Click the image to view the full talk or you may read a full transcript of the talk below.
Dr. Don Welch:
Welcome to My Therapist Sez, an interactive experience enriching your most important relationships. I’ll be your host and moderator as we present the new way of viewing addiction. Managing addictions is critical for healthy living. The Bible clearly defines God’s peace as the one and only way to enjoy a truly healthy life. In the Bible’s New Testament Jesus refers to a correlation between one enjoying God’s peace and overcoming addictions. Simply stated, God’s peace encourages personal self-regulation. Addictive behaviors on the other hand perpetuate self-medication behavior. Poor self-esteem and unmanaged anxiety are dangerous ingredients often leading to self-medicating behaviors, including overeating, overspending, substance abuse, impulsive anger, and much more.
During this broadcast I’m joined by Dr. Julie Hayden, a regular presenter on this program. Dr. Hayden is a licensed psychologist, Executive Director of Rhombus, Clinical Director at Genesis Recovery, San Diego, and a psychology professor at Southern California Seminary’s Graduate School of Behavioral Sciences. In a few moments, Dr. Hayden will provide keen insights into addictions followed by her and my responses to your questions. Well, hopefully providing you with practical addiction management skill applications. Today’s event takes place before a live audience and live streaming while offering practical biblical solutions. It’s like having your own Christian mental health relationship doctor within the comforts of your living room. I hope you will sit back, relax and take in these life changing insights. Please join me as we connect with a live audience in My Therapist Sez. Welcome to My Therapist Sez and I want to welcome you, Dr. Hayden, thank you for being here this evening. And we’re so glad that you’re here with us. Let me just move this real quickly to the center and we’ll be set.
Dr. Julie Hayden:
Thank you for letting me come and share, I’m very excited. I’m excited about this topic because I’ve spent a lot of years working as a professional with addictions and coming from that biblical worldview entering into psychology and then studying people and working with people, there’s themes that jump out and lately it’s kind of been pieced together in my mind, and I’m excited to share it with you. So what we’ll do in this presentation is kind of come up above and look at a 30,000 foot view of addictions. It’ll be very broad on purpose and then we’ll kind of dive into specific situations that you or people you care about are dealing with. So as we do that, we’re going to … I’m calling this a new way of viewing addictions. And I want to start off by looking at how we have seen addictions for many years.
Now, when you’re dealing with addictions, probably dealing with anything in psychology, you have controversy. So you have people over here with their views of what causes it, people over here. Some have ways that you can see there’s connections throughout broadly, but some, they seem like exact opposite. And yet they’re very intelligent people researching, coming to conclusions. And so within addictions, you have this as well. So it is not that these old ways of viewing it are incorrect, they’re just not the full picture in my opinion. So as we go through and it unfolds, I hope that you see what I mean by that. So let’s just take a look at a few of these. First of all, when you think of addictions you might jump to drugs and alcohol, that might be the first thought you have. Although we’ll look as we move on tonight, how many things could actually be under that umbrella of addictions.
We also can see the disease model has been popular. So you have a disease, it’s passed down generation to generation. You can’t help it, it’s your disease. Not that that is actually incorrect, but again, it may be a limited view. You also have rock bottom, the concept of rock bottom is popular in addiction. So you can’t help somebody till they’ve reached their rock bottom, that might be something. Lack of faith is a popular view in Christian circles, often some other religions as well, but within Christianity, what’s your problem? Pray, God will heal you. You are a new creation in Christ, you are no longer an alcoholic, be healed, now stop drinking. And then we watch as a person struggles, and so we wonder, okay, what’s wrong? Why aren’t they having enough faith to be healed from this?
We also hear the term co-dependency often within addictions. So who’s out there enabling, who’s out there that allows a person to not have the consequence for their addiction? They protect them from those consequences, so they might be able to be an alcoholic or use drugs without too many negatives coming to them for a long period of time. We also have the view of sin broadly just seen, addiction is sin. It’s just a sin like anything else, and confess your sins and come to God with that sin for healing. We might picture kind of the drug addict on the street. We might picture homelessness, poor hygiene, that’s what we might picture and yet we know some very high functioning, brilliant, successful addicts. So our old view may not be a full picture of what’s out there.
We also may see addicts or those with addictions as abusive, we might see all or nothing. They’re either in their addiction or their absolutely healthy. Sometimes it’s hard for us to see the path it takes. So the path that they’re completely falling off and getting back up and falling off and getting back up. It’s easier for us to kind of put it they’re an addict or they’re not. And that in between, we don’t know what to do with sometimes. We might see addicts or those dealing with addictions as dangerous, might think expensive or might see it as a societal problem that’s very difficult for our ERs. And lately just seems like a lot of overdoses happening and how that impacts families. We also see it as very selfish. What more could be so selfish than an addict who tends to suck everything out of a family, resources, emotions. If it’s a parent, that parent what they go through with their child, having an addiction, it just feels like it sucks everything it has out of you. So we might see it as very selfish.
And again, it’s not necessarily that these views are incorrect, but I wonder if it’s the whole picture and that’s kind of what we’ll look at today. We do see patterns in the background of addictions, and this is going to help us understand the new way of viewing addictions. So these patterns are extremely common. If you ever work in addictions and you hear people’s stories when they come in, they sound very similar again and again, and again, and again, there’s patterns. It’s not a guarantee. There are always situations that go outside that pattern, but it’s very prevalent that you’ll see these in the background of someone struggling with addictions. First of all, parental divorce, lack of stability in childhood, emotional pain, trying to make that pain disappear. Lack of coping skills, whatever’s happening instead of knowing how to handle it well, they resort to drinking drugs or some other thing that takes that feeling away or helps them in that immediate way that might have longterm disadvantages.
People with parents who have used drugs or been alcoholic, that’s common in the background. Neglect, interesting pattern of those who have plenty of money, both parents in the home, but the parents are out on adventures and vacations, let the kids do whatever they want. You wouldn’t see it as very harmful at first glance and yet that’s a pattern in addiction. So those kids left by themselves actually do struggle and later turn to addictions to deal with what that has put inside them, the messages and we’ll look at that. Culture, it’s possible, in culture something’s common and passed down generation to generation. No or difficult relationship with dad. Now we don’t sometimes value dads in our society as our pop culture sees it, but we know as believers how important that relationship is, well, we see it in science as well. So if there’s no relationship with the dad, which is very, very common or a difficult relationship, that’s going to be a pattern in the history of those struggling with addictions. That has to do with identity, they don’t have that sense of identity of who they are.
