Client’s Guide to: Relapse Prevention
Perhaps the most important thing to learn/know is that RELAPSE is a process. ‘It’ doesn’t happen at the point of using. There are almost always steps that lead up to the event.
- Relapse is broadly defined as: The act or instance of backsliding, worsening or subsiding of a given behaviour.
- From a Relapse Prevention perspective, you may be surprised to learn that the same learned processes are involved in the development of both addictive and non-addictive behaviours
- The Relapse Process can be broken down into Covert and Overt cognitive behaviours. This means there are those things that are obviously related to relapse (even though at present we are unable to change those ‘things’) and then there are those things that remain invisible to us, where we are left scratching our heads saying “…I don’t get it, I don’t understand why I used…”
- Relapse is hugely affected by biology, so its very important to understand the physiology of our addiction, and in turn the way this affects our thoughts and our brains
- Finally its important to distinguish between a ‘Lapse’ and a ‘Relapse’. A Lapse or ‘slip up’ is not the same as a relapse which is a backsliding or worsening of behaviours. Its just that, a ‘slip up’. You can stop it from turning into a full blown relapse. ALL IS NOT LOST!