Arianne Scheller, Ph.D., LPC
Dr. Scheller has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Counseling from the University of Scranton, her PhD., in Human Development from Marywood University, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania. Dr. Scheller is an adult child of an alcoholic and has worked with families dealing with addiction in various counseling settings for the last 25 years. Dr. Scheller has a private practice where she and her significant other, Peter Smith, MS, see patients on an individual outpatient basis and is the Chief Executive Officer of Endless Mountains Extended Care. Endless Mountains is an inpatient, dual diagnosis, drug and alcohol residential facility for adult males located in the beautiful NEPA countryside on 9 acres. Dr. Scheller and her father Steve, who is in long-term recovery, built Endless Mountains together, as a family business. Steve is a commercial builder and renovated the building and Dr. Scheller licensed the brand-new facility through the state and created the entire clinical program, starting in 2017. In terms of treatment protocols, Dr. Scheller and her clinical team focus on a trauma-informed model of treatment which first pinpoints the patient’s trauma and reason for the patient’s self-medicating behavior. Dr. Scheller is trained in EMDR and regression hypnosis which are two techniques used to address trauma. TF-CBT and the Seeking Safety group curriculum are two other ways Endless Mountains therapists address patient trauma. After the trauma is addressed and processed, patients receive an individualized treatment plan which can include but is not limited to: 12 step work, SMART recovery groups, Life Skills, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and DBT, Coping Skills, educational counseling and inventories, nutritional counseling and exercise, Reiki, daily meditation, breathwork, medication management and MAT, and a continued focus on mental health in conjunction with physical well-being This can be a lengthy but certainly worthwhile and successful process, which is why many patients stay at Endless Mountains anywhere from 30 days to 6 months. Dr. Scheller believes that the most important aspect of treatment is to view mental health, physical health, and addiction together in order to appropriately and individually treat each patient.
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Joe Van Wie 0:10
I'd like to thank you for listening to another episode of all better. I am your host, Joe van week. Today's guest is Dr. Aaron sheller. Dr. Shiller has a bachelor's and master's degree in counseling from the University of Scranton. Her PhD is in human development from Marywood University and is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Pennsylvania. Dr. Scheller is an adult child of an alcoholic and has worked with families dealing with addiction in various counseling settings for the last 25 years. Dr. sheller has a private practice where she and her significant other Peter Smith, Peter holds an MS and sees patients on an individual outpatient basis and is the Chief Executive Officer of endless mountains of extended care. Endless mountains, is an inpatient dual diagnosis drug and alcohol residential facility for adult males located in beautiful NTPA countryside on nine acres. Dr. sheller and her father Steve, who is in long term recovery built endless mountains together. Steve is a commercial builder and renovated the building and Dr. Scheller licensed the brand new facility through the state and created the entire clinical program starting in 2017. In terms of treatment protocols, or clinical team focus on trauma informed models of treatment, which first pinpoints the patient's trauma and reason for the patient's self medicating behavior. Dr. Scheller is trained in EMDR and regression hypnosis, which are two techniques used to address trauma. TF CBT and the Seeking Safety Group curriculum are two other ways Atlas Mountains, therapists address patient trauma. After the trauma is addressed and process, patients receive an individualized treatment plan which can include but is not limited to 12 Step work, smart recovery groups, life skills, cognitive behavioral therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, coping skills, education counseling and inventories, nutritional counseling and exercise, Reiki, daily meditation, breath work, medication management and MA t. a continued focus on mental health in conjunction with physical well being. This can be a lengthy but certainly worthwhile and successful process. Which is why many patients stay at endless mountains anywhere from 30 days to six months. Dr. Scheller believes that its most important, most important aspect of treatment is to view mental health, physical health and addiction together in order to appropriately and individually treat each patient. Let's meet Gary M.
Thanks, Jerry, thanks for coming.
Dr. Arianne Scheller 4:03
Yeah. Thanks for having me. Joe.
Joe Van Wie 4:04
You got it. I haven't seen you in a while.
Dr. Arianne Scheller 4:08
Yeah, good to see you too. Cool, are you? Well, I'm Ariane sheller. I'm the CEO of endless mountain extended care. And I also own a private practice area and sheller counseling services, and basically spend most of my time in factory Ville where our facility is located at this point in time,
Joe Van Wie 4:30
factory Ville. pretty rural. Very,
Unknown Speaker 4:34
very rural. Lots of nature. We're on eight acres, almost nine acres by Keystone College just right past Keystone College. So we have a lot of waterfalls and a lot of nature hiking included in our programming what we do so waterfalls, yeah, yeah, right. We're right by a little rocky Glen.
Joe Van Wie 4:53
Okay. That's beautiful up there. I used to belong to the factory Ville sportsman club right on that road. Yeah. That's where we are. I think I was the only Democrat up there torturing me.
Unknown Speaker 5:03
Yeah, there's not too many Democrats. And in fact, you know,
Joe Van Wie 5:07
they were pleasant to me. Yeah. So you have a PhD in your counseling service, which you've had probably for over a decade, right.
Unknown Speaker 5:15
So I've had my counseling practice for almost 14 years now. And our facility is actually a 3.5. Residential. So we are a rehab without a detox. So we get a lot of like organic referrals. So what we basically do is we have a few detoxes that we work with, depending on the referral source, and depending on you know, the patient's insurance or where they want to go. And then we, you know, someone needs a detox, we send them to detox, and then we pick them up and take them back for residential. And our place. Typically, what makes us a little bit different is that they, our patients stay, usually three to six months. So it's not a PHP, but the timeframe kind of looks like that. PHP, but it's still is residential treatment.
Joe Van Wie 6:03
So you said 3.5, that's, that's a regulation designation.
Unknown Speaker 6:07
Yeah. So D DAP designates different facilities with different numbers. So I'm not really sure what the number for PHP would be. But 3.5 would be a residential level of care. It's 1.5, maybe 1.5. And then, so like, a halfway house would be a 3.1. Okay. And a detox would be a 3.7. And then like a medical detox, a medical facility, hospital based be a 4.0. So they kind of designated in terms of numbers.