We see abuse. So very, very common in a story it starts off with I had a good childhood and then the end then is my parents got a divorce or I was abused. Whether sexually abused, physically abused, something happened and that’s a switch in that person with a kid, basically dealing with what they don’t know how to handle. And eventually alcohol makes that disappear, drugs make it disappear. And they seek out that lifestyle from that point on. And then we have different family patterns that we’ll see as part of it, whether its domestic violence or families having their own patterns of addictions that seem to just be passed down generation to generation. So this kind of background of what we see common in addictions, we will see how it influences our new way of viewing addictions. Part of the reason that all of these events are so important is not the event in and of itself, it’s the message the person takes away from it.
And that’s why we might see some broad term of trauma in childhood. Well, what does that mean? Well, it depends on how the person perceives it. So an event that happens in childhood that messes things up, that they should have had one view of the world and it’s forever changed. So that can be different depending on the person. And you could have siblings in a family where one kid, they handle it one way, the other kid perceives it a different way. And two very different outcomes, even though it was the same childhood to what you can see on the outside. So here’s just some examples. In the very early ages, in infancy, when you’re supposed to be changing poopy diapers and feeding kids and hugging them when they’re crying, if that happens, that nurturing happens, you get that message, you can trust your parent, you could trust the world. Without that, you receive the lie and the lie stays with you.
You can trust no one, life and people will likely hurt you. A little bit older, age two and three, you should be getting that message, you can have personal control and independence. You start peeing when you need to, you start putting on your own clothes, you start realizing you’re separate from your parent and you become a little person all by yourself. If that’s not allowed, if you have an over-controlling parent or a parent not involved, you question yourself and you can think of that as adults still questioning themselves, still having shame and doubt. Ages four through five, power over your environment, a sense of purpose, without that, without that ability to go free and explore the world and feel safe in doing so, you might never try. Why try, because I’ll never succeed. You have a sense that you can’t accomplish anything, why even go there? You’ll see this in teenagers and adults later on.
Ages six through 11, you should see a sense of accomplishment. One thing you’re good at, you love school, one subject, something you can start identifying in a kid. If not, I’m a failure, I’ll never amount to anything. Now, think of the lies, these are messages that fuel addiction. Lack of a sense of who you are, lack of any kind of ability to see the world with hope and trying new things. And what eats that person up inside with the lies will fuel addictions. So this is kind of the picture we’re coming from as we’re going into a new way of viewing addictions. I believe the next thing is a video and I wanted to show this video. I’ve never seen a video capture what I want to tell you better than this. So we’re going to take just a moment and it will help you understand what I even mean by a new perspective. So we’ll take a moment and take a look at this video real quick and then we’ll continue on, on the PowerPoint.
What causes say, heroin addiction? This is a really stupid question, right? It’s obvious, we all know it. Heroin causes heroin addiction. Here’s how it works. If you use heroin for 20 days by day 21 your body would physically crave the drug ferociously because there are chemical hooks in the drug. That’s what addiction means, but there’s a catch, almost everything we think we know about addiction is wrong. If you, for example, break your hip, you’ll be taken to a hospital and you’ll be given loads of diamorphine for weeks or even months. Diamorphine is heroin. It’s in fact much stronger heroin than any addict can get on the street because it’s not contaminated by all the stuff drug dealers dilute it with. There are people near you being given loads of deluxe heroin in hospitals right now. So at least some of them should become addicts, but this has been closely studied. It doesn’t happen.
Your grandmother wasn’t turned into a junkie by her hip replacement, why is that? Our current theory of addiction comes in part from a series of experiments that were carried out earlier in the 20th century. The experiment is simple. You take a rat and put it in a cage with two water bottles. One is just water, the other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water and keep coming back for more and more until it kills itself. But in the 1970s, Bruce Alexander, a professor of psychology noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone, it has nothing to do, but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered if we tried this differently. So he built rat park, which is basically heaven for rats.
It’s a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls, tunnels to scamper down, plenty of friends to play with and they could have loads of sex. Everything a rat about town could want, and they would have the drugged water and the normal water bottles. But here’s the fascinating thing, in rat park, rats hardly ever use the drugged water. None of them ever use it compulsively. None of them ever overdose. But may be this is a quirk of rats, right? Well, helpfully, there was a human experiment along the same lines, the Vietnam war. 20% of American troops in Vietnam were using a lot of heroin. People back home were really panicked because they thought there would be hundreds of thousands of junkies on the streets of the United States when the war was over. But a study followed the soldiers home and found something striking, they didn’t go to rehab. They didn’t even go into withdrawal. 95% of them just stopped after they got home.
If you believe the old theory of addiction, that makes no sense. But if you believe professor Alexander’s theory, it makes perfect sense because if you’re put into a horrific jungle in a foreign country where you don’t want to be, and you could be forced to kill or die at any moment, doing heroin is a great way to spend your time. But if you go back to your nice home with your friends and your family, it’s the equivalent of being taken out of that first cage and put into a human rat park. It’s not the chemicals, it’s your cage. We need to think about addiction differently. Human beings have an innate need to bond and connect. When we are happy and healthy, we will bond with the people around us. But when we can’t, because we’re traumatized, isolated or beaten down by life, we will bond with something that gives us some sense of relief.
It might be endlessly checking a smartphone, it might be pornography, video games, Reddit, gambling, or it might be cocaine, but we will bond with something because that is our human nature. The path out of unhealthy bonds is to form healthy bonds, to be connected to people you want to be present with. Addiction is just one symptom of the crisis of disconnection that’s happening all around us. We all feel it. Since the 1950s, the average number of close friends in American has, has been steadily declining. At the same time, the amount of floor space in their homes has been steadily increasing. To choose floor space over friends, to choose staff over connection. The war on drugs we’ve been fighting for almost a century now has made everything worse. Instead of helping people heal and getting their life together, we have cast them out from society. We have made it harder for them to get jobs and become stable.
We take benefits and support away from them if we catch them with drugs. We throw them in prison cells, which are literally cages. We put people who are not well in a situation that makes them feel worse and hate them for not recovering. For too long we’ve talked only about individual recovery from addiction, but we need now to talk about social recovery, because something has gone wrong with us as a group. We have to build a society that looks a lot more like rat park and a lot less like those isolated cages. We are going to have to change the unnatural way we live and rediscover each other. The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection.
