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Old 08-11-2011, 07:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion

This is a thread for discussion on the method of Rational Recovery®, called Addictive Voice Recognition Technique®, or AVRT®, which is described in detail in the following book:
"Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction" by Jack Trimpey
I have previously been on the Rational Recovery forums, and have learned quite a bit from other people's questions on AVRT, and I believe that I can help others in this regard, and that others can help me as well. AVRT seems to grow on me over time, and other people, often newcomers, have provided me with some keen insights that I had not originally thought of. I believe we can all learn from each other in this respect.

My understanding is that previous forums on Rational Recovery or AVRT descended into flame wars, and Morning Glory suggested that the secular forum might be a safe place to discuss it, since 12-Step is off topic for this forum. My hope is that people who have an interest in or questions about AVRT will have a place to discuss it without inviting disruption to the rest of the forums, and without imposing an undue burden on the moderators.

In that vein, it should be noted that AVRT is instruction on self-recovery, and that its paradigm is therefore quite different from that of traditional recovery programs that rely on groups, including the secular ones. AVRT will, by its nature, contradict much of the conventional wisdom. Therefore, I ask that anyone who might be offended or disturbed by a different recovery paradigm respect that and not go on the defensive.

I am, however, mindful that some of Jack Trimpey's other ideas are liable to stir up trouble, so here are some proposed ground rules, which can be amended as needed, to hopefully try and prevent that.
  1. This is a place to discuss AVRT, and nothing else.

  2. This is not a place to discuss any other recovery programs.

  3. This thread is not a place to post about any issues you may have with your wife, husband, in-laws, family, employer, dog, cat, etc. Please use other threads for that.

  4. This is not a place to discuss the "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous, the "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions," or any other 12-Step literature.

  5. This is not a place to discuss Jack Trimpey's opinions on other topics, such as, for example, his thoughts on Bill Maher, Glenn Beck, and Barack Obama.

  6. This is not a place to discuss how angry or resentful you think Jack Trimpey is.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi there. I am very interested in this method and am trying to look into specific techniques.

Part of what I feel is effective about AA is the ability to break down the enabling self-reliant belief structure, via a conversion experience, in order to believably act "as if" you have recovered. I've read studies in the past that acting "as if" often is effective in transforming behavior. But you can't do so if part of you doesn't buy it.

My own issue stems from the fact that I just can't allow myself to do something I don't believe as rational, and yet I recognize, based on past attempts, that I can't seem to beat my alcoholism by simply asserting my will.
I can easily identify addictive reasoning and impulses, but I still give right into them...

So, if anyone's had success with this method, I'd love to hear about your thought processes and techniques. Thanks for starting a discussion on it.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsara View Post
My own issue stems from the fact that I just can't allow myself to do something I don't believe as rational, and yet I recognize, based on past attempts, that I can't seem to beat my alcoholism by simply asserting my will.
I can easily identify addictive reasoning and impulses, but I still give right into them...
Sengsara,

AVRT is fundamentally what would be referred to in psychology as a dissociative technique. Once you identify the addictive voice, you separate from it. It might take a couple tries to get the hang of it, but once you do, it is very powerful, in that it subjectively feels like you no longer have to assert "your" will. It is a sort of semantics racket, but if you can get used to it, it does not feel like "fighting" an urge - there is no "white knuckling" against cravings.

I will send you some relevant links on AVRT via Private Message shortly.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's good to see a discussion thread on the AVRT method - I'm for anything that gets anyone sober.

Just wanted to say thanks while I join others who are looking forward to a serious discussion on the method - for me, an educational opportunity.

Thanks, much.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Terrific, thank you so much for the resources.

I think I'm ready to finally get serious about facing my addiction head on, and will spend a lot of time going through this info. There's a lot of conflicting information on addiction out there, and I'm new to it all, but something seems to resonate about how he thinks.

I really do appreciate it.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I hear you, Sengsara - that's why I'm happy for the thread so we can see the method and make informed decisions based on what options we are given.

Good luck - you can get sober!
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Since some terminology is different in the AVRT paradigm, I probably should have defined some terms so everyone is on the same footing.