Joe Van Wie 6:35
Gotcha. And that just creates a standard of how this place should run. It'll be regular. So this isn't a PHP, but you could stay there six months, and it's residential, but people are stabilized offsite with detox. Yes.
Unknown Speaker 6:51
Okay. Yeah, we often take people who don't need detox. So, you know, it's certain patients like if someone is coming from a hospitalization stay or an incarceration possibly, or if they were using substances that didn't require detox. So because certain substances don't, anything with you know, alcohol, or a benzodiazepine is straight to detox, and then we can take them back after they're medically cleared.
Joe Van Wie 7:17
How many beds Do you have?
Unknown Speaker 7:19
We have 27 beds. So we're a small facility, very small and individualized. So everybody has their own, you know, everyone has a roommate, but everyone has their own bathroom. So it's much smaller than other residentials. You know, other residentials in this area, we're looking at like, 100 plus beds, and we're definitely the smallest one around here.
Joe Van Wie 7:42
Okay. Yeah, it doesn't sound small, but like, to me. Let's dial back a little bit. Why? How did you end up doing this? Like, how did you end up getting into counseling? What was the draw to therapy, studying psychology? Let's start back to maybe when you were 18? What drew you to this, to study this? Because you?
Unknown Speaker 8:06
Well, I started at the University of Scranton, where we met, we went met math class. And so that math class was kind of key because I was a bio major, I always wanted to be a doctor. And I, they put me in calculus. And I thought Absolutely not. So put me in a different math class. And that's the math class that we had together. So it was the dummy math class. And I thought, like, yeah, I want to still get into this field somehow. And I really liked psychology, I took a bunch of psychology classes. And so I kind of just stuck with that. And then I actually wound up finding out that I was pregnant with my daughter when I was 19. So my sophomore year in college, and was sort of just trying to figure out where I wanted to what direction I wanted to go in life in the fastest direction to get there. So I had lots of psych classes. So I finished my degree in psychology and kind of thought I was going to stop there. So I sort of just planned you know, I'm going to just get this degree and just get a job. Yeah. But I, you know, let finished I graduated early, I had my little girl and I kept contact with so many of the professors and they just kind of kept encouraging me to go back. And so I applied and, you know, they accepted me as a grad assistant. So I could it was feasible for me to go back and that's how I got my master's degree. At the University of Scranton,
Joe Van Wie 9:31
it was a lot of work. I mean, having a baby. Yeah. Full time school. You worked
Unknown Speaker 9:37
full time school working. Yeah. Yeah. Supporting the both of us. It was it was difficult. And I look back now. I mean, I was so young, and I don't know how I did it, but I did it. And, you know, in the midst of all that my father was going through the process of recovery. Yeah, so right before kind of all that happened right before I found out about my daughter or my father had gone into recovery. So I had kind of that drug and alcohol experience with him and was highly highly involved with his recovery.
Joe Van Wie 10:10
Yeah. The site department at the you. It's pretty communal. I was I started as a psych major, I think we might have him. How did you find the US supportive what your untraditional kind of schedule having a baby? How did you pull it off? And do you hear people like would you listen to someone complain easily?
Unknown Speaker 10:32
No, no, I throw that on people's faces all the time. Now. I'm like, I did this. I worked. I worked two jobs had this baby was a grad assistant finished with the four all you know, I did all that. But they were super supportive. I mean, I had being a graduate assistant, I had a little play area in the little office, and would bring my daughter with me, bring her to class with me. And she would call her and interestingly enough, she's graduating with a degree in psychology this year, too. So she's 22 years old. So she's, she probably wouldn't want to admit this. And she would hate to hear it. But she's kind of following in my footsteps. So that's
Joe Van Wie 11:08
good. That's a good thing. Yeah. What interests you in graduate school? When did you start to pin down what you wanted to be an expert at?
Unknown Speaker 11:18
Graduate school, it just kind of came naturally. I always was interested in addictive behavior, probably because I was trying to figure out myself and my family and my father, I think that's where it starts for your friends. My friends. Yeah. I think that's where it starts for a lot of people. And really not knowing who I was. I mean, what was wrong with me was, you know, I was a family member of an addict. But I had trauma and had all these things and wasn't sure if maybe I was an addict myself. And I think that a lot of my interest started out with just trying to figure out what the heck was going on with me, and how to fix people in my family, and, you know, and my friends and how to understand what was going on. So it was more of like an understanding of who was around me. And that's sort of what led me to it. And throughout the process of my father going into recovery, I was so scared that he wouldn't go to his meetings. He's kind of a shy guy, and I just couldn't see him seeing it through so I went with him every single day for two years, two AAA meetings. And you know, was okay, if I have to say, I'm an alcoholic to be here. I'm gonna say it, maybe I am one, maybe I'm not, I'm not really sure. But I like it here. I like these people. And I'm learning a lot. So. So it kind of happened at the same time altogether.
Joe Van Wie 12:33
Yeah, it has to look different from what you're researching and studying and psychology to see it operational, specially in Scranton, in a 12 step community, to see it in practice, and not using Polish language, but they're saying the same thing you're researching. It's gonna be around the pseudo spirituality, religion, Catholic background, to see people doing that for each other without any licensing. It's peer to peer. It's unprofessional help. Was it? What do you see in that, like, versus professional help? What's happening in a mini?
Unknown Speaker 13:12
Well, I definitely saw it as very useful. And, um, like I said, I learned a lot about myself and a lot about honesty. And I think that there is such an important place for peer support. But I also saw an opportunity to use professional help in a more effective way. So I know like, if you go back, even 10 years in the treatment community, you can kind of just become a drug and alcohol counselor with just being in recovery yourself. Yeah. And I think that that is very beneficial in a way, I like how they've turned it into that certified recovery specialist role. So they separate the peer from the professional
Joe Van Wie 13:55
CRS CRS, our certified recovery specialist, and that's a license you could hold in Pennsylvania, through a training a semester. And then a test. CRS services consist of, but not limited to assistance with accessing various community resources. CRS can guide a person on the recovery process and recovery education, help with developing a personal recovery plan, face to face interactions and group services. Ongoing telephone support for the purpose of assisting and meeting his or her needs as specified in their personal recovery plan. Introduce and engage individuals in the recovery community, ay, ay or Narcotics Anonymous. Provide support before, during and after treatment. Act as an advocate outreach for individuals in early recovery and referrals to treatments reverses. The training gives standards of practice and ethics for individuals wanting to be certified.