This video is a collaboration with Johann Hari, the author of the book, Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. He was very kind to work with us on this video to spread the word, we recommend that you give the book a try. Our videos are made thanks to your support on patreon.com. If you want to help us make more of them, we really appreciate your support. We made an interactive version of this video together with some friends, see the link in the description.
Okay. So the big number one point, the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, is connection. Now, the reason why I love and find it so easy to integrate psychology and the Bible is because most of what works with people is based on how God created people, that’s why it works. So it can usually all tie in. So if you think of this idea of healing through connection, go back to the fundamental basis of Christianity that God made people perfect in a perfect relationship with him, and that connection was broken because of sin. The fall of mankind, separated people from God. It also caused a disconnection even in the relationship between man and woman, but you see it unfold in the promise to bring Christ to restore that relationship, restore that connection. So I do see broadly the reason why this is so powerful and why we see it as truth in research and science is because it’s based in how God created people and his truth.
So in looking at addictions from this perspective, a lot more could come into our awareness of what addiction is. Now, we know coffee, for example, is an addiction we don’t count. Well, it’s working the same way as far as we need more of it and our body feels that if we don’t have it and we get a headache and grouchy. But there’s many more things and if you can look at it from the idea of connection versus disconnection in relationships, you can capture a big problem in our society. So addiction separates you from the people you love. Now, think about it. Sure, drugs and alcohol, yeah. What about food, social media, our smart devices, sports, pornography, drama? People are addicted to drama. Gambling, news, very hard not to hear what’s happening every moment in today’s age. And yet it can be an addiction that does separate and isolate people.
Exercise, sex, ministry. Ministry can be an addiction that separates and isolates members of family, and work. So in that context, hopefully opens your awareness of the real problem of addiction and how it can separate us. And those can actually lead to worse situations with addiction. So the other insight I’d like to give you comes because we’re at an age where we can study the brain in amazing ways. We have tools everywhere for addictions. We have AA, which has worked fantastic for some people. We have behavior therapy, we have understanding of trauma and the brain and ways to heal the brain and all kinds of technology out there. Medication that can help. We have so many models out there for addiction, it’s ridiculous. But we have one kind of broad truth that we find and that is most theories on treating addiction do not work for most people. And that’s just the plain and simple truth.
So if you have one theory you love, and it’s your favorite as a clinician, you go out to use it, it might work for somebody, but broadly it will not. And we have a huge drug epidemic, huge problem with alcoholism in this country and other countries. So as advances we’ve come, we’re missing something. And I think one of the biggest things we miss is that addiction is not a problem in our society to be fixed, it’s a person. If we can remember it’s a person, somebody’s son, dad, their life, their story, everything they went through. What’s actually fueling that addiction, who they’re connected to or not connected to. And we come to approach that person from a whole different perspective, we might have a chance. So if we look at addiction, we see how complex it is, but the one thing more complex than addiction are people. People are so complex. Of course, you cannot come with a cookie cutter approach to addiction for a person, they’re all very complex. So there has to be adaptability to kind of get to know the person and see what’s going to work.
I don’t know how many times I have one person that says, I am never going to AA and you can’t make me, okay? And I’m not going to use AA, what else do we have? You have to be able to adapt. And I think we’ve missed that broadly. So if we were going to come and approach this and it could be you just helping a person you care about, this is also for clinicians and drug rehabs and things like that out there, we have to know the person’s story. We have to come to help him from as many angles as possible, adapt depending on their needs, care about the person, recognize the benefits of relapse. I’ll talk about that in a minute. Acknowledged truth from the past, it’s important to go back. If a dad left the kid, they have to go back and stare at that. They don’t have to dwell there, they have to call it for what it is. That was awful. You needed your dad and he was not there.
Somehow acknowledging truth is very healing. Obviously I believe because it comes from scripture, truth sheds light on what is hidden and we can have freedom from that. So you go back and you actually acknowledge past, heal and break free from the past. Don’t hold it anymore. Correct lies and inaccurate thinking like we talked about before, hey, actually you are worth something. You’re very valuable and there’s a new way to find identity if you don’t have identity from your past. Connect in healthy relationships, probably number one there, connect in healthy relationships. We’ve found and I’ll come back to relapse, but on the next slide we’ve found that healthy relationships can actually repair brain damage. If you have trauma or these difficult situations in childhood, it actually hard wires your brain different than a person that didn’t have that, you just take a scan of a brain and it’s different. Well, healthy relationships can repair that difference to where your brain can look healthy.
This is new. This is amazing. Healthy relationships heal and doesn’t that make sense in context of how God created people, and it does count to have be in relationship with God and having that healing, that relationship with God can repair actual brain damage. So relationships heal, healthy relationships repair brain, healthy relationships give hope for a better life. Who cares if you have stopped using? I’ve heard this many times, who cares, now it’s just lame and I have nobody. There needs to be relationships for purpose and meaning in life, they give purpose and meaning, they reflect the image of God. God made man and said, “This is not good.” He made woman, and man and woman together we’re good. And he said, “Go multiply and subdue the earth.” People in relationships, family, that is reflecting the image of God and what he wanted for people on earth.
Healthy relationships are based in truth. A lot of unhealthy, abusive or just difficult relationships are all lies. You’re not being honest with each other. You’re being aggressive or you’re hiding truth to not make the other person mad. Sin, we talked about this, has broken our connection with God. Christ repairs a relationship and community and family give a powerful sense of belonging and support, which could be healing for addictions. So again, this is very broad, but it can be applied to many different types of addiction and the bottom line is, instead of coming very tick for tack, you’re using drugs, you have to stop. You need to get to know the person, care about the person, walk with them down the road, including relapse. And that’s the last thing I’ll just say, because I’ve learned this. And I think it makes a huge impact.
It is very common that somebody is going to relapse if they have an addiction and they’re trying to stop, almost a guarantee. So if you come expecting that not to happen, first of all, it can be very difficult for you, the family member of somebody with an addiction, but it can also heap shame and guilt on the person that has the addiction and make them believe why try, I can’t do it. And yet relapse is such a normal part of the process it could be viewed as a very important learning tool. So when you have somebody stubborn, that is probably an alcoholic, should never drink again. And they say, “Well, I’m just going to have beer with my dinner, everything’s fine. No problem.” A relapse will change that thinking. They thought they could do it, they go out to do life and then they relapse and it doesn’t go to a little bit, it usually goes zero to 60. It goes pretty far and now they come back and they say, “Hey, you’re right, I can never drink again.” “Hey, you were right, I don’t think I need to smoke weed anymore.”
