programs is no personal interaction. Here, at LiveFree, we offer several online group classes that our clients can access so they get that personal touch. We are the only program that uses Neuro Restructuring Techniques and all the material is laid out to help speed our clients into recovery.
Privacy and confidentiality has to be built into every aspect of the program. Lastly all programs should be as user friendly as possible. To that end we are always improving our online experience.
ADDICTION BLOG: What does an online recovery treatment process look like?
LiveFree: Once a person signs up, they are welcomed to the program and receive the first online class. This class has a detailed educational video and an assignment. They also receive the first audio file, which uses NLP and Hypnosis along with Neuro Restructuring Techniques so you start the change from the inside out.
Each day you get a new video and audio file, which are created to continuously build upon the prior lesson at both the conscious and subconscious level. First you watch the video and process it, then you do the assignment, and finally you listen to the audio file. There is also a live group class each day, in which the participant can choose to be as active as they wish. We do encourage all participants to be as active as possible.
We attack every level and incorporate the best from traditional addiction treatment, Cognitive Behavioral, with the core of the 12 Step Program, and blend it with the newest cutting aspect of neurology, brain based recovery, and NRT in a way that has never been done before.
ADDICTION BLOG: Do patients need some specific hardware and software equipment to start this type of program?
LiveFree: Our Program supports all platforms. Our clients can access the program from their computer, laptop, phone, or tablet. We do recommend that our program users have the latest version of the browser that they use. They also will need to download the free Zoom Video Conferencing Service so they can participate in the daily group class.
ADDICTION BLOG: What are the goals of an online addiction recovery program?
LiveFree: Success of course, is success. One of the things that is starting to shift in the recovery world is “WHAT IS SUCCESS” for a person in recovery. For the last 75 years total abstinence has been the ONLY goal, but with some of the current science, moderation may be considered success for many in recovery.
A story to explain this:
Dr. Horton was recently working with a lady who was struggling to sober up. She is college educated (advanced professional degree) and very successful, but nothing seems to work. Dr. Horton”s experience and expertise in this field is understandable as this has been his passion for the last four decades. While he was researching he came across some information that sheds new light on this age old problem.
Let’s start with how our current thinking about addictions is FINALLY starting to evolve. Addiction treatment has not changed much in the last 50 years and the current model is based on some flawed science, so to speak.
Our current outlook on addiction is based on the ”War on Drugs” where, as a society, we look at drugs and alcohol as the problem and that by the nature of these drugs they are so addictive they will hook you quickly and if you try to stop you will experience extreme pain, or withdrawal, and relapse. Then as a society we say that we need to remove the drug and people will not fall prey to this ”evil”. This has cost society billions upon billions of dollars and ruined countless lives.
It was seared into our collective consciousness with an advertisement done in the 1980’s. This ad showed a rat in a cage with two water bottles. One bottle had plain water and the other water infused with cocaine. The rat chose the coke infused water while totally ignoring food and the untainted water. From this we were lead to believe that the drugs themselves are the problem, not the behavior.
Remember, these ads are watched with the critical factor of the mind relaxed and it is repeated until it is accepted as ”TRUTH”. The study was redone using some other drugs and they came to the same conclusion.
However, some researchers questioned this study. The rat was alone and basically an unhappy rat. On a follow up some researchers took the rats from the cage and put them into a better environment, a happy rat park, with things to do and other rats. The water bottles were there again one with just water the other water and cocaine and the result was that the rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.
Wow, but is this just a ”rat” thing?
Well we have some interesting history to draw from, the Vietnam War. During this was many soldiers used heroin, marijuana, and alcohol excessively and there was great fear of this huge addiction problem coming home with them. However, when these soldiers returned home 90% just stopped using excessively. Very few needed rehab. It was the terrifying cage (an unpopular war) and when they returned to a happy cage, the escape needed was no longer there. The 10% that stayed in the addiction needed help.