Unknown Speaker 15:13
Because there are a lot of mistakes, I mean, counseling is a profession, and it's a science, there's a lot of science to it. And you know what we do at our facility, we mix it. So we have a lot of peer support. But we also work on the real, you know, the real deal with digging deep into that trauma. And as a peer support person, you really can't do that there are just so many things that could happen. So many precautionary things, that that someone in appear role just wouldn't know. And it's certainly not their fault. But you know, you can't expect you can't expect to, you know, a see, you know, CRN What is it the IRS said no, like a nurse's aide, you can't imagine nurse's aide to be able to carry out brain surgery, you know, so they may work in a hospital, or they may work in a nursing home, but they're not going to know how to prescribe the medication for the patients. So I kind of see it like sort of like that.
Joe Van Wie 16:09
I do too. I think this that's the value of the certified recovery specialist program. And it's fairly new in the field of recovery. What it distinctly does, I see my observation, correct me it's, it's let someone know, they're not a psychiatrist, and it gives them enough ethics in training to see this is where Peer to Peer Help is. But this weird traumas, and you're not your paraprofessional? Yeah. And you can recognize this and encourage the person to seek professional help. Yes, I think that's the big service. Because, you know, peer to peer, you know, there are those stories, it's reckless, someone could be digging up trauma and giving bad advice, or having them engage a trauma as an amends, which is just insane, could be insane.
Unknown Speaker 16:58
And very, very damaging. So I love the way we can work together with CRS is for the appropriate referral. Yeah, so no, you know, it's important for CRS is to know who the professionals are, what the licenses mean, you know, what the areas of specialty are? And that goes for facilities to some facilities focus just mainly on drug and alcohol. Other facilities focus on you know, we're dual, so we focus on mental health and trauma. That's kind of our area of specialty. Yeah. So I really liked that distinction. And it's, it's definitely going that direction, where everybody's kind of learning their roles and making appropriate referrals and going in the in the right direction.
Joe Van Wie 17:40
How many, there's not many dual might?
Unknown Speaker 17:44
Not really I, it seems that a lot, a lot of places stay away from that there are they do exist. But I think traditionally mental health and drug and alcohol was just so separate.
Joe Van Wie 17:54
It was in staffing, the staffing is different, right? Yeah, the staffing
Unknown Speaker 17:58
is different. So in order there, the regulations really aren't there quite yet. So we're not there. But they are working on it. And there's a lot of discussions around it. So I mean, I make sure and the Department of drug and alcohol programs did just pass a criteria that you do have to have licensed counselors with master's degrees. They put more expectations on the people who are actually doing the counseling and the trauma work, which is a very good thing. Our facility was kind of already doing that. So making sure that they have either a license or they're a certified addictions counselor, and a board to answer to that, I believe is very important sort
Joe Van Wie 18:39
of why it takes the Voodoo out of recovery. It adds more credibility to you know, the information that just changed in the last six years about trauma, attunement detachment. I know you want us to talk about some of that. But I think that's it brings a credibility to recovery, that it doesn't happen. Oh, could happen for some people and not for others. It's the same. It's mental health treatment, it's a disorder. I've seen that gel more than I've ever seen in my life. And it's a real departure from my introduction of recovery was, you know, you could see the community but I also saw a fundamentalist approach that not everyone can share, or definitions that were, you know, Dancing with the idea of religion, not everyone could share that. And then I guess it would just change regionally if you were involved in it. But this area was, I think, prolific for that I see CRS training as we're speaking to taking the fundamentalist kind of idea out of it and offering that this isn't an individual path. There's not only a and a Dharma smart. Any any idea? You have different brains take an approach. But I didn't I didn't feel like I experienced that. When I was younger. I felt there was one path. Yeah, made it simple. Yeah, kind of fascists approach to,
Unknown Speaker 20:02
yeah. And you know, and the 12 steps, I think are a wonderful thing. I mean, they, they teach you how to be honest, and there are a lot of therapeutic aspects to them. But there are things in in, you know, AAA that really should be completed by a therapist, you know, like certain steps, I believe, in order to truly trust someone in that's it, that's difficult. So if you're with a therapist, then they can't tell anyone what you're telling them, you know, as long as you're not, you know, you know, committing a dangerous crime or, or disclosing some type of horrific abuse, they can actually be a trusted person that you can not only talk to about those kinds of things, but also process them appropriately. So you're telling them to a sponsor, you may not be able to process them appropriately, maybe it's not the right person, and then that turns a person off, and then well, I don't want anything to do with AAA at all,
Joe Van Wie 20:51
it defeats if a sponsor needs to hear all of that that's not a, that's not peer to peer That's power. So I make that clear, we do a step workshop. And when we get to step five, before, we're pretty clear, you can do a lot with your sponsor, but say there's trauma, trauma in the sense not like the collapse of emotional life, but an event and it can involve violence, yes, or years of just horrific verbal abuse. A suggests and if they did in the 30s, this might be a period of time where you might have a relationship with a licensed therapist, someone that can unpack this for you. So you don't make when you get to Step nine, you have some deluded idea of what's going to resolve this could actually harm you more, yes. I always suggest that to people and I tell them even with the fifth step, you could become friends with your sponsor, and it might be inappropriate to share things with them. Sure, are you going to still can't be friends after you tell him something that could affect your relationship
Unknown Speaker 21:51
and worrying about them, like you said, forming, you know, a negative opinion about you or something. And, and I think that, you know, kind of going along those lines with AAA, I think it's wonderful. And we certainly use the 12 steps at our facility. I'm you know that but there are diehard a people that you feel that you can't do anything else. And in the way that I don't know if you've ever heard that podcast by Johann Hari, Johann Hari very, it's kind of a famous, it's a it's a TED talk, actually. So he did a TED talk, he compiled a ton of research and basically came to the conclusion and it was connection. Yeah, it was right. Yeah, the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It's a lack of connection. So it's connecting, learning to connect. And, you know, all the research that you read really shows that addiction is not the problem. Addiction was their solution. Yeah. So using a drug is this is my solution to this traumatic stuff that's in my brain to my brain chemistry, not working appropriately to my neurotransmitters not firing appropriately. And it's because of trauma and what trauma causes is insecure attachment style. So that's kind of what we focus on, which is nice to have people that are captive for three to six months. Because first we hit why we hit the why first, and try to figure that out. And then we get then we get to the treatment.