There’s nothing magical about weed, but if you’re smoking weed, it is very likely, you’re not going to be having your guard up and you might do something else that goes down that road to more severe relapse. So I may not ever convince a person with an addiction of any truth, but a relapse usually teaches them in a powerful way. So very important I think for family members to know that, so they have a mindset ready. Yeah, it probably will happen. This is what I want to happen. I want you to have a one day relapse instead of a two year relapse. Yeah, you do something, get right back, come on back, let’s figure this out so it doesn’t happen again. I always remind people though, you don’t know what consequence you might not be able to come back from. So even though it’s an important tool and it might happen no matter what you do, you have to understand you might lose family, you might lose your life. You might have consequences that you cannot take back.
So I never want a person to relapse, but I do want family to view it differently when they relapse, so that’s kind of a whole different view of addiction than what you might find out there, but I think it’s the way to go. The connection, seeing people for people and wanting that person, not just to stop using, but actually to be healthy and go live life. Go be with their family, thrive in their life and enjoy it. And that could actually make a dent in addiction. So we’ll take some time for more specific questions that anybody has, but thank you for letting me present.
Thank you, Dr. Hayden. Thank you. Just want to remind you that if you do have questions, just raise your three by five card in the air and one of our hosts will come by and pick that up and bring it to the front. I’d like to dive right into this. Thank you for a wonderful, wonderful presentation to help us with this. This idea of the lies and when we talk about this whole idea of zero to one, early on, trust versus mistrust, there’s lots of research on this that we need to be able to immediately trust. And if we’re not able to trust, then it’s like someone who said to me just in a session two hours ago, and that is I don’t trust anyone. So we move into a very defensive place. And then to ages two to three, personal control. There’s a need in all of us to individuate, from very early on to know that we can take care of it ourselves, that we have the ability.
So for example, if you prevent a little infant from crawling kind of the inherent San Diego, the Miramar Crawl that we have for the military. And if you keep that away from an infant learning how to crawl, they won’t be able to then eventually have the strength to pull themselves up to kind of semi-stand. And if they cannot do that, they will not be able to actually stand, and if they cannot do that, they won’t be able to walk. So there’s that personal control and the number, you said ages four through five, power over environment, that we have a say. That early development in ages four through five is critical, and I don’t know if you experienced it, I do quite frequently that many adults have never learned the power that they have, that they can be assertive because you said we either will be aggressive or hide our feelings and that can lead to some sort of addiction.
So aggression is different from assertion. Assertion is that I might have a voice, hopefully you may be willing to listen to me. And then you went on and talked about six through 11, ages six through 11, accomplishment. And then the lies about what we’re not able to do will tend to fuel the potential for addictions and will cause us in a way you were suggesting, to fall and be separated from God and perhaps others. So we’re looking at connection versus disconnection. This can happen early on. There’s so much literature that talks about early on development and how important that is, and then it was so helpful for you sharing with us that with our brain development and the ability to look at the brain, that there can be healthy repairs in our brain wiring by connection.
So let’s start with someone and I do want to mention that we have a couple of hands up with our cards here, if you could pick those up, our hosts, bring them to the front. Let’s look for just a moment at these lies. If we could focus in a little bit on these lies that tend to be very sham driven. So I’m really bad at the core of who I am and I can’t change that, there may be other ways to say that. Talk to us for just a moment about the lies that someone hearing your voice and my voice tonight would say, wow, I do have a lot of lies in my life or I’ve believed what others have said to me or of me or about me, or didn’t stand up for me. What are those lies and how do they impact addiction?
One I think of very clearly is I’m bad. And in hearing stories from people, sometimes they’ll have experiences where maybe a dad left. And I always ask, did you ever blame yourself? Because it’s so common and the parents aren’t thinking about it, they’re not doing it on purpose, but usually I get a story like, I spilled milk, my dad was upset, the next day he left. Or there was one recently, was something very similar that their parents were arguing over whether he should take his son to McDonald’s and then he left and his parents ended up divorcing, the dad left and he blamed himself. Well, the message she took was I’m bad and he became bad. He went to school and he cussed and he did bad things. And he became that person that, that message told him he was.
Took on that message.
And he was not thinking about it. He’s a kid, kids just do this. They take the message, they run with it. They live their life. You’re an adult, you live your life off the line, you don’t even realize it. It’s very common. So the common ones I’ve seen are I’m bad or I’m not worth anything. And that again, would be from some of those events where they lose people they care about and they take the message it’s because of me, something’s wrong with me of why that person left. And so they believe something’s wrong with me or the parent might say the message, you’re just so stupid. You’re just never going to amount to anything. And the parent may not even mean that because later in life, the parent will say, you know I didn’t really mean that.
They’re not actually terrible parents, but they were giving these messages, the person took it. The kid believes I am stupid and I’ll never amount to anything. And they take that and live their life off of it. Well later, especially adolescents, it’s always adolescents. So 12, 13, 14, you have that timeframe where they don’t belong, they’re uncomfortable and it’s normal. They don’t know who they are, and so that lack of identity, that difficult timeframe in general, if they get a taste of drinking or weed, it’s hard to come back from that. They love it. And then it escalates through time. Also though, a lot of times there’s a belongingness. So they felt like they didn’t belong, they didn’t belong, they didn’t belong. All of a sudden they started smoking with people and now they belong. And these people accept them for who they are. So that both the sense of making how they feel disappear or belonging are two powerful drives later of how it takes it from their message to addiction and off they go.
So this is back to your concept of hiding or aggression. This is true of unhealthy relationships. You either step away from the person completely, like it’s always your way, or you become aggressive. Of course, the helpful way to address this would be more assertive. So I want to assert my opinion, or I would like to say, I don’t necessarily agree with what you’re saying, will you please listen to me? The idea then of hiding is that I just escape and feel as though I’m controlling, which is moving away from connection.
Okay, so now let’s dive in for just a moment. I have several questions here and there may be more questions coming. Let’s talk about, you’re referring to at about age six to 11 that’s accomplishment. If we go back to developmental theory between zero to about six are some of the most incredible years of a child’s life. And those of you who are attempting to raise a child, this is not the time to send a child off for someone else to raise. And I say that, that could create guilt, I don’t mean to. But developmentally all of these places are happening, so when I see someone who’s in addiction, I will oftentimes want to ask that question, can you remember back of your interactions with a caregiver, a parent, a grandparent, an uncle, or an aunt, or even a sibling?