So if we get people into a happy ”cage “(life), for many, the addiction may fall off completely and they may return to a more normal lifestyle.
We still suggest abstinence at the start and many may never feel the need or urge to use anything ever again.
Back to our example, once Dr. Horton’s client got comfortable and happy with her life and she quit placing unrealistic expectations on herself and focused on what recovery meant, using NRT, she settled into a contented sober lifestyle.
ADDICTION BLOG: Are there any people who should not use an online recovery program? Who SHOULD NOT consider this type of addiction treatment?
LiveFree: Just about anyone can benefit from using our online program. The only caveat is we find that the people who are in full blown withdrawal cannot stop long enough to get into the flow of the program. For those we suggest a medical detox and then come back and do our program. Much the same way that most in-patient facilities will judge if a person needs detox, and if not they enter straight into the treatment phase. This is a case by case decision. However, it must be noted most people start a non-directed self-help program (AA, NA, GA) without going through detox.
ADDICTION BLOG: How successful are the techniques you use (NRT, hypnotic, 12 step, and NLP techniques) as part of your LiveFree Online Recovery Program? How is efficacy measured and tracked?
LiveFree: Hypnosis and NLP has been proven to work with many addictions and it is one of the treatments of choice for smoking and weight loss. The only reason they have NOT been incorporated into more traditional treatments is lack of knowledge of how to do them. You can go to our website for a list of studies that show this.
It works by bypassing the critical factors of the mind and reprogramming the subconscious. We update our computers and phones but no one shows us how to update our minds. We are running old programs which may no longer work. We measure success on the outcome that our clients have stated they want. We do stress abstinence but we understand everyone has different needs and wants. We cannot guarantee abstinence as that’s a lifelong process, but we do guarantee progress toward a happy, healthy, contented life. This is the key to living rich.
ADDICTION BLOG: What are Neuro Restructuring Techniques and how do you apply them in work with clients?
LiveFree: What we do with NRT is look at what is the difference in those that recovered from an addiction and those that do not, what internal changes do they do, what did they change inside, that helps them become the kind of person who does not NEED to use and abuse substances.
This is what the LiveFree program is all about, helping you become the person that you need to be so you can easily and naturally change so addiction is not an issue. You have to change from the inside out, and that is the core of the program using the new technology Neuro Restructuring Techniques which have Hypnotic subconscious and Neuro Linguistic Programming as its key. We also went back to the very foundations of the 12 step programs and looked at why it worked so well in its beginning, but seems to have tapered off. Lastly we added some new insights that will help you heal in new ways and repair the things that started the addiction in the first place.
A quick example is the functions of the reticular activating system and how it relates to addiction. Among other functions, it contributes to the control of sleep, walking, sex, eating, and elimination. Perhaps the most important function of the RAS is its control of consciousness; it is believed to control sleep, wakefulness, and the ability to consciously focus attention on something. In addition, the RAS acts as a filter, dampening down the effect of repeated stimuli such as loud noises, helping to prevent the senses from being overloaded
Imagine that you’re wanting a new car, but you have not decided on the type of auto you want, so you are looking around. Then you decide to get a Jeep, suddenly you notice them everywhere. The day before you did not pay attention to them, now you can’t miss them. An active addict can find drugs almost anywhere as they have been trained to find them. They need to find ways to look for sobriety.
Think of all the noise - hundreds of types of cars but you sort out the one you want, easily and quickly. How much of this clutter is brought to your attention? Not a lot. Addicts and alcoholic have trained this part of their brain to keep them in the addiction. True, you can see, hear and even feel general background noise, but not many of us bother to listen to each individual sound. The hum of an air-conditioner, the sight of passing cars, even the feel of your clothes. Ever got new shoes and they hurt, but then you focus on a task and you forget your pain. Think of an athlete injured in a game who does not feel it until it’s over (or of course combat).