Joe Van Wie 23:18
Yeah. I always feel you could what you just said you could combat fundamentalists with from their own literature. Look at Bill Wilson. Yeah, I read that story today. A 43. I see PTSD. Sure. I see a guy that was abandoned by his parents. That's not the story raised by his grandparents detachment issues, attunement, uncontrollable anxiety. And in the first time, he got relief to that anxiety and that story, he drank it was a medication to it. Yep. And then the first description he actually gives to his, like, the internal narrative in his mind, that's happening. I'm going to prove to the world I'm important. Why do you have to do that?
Unknown Speaker 24:00
Yep. Exactly. What's the reason? Yeah.
Joe Van Wie 24:03
So how would you define what that detachment? What was it again?
Unknown Speaker 24:10
It's, it's an insecure attachment. So basically, when we're when we're little we go through developmental stages. And do we feel taken care of it starts at birth. So when we cry, our parents running to us and taking care of us. So an insecure attachment could start from something like that. Yeah, it could start from as a baby, you didn't have enough attention. Your parents weren't when you cry, they didn't come to you when you needed it. It's not abuse. No, it doesn't have to be absorbed just a subtle, it could be very subtle, or it could be abuse, okay. So it's different for everybody. And it's different at different ages. So if something happens to a two year old, they're going to perceive that differently than if they're 17. So so different events have varying degrees of trauma for different developmental ages,
Joe Van Wie 24:54
and a two year old doesn't have a skill of time when this pain or distress is going to end. Right.
Unknown Speaker 24:59
Right. And the the interesting thing about trauma is it's not just one event, it doesn't have to be abuse, trauma builds on trauma. So something small as you know, at two years old, you got lost in your backyard. And your brain perceives that as such a horrible danger, but it really wasn't. Because your parents knew you were there. But as a two year old, you were scared. So boom, that's a trauma memory. And then the next time something happens, where you felt that same way, say it's a teacher in school criticizes you, and you became extremely anxious, because you couldn't read a certain passage the right way, that that then builds on that trauma. So it builds like, kind of like, like building blocks, like a foundation. So so that's where we have to get, we have to get to the first. So the first time that you felt that way, and there are different techniques that we use, you know, therapeutically, that we use at our facility that I use in my private practice to get it that stuff. And to break down that trauma. Whether it was neglect, it was trauma, it was a bad relationship with your mom, or you didn't have a relationship with your father, or whatever it was, we have to get to that and get to the reason why you needed drugs and alcohol as medicine. And then we look at how to avoid that in the future.
Joe Van Wie 26:12
And how do they how do you get from that therapeutic? You identify it first, that would this happen? Yes. Real imagined? What resolves it? How can you? How does the client go back or the patient go back see this objectively, like I'm safe from this? And how does it get resolved? So it does that kind of memory or wiring doesn't affect the future?
Unknown Speaker 26:37
Well, and this is where skilled therapists come in. So one of the things that we can do is EMDR. So I'm movement I'm I'm movement. What is EMDR stands for
Joe Van Wie 26:49
eye movement, dial. Emily, wait, hold on,
Unknown Speaker 26:53
I movement, desensitization reprocessing. So that's what it is. And it's pretty new. Right? So it's new, and I'm trained in it. So I don't can delete that part. You
Joe Van Wie 27:04
know, I'm interested in it. I've never done it. And I've been reading about it. And I talked to Pat McDonough about it. He was doing it. Yeah. And it seems pretty overwhelming how much help how much it helps someone see their trauma, without the the emotions just terrifying. What is E M D, our eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It's a structured therapy that encourages the patient to briefly focus on the trauma memory, while simultaneously experienced bilateral stimulation, typically eye movement, which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy was developed in 1987. For the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, and is guided by the adaptive information processing model Shapiro and 2007. E m, d r is an individual therapy typically delivered one or two times per week, for a total of six to 12 sessions. Although some people benefit from fewer sessions, sessions can be conducted on consecutive days. Unlike other treatments that focus on directly altering the emotions, thoughts and responses resulting from traumatic experiences EMDR therapy focused directly on the memory and is intended to change the way that the memory is stored in the brain, thus reducing and eliminating the problematic symptoms. That's from the American Psychiatric Association.
Unknown Speaker 29:02
Well, so there, it could be a little bit terrifying. So when you're in an EMDR session first, the first thing that you do is you try to get someone to there, it really works on EMDR really works on hypnotic principles. They say no, it's not hypnosis, but it's very, very similar. And basically, what you do is you kind of take someone through a guided meditation to get to a safe place, so that if it does become too traumatic during the sessions, you can sort of snap them out of that. Okay, so and that to me is I'm also trained in hypnosis, that, to me is a little bit more like hypnosis than anything else. And then you really work with bilateral eye movements in order to reprocess the trauma. And the most important part of it is to get to the first time. So you work with you know, you ask somebody, well, okay, so this happened, how did you feel? What did you see? How did you feel it in your body? What were you thinking so that you get through all of those, you kind of look at all of the different senses that come with it, and then you float them back? to say, well, when's the first time you felt that way? So when it might be something that that really isn't as traumatic as you think it's it's looking at the feeling those feelings of fear, feelings of abandonment, all of the things that contribute to trauma to the building blocks of trauma. And then once you get to that you work with their eye movements to process that trauma.