And oftentimes before that age six, the child looks at things black and white, it’s either this or that. So if a parent says, you’re not very smart, they may well live that out the rest of their life because of wanting to be connected with the caregiver. So even adults that may be my age later in life or old like me, later in life where you are thinking about yourself and the lies tend to creep back in. They’re often coming back from those early development years where it’s black or white. So if mom or dad said it, that must be the case. And then the second piece you said was when a person’s abandoned, you know in the state of California as is in all the States, that neglect is abuse, because scientific research knows that when you neglect a child, you’re abusing the child because it’s abandonment.
We know from the Bible that’s one of the worst experiences anyone could have is to be disconnected or abandoned. And I’m sure Dr. Hayden, you as well as I have seen this in our individual practices where someone comes and they were abandoned earlier and they’re coming to you or to me and saying, “I can’t sustain a relationship because I’m afraid they’re going to abandon me. So I’m behaving …” The client, the patient, “I’m behaving in real odd ways that I didn’t realize those ways are pushing away the person I most want to connect with.” So those early years, we cannot discount those early years as being very powerful. The beautiful part of what you were sharing about the brain and the imaging and all that we have now is that there is ample research to suggest that healthy connection can rewire those early developmental issues. When we say that, we’ve seen that as clinicians and it’s been documented in longitudinal research and empirical evidence, so that’s the beauty of this connection.
So when we look at these lies, those patterns can really disrupt an adult. So just for a moment, and then we’ll move to these other questions, if someone has those shame lies, those lies that are shaming them, telling him or her that I’m a bad person, I’m not worthy, I don’t deserve this. I actually deserve what I’m getting, what would you say to them? What would be something they could do before they even leave this auditorium this evening, or someone listening to this tape that they’re able to think about it and practice it before they turn the video itself off?
Sure. Well, what you want to do is believe truth. So if you have a biblical worldview, you have an easy way to find truth. You can go to scripture and learn how God sees you. If you are a believer, he has forgiven you and you have the ability to let go of shame and guilt from your past. And he’s chosen you, and you’re valuable to him. He’s actually created you exactly how he wants you to use you for his purpose. So if you can go to that truth and then you fight to believe truth rather than a lie and you can, no, it’s not going to be easy because the lie is deeper. Okay?
So you’re going to have to dig that out and hold to truth for a long time before you actually start believing the truth sometimes. I’ll give you a trick on that to make it easy. But even if somebody was not a believer, they can at least come and think what’s logical. Does it make sense that you’re just worth nothing? Would you tell your kid that they’re worth nothing, then why would you tell yourself that? You can still come using basic logic to help a person get to the truth that they’re valuable. So if there was a lie, you want to fight to find the truth and don’t let yourself believe the lie once you’re aware of it. We live based off these lies, but we’re not aware of it, that’s why counseling can help. If somebody goes, “Have you ever thought about this?” And the person goes, “Oh, wow, I’ve never thought of it.” You don’t think I blamed myself and I thought I was a bad person my whole life. But when it’s brought into a person’s awareness, now they can fight it and say, that’s not true. That’s ridiculous, so cling to truth.
A trick on that would be first of all, pay attention to your thinking for about a week. How do you think, how do you think, how do you think. Then the second week start thinking, how else can I think about that? It could be anything. Maybe that’s not even true, how else can I think about it? Then the third week start trying to figure out what’s actually true. So whatever your thought is, you grab it, you look at it, you analyze it, you think, hey, what makes sense? Do I have truth basis on, can I pull from some evidence or scripture or something? Or is it just logic that I’m trying to decide, okay, what’s actually accurate thinking and what is a lie? So that’s a good way to just kind of like build in right away a tool to kind of dig out lies, bring in truth. And that will be healing in and of itself.
This is why biblical truth is so helpful. You and I both work in both worlds, biblical truth, scientific world. The scientific world would say more or less that we’re created neutrally. The biblical world would say very clearly, God, we’re created in his image. So we are unique, special, spectacular, have tremendous potential. And yet we’re born as sinners, but that doesn’t take away the fact that we are spectacular. And you said it so well, and DNA helps us to see this, that we’re all so unique, so different. There’s not one modality, a therapeutic process in which says, this is the one that will cure all because of the spectacular again, that word and how we are made so spectacularly in the image of God and have unique qualities. So it’s very important, you said to hang onto the truth. So it’s being aware though, what the lie is and because the lie is so painful, it oftentimes is in the unconscious. We don’t know what’s there. So you’d have to be able to dig deep and realize what are the lies in which I am living?
So one way to let’s get real, you’re very practical with this. Let’s just go one step deeper if we may. What might be a lie to someone who’s very successful, I’ve seen more successful people that live with lies than actually people who would say I’m not very successful. It’s been very interesting over the years to see this. You can have people that are really, really successful, and yet they live with lies on a daily basis. So they overwork, they try to overcompensate their lies so that they can feel okay with themselves. So it’s really important to stop and you were kind of saying, really hang on to trying to figure out what the lies are, and then you’re wanting to look at eventually what the actual truth is, but this takes some diligent work and sometimes it cannot be done on our own.
The Holy Spirit can enable us to see it, but sometimes our defense mechanisms, the way we’re made human wise. For example, if you’ve ever touched a hot stove you know by behavioral modification, that you’re not going to walk up to a stove, you experienced that as a little child. You’re not going to walk up to a stove and just kind of lean on it and kind of see if it’s hot, right? Or even think about it. You actually have an autonomic reaction, never to touch a stove that looks like it could be hot. You already built in these reactivity, so those kinds of reactions can become defense mechanisms so that we can not really get to perhaps the shame lies or the lies that tell us we’re not worthwhile.
And I might just add, when you were talking about this idea of parenting, if you’re sitting here tonight and you may say, “Oh, with my own child, I shouldn’t have said that.” Or, “Oh, when they were three I remember saying that word or my child is even saying that to me today,” keep in mind that the brain is so malleable, that if there’s opportunities, still opportunity to talk with that person, that incredible healing can take place right now, that there’s that possibility. And if by chance that person is deceased, there’s a sense where only God can give comfort and strength in that pain in which you may be existing. But those communications, those connections are so valuable even if it’s happened a long time ago. Any thoughts you have?