When your attention is correctly focused your RAS is the automatic mechanism inside your brain that brings relevant information to your attention. Your reticular activating system is like a filter between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind. It takes instructions from your conscious mind and passes them on to your subconscious. There are some interesting points about your RAS that make it an essential tool for achieving goals.
So you can deliberately reprogram the reticular activating system, if you have the tools to self-choose the exact messages you send from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind. For example, you can set goals using NLP and add visualizations to your goals. We show you how to reprogram your mind so it becomes your ally.
ADDICTION BLOG: Do you have any privacy and confidentiality protocols? For example, are family members allowed to be present in the room during the sessions?
LiveFree: The daily video and audio, as well as journaling which they do at home can be done privately. Since they do not need time away from work, 28 days is an obvious cue that someone went into addiction treatment, this adds even more privacy then traditional treatment.
All our technology is HIPPA compliant which means that client data is always secure and private.
Our classes, provided over a secure network, are as secure as the participants make it. We also allow clients to monitor classes and stay totally anonymous if they choose.
ADDICTION BLOG: Who runs the group sessions?
LiveFree: Our LiveFree facilitators are trained in our methods and are skilled in NRT and addiction recovery. All of our team has had intense experience in addictions in one way or another. We have found (as many traditional centers) that people who have a true passion for helping people recover do better than any expert with no passion.
ADDICTION BLOG: How do you measure success after a person finishes the program? How do you know if they succeeded becoming drug or alcohol free? How do you track their progress?
LiveFree: When a client completes the program, has achieved inner happiness, and have found that they no longer need or want to abuse substances that is when we have true success. Our real goal is to help people become the type of person who does not want to escape from reality, but embrace and enjoy it.
There are four elements of success we expect our clients to do daily:
- Watch the video
- Listen to the audio file
- Attend the live group class
All four are monitored. When they follow the program for these 21 days, progress is natural.
We, like all of you, want to help people recover, not just quickly but thoroughly from the inside out.
We are offering a program that without any exceptions provides improvement in the emotional states of our clients. It is possible that they might still be using drugs while in the program, but the knowledge this program gives them will help them realize that it is possible to feel good without drugs. It also provides a set of tools (hypno sessions) and skills learned in the program that are available on demand, similar to chemical stimulants, only harmless. This is why we say the change happens from inside out. The need to ”feel good” or “better” or ”enhanced” is natural. The tools and skills to help us acquire that feeling are already in us, and these are our teachings. This is the mission of the LiveRich program.
ADDICTION BLOG: What are the differences between the LiveFree Online Addiction Recovery Program and other addiction treatment programs? What advantages does your program offer to addicts?
LiveFree: Naturally, the advantages are many:
We are the only program (online or live) that uses cutting edge Neuro Restructuring Techniques, based in the sciences of NLP & Hypnosis, which helps people change from the inside out. That is the kind of change that works.
We also have studied what people who recover from an addiction do differently than who do not. It is the small simple things that propel people into true recovery.
LiveFree also allows for total anonymity. Your employer, the government, and/or your insurance company does not have to know you’re seeking help. In today’s environment many can’t take 28 days off to go away for treatment. Also, some professions discourage seeking recovery due to security concerns. Many treatment seekers just want privacy and we allow that better than other programs.
We help people get better at home, and work, so they don’t have a huge shock when they return from treatment. It is sad to see people go away for 28 days and then relapse when thrown back into the real world. By working on yourself and getting better where you are, the chances for long term and happy recovery is much better.
We also teach you a lot of information on how your brain/mind actually works so you can use that to not just recover from addiction, but develop a life worth living.
ADDICTION BLOG: Do you have anything else that we didn’t ask you, but you would like to add or share with our readers?
LiveFree: In today’s world, we are losing the war on addiction using outdated methods. We are offering a revolutionary program based on the science and proven results of neurological based recovery. In our mission the goal is to set a new standard and we are welcoming colleagues in this field to join us in our movement.