Addiction:
Addiction is chemical use or dependence that exists against one's own better judgment, and persists in spite of efforts to control or eliminate the use of the substance. Addiction exists only in a state of ambivalence, in which one strongly wants to continue drinking alcohol or using other drugs, but also wants to quit or at least reduce the painful consequences.
Addictive Voice:
  1. Any thinking, mental image, or feeling that supports, or even suggests, your future use of alcohol or drugs.
  2. An expression of the appetite for pleasure induced by alcohol or drugs, or the Beast.
Beast:
  1. The desire to get high, to drink or use drugs.
  2. Addictive desire. Often used synonymously with "Addictive Voice," but more accurately, the appetite or desire for substance-induced pleasure.
  3. The Addictive Voice is to the Beast what a bark is to a dog.
Big Plan:
A transcending personal commitment to unconditional, permanent abstinence. The reasons for making a Big Plan can vary between individuals.
Recovery:
Secure, permanent abstinence. Nothing else.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd like to remind everyone that this thread is subject to all the site rules and regs - including the one relevant to this forum:

Quote:
12 Step Programs are off topic for this forum and posts discussing 12 Step Programs will be removed. Please use the Secular 12 Step Forum for positive topics on Secular 12 Step Recovery.
In the absence of MG or Shockozulu, I removed a post and one other referring to it.

thanks

D
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wait, so we can't even *mention* you-know-what in this forum? That seems... that's not the impression I got from reading other threads.

In any case, as I was saying (without mentioning the dangerous acronym), my problem with the alleged efficacy AVRT is the same problem I have with all self-help programs of dubious efficacy---lack of evidence. If we can show AVRT to have a statistically significant effect, then great! Until then, I must remain skeptical.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I sent you an explanatory PM vinepest
moving on...

D
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for this thread, AVRT. I got Jack Trimpey's book a while back in November, during what I call my 'half hearted quit attempt'. I devoured it, and it made total sense to me, but because I wasn't fully committed to quitting I let it go back on the bookshelf. That didn't work too well for me..

I got it initially because I was lured by the 'quick fix' ideal. Yes, it is a quick fix. It stops you from drinking, and how to acknowledge cravings and move forward without giving in to them. I'm not working AA or any other program, because I got what I needed from the book this time. However..I'm feeling like I need a bit more in my life right now, so I'm spending time on SR and I've recently volunteered for some charity work. I'm also working out more to get my body as fit as my mind feels, and getting back into my art again. That, to me, feels like RECOVERY (and a pretty rational one!).
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Does anyone have experience using AVRT for food addictions? I vowed to give up sugar when I quit drinking and frankly, giving up sugar has been much more difficult for me. You may be thinking that sugar is not a big deal and I know that for some people it's not. But for me it is a problem that interferes with my life and has become an unhealthy way of self-medicating anxiety and stess. It is a monkey i want off my back. Sorry if this is OT.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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interesting...

I came across Jack Trimpey's website a couple of years ago and I found it really interesting. I liked the idea of the beast model because it very much reminded me of the buddhist way of looking at attachment and overcoming attachment/hindrances in order to be free from suffering. I am in agreement with the AV being seperate from me and simply not feeding the beast...by acknowledging but not engaging with or in anyway feeding the beast, he dies. Hence, no craving, white-knuckling, etc. I also encountered this similar concept in cognitive therapy settings, so I really don't see AVRT as such a huge paradigm shift.

I am constantly reading, thinking about, discussing any and all paths to freedom and I personally do not subscribe to one single approach. I find that so many things overlap and if I approach with an open mind I will find things that make sense to me and things that don't, things that work for me and things that don't...in fact reading/learning/hearing something I disagree with is good for me because it makes me think...it makes me question...and for me that's important.

So, THAT SAID...for me parts of AVRT work really well but to be honest I really can't see having a true and real discussion about AVRT without at least acknowledging that Jack Trimpey is a dogmatic as those he opposes.
peace,
SD
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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...for me parts of AVRT work really well but to be honest I really can't see having a true and real discussion about AVRT without at least acknowledging that Jack Trimpey is a dogmatic as those he opposes.
He is a tad bit reactionary...
“The most terrible fight is not when there is one opinion against another, the most terrible is when two men say the same thing -- and fight about the interpretation, and this interpretation involves a difference of quality.”
-- Søren Kierkegaard
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks for this thread, AVRT. I got Jack Trimpey's book a while back in November, during what I call my 'half hearted quit attempt'. I devoured it, and it made total sense to me, but because I wasn't fully committed to quitting I let it go back on the bookshelf. That didn't work too well for me..
I had a similar experience when I tried a "half-hearted" quit. I thought "Never? I can't say never, that's a little extreme. Maybe I'll just make a Big Plan for a few months, and we'll see how it goes first..."