I was going along the lines of truth and lies and trying to think like, what are the most valuable things I could give you? If you walk out of here and one of them that I’ve seen is a lie around how a person feels with addiction. A lot of times it’s the terrible feeling, whether it’s depression, anxiety, shame, whatever is in their head, or even how their body feels. They are convinced that is the worst thing ever and they have to make it disappear. And so they use what works to make it disappear. So every once in a while I’ll tell a person, imagine if you were just stuck with that and you couldn’t escape it and it was overwhelming, it was so awful and you were stuck with it 10 minutes straight. Do you know what would happen?
And they are like, and I go, nothing. It can’t hurt you. Nothing will actually happen. It’ll feel awful, but nothing will happen. And that frees them in such an interesting way to just understand it’s okay to feel terrible. It’s probably not going to last. You can learn ways to help it go away other than using or drinking. But that has been very impactful for me using it with others. So that’s an example of a lie. People aren’t thinking how extreme they’re taking it, but they are. And then when they just have somebody else outside say, it’s okay to feel terrible. You don’t have to resort to making it disappear fast, it frees them. Now they still have a long road ahead of them, but that is a turning point. So that is a little golden nugget I found helps people to understand.
Because someone with that kind of pain has worked their entire life practice, perhaps on a daily basis to avoid that pain. That’s why when we look at the number one cause that you suggested tonight, at least you listed it number one, lots of research would support that, is a divorce. Because it bifurcates the child and now the child has high anxiety because the child wants to please both parents, but now the parents hate each other. And so the child has to go to a place and say, there must be something wrong with me and then they raise that anxiety. So it’s important if that’s the case, anytime we talk about divorce, there’s 50% of those you hear today possibly have experienced it. So that’s why it would be to maybe have more conversation with that child, even if it’s an adult child.
And did he even say, I’m sorry, this was not the plan from the beginning for this pain, could we talk about this? And I’m aware that this most likely hurt you and helping the child or adult realize it was not their mistakes. It was not their problem. It was an adult issue and taking responsibility for your actions in that can be very helpful. This concept of, how to deal with say disappointment or loss in the past, here’s a question that asks, how do I get past the anger and disappointment with my addict step-son and get to enjoy him? So how do I get past the anger and disappointment with my addict step-son and get to enjoy him? So it sounds like the question Dr. Hayden is asking that the step-son is still an addict. So how do you as the step-parent get to enjoy this addict step-son?
I think of boundaries as being very important. So you have the freedom to love and have fun with them. So if you had very clearly something that says, here’s where I go and I don’t go that far, here’s where he comes and he can’t go this far. You know? So the idea of what you would pay for financially, what’s allowed in your home, what language is allowed or not allowed and various things. So you already know what you would do or not do in various situations that always come with the addiction lifestyle, because you’ve thought about it, prayed about it, decided it, and that’s your boundary and you never change it. Then if he’s within your boundaries, you enjoy him and you don’t stress if he goes away from that, because if he goes outside the boundaries, then he needs to leave.
And what that usually means is sometimes people are homeless, sometimes people have no food and the people that care about them, that’s very difficult, but that’s the only way it’ll happen. And it’s the only way he’ll ever stop, because if anybody protects him from the consequences, it’ll never be bad enough for him to want to change. So it’s important in that way too, but then kind of like discipline. If you have your game plan in place, if the kid does this, I do this in this way. You don’t have to be mad when they disobey, they’re a kid, of course … He’s an addict, of course he’s going to do that. It’s expected. It’s not going to change if he changes his whole life, maybe, but otherwise it’s expected. So you don’t have to be angry at that, he’s not going to take money from you because you have a boundary not going to let it happen.
The hard part is sleeping. The hard part is your heart and that has to be you and God. You have to take the burden of how much you love that person and how in danger they are sometimes, and that’s got to go to God and there’s no magical fix for that. It may always be hard. So the hope is that at least you can enjoy some of the times. And I would say with time, it probably will get a little easier to deal with, but it’s probably never going to go away where you don’t have a sadness for what that person’s out there experiencing.
So it’s very important to manage our own emotion, is what I’m hearing. When you think about what Dr. Hayden had suggested earlier, believe you were again saying ages four through five, power over environment. For different theorists who would say different ages, this is a generally accepted concept that it could be if you become emotional and upset over the step-son, it could be that in the early development of that step-son he, or perhaps it could be a she in a different case, did not develop these early milestones developmentally. And so if it were in the case that it was about age four to five, power over the environment, when you become upset and emotionally distraught, that could in his case strengthen his sense of feeling okay, because he’s now controlling you or controlling his environment. So it’s of utmost concern in these kinds of situations to manage your own emotion, which can be very difficult because you care so deeply.
And when we care so deeply, our emotion is connected, right? Because our head and heart are connecting at the same time, so it’s difficult to manage our own emotion. One way to do that might be just practicing it, practice in the mirror at home, and maybe have your mate listen to you, maybe play out the step-son situation and you practice ways that you’ll talk about the boundary setting. The only one that gets help as an addiction is someone who chooses they want help. We know that in mental hospitals, it’s so true. We used to see that and I know you work daily in this area. And so you want that person to take responsibility for their actions so when you set a boundary and you stick to that, which is not easy, that it forces him in this case to manage his own emotion and make more individual choices, which is oftentimes trying to strengthen early development that waned or didn’t fully develop in that person’s life. That’s a very, very powerful question and maybe it’s not an easy one to respond to. This next question … Did you want to add anything else, doctor?
Okay. Is that what if the person with an addiction, this is the next question. And again, we have a couple other questions here as well. That what if the person with an addiction is in a community of drinkers or addicts, doesn’t that person have to find a different community and how does one do that? Let me read that question, and again, it’s a very good question. What if the person with an addiction is in a community of drinkers or addicts, doesn’t that person have to find a different community and how does one do that?
So the answer’s yes, but if they’re not convinced of that, it’s okay. They’re on a road, they’re on a road and you’re never going to convince them so just wait they will be convinced. But that is a truth and I’ve never seen it any other way. So it’s something to be prepared for that they may still be on their road. They may not be really completely done if they want to stop drinking and stop using, but they still go to the bar because what are they going to say, no? Somebody says, do you mind if I drink in front of you? What are you going to say? No, that’s uncomfortable. I don’t want that. No, of course you’re not because of your ego.
