Week 10 discussion 2 response to classmates

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Please no plagiarism and make sure you are able to access all resource on your own before you bid. Main references come from Van Wormer, K., & Davis, D. R. (2018) and/or American Psychiatric Association. (2013). You need to have scholarly support for any claim of fact or recommendation regarding treatment. I have also attached my discussion rubric so you can see how to make full points. Please respond to all 3 of my classmates separately with separate references for each response. You need to have scholarly support for any claim of fact or recommendation like peer-reviewed, professional scholarly journals. If you draw from the internet, I encourage you to use websites from the major mental health professional associations (American Counseling Association, American Psychological Association, etc.) or federal agencies (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institutes of Health (NIH), etc.). I need this completed by 05/04/19 at 2pm.


Responses to peers. Note that this is measured by both the quantity and quality of your posts. Does your post contribute to continuing the discussion? Are your ideas supported with citations from the learning resources and other scholarly sources? Note that citations are expected for both your main post and your response posts. Note also, that, although it is often helpful and important to provide one or two sentence responses thanking somebody or supporting them or commiserating with them, those types of responses do not always further the discussion as much as they check in with the author. Such responses are appropriate and encouraged; however, they should be considered supplemental to more substantive responses, not sufficient by themselves.

Read a your colleagues’ postings. Respond to your colleagues’ postings.

Respond in one or more of the following ways:

· Ask a probing question.

· Share an insight gained from having read your colleague’s posting.

· Offer and support an opinion.

· Validate an idea with your own experience.

· Make a suggestion.

· Expand on your colleague’s posting.

1. Classmate (A. Mc)

     Luckily for me, this assignment lined up perfectly with my season of Lent. Therefore, I had multiple motivations to be successful in my abstinence. I decided to give up chocolate and other desserts/sweets. While my experience was (mostly) successful, I did experience moments of weakness. For example, as a woman, I tend to crave what I was abstaining from about once a month, if you’re picking up what I’m putting down. Therefore, around this time, I found it much more difficult to continue my abstinence from chocolate and sweets. I found myself searching for loopholes throughout the duration of this assignment and Lenten season, as well. I found food items that I wouldn’t typically call chocolate or desserts to ease my sweet tooth (e.g. pumpkin bread and strawberries soaked in a little bit of sugar). There were two times where I completely failed to abstain: (1) at my niece’s very first birthday party (I just had to have chocolate cake on this special occasion, right?) and (2) when I was sick with a high fever and loss of appetite, all I wanted was a chocolate shake.

           My boyfriend joined me on this journey, as he was abstaining from chocolate (only) for Lent. I believe this made my experience with abstinence much easier. Whenever I really wanted that piece of chocolate or just one Starburst, he was always there to tell me “no.” This was something we were doing together and neither of us wanted to let the other down—accountability. My mom was also very supportive of my abstinence, except for the time she told me it was okay to eat the chocolate birthday cake. The idea of Lent is to “fast” but not publicize your fasting. Therefore, there were not many people who knew that I was giving up chocolate and sweets. For this reason, I was often tempted and offered the exact thing(s) I was trying to avoid.

           I will never be able to fully understand what it might feel like to abstain from drugs, alcohol, gambling and other addictions. However, this assignment helped me identify things to discuss with my clients, things to look out for, weak moments, and the effects of the people around someone abstaining. For example, I can imagine that there were thoughts I had that may be similar to a future client’s:

· Well, just this one time. It’s a special occasion.

· I don’t feel well, and I know the one thing that will make me feel better.

· This substance will help ease my cravings, and it’s not necessarily what I am abstaining from.

Further, I learned that a support system is very important to be successful. Helping the client to identify their own support system or find one (e.g. AA or other mutual help groups) would be an important task when working with clients with an addiction diagnosis.

