• Women, Sex, and Addiction, A Search for Love and Power, shows women how they can learn to experience their sexuality as a source of love and positive power and sex as an expression that honors the soul as well as the body....

  • Many Roads, One Journey; Moving Beyond the 12 Steps, paves the way for a new and broader understanding of recovery that involves both personal and social awareness. It empowers individuals to find their own voice and their own sources of strength and spirituality to guide their healing. Combining careful analysis, moving stories, and Dr. Kasl's...

  • Finding Joy, 101 Ways to Free Your Spirit, offers practical ideas to enhance the playfulness, creativity, honesty, and self-acceptance essential to bringing new joy to our lives and relationships....

  • This DVD includes the inspiring stories of two groups of women who have used the 16-step program for moving beyond addiction and overcoming trauma. With humor, heart, and determination, their stories convey both the spirit and the content of this powerful program. Based on researched criteria for overcoming trauma, addiction and depression these stories show...

  • If the Buddha Got Stuck, is a wise yet lighthearted book that will speak to anyone who's ever experienced being stuck in life and wanted to break free. With her signature clarity, wisdom, and warm heart, Kasl presents readers with seven steps that tap into life's bigger picture: Notice Where You're Stuck; Show Up; Pay...

  • The wise and insightful If the Buddha books have won Charlotte Kasl thousands of devoted readers. In her latest work, she turns her attention to parenthood, a stage of life that leaves most of us searching for answers. If the Buddha Had Kids applies Kasl's signature blend of spiritual guidelines, exercises, and practical advice to...

  • A Home for the Heart, A Practical Guide to Intimate and Social Relationships, is a clear affirming book that takes readers by the hand, empathizes with their fears, and helps them learn how to relate to others in ways that are appropriate, honest, and nurturing....

  • If the Buddha Married, Creating Enduring Relationships on a Spiritual Path, is a fresh and inspiring guide for anyone who wants to strengthen, deepen, or revitalize a relationship. This is a wise and trusted guide through the joys and thickets of relationships that last and grow....

  • If the Buddha Dated, A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path, is about creating a new love story in your life. It teaches that when you stay loyal to your spiritual journey, you will bring curiosity, fascination, and a light heart to the dating process...

BASIC BELIEFS ABOUT ADDICTION

Charlotte Sophia Kasl, Ph.D. © September 2006, 2007, 2012

1. Addiction is a response to overwhelming emotions—such as fear, terror, pain and aloneness. People use addictive substances or behaviors to anesthetize pain, feel relaxed, calm themselves, feel alive, numb out pain, turn off a racing mind, hide from shame, or feel a sense of belonging. Addictions are used in an attempt to manage what feels out of control, missing, or very frightening.

2. Trauma, neglect or alienation often lead to disregulation of feelings and thoughts. They also lead to impulsiveness, detachment, denial, and self absorption. When one’s primary task is managing a restless, painful fearful or chaotic inner world, it becomes difficult to have true intimacy with others. The resulting lack of authentic relationships perpetuates the sense of isolation and shame and keeps the addiction cycle in play. Addiction thrives in isolation and loneliness.

3. Overcoming addiction is greatly helped by addressing core issues of trauma that lead to anxiety, depression, pain, and negative beliefs—I’m powerless, damaged, unlovable, invisible, alone, worthless, inadequate, incompetent, and so on. The task is to process trauma in order to ease one’s inner anxiety and chaos, and learn to manage feelings and emotions This, in turn opens the way to stable, soothing relationships, which then become an antidote to addiction.

4. The more we move toward the highest states of human development, the less we will be inclined toward addiction. This includes developing an internal center of control, attuning to one’s truths, taking charge of ones life, questioning, accepting differences, experiencing compassion, and developing values through observation and experience. This also includes sorting out the essential self from the conditioned self–namely the voices of criticism, censorship, fear and self loathing that are intruders in one’s mind.

5. Authentic human connections are essential to overcoming addiction because they comfort, ease stress, assuage loneliness, lower anxiety, and provide shelter and companionship—all the things people attempt to do with addictive behavior. This includes primary relationships, friendships, and connections within a supportive community.

6. The more we are self aware and accepting of all the parts of ourselves the more we are able to have warm, stable, caring relationships. That’s because accepting our own imperfections/ humanness leads us to be more open hearted, less defensive, less fearful and more able to attune to others and hold them in our awareness at all times. This prevents us from doing harm to others. We learn to step back and observe ourselves with compassion and curiosity. Hmm, what’s that about? What’s going on with me? Why such a big reaction? Why so much fear?

7. Overcoming addiction has many facets: financial stability, education, jobs/career, healing the physical body, learning self care, connecting with others, and affirming ones heritage.

8. It is important to understand addiction in a personal, family and cultural context. People are not simply “addicts,” they are people with addictions. It is by realizing that they are much more than their addictions, and by focusing on their strengths and all that they can be, they move toward wholeness and crowd out the desire for addictive behavior.

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Charlotte Kasl

Charlotte Kasl, MA, PhD
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