In this riveting, disturbing, and hopeful conversation, addiction expert and recovery coach Dr. Bob Weathers explains the enormous difference it makes when we apply the Integral Model to addiction and recovery. It helps us cover all the bases in our understanding of addiction, from the neuroscientific to the spiritual, and offers a map for recovery in the form of integrated practices that target our physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, and system-coping needs. Bob’s mission in life is to educate—his clients, treatment professionals, policy makers—everyone who is affected by addiction one way or another (which is pretty much everyone) about this set of perspectives that is comprehensive enough to address something as complex as addiction. Bob is deeply familiar with addiction and the suffering it causes on a firsthand basis, and he shares his own experience with an open heart. He is also well informed about the big picture of addiction and shares the latest statistics: 46.3 million Americans are currently clinically addicted—only 6% received treatment last year.
What about the future of addiction? Technology is becoming increasingly capable of creating powerful “super stimuli,” making it ever more difficult for people to exercise self-restraint, and internet addiction and internet porn are through the roof. What can we do to influence the powers that be on a social/systemic level to guide us on a new path? One that recognizes that happiness correlates with connection, contribution, and flow rather than the never-ending quest for more acquisitions? Listening to this honest, heartfelt, and impassioned conversation, you will not be in the least surprised to find out Bob is the 2022 winner of the Most Dedicated Substance Abuse Education & Recovery Coach award. “Living a life of value, meaning, and purpose? If you want to talk about happiness, let’s talk about that.” Recorded May 15, 2023.
“I’ll trade off the burdensomeness of addiction, of enslavement, any day for the freedom of transformative life practices.”
Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1
- Introducing addiction expert, recovery coach, psychologist & author Dr. Bob Weathers (00:52)
- There are so many different perspectives on addiction and they often tend to be reductionistic (03:30)
- Fifty percent of people who see a therapist are clinically addicted (04:33)
- Bob’s own history with addiction and how he encountered 12-step meetings, Refuge Recovery, and eventually Integral Theory in the process of recovery (06:10)
- The neuroscience of addiction is often the missing piece in recovery and how incredibly important that piece is (11:39)
- The War on Drugs and the deinstitutionalization of mental hospitals in CA in the 70s resulted in drug related offenses accounting for 80% of those incarcerated (13:37)
- Providing conventional religious/spiritual responses to addiction doesn’t work for all (16:10)
- The road to recovery involves service (19:22)
- Do you need to have firsthand experience with addiction in order to understand and help addicts? And, the importance of knowing suffering (19:53)
- John’s portrait of addiction and the unspeakable hell of suffering it involves (23:15)
- John’s groundbreaking book, Integral Recovery, which applies the Integral Map to recovery (30:22)
- Where are we now with Integral Recovery and recovery in general? (34:15)
- How our understanding of the causes of addiction went from demonic possession to moral failure, from psychological to spiritual—and now is often a reductionistic neurological approach (36:10)
- One size does not fit all and the challenge of matching the treatment approach to the needs of each individual (38:28)
- It’s going to get worse as the technology to create & distribute drugs keeps getting more sophisticated (40:02)
- Integral practice is key: an integration of physical body practices, intellectual practices, interior/psychological practices, and spiritual practices (40:51)
- John’s song: A Drunk’s Prayer (45:32)
Resources & References – Part 1
- Dr. Bob Weathers, recovery coach: https://www.drbobweathers.com
- Deane Shapiro & Roger Walsh, Meditation: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives*
- Noah Levine, Refuge Recovery: A Buddhist Path to Recovering from Addiction*
- Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory: What is the Integral Approach? (Integral Life website)
- Ken Wilber, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution*
- John Dupuy, Integral Recovery: A Revolutionary Approach to the Treatment of Alcoholism & Addiction*
- Guy du Plessis, An Integral Guide to Recovery: Twelve Steps and Beyond*
- Trauma-Informed Approach and Trauma Specific Interventions (MentalHealth.org)
- Attachment theory
- Interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB) or relational neurobiology
- Ken Wilber’s Four Quadrants: What are the Four Quadrants? (Integral Life website)
- William Butler Yeats, “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold” from The Second Coming (poem)
- Rumi, “In this life many demolitions are actually renovations.”
- Allen Ginsberg, Howl (poem)
- iAwake’s audio recovery tool, Deep Recovery (guided meditation with brainwave entrainment music)
- Ken Wilber, Introduction to Integral Theory & Practice, AQAL, 2005 (RedFrogCoaching.com)
- Marco Morelli, co-author of Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening*, with Ken Wilber, Terry Patten & Adam Leonard
- The Journey of Integral Recovery podcast with John Dupuy and Douglas Prater
- Michael Murphy & George Leonard, Integral Transformative Practice, see also Deep Transformation episode #58 with Michael Murphy, The Human Potential Movement Then & Now: 60 Years at the Leading Edge of Transformative Practice, Research & Action
- John’s song, A Drunk’s Prayer (on YouTube)
* As an Amazon Associate, Deep Transformation earns from qualifying purchases.
Dr. Bob has created two powerfully healing and transformative guided meditations to which iAwake added brainwave entrainment technology. You can check them out here:
“It was a marvelous therapy for me. I’ve never been so candid and honest about myself and my past actions…it’s like months of therapy.” ~ Nina
Dr. Bob Weathers is a highly regarded addiction educator, recovery coach, author, and public speaker. Over the course of his professional career, “Dr. Bob” has provided tens of thousands of hours of therapeutic counseling and recovery coaching to satisfied clients. He has also committed over four decades to teaching, training, and inspiring graduate-level mental health providers at several southern California universities, including helping to develop their nationally accredited addiction studies certificate and mindfulness-based clinical training coursework. His two most recent books on addiction recovery are currently in press with Cambridge University Press.
Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell
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