Joe Van Wie 30:21
how does trauma relate to fight or flight in that those feelings you're describing is a primal like this visceral feeling when maybe I see a person a color or a scenario? I don't even know that that original trauma is still have all implications at home behaving of 40.
Unknown Speaker 30:41
Yeah, well, what happens is, you know, you it gets, it kind of gets stuck. Yeah. So we have all these like, think of your brain as having all these little doors, and you're this trauma is stuck in the wrong side of your brain, you're supposed to be reprocessing it. So say during this, if something horrible happened during a horrible event, and you smell something burning, every time you smell something burning, boom, you go back there, emotions come back, right? So that's why you're trying to hit not just the event, you're trying to feel it, you have to go How did you feel? What did you smell? What did you see? How did you feel something on your skin because you're trying to get to all of those senses so that that doesn't happen again.
Joe Van Wie 31:23
So clarify me. So I can follow this in a conversation because I'm not a therapist, but I love this one just consumed with reading about it just understand myself or how my brains work and trauma, detachment, and PTSD. They all sound similar. Whoa, how do you sell a bar all of them to not? Is trauma, a diagnosis, but PT, SD is a diagnosis? How does that work?
Unknown Speaker 31:51
So PTSD is post traumatic stress disorder. So you get the diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder, when you have this trauma that is affecting your daily life, like what you just said, like, you know, every time I see the color red, I go into this state of like, a fugue state where I can't talk
Joe Van Wie 32:09
or the buttons off my
Unknown Speaker 32:10
shirt, buttons off your shirt, or you get really nervous. So you swear, you know, like certain certain triggers, like if you have those triggers, and you could warrant a diagnosis of PTSD. So trauma is you know, just sort of things that happen. PTSD is when it's so severe that it's affecting your
Joe Van Wie 32:26
daily emotions rise up from something, I'm just thinking about a hallucination of the past that visual, but like, just in my mind,
Unknown Speaker 32:33
absolutely. Yeah. So
Joe Van Wie 32:35
it's songs that separates them, but that would be and PTSD is kind of really, I think it relates strongly with a lot of people in addiction. What is it about this therapy with the light, and I moment, I was having, you know, a layman's conversation about it. And the first thing that just caught me is, you know, it's like REM sleep It is, yeah. And is there a by biohack happening through the light therapy and the procedure of following the light that acts as a hypnotic REM. And I think most experts are coming to at least loose consensus that REM sleep, when you get to REM sleep from just standard sleep, your brain is taking the opportunity to get rid of proteins, these plastic proteins that are toxify the brain and you can't resolve things. It gets it lessens the sting of traumatic events, uncomfortable events for the next day might translate in a dream. So the sting you can be more opera functional the next day, is that what is being mimicked by doing the light you've
Unknown Speaker 33:39
Yeah, EMDR does mimic REM sleep. And interestingly enough, people who drink and you use substances and alcohol, don't get to REM sleep regularly. So you're actually hurting yourself much worse, because your brain is not reprocessing anything. So EMDR acts as a vehicle to kind of induce that REM sleep and actually some people when they go through the process of EMDR get tired. Yeah, and kind of feel like they're just out of it. And someone described to me once that they felt like they were floating. So you could go really real rest. Yeah, they're getting rest.
Joe Van Wie 34:14
And I think the biological need for rest is to detoxify the brain. That's we're finally coming. I was listening to a podcast, Sam Harris and would asleep excerpt this Sam Walker, I forgot what he was saying. The question is, why do we dream we always ask why do why is it that we dream? So the real question is, why is it that we are awake? That's just a freakish part of the brain. Yeah. And he was going over some really fun scenarios where a guy would be in deep sleep like really deep sleep and then you get rocketed into a state of wakefulness, and you're in psychosis. It's yours trapped. Your brain hasn't come up back up to operate in reality it's just one Wild, because I felt that way from the lack of sleep REM sleep from especially when I would drink drink heavily were cocaine,
Unknown Speaker 35:10
methamphetamines a big one, you can't, you're up for days and days and days and psychosis, and partially it's because of the substances. But the other part is a lack of sleep and a lack of ability to process your day.
Joe Van Wie 35:21
And I could feel it because I get like a brain lock of frustration, couldn't leave for an hour, it could ruin my day, I'm marginal frustration, would just cascade into a dreadful thing going in my head, I couldn't control until I had to just quit the day and go drink
Unknown Speaker 35:38
well, and then that becomes a pattern for people. Yeah. So it becomes pattern thinking. So rather than all of these healthy alternatives and healthy coping mechanisms, it's almost impossible to recover until you address that trauma. Because you're going to, you know, you could be going to meetings, if you don't address that trauma. And if you're not reprocessing the trauma, you're gonna still go back to those unhealthy unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Joe Van Wie 36:01
So you dig up the trauma and one of the tools, it can be the light movement,
Unknown Speaker 36:06
I use a pen so I don't use light. I don't use light because I find that people with migraines or headaches or seizure disorders or something like that, it can be really detrimental. So I just use a pen, I use a pen and I just make sure that the eyes go all the way the right all the way to the left. And then I make sure that they close them really tight. And I you know, incorporate deep breathing while I'm doing it to kind of relax the person.
Joe Van Wie 36:28
I tried to be hypnotized a couple of times for quitting smoking, and they used to incorporate it at a reformatory school I was at so I really resist any kind of influence. I've always been that way I'm pretty
Unknown Speaker 36:41
well and people are scared. A lot of people are scared of that. Because, you know, EMDR is not hypnosis. Yeah. notic principles are you know, they're in there. I also do hypnosis though. Yeah. So I am also trained in in regression, hypnosis by Brian Weiss is a real interesting guy. If you ever want to read about someone really interesting. You have to be very open. Sure to, you know, a lot of strange existential things he believes in past lives. And he's a theologian. He's a he is an advisor to the Vatican. So he, you know, in his training, it's it's an immersion training, so he trained me in hypnosis, it's one of the most interesting things I've ever done. And in order to be trained, you have to be hypnotized over and over and over. Throughout the course of two weeks.
