Fall Workshops

I am pleased to announce the Fall 2020 Continuing Educational Workshops.  These classes will occur monthly from September 2020 -December2020.  The classes will be held  on the Zoom platform, which adds to the convenience of learning.    In addition, each class will be two hours long, allowing for smaller blocks of learning.  This will aid in retention and usability of the information.

1)Our series “kicks off” with a 2- part class on addiction.  As a therapist working in the  addiction field for most of my 35 years,  “ Hard to Handle”,  is an accurate description of dealing with addicted clients and their families.  This presentation will be broken up into two parts.  Part I, Assessment, will be held on September 16th from 9AM to 11AM.   Part II, Treatment, will be  held on September 23rd from 9AM-11AM.  Both parts will give participants many useful components in order to learn how to assess and treat addictive disorders.  The presentations will also include many case examples that illustrate these concepts.

For more information and to register go to   addiction workshop

THE ADDICTIONS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN POSTPONED

 

2)In the month of October,  “Making change:  Using Milton Erickson’s Hypnosis Principles Without Using Hypnosis” will be our topic. This workshop will occur on Wednesday October 14th from 9AM-11AM.   Erickson was a master therapist who worked uniquely with every client.  There was no “cookie cutter” or “one size fits all” approach. The best part of this class is that you can use hypnosis thinking and interventions without knowing how to do hypnosis! If you are interested in learning different therapeutic approaches using a hypnosis lens, please register for this class.

For More information go to Erickson workshop

THE ERICKSON WORKSHOP HAS BEEN POSTPONED

 

3)Wednesday November 4th from 9AM-11AM is the date for our next workshop.  Astute readers will note that this is the morning after Election Day and our workshop is aptly titled, “Winners or Losers: Use of Hypnotherapy for Anxiety and Stress Reduction”.    Regardless of the outcome of the election, can you think of a better time to learn how to use hypnosis in order to reduce stress and anxiety?  This class will have both didactic and experiential components to it.

For More information go to  hypnosis workshop

4)Our last class of the Fall 2020 workshop series may be the most important.  It involves ourselves.

  • How many times have we felt frustrated or angry when dealing with a client?
  • How many times have we hoped that this client would not attend the session?
  • How many times have we anticipated that the client would make a meaningful change after a particularly useful session, only to find out that the client has not progressed at all?

If you’ve answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, please register for “Therapist Self -Care: Work Smarter Not Harder;  How to use different models to produce change”

This class will be  held on Wednesday December 2nd from 9AM-11AM.

 

For More information go to therapist self care

 

 

Cost:

2)Using Milton Erickson’s Hypnosis principles without using hypnosis

Wednesday October 14,2020 9-11AM

Register by September 30, 2020

get early bird discount price $50

After September 30, Registration Price $75

3)Winners or losers: Using hypnotherapy for anxiety  and stress reduction

November 4, 2020 9AM-11AM

Register by October 19, 2020 for

get early bird discount price $50

After October 19, Registration Price $75

4) Therapist self- care : Work smarter not harder—How to use different models to produce change

Register by November  18, 2020

get early bird discount price $50

After November 18, Registration Price $75

 

 

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NJ Betting on Legal Gambling

This blog is a special one.  I am lucky to have a guest blogger who is a friend of mine for over 20 years and an expert in the treatment of compulsive gamblers.   NJ  recently passed a law legalizing on line gambling.  In addition, one of the major changes in the new DSM V relates to  compulsive gambling. It has gone from an “Impulse disorder” into a diagnosable addiction similar to alcohol or drug addiction.  To explain all of this in more detail, is Lenny Brazer

 Most research suggests that when the public has access to the availability of gambling the number of people who gamble will increase. This is not rocket science. The concern of professionals who treat problem and pathological gamblers is that with the increase in the number of people who gamble the proportion of those who will encounter problems or become pathological gamblers also will increase as well. Once again in New Jersey there is going to be a significant increase the amount of gambling that takes place. Gov. Christie recently signed legislation that will legalize online gambling. What this means is that virtually any person who has a computer or access to the Internet will be able to gamble in the comforts of their home. This will include gambling machines table games and any other type of gambling that goes on in the casino.

There are many caveats as well as benefits that go along with this new legislation. On the positive side the legislation will enact for the first time a significant source of funding for the treatment of problem/pathological in the state of New Jersey. Casinos in order to be licensed will have to pay an annual fee of $150,000 and it is anticipated that  eight casinos will apply for the license. Portions of that money will be divided between treatment and prevention/education via the Council on compulsive gambling of New Jersey Incorporated. One anticipated difficulty in spite of some sophisticated language and controls will be monitoring whether underage (people 18 years of age and younger)will be able to access a site and gamble illegally.

The American Medical Association recently published its Fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders(DSM V). An important departure from previous  diagnostic manuals is that the substance related disorders chapter has been expanded to include Gambling Disorder this change reflects the increasing and consistent evidence that some behaviors such as gambling activate the brain’s reward system with similar effects to those of drugs of abuse and the fact that gambling disorder symptoms resemble substance use disorders to a certain extent.

In order to diagnose gambling disorder one must have a persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as indicated by the individual exhibiting four or more of the following in a 12 month period.

1) Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement

2) Is restless or bored when attempting to cut down or stop gambling

3) Has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control cutback or stop gambling

4) Is often preoccupied with gambling e.g. having persistent thoughts of re-living past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next gambling venture, thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble.

5) Often gambles when feeling distressed e.g. helpless guilty anxious depressed.

6) After losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even “chasing” one’s losses.

7) Lies to conceal the extent of one’s involvement with gambling.

8) Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling.

9) Relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling (bailout).

Gambling behavior is not explained by a manic episode.

When making the diagnosis one can differentiate between

Episodic:meeting diagnostic criterion at more than the one time point with symptoms subsiding between episodes of gambling disorder for at least several months.

Or

Persistent: experiencing continuous symptoms to meet diagnostic criteria for multiple years.

It can also be classified as in Early Remission:

after full criterion for gambling disorder were previously met none of the criteria for gambling disorder have been met for at least three months but for less than 12 months.

Sustained Remission would suggest that after full criterion for gambling disorder were previously met none of the criteria for gambling disorder have been met during a period of 12 months or longer.

Severity can also be monitored now, ie mild 4 to 5 criteria met; moderate 6 to 7 criteria met; severe 8 to 9 criteria met.

 

Discussions during the development of these new criteria suggested that the reclassification of pathological gambling from being an impulse control disorder to a behavioral addiction will help those who have been suffering from this disorder gain access to treatment. It was also suggested that more insurers would recognize gambling disorders as treatable and third party reimbursement for treatment would increase. That is yet to be seen. Given the potential proliferation of gambling that will be happening in New Jersey, this therapist certainly hopes for the aforementioned to become realities.

 

Leonard Brazer Ed.S. CCGC

300 West Main Street

Rockaway,New Jersey 07866

Hoosierlen@aol.com

 

Leonard Brazer, Ed.S., M.A., CCGC is a New Jersey Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He is also a certified New Jersey School Psychologist and a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor. He completed a one year internship in Clinical Psychology at Monmouth Medical Center. His professional degrees are from Seton Hall University. Mr. Brazer worked for two years in a Mental Health Center prior o entering the field of addictions in 1980. He has developed comprehensive Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Programs for adults and adolescents. Mr. Brazer also founded and supervised the Pathological Gambling and Money Disorder Programs at Saint Clare’s Hospital, and at Hackettstown Hospital.

Mr. Brazer has appeared as a guest on the Sally Jessie Raphael, Joan Rivers, Good Day New York, News Talk New York, Channel 12 News, The O’Reilly Report and Caveat Venditor, and on various radio talk shows as an expert, offering information on gambling and money disorders. He has written articles for several major New Jersey newspapers, and authored a chapter for a text “I Shop, Therefore I Am, Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self”. He has consulted with 48 Hours and the Oprah Winfrey shows on feature stories regarding gambling and spending. As well, he has lectured at most major statewide conferences and East Stroudsburg University, Montclair State University, and New Jersey City University.

 Mr. Brazer has been a private practitioner and consultant since 1983.

 

 

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Female Sexual Addiction

If all addictions are shame based, then female sexual addiction is the “shame de la shame” of all addictions.
Here is a nice piece done by a Vancouver News station about female sexual addiction:

If this video struck a chord please look at this assessment:

WSAST 2

Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss your answers. The shame only continues if you keep it a secret.

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert a long time movie reviewer with Chicago Sun-Times died yesterday after a long battle with cancer.

Roger was also a recovering alcoholic who in August 2009 told his story about his recovery.  His blog should be titled “AA 101” because he tells about  how AA  works from his own perspective.  There are AA program related materials as well as you tube videos that accurately describe alcoholism and recovery in movies.

Read the blog here

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An Amazing Story

From Lifecaster

“The Beast and the Angel”

Filmmakers:
Adam McKay and Shira Piven
Location:
Los Angeles, CA

As the teenage leader of the popular 1960s Detroit band, The MC5, Wayne Kramer is a pioneer in America’s punk rock music scene. Rolling Stone magazine listed Kramer as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time. Kramer and The MC5 believed that the power of music could change the world, but personal issues and drug addictions tore the band apart, and their dream died.

In the mid-1970s, Kramer pled guilty to a cocaine-dealing charge and spent two years in federal prison. The Clash wrote a song about Kramer during this time called JAIL GUITAR DOORS. During this devastating time for him, Kramer turned to music to heal his anger and pain. When he was released, Kramer continued to play music and perform, and then he co-founded Jail Guitar Doors USA as a way to continue to heal his pain and rehabilitate prison inmates by allowing them to communicate in non-violent ways through music.

But this is a difficult journey for Kramer. As much as he wants to put aside his past, he knows that in order to achieve his goal of helping others like him, he must enter a place he never wanted to return to, and somehow use his skills and his pain to reach current inmates through music to help them heal.

Kramer must now fight with prison administrators for access and convince prisoners to trust him. If he succeeds, Kramer will take a path that combines music and tragedy to reach the goal he’s had since he was a teenager: to show how music can change world for the better—one inmate at a time.

For more information: www.waynekramer.com

Kramer talks about how he made this significant change in his life:

change is possible

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