So unfortunately the ego will get them every time and that’s a very common pattern and that’s why AA is so valuable, if you can tie it in with other theories too, it basically attacks that and it helps a person understand how to squash their ego and be humble. And if they can, they have a fighting chance. If they can’t, then it’s most likely not over yet. But that’s their road. So I wouldn’t worry too much about it, I would just watch them on their road. They’re going to have to figure it out the hard way, most likely. So if they want it though, there’s a ton of opportunity. Here in San Diego, I work at Genesis Recovery and there’s a huge Christian community of recovery based programs, whether they’re AA, NA, HA and Bible Studies and all kinds of other acronyms you can think of, and everybody knows each other, everybody cares about each other.
If somebody is relapsing, everybody knows, they find out, it’s a huge community. Well, we’re in San Diego, but most communities you’d have to figure out who’s where, but that would be a good opportunity. There’s probably something there. If not, they have to come up with creativity and it’s hard because they’ve used for a long time possibly, they don’t remember what they enjoy. But finding a hobby, finding a church, finding something they enjoy where they end up socializing with other people that they want to be with because that connection is needed for a long time healing. So if they don’t have it, it’s going to be a hard road to be alone. They will be able to be not using, but there’ll be an addict. They might not be using, but they’re miserable. And so to find connection, to find people that care about, it’s an adventure, how does anybody do it? It’s hard.
And they may have to learn skills that they did not learn. They’re emotionally 12, because that’s when they started using. So they have to learn skills to meet people and they might question whether anybody really likes them or they’re paranoid that they get to get them just because of how addiction develops. They might have these weird beliefs about other people that it’s hard to make connections. They’re going to have to fight through that. You may be the one person that can start that connection and see if it can unfold. But they’re going to have to want to have new people, new places, new, whatever the model is there, they’re going to have to want it or you’re probably not going to go anywhere with it.
So one thing that’s important you’re talking about, when you’re working with someone and setting a boundary and holding to that, regardless if they end up in jail or regardless if they’re in a environment that’s unsafe. I mean, these are really difficult questions to ask is that it’s important to know as you’re working with this person, there’s a tendency, there’s a correlation between when a person starts using addictive behaviors, even pornography, gambling, drinking alcohol, other substance abuse, that there’s a strong correlation. You actually just mentioned it like at age 12, there’s a correlation that they may be stymied or stuck at that development age. In other words, they would think that way, process that way. That’s why you can see someone my age that’s been an addict since age 12, and you look at them and listen to them and you can see a correlation between, wow, my 12 year old kind of behaves the way that this person does.
You see some correlations. So when you’re working with someone with boundaries, it’s important to think in terms and through a lens of the age, maybe the emotional development of that particular person. You mentioned AA, and you mentioned some other, Seven Steps, well, I added that one. But other acronyms of other wonderful processes that people can tie into is, this next question asks, is connection the reason AA is so successful and/or how successful is it? What are the percentages of success? It sounds like three questions. So is connection the reason AA is so successful and/or how successful is it? And what are the percentages of success?
The percentages, I couldn’t pretend to just have them for you, but I do know AA is not successful for a huge percentage. That’s all the theories, but there are plenty of people that valuate AA and it has worked. So it’s one of those ones out there that if you’re going to say anything works, AA is there with it. There’s a few like CBT, cognitive behavior therapy, it’s like a gold mine. It’s very, very good. Still, you’ve got the small portion that actually stay recovered for a long time, but AA has actually done very well and been very effective. What I’ve seen, kind of pulled out as themes of why it’s so effective, community is a huge factor. So then it switches from not using or not drinking to, you have people you care about that expect you to be there, your pouring back into another, you think of Christianity and how God had the local church with discipleship and mentoring other people, that model, that’s in AA.
So to be healed and turn around and help another person, that’s extremely valuable. If you just take that out of AA and use it always, if you want to stop an addiction, go help somebody, go work with the homeless, take yourself out of your perspective, pouring into another, and that’s going to help. But also when you go through the steps, there’s key moments that I think are also a reason why it’s so effective. One is realizing that there’s something bigger than you and people that don’t believe in God do struggle with this, but I don’t think anybody’s going to recover easily without that. It’s a humility that is needed and we know why in scripture, pride comes before the fall, every single time. So if somebody comes from a place of humility and wants to recover, yeah they have a good chance. If they tell me, actually I have it all figured out. I just wait. Pride does come before the fall and that’s pretty consistent.
So AA will have you acknowledge that you’re not the top, and that’s an important part of the process. They also go through and look at their past and they take inventory and they look at who they’ve hurt and they make amends and they consider who they’re resentful toward. So there’s a healing process of what I think that the reason why it heals is because truth heals. So if you go back and you look at your past and you call it for what it is, you see truth from your past, that that can heal. And so that’s a part of what you would do going through the steps is heal from the past, and then let it go, take it off your shoulders and throw it, so it doesn’t weigh you down anymore. That’s a freeing process.
So I don’t think those have to be within AA, but because they’re in there, that’s a very powerful reason why it’s effective. I do think, broadly I would say it’s one tool I think other things involved in recovery would be valuable paired with it, not just alone, but I have also met people who that’s all they’ve done and they have been able to work the program and come out just fine. And so it has been very effective for many people, is still, again, I think a limited view that we need more options so we can manage when it doesn’t work for one, what else are they going to do? Or what do they add to it?
Yes. You’ve almost talked about the idea of dethroning the self.
And that’s why most self help programs, if we can put that as AA and others is the first is to dethrone how we’ve made ourselves God. And when we isolate, that’s all the devil wants us to do is to isolate any hazardous. I still remember a man that was in our hospital we did, we thought really good work. We did family systems work, we helped them. Unfortunately, about three years later, he was found dead in his bedroom as his two little children found him there. And it was very tragic story. It pains me even to suggest it again. What he would say to us in the hospital is the only time I feel at peace is when I have a beer in my hand and I’m in the bar by myself where my dad can’t get to me.
Those words haunt me when I hear those and think about them again. And this man was trying to somehow take himself out of being God himself. So he’s trying to fully control his world. That’s, to dethrone us means that we’re not in charge fully of our world. And we find humility when we’re in relationship. I still think of my kids. They’ve humbled me to the point of, I don’t know that I need any more humbling, but they have over the years, not my wife, but my kids, you know how kids can be. They can just say it straight and then you go, that’s not me. And then you look in the mirror, no, he’s talking to me or my daughter’s talking either one, but that we are humbled and dethroned when we’re in right relationship. So the first temptation of the devil wants us to isolate, right?
He wants to come kill, steal and destroy us, to isolate us so that we don’t believe in the scripture you said, and that is Jesus, I’m the way, the truth and the life. So truth is sandwiched right in the middle, so we want to find truth and truth is that I am not God, I’m not in charge. I am working with other people. So there’s an element of humility. And when there’s humility, there’s reciprocity. So he really wants us to break the very first command, to somehow be the God of my universe and the sense is to isolate and that’s what we see when people are addicted. So one of the first things that any group, any AA or other group is to make sure that I realize there’s something more powerful.
I’ll never forget reading this, and I shared this years ago, this was almost 30 years ago. I found this quote and I do not have it to memory, but it was when psychiatric hospitals were called other names. And it was in New York City and the person who ran that particular asylum, they called it that back then. An asylum to try to help someone out of addiction. And he quoted, it was a male who ran this. And he said, “Out of my 20,” I think it’s 20 or 25 years, “Of running this asylum in New York City I have never met a person who actually found success who didn’t have someone from the outside praying for him and that person on the inside of this asylum.” I’ll never forget that, it was the epitome of what you’re talking about. And that’s a statement of connection.
And when we pray and some of these questions, many of you are praying diligently for someone and not seeing perhaps the changes, but we should never give up at that point because the Holy Spirit is praying and groans for the person for whom you have dear concern. And I just thought about that, that sense of connection. And when we have connection, there’s a reciprocity. I use that word again. There’s a sharing back and forth of empathy, of caring, concern and our enzymes and the inner parts of us actually change when that’s in a healthy way, because we’re meant to have an interconnection.
If I can add one last piece to that, that statement, we have longitudinal research on aging, gerontology, and we find that those people who are able to in the latter years of their life are able to give to others. And I have the epitome of this is a bill and Mary Beth Difley who started this ministry 10 years ago and they’re in the audience tonight. And here they are, they have retired from their previous work and they are giving to multitudes, hundreds of people and perhaps experiencing the greatest health of their life. Karl Menninger, one of the great psychiatrist who had his Menninger foundation in Topeka, Kansas. It moved to the East Coast. He wrote a book in 1972, Whatever Happened to Sin, it was right in the midst of the existential movement of the scientific, sociology and psychological movement, asked the question in a book, Whatever Happened to Sin.
And the concept is, is when we live in sin, then there’s a tendency to actually in-thrown ourselves as God, that we’re in charge. And the Bible talks about really having the Holy Spirit help us to dethrone and then have that reciprocity and engage with each other. Yes. Well, as we wind down this evening, I just wanted to ask one last question. If I may, and that is related to something you had mentioned earlier, and that is connection versus disconnection. What would you say, Dr. Hayden, if I came as your patient and I was just asking, I really don’t know how to connect with people. I would really like to, and I have several addictions in my life, how do I really connect with people?
I mean, frankly, I just don’t know how to do that. When I try to connect, I had someone asking this today. It was very painful, one of my precious patients. How do I connect with people? I really don’t know because when I try to connect, they push me away. They somehow treat me like my dad treated me when I was growing up and I don’t know what to do, how would you help me? People ask these questions in sessions with therapists. What would you say to me if I were that addict and I was asking, how can I connect with people?
Well, I have said fake it till you make it.
Okay? And the reason I say that is because oftentimes when I am talking with the person, I’ll realize they have a lot of fears and the fears are probably not real. So they’re just nervous. And so they think that before they ever try, this person is not going to like me, this person’s going to think I’m awkward. They’re probably going to do this. They’re probably going to do that. So first we kind of try to bring out those fears and look, okay, well, what’s the worst case scenario, all that’s true, then what? Then what happens? Nothing, it’s fine. Then obviously he’s a jerk, who cares? And just kind of trying to break down the fears. So in that regard, they have to be brave. They have to walk up to somebody and say something and know that yeah, it might explode in their face and that’s okay. Then the next time they’re going to go up to somebody and say something.
So a lot of times they’re in meetings, things like that. So I’ll encourage them speak, say something, if you sound ridiculous, who cares? Just try it. You have to jump out there and try it in order to figure out how to change it, so it’s something that people seem to respond well to. So that’s actually helped, a number of people have come back and said, “Hey, that really worked.” So just jump out there, fake it till you make it. And then see, because it might be actually they get along fine and they are not having anything like, wow, this person’s odd. They are not thinking that, that was your fear. So it might just be fine that they get along well with you and everything works out, so try it.
Very good. Well, thank you. Would you join me in thanking Dr. Julie Hayden this evening on our topic of addictions? Thank you so very much. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Thank you. We want to welcome you to our next My Therapist Sez, and that is going to be redeemed sexuality, and you may be able to see the information on the screen, a guide to sexuality for Christian singles, campus students, teens and parents. This is Dr. Jennifer Konzen. She is a certified sex therapist and she is a marvelous clinician. Many of you have heard her in the broad or on the broadcast, and she’s presented on several occasions. So if you have family or friends, please notice that is scheduled for, actually that is November 7th. So we welcome you to that, that particular production.
May we have a word of prayer as we leave this evening. Shall we pray, father, thank you so much for biblical truth. I’m just amazed father in therapeutic session, I’m trained scientifically, but also biblically. And I’m just amazed how your Holy Spirit works miracles in people’s lives. And it’s just an aha moment where without a doubt, I realize in that particular session that it’s been because of the power of God, even though scientific research has helped to open up new ideas and concepts, yet it’s the power of the living God that makes all the difference through the Holy Spirit. So we pray father that you would bless those who have been here this evening, those who are listening by live stream, and perhaps those who will listen to this at another time. That you would speak through the words that have been shared here tonight, because they are your truths, we wanted to most importantly point to the scriptures.
You’re living word of God that is, it goes to the very heart of who we are as human beings and it cures. It helps. It gives hope and it strengthens us for our daily task in our day. So we thank you, we bless you this night for your presence here and in each of our lives. And if there’s somebody who’s listening to this who has not asked you into their life, it’s a very simple process to just confess one’s sin and then say, I’m very sorry, and have a contrite, a sorrowful heart and ask Jesus to come in to your life. Thank you father for this wonderful gift of salvation, and that means that we’re a child of you. So we give you praise in the name of Jesus, amen. God bless you and have a great, great evening. Thank you for coming.
Complete this form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours
(760) 303-4181 Fax 619-463-2522
8050 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, CA 91942
Hours of Operation: 24/7 by phone
In-person: Monday-Saturday 2pm-5pm