It went, alright - BADLY !

The cardinal rule of addiction is "never say never" to getting drunk or high again. If you listen very carefully, though, when you hear "never say never," the addictive voice is actually revealing to you precisely how to kill it: say NEVER AGAIN!
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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[QUOTE=AVRT;3069459]He is a tad bit reactionary...

ya think?? LOL I have an anecdote to share but will preface by saying I'm only sharing my experience and am in no way passing judgement. I called Jack Trimpey a couple of years ago after reading his website. His number was on there so I was like WTH right? He answered, we talked, etc... nice guy, smart guy, so after a bit I joke "Hey since we're talking together here we are having a meeting, right?" to which he replied "ok we're done here" and hung up the phone. I accidentally pi**ed him off...oops. I found it really funny, but not everyone shares my sense of humor.

I apologize if anyone finds this to be OT or objectionable. I don't mean for it to be...it just illustrates the same kiind of intolerance I've seen in lots of places on my journey...a little of the pot calling the kettle black.

peace,
SD
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
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There is a reason that half-hearted "Big Plans" don't work. If the plan is not forever, you won't actually hear the Addictive Voice in all its glory. If you try this simple exercise, you'll see what I mean...

Say the following to yourself, in order, and after each one, observe your thoughts and feelings for a few minutes.

  1. I will not drink/use just for today.

  2. I will not drink/use for a month.

  3. I will not drink/use for six months.

  4. I will not drink/use for a year.

  5. I will never drink/use again.

  6. I will never drink/use again, and I will never change my mind.

At the lower items, particularly the first one, you won't feel much anxiety or head noise. As you move down the list, though, you should notice increased anxiety and head noise. Even at item number five, though, you probably won't yet feel the full anxiety and head noise, because you still reserve the option to change your mind.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Reading number 6 out loud doesn't give me anxiety, it makes me feel free....

..and just that single thing reminds me of how very far I've come. It was the 'Holy Grail' I was chasing for a very long time. I tried 1,2,3 & 4. When I quit I was on 5. I stuck there for a little while.

In four months, I am so pleased to embrace number 6 for the peace of mind it gives me.

Again, thanks for this great thread!
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by newwings View Post
However..I'm feeling like I need a bit more in my life right now, so I'm spending time on SR and I've recently volunteered for some charity work. I'm also working out more to get my body as fit as my mind feels, and getting back into my art again. That, to me, feels like RECOVERY (and a pretty rational one!).
These are all things I've added back in to my life as well. I think getting interested and excited about "real life" can be "key" to moving forward... I'm already at the point where I want to make some big career moves. And I'm ready for it.

Good stuff, newwings!
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:59 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by BodhiTree View Post
Does anyone have experience using AVRT for food addictions? I vowed to give up sugar when I quit drinking and frankly, giving up sugar has been much more difficult for me. You may be thinking that sugar is not a big deal and I know that for some people it's not. But for me it is a problem that interferes with my life and has become an unhealthy way of self-medicating anxiety and stess. It is a monkey i want off my back. Sorry if this is OT.
I've been reading Trimpey's book Taming the Feast Beast... it's an interesting read. I'm about halfway through it. He applies AVRT to overeating. It doesn't seem as "together" as RR, and AVRT (the person) mentioned to me that he wrote this before RR, so it makes more sense knowing that. I like where he's going with it so far...

I ate lots of sugar and drank lots of caffeine during my first 30 days of sobriety. Funny enough, as I was going into my 5th week of sobriety I thought... hmm, I wanna try applying AVRT to eating. So I asked AVRT (the person) if you can do that... or if it's been done. He told me about the Feast Beast book.

Well... before I even bought it on Amazon I corrected my eating habits on my own. So... here I am with this book AFTER I quit the sugar on my own. I'm only eating natural sugar in fruit now... and not very much of that. I've cut way back on the caffeine as well. Dropped 5 lbs so far... about 12 lbs to go before I reach my ideal weight. The book is nice, but I already made up my mind to do this before I got the book in my hands!

It seems that I quit both drinking & incorrect eating just weeks before reading both RR and Feast Beast... not sure if there's something to that or not. But having those books does help.
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“The shortest answer is doing the thing.” -Hemingway

Grant, Oh Great Spirit,
that I may always
Live as good as I can,
Learn as much as I can, and
Love as deeply as I can.
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