Joe Van Wie 37:28
I'm still hypnotized. Yeah, I think I am. That's what addiction felt like me. For me. I felt like I woke up from a hypnosis, an ability to experience about 90 80% of my present life, my conscious life retreats somewhere into my mind. And the only time I feel like I'm there catching up with the reality of my life, is the illusion drinking gives me I feel like I'm present. I feel like I'm connecting. I'm not terrified of being around people.
Unknown Speaker 37:57
Well, that's part of the care. So that is part of the that is part. That's kind of the end goal to our process. So first we dig, we find the trauma, we use EMDR we use the hypnosis if possible. We as some people are scared of it, but once they trust me and and the hypnosis that I do isn't anything weird. I'm not going to make you stand on one leg or like cluck like a chicken. I mean, unless I mean, if I did it with you, maybe I would make you do that assassinate so well that I might do. I don't know. You never know. I'm kale
Joe Van Wie 38:26
drill project of factories. Oh, yeah. But what
Unknown Speaker 38:29
the way I do it is through guided meditation, guided meditation, guided meditation, and basically subliminal messages to get you to into a very, very deep state of relaxation, so that you can remember, because your brain is wired to protect you. So all of those things that we heard about in early psychology classes with, you know, Sigmund Freud and repression. So when we have these traumatic things happen, or neglect, or anything that really, you know, shook us in our growth process, we repress it, we project it, we have these defense mechanisms so that we can live. Because if we thought about all of our mistakes and thought about all of the horrible things that happened to us, we wouldn't be able to live. Yeah, so our brains protect us. So they hide it. So they hide it in those little doors, and they shut them in lock it, and what EMDR and hypnosis can do and other forms of trauma. There's there's TF CBT. So trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy is another way to get at that. And you know, what it? What it basically does is it starts unlocking those doors. So the memories come out. And I've had people remember things that are just so locked away, and but protectively locked away. Yeah. So now that they're out. We have to do something with them. So the EMDR helps in reprocessing trauma focused CBT helps in reprocessing also. But one of the really, really important things that you had kind of talked about before we started talking on on the radio is that is mindfulness. Yeah, so most people I think that is the most important thing. I just said
Joe Van Wie 40:02
that. I could always say that maybe it sounds like a right answer. It sounds like because I've hear smart people say that I didn't practice it. But I'm like, it's got to be the answer. I'm glad I heard it enough to realize I had to incorporate this in my life. I've really lost the footing of my mind. Yeah. And once it became, I had this existential kind of awareness. But it was without help or support through DMT, and heavy high doses of LSD and psilocybin. I was micro dosing. But I was starting to have I guess it, I don't want to call it this association. But like I was arriving. For the first time in my head. I'm realizing I'm not I'm experiencing life from my face. And I don't see my face most of the day, unless I have a mirror. And this is overwhelming me. I was starting to feel that from these trips, and it would linger. And mindfulness started to really like, once I got to practice it started to marriage, this idea of where where my calmness lies is in the moment. Like, I've survived everything up to this point. This is a really strange experience that I could start to enjoy me just being alive,
Unknown Speaker 41:15
sir. Well, I mean, I don't know how you're you were raised, but you also like Italian, right? We're not allowed to be in the moment. So we always have to be doing something. I mean, if I got caught as a kid doing nothing, I was in trouble. So I was basically you know, raised my my Italian grandmother. And yeah, rectus your mania practice mania? And I'm, you know, I still have it. I'm like the Tasmanian devil naturally your grandmother. Yes. She's known as she's, you know, she's still alive and kicking. But it was like, you're not allowed to nap. You're not allowed to zone out. You're not allowed to think you need to be doing something at all times. And if you're not doing something, you better be cleaning the floor.
Joe Van Wie 41:51
Yeah, well, that's from the Great Depression, man, man. It's like,
Unknown Speaker 41:55
right. So mindfulness would be you are lazy. Yeah. And that's not at all what mindfulness is. It's very important. And it's, you know, it's very important to my patients, because it helps with so many things, not just trauma, but also impulse control. Yeah, so that's another issue with so once we have, we've worked through the trauma. And once we've kind of talked about some coping skills and stuff, and then you get out in the real world, and something happens. And whereas your impulse control, so you can do it through medication, which is kind of what psychiatry does now. Sure, you know, we'll medicate it. And that'll help you with impulse control. And it certainly helps. But I also see people walking around like zombies from it. Yeah, right dosage, right, too much too much, too much medication. Too much reliance on medication, when our brains are capable of doing it through mindfulness and breath work.
Joe Van Wie 42:48
Well, you have a unique opportunity because people can be there six, seven months, I think mindfulness for me, it took six months to realize the practice wasn't about stress relief. Oh, yeah. And I did it through an app. And it was because I felt comfortable. I'm hard to teach solo, and I felt I did waking up at Sam Harris. And it's profound. The fact that in my life, I meditate every morning. And what I found is like the meditation doesn't have to end it can return in the impulse so I have an impulse to spend money or something's rising up in me after six months I could see the rising up as an observer to my own mind that I'm I didn't choose this thought it just arrived and out of the midst of consciousness Yep. And I think to string it together trauma is caused my Miss to have a pattern of dread anxiety or mania. And I from what I'm hearing at your place you impact the first trauma here's where it all started. Yep. And then it could evolve over six months into a practice you have a by yourself this trauma can't hurt you anymore. Yes, things can change. And you can observe your own thoughts without having emotions to them.
