Positively Impacting Addicts with NLP

I developed a workshop for a drug service called Norfolk recovery partnership, for addressing motivation and improving client’s success at achieving freedom from addiction.

Positively Impacting Addicts with NLP

Posted by Julius Asiaw on

I developed a model called Access to recovery workshop as an access to recovery for a drug service called Norfolk recovery partnership, as a means of addressing motivation and improving client’s success at achieving freedom from addiction.

The ATRW was based on my original model called cleanstep developed 7 years ago mainly to help me manage my case load and move my clients on to their desired recovery goals.

Using the wheel of life from life coaching, I started to coach clients within the Drug of Choice (DOC) using the four pillars of NLP and the theme of cause and effect and reframing, to help them look at their addiction from a different perspective. I also used metaphors to further illustrate the learning for the clients.

Fast-forward to the year 2016 and the opportunity came to implement this as a pilot with a drug and alcohol service base in Norfolk called Norfolk drug & alcohol service. We called it ATRW.

The program linked the Principles of success to the client’s behaviour and how within their behaviour of choice relating to their drug of choice (DOC), they operate a system of complete success.

They know their outcome, they show behavioural flexibility, they build and maintain rapport, they operate from a physiology and psychology of excellence and most importantly, they take action. All this is specific to the DOC.

I also used the theme of cause and effect to illustrate how they operate from the place of cause when it comes to the DOC, however leading to the action are all the effects used to get them there.

The model elicits all the excuses that clients uses (effect) to get to the at (cause) behaviour. Then asking the question, if they were to imply the same method to achieving their recovery goal, what would happen?

In using the principle of success from NLP, for example, the addicted person wakes up with an absolute outcome of achieving their goals around the DOC, even though that is not their wish to, they still demonstrate these principles of knowing their outcome which leads to the last and most important principle of all, taking action.

I also used the amount of years they have been in their addictive behaviour to illustrate how the mind works in terms of learnt behaviour through the subconscious and auto commands.

I used the metaphors such as recovery is not a microwave meal rather a slow cooker to illustrate the journey of recovery.

The microwave illustrated the behaviour of quick fix (the behaviour linked to the DOC) and a slow cooker (linked to how to approach recovery). I further expand the metaphor by asking the clients to list the ingredients that goes into making a slow cooker meal. The ingredients then became the steps needed to achieve their recovery goal whilst in service and also needed to build their wheel of life. Again illustrating to the client that they operate a slow cooker system when it comes to sourcing their DOC. They show great patience and will often go through all forms of obstacles just to get to the DOC. Again asking the question of them to imagined what they could achieve if they were to apply all that learning to their recovery goal.

The pilot ran for 6 months and showed a massive improvement in results for clients entering service. It was then rolled out to the whole county.

To date it has been a massive success and I now intend to find a way to develop this even further to help drug and alcohol services on how to deliver an effective service to drug and alcohol clients in the country.

I will stress that, though this doesn’t fit all, it has helped the majority of drug and alcohol clients achieve dreams that they never though achievable.

As a practitioner of NLP, this journey started for me about 10 years ago and I still see the impact it has made in my life and this is just one of many success stories to share.

Julius Asiaw
Julius Asiaw