2. Classmate (C. Ree)

Social Media has become one of the most widely used outlets of most people today. It can be helpful if you have a business or if you are promoting.  On the other hand, Social media can become addictive. For this exercise I elected to abstained from Facebook and I will give an account of my experience. Six weeks ago, I tapped the Facebook APP on my phone with the hopes of that being my last tap. Later I would find out that not clicking the APP would be more difficult than expected. According to Van Wormer and Davis (2018) surveys of Facebook users show that around 12% are considered at the problematic stage. Not until I tried to free myself from this excessive Facebook use, did I consider that my time spent on this particular media could be additive. Addiction is defined as a compulsive uncontrollable dependence on a habit or practice to a degree that it causes a physiological reaction (Byun, Ruffini, Mills, Douglas, Niang, Stepchenkova, & Blanton, 2009).  I recall, the first day, how difficult it was to not grab my device and check Facebook since I had become used to spending undocumented hours viewing this media.  As I explained my assignment to my husband, co-workers, and friends their response was different but mostly they encouraged continued use. My friends, for instance, would continue to ask me if I had seen a particular thing or they would ask me to post work related things. Being around people who consistently used and discussed Facebook increased my consideration for returning.

Relapse/External Influences

It was not long before I was clicking the APP again and returning to my excessive hours of scrolling through social media. Afterwards, I felt as if I had let myself down and I considered the notion that this could be an issue for me. After going back to Facebook and then withdrawing from it once more, increased the level of difficulty in staying off for 6 weeks.  When I started I was “clean” for about a day and quickly relapsed into another Facebook binge. Again, I felt terrible and like I had let myself down. Externally, my environment played a role in how well I was able to not use social media.  This has been a difficult task since I had been “using” for over 9 years and trying to quit suddenly did not endure very long.


After being a part of this experiment I have gathered that I do spend more time than I really want to on social media. I noticed how my family, friends, and coworkers can all play a major role in my Facebook usage. Since 9 out of 10 people, for instance, that I come in contact with are social media users in some capacity.  I could not help but to think if I were discussing another substance and how my external factors would influence my usage. Other insights that I gain from being a part of this and thinking about possible clients, is how difficult it must be. How difficult it must be to have an additive behavior, remain in the environment that supports it, all while trying to stop the behavior. This has resonated with me that changing a habit is not at all easy to change or to maintain. People who have additive behaviors want to change yet there are factors that make that increasingly problematic. For instance, the environment, like mines played a key role in maintaining my Facebook usage.


This has been hard to accomplish and the environment aided in my failure. I have a new respect for those trying to escape an addictive behavior and a better description of what it feels like to try escape an additive behavior when it is dominating.  Moving forward the judgements about addictive behaviors will be less and the empathy will be more.


Byun, S., Ruffini, C., Mills, J. E., Douglas, A. C., Niang, M., Stepchenkova, S., … & Blanton, M. (2009). Internet addiction: Metasynthesis of 1996–2006 quantitative research. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(2), 203-207.

Van Wormer, K., & Davis, D. R. (2018). Addiction treatment: A strengths perspective (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

3. Classmate (T. Rod)

Abstinence in term of addiction is defined as the “process of abstaining from certain potentially addictive substances or behaviors”(Hartney, 2019). Abstaining from something that you are addictive to is very difficult, and it takes a lot of willpower. If you do have the right support system, it can make it even more difficult. In this post, I will provide a summary of my experience with abstinence including my overall success or failure and what individual traits (e.g., age, gender, personality) were most influential on my outcomes. Then I will identify the external influences on my experience, including my family, culture and other considerations I believe were significant. Lastly, I will discuss the insights I gained that might add perspective to my clinical skills in working with clients who have an addiction diagnosis.

Summary of My Experience with Abstinence

When I first started this class and saw that we had to do an abstinence activity, I had thought to myself what the best thing would be to give up that would have an impact on me. The thing I thought about was my addiction to buying electronics item. I have a healthy addiction to technology and like to buy any new technology item. So, I started my journey of not buying any new electronic, I thought it would be straightforward, but I was wrong. My first week, my computer had started acting up, and I was like this can not be happening. I was like I cannot buy a new computer at this moment even though there was a computer I wanted. I was thinking maybe this a sign that I need a buy that computer I like. I was telling myself that I need a computer for my school work and to do my work. Eventually, I was able to fix my computer, so I did not need to buy a new one.  Then this headphone that I release, and I was like I need those headphones even though I had like four headphones in my house that does the same thing. I even went to best buy to look at the headphones, and I stood in best buy for like an hour just looking at the headphones, and I was tempted to buy it. I went on best buy website over and over to look at the price, and I kept putting it in my cart to buy, but I did not go through it.  Then my phone charger had stopped working around week 3, so I had to go get a new charger, and when I went to go buy a new charger, I end up getting a charger, a phone case and screen protector even I did not need the phone case and screen protector. I brought the other two items as a substitute for not buying the headphones that I had wanted to buy.

Throughout this exercise, my friends have been coming to me asking me what are some good technology items to buy which tempt me to want to go to the Best Buy and other electronic stores to look at the different item with them and it was hard for me to go to these stores not to buy anything. My friends were like you are not breaking your abstinence activities because you are not buying anything and that I am just helping them to buy the items.

External Influences on My Experience

According to Van Wormer and Davis (2018), the family had a different adaptation method when dealing with a love one addiction. My friend and family had a big influence on my experience. One of my brothers had a big influence on my experience, I would always tell me that I did not need to buy any electronic item when I would talk to him. If I say I wanted to go to an electronics store, he would tell me no, you are not going to go there, but that would tempt you to get something new. When I told him that I brought the extra things along with my phone charger, he got upset and asked why I did that. My friends were negatively influencing me. They kept telling me that I can not survive and keep asking me to go buy them something electronic instead of going for their self. They kept telling this is what you are good, and you know you are addicted to it.  I was being pressured by them constantly, and they kept asking did you buy any new electronic items yet.  My friends were trying to encourage and enable me in my addiction instead of trying to encourage me to stay on the path I am.

How the Insights Gained Add Perspective to My Clinical Skills

I gained a lot of insight, and this experience had taught me a lot that can add some perspective to my clinical skills. This exercise shows me all the struggle that someone with an addiction goes through. They want to do engage in their addictive behavior but know that they want to change those behaviors. This also taught that when you are in the beginning stage, you start to develop healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms (Yates, DeLeon, & Rapp, 2017). For me, I notice that I am buying more item such as food, pens, and books to replace my need to buy any new electronic items.  This exercise has taught me how to be empathetic to my future clients who would have an addiction and the struggle they go through with they are trying to abstain from their addictive behavior.  Doing an abstinence activity in the counseling program shows that 69% of participants feel that abstinence assignment had a major positive effect, and 44% of participants agreed that they better understood the process of addictions recovery as a result of the assignment. (Yates, DeLeon, & Rapp, 2017). Also, this activity allows me to understand the symptoms of addictions and what I would need to do as a counselor to help my clients to deal with overcoming his or her addictions.


Hartney, E. (2019). Definition of Abstinence in Addiction Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-abstinence-including-pros-and-cons-22102.

Van Wormer, K., & Davis, D. R. (2018). Addiction treatment: A strengths perspective (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Yates, C. M., DeLeon, A., & Rapp, M. C. (2017). Exploring Experiential Learning Through an Abstinence Assignment Within an Addictions Counseling Course. The Professional Counselor, (4), 318. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.15241/cmy.7.4.318

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Required Resources

  • Van      Wormer, K., & Davis, D. R. (2018). Addiction treatment: A      strengths perspective (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.
  • Chapter      11, “Ethnicity, Culture, and the Socioeconomic Determinants of Addiction”      (pp. 431-471)
  • Gubi,      P. M., & Marsden-Hughes, H. (2013). Exploring the processes involved      in long-term recovery from chronic alcohol addiction within and      abstinence-based model: Implications for practice. Counselling      & Psychotherapy Research, 13(3), 201–209.
         Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Hendricks,      P. S., & Leventhal, A. M. (2013). Abstinence-related expectancies      predict smoking withdrawal effects: Implications for possible causal      mechanisms. Psychopharmacology, 230(3), 363–373.
         Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Lee,      H. S. (2015). The ethical dilemma of abstinence-only service delivery in      the United States. Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics, 12(1),      61–66.
         Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

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