Unknown Speaker 44:03
Absolutely. Every the way that we start our day and and it's funny to see patients evolve too because when someone first comes to our program, so what we start our day with is a morning meditation. It's for 45 minutes. We bowl Oh, yeah, they hate it. And I have to stand there and watch them to make sure they don't. Yeah. Oh, yeah. If I have to just stand there strobe lights. There's there's not but we do a couple different kinds of meditations and they hate it at first but then sure, watch the guys who have been there for a while get angry at the new people and they check them and say like, Look, if you can't meditate color, a picture drop. We have all kinds of little like yeah, jeweled things that you could we have these tiny little jewels that is also it's a very mindfulness live near Old exercise. Yes, paint by numbers. It sounds silly, but like that's that's what people have to do to start that process to be able to calm down. not to focus on one thing. So I give it to them. If you can't focus on this meditation, you're going to use do a paint by numbers, or do these little jewel things. I mean, they would really drive a person crazy. If if you really had to sit, I mean, the little tiny jaw, I pick up with a tweezers, and you put them on, and they look at me like I'm crazy. And then by week two, if they didn't leave, which they don't usually leave, we have a very, very low ama rate. They're they're catching on a little bit, and they still don't want to do it. But But this hour, what we do is we do the 45 Minute Meditation. And then the counselors, you know, meet with small groups, and they give them a journal prompt. So it's a mindfulness journal prompt. Every week has a theme. So one week we might be working on anxiety and other week we might be working you know, for groups Sure, we might be working on depression. Another week is PTSD and other weeks forgiveness so the journal prompts coincide with with the theme for that week. And they take their journal prompt in the morning. And throughout the day. We have different groups, you know, we have smart recovery, we have life skills, we have art therapy, but in between there's little breaks. So the patients so we're on a pretty big property. So we're there's cameras everywhere, but we don't have to they can kind of roam the property as they would like to rearrange chickens. Yeah, for chickens. Yeah, they we have like a little fire pit, they can go out and sit there they can write. We have, you know, a gazebo where they can sit and smoke. And that's what they have to work on throughout the day. They need to work on their their journal prompts, and then when they reconvene for the group that they have to discuss it in at 230. So that's a mindfulness activity in itself. So all day, you're thinking about this, you're carrying your journal around, you're writing about it, and then we talk about it later in the day.
Joe Van Wie 46:44
That sounds brilliant. And how do you do do keep what your Alumni Services? Like? Like how do you stick Do you track like a year later? or so? Are people that do they still have a daily practice and meditate? We
Unknown Speaker 46:58
do and so one of the meditations that we do is Wim Hof. I don't know if you've ever heard of Wim Hof. Yeah. Yes. Breathing in and breathe out or don't do. This guy
Joe Van Wie 47:09
did four minutes today called have water on my face. Hey.
Unknown Speaker 47:13
So with that, I mean, that's really wrong. Right. So, so Pete is to Pete Smith is one of our counselors works on the weekends. He is trained by Wim Hof. So all trained, trained with the guy Yes, with the real man. So he was he's brought the practice to us. That's awesome. So we do Wim Hof breathwork. And we do the cold water therapy, but only with the braver patients in the in the end. So Pete every day, does his Wim Hof breathwork on the roof of the house, and then gets in the freezing cold pond. So he'll break a hole in the ice and he'll go in from stopping
Joe Van Wie 47:48
up the CBD to it. Yeah, that's awesome. So he
Unknown Speaker 47:52
has done it with certain patients. But most of them don't get there. They sure but they do catch on. Some people don't like it. But the guys are really serious do catch on to the breath work. And there's an app and they download it and we do track it. We call our patients at one week post discharge, three weeks post discharge, six months and a year. And we have an alumni meeting every Tuesday. So a lot of people come back for it. And we I mean, it's a crazy number of people who actually stick with that routine every day. Yeah,
Joe Van Wie 48:25
no, I I did I would love to do that reach out to Pete and I want to put some information about Wim Hof because it's while Wim Hof actually adds credibility and evidence to what he does. He's been doing it a long time and how he survived his own traumas. I think that'd be interesting. I'll put an insert in there and then peach trained.
Unknown Speaker 48:46
And he's been I mean, Wim Hof has been studied by scientists. Yeah. So I mean all this stuff he the breathing actually like it alkalizes your blood Yeah, so it decreases cortisol. It's it's like a major stress reliever it actually teaches your body and I was shocked, you know, with Pete's telling me about your reclamation, it does and your immune system is you know, you have like a rockstar immune system with Wim Hof. breathwork. And Pete would talk about it all the time. And I would kind of laugh at him for getting in the ice and everything and and then I started using it myself and couldn't even could not believe it just for the simple weird fact that after I started doing it just for a week, I could hold my breath for over two minutes. Which to me it sounds silly. Why would you want to do that? But it showed me that I was actually doing something to my body, physically,
Joe Van Wie 49:34
cognitively, for me it after I was in a coma for 19 days, I started doing the cold water and I'm taking high doses of psychedelics unmeasured, unregulated, unguided, which is a shame in itself, but the cold was putting me back into my body. I had such a disassociation from a physical reality, and I was spending so much time And what I would just call an hallucination a different reality. Yeah. But the coal, married me back to my body. I want to talk to you about that. That'd be awesome.
Unknown Speaker 50:11
Oh, he loves talking about it. He's, he's really in. He does a lot with Wim Hof. He does a lot with the polyvagal therapy or the polyvagal theory that I'm really starting to learn about. It's all based on the vagus nerve. And we have been hearing Yeah, it's, I mean, I'm not well versed in it quite yet. But he could talk on that for I mean, he's got some great ideas. And you know, as far as treatment goes, and, you know, it's definitely a novel theory, but it's all scientific. It's all scientifically based. And it's funny that like the community around here, it takes so long to catch on to these things.
Joe Van Wie 50:45
Well, there's a good thing Father, Father, Quinn, Monsignor Quinn always said, don't worry about the apocalypse. It'll be here. 20 years.
Unknown Speaker 50:54
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, everywhere else it'll be but we'll still be here. And that's the truth. It's the truth with, you know, psychology, the treatment industry and what you mentioned before with psychedelics, there is a lot to be said, I know that, you know, the recovery community may not be a fan of this idea. But the studies that are being done a shift,
Joe Van Wie 51:11
Yeah, huge shift, especially for PTSD. With MDMA. Well, that's
Unknown Speaker 51:16
a clinical trial right now they're using it with veterans. With MDMA, I actually have a patient that is a candidate for rights. Currently,
Joe Van Wie 51:24
psilocybin. John Hopkins is doing quit smoking, and a study now. You know, I'm no expert, but I can speak to my own experience as confidently as I please. I psychedelics, I took a huge risk, by the way, I took them, but they invoked my return to stability, recovery, meaning, purpose, reconciling this dumpster fire. Before I got sober, two years ago, from that relapse, I took MDMA every other day, small doses, wow, it was the only time I felt hope in my life. Okay, and I did not want to maintain this as some kind of it was untenable. But it would stop me from drinking, at least parse it for three days. This is my approach. I'm not saying this is an approach for anybody to mimic. But I'm saying the truth is that that assist, got me to where I'm at now, the stable dad working. But it was the only time I felt dread Leave me. Well, but there's gotta be something said about?
Unknown Speaker 52:34
Absolutely. And that's your personal experience. But if you read the studies, that's what the science is saying. Also, it's saying that it increases neuroplasticity. So it's actually healing your brain. So what they're finding is that all these things that we've talked about today with EMDR, and hypnosis and how to get it trauma and heal trauma, that's doing it for you. Yeah, it's doing it for you. It's healing your neural pathways. So that's where we're, that's where we're broken. So our brains are broken. And it's actually bringing us back to that, you know, when you were a kid splashing in a puddle, having a good time just doing that. Yeah, that's where it could put our brain we can. We could if we use it the right way and therapeutically, it can heal our brains to put us back to that type of joy. Yeah, it
Joe Van Wie 53:17
scared me. I felt like it was reckless joy. The the idea of being curious again, I had all these little restraints I would have to do in my life that just started to collapse. Like what are you doing to yourself? Go do something else with your life. I don't want to run a collapsed ad agency. Like UPS losing my mind. It gave me that chance to breathe that in and say there's there's plenty of time, I could do what I want. I don't have to alcohol so punishing. When you're older, and it doesn't work as well anymore for the problems that were already existing in my head. And addiction. Just it just wakes up. I'm glad I got that relief. I'm glad we talk today to that. What the trend I'm seeing. And of course I think you're seeing is that addiction really is almost synonymous with trauma. Now, if you want to really look at what the problem is, is some form of trauma. Absolutely insecure. Detachment. What do what did you call it?
Unknown Speaker 54:18
insecure attachment style attachment style?
Joe Van Wie 54:21
i That's the first time I was just always seeing it as detachment.
Unknown Speaker 54:24
What really is? Yeah, it really is detachment. I mean, think of the stories of like, children raised in Russian orphanages. Yeah, that those are extreme cases. Yeah. But that's really what it is. So you just didn't form for whatever reason, whatever happened, you know, you just didn't form a secure attachment and you don't know how to do it anymore. I wanted
Joe Van Wie 54:44
to ask you because you know, you're trained. Can a person develop an ego you know, from trauma for whatever reason before the age of eight or nine before they feel like a sovereign person. and confuse that with the idea of a developed personality. And that is what you're bringing to addiction. And sometimes my brain only knows the truth about my ego versus who my authentic self is. Is this person of wonder or curiosity? Cynicism has gone? Well, yeah, there's addiction seems to medicate. I feel like if I could be poetic, it medicated a life that was only living by ego. And I was afraid to have a personality. Oh, absolutely. Well, is that a candidate? Like, what would you is that part of
Unknown Speaker 55:36
you call it you're kind of talking about a little bit of a disassociation? Right. So that I mean that in that also happens from an insecure attachment, you're probably creating like an alter ego of sorts, you know,
Joe Van Wie 55:49
due for the diagnosis.
Unknown Speaker 55:52
So, you know, like that there's this alter ego, and but you know, what, though? We all have that to some degree. Yeah. Because we all have, you know, a certain amount of being uncomfortable with who we really are. We don't really want to show the world exactly who we are,
Joe Van Wie 56:05
there's gonna be a safety to that too, then you're not making yourself open to harm or
Unknown Speaker 56:09
Absolutely, but then some people take it too extreme and develop this wild ego in order maybe, maybe to comfort themselves, you know, like soothing, self soothing, sure. And like I said, like going back to Sigmund Freud. He was wacky and wild and not a ton of cocaine, but he was very smart. And he knew what he was talking about. Sure that that was something that you use to protect yourself.
Joe Van Wie 56:31
Just read civilizations and discontents. There you go. Well, we're just about an hour. Would you come back,
Unknown Speaker 56:40
sir? Time Yeah, anytime you should have Pete to he could talk to you
Joe Van Wie 56:44
all we'll bring Pete will be the I haven't had three people at once yet.
Unknown Speaker 56:48
Oh my god. Yeah. I would love to bring him I
Joe Van Wie 56:50
would like to do a Wim Hof a whole hour of Wim Hof talk because
Unknown Speaker 56:53
we he could do a guided breathwork too, if we do it at the end of a podcast. Yeah, he could do it. He does it all the time. Every Saturday. He does it at endless mountains. And he actually has recorded himself. Yeah, too. He has the recordings of himself on YouTube doing
Joe Van Wie 57:08
it my brother in law. Jimmy up there. Frozen the ice.
Unknown Speaker 57:11
Oh my god, that'd be great.
Joe Van Wie 57:12
I think it would help me tremendously. I
Unknown Speaker 57:14
think it would to
Joe Van Wie 57:15
it but so are going to leave some links to facilities and I'm really glad you came. I learned a lot. And I'd love to have you back to compact a lot of these. This is awesome. Really interesting. Thanks, Joe. Thanks, sir. I'd like to thank you for listening to another episode of all better. You find us on all better.fm or listen to us on Apple podcasts. Spotify, Google, podcasts, Stitcher, I Heart Radio, and Alexa. Special thanks to our producer John Edwards, an engineering company 570. Drone. Please like or subscribe to us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. And if you're not on social media, you're awesome. Looking forward to seeing you again. And remember, just because you're sober doesn't mean you're right.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai