Text Coaching

How Text Coaching Works and Why So Many People Like It!

(Principles for overcoming addictions from the book by Maurice Harker, CMHC, Like Dragons Did They Fight.) 
First, a note to the addict who is apprehensive about getting help:
I have discovered a very powerful use for the technology of texting that is proving to be very effective in helping to treat addictions.
Here are a few reasons why “Text Coaching” works so well…
  • Addicts tend to experience the frustration of losing sight of their own values (what is important to them) a little faster than the average person.
  • Regular therapy sessions help, but because most cannot afford multiple daily therapy sessions, addicts can forget why they are fighting the addiction and relapse between therapy session.
  • With Text Coaching, the individual gets multiple texts every day that give him or her an opportunity to “wake up” before they drift all the way into the “fog” that comes before using again.
  • In order to beat an addiction, an addict has to “wake up” from the “fog” thoroughly several times a day. With Text Coaching, the individual gets 6 sets of questions spread out over the course of the day.
  • The brain work it takes to respond intelligently to each text is designed specifically to “wake up” the brain long enough to make it to the next text. Long term success for addicts is often a matter of winning many short term battles back to back.
  • The texts are designed to retrain the brain to think like a non-addict brain. The repetition over and over is similar to what athletes, musicians and militia use to get the body and brain to work in automatic patterns.

How it Works:

  • Participant receives several text messages spread out throughout the day.
  • Each text message is a carefully developed set of questions that are designed to retrain the brain to be able to automatically fight addict thinking patterns.  To be effective, the participant must take the time to briefly answer each question.
  • The Participant responds to each text question. Replies go directly to a certified and trained mentor.
  • Clinician (coach) gives a brief response designed to bump and nudge participant toward more healthy thinking.
  • Coach watches over the replies sent by the participant and gives one or two brief responses per day designed to bump and nudge the participant toward the healthy thinking patterns needed to conquer the addiction.
  • This goes on daily until the participant has reached his or her goals for number of days going without the unwanted behavior(s) and is satisfied with the results they have gotten.

Why people like it:

  • Text Coaching is very inexpensive compared to other treatment forms available, participants get quite a bit of training for their money.
  • Confidentiality – many individuals who are first trying to fight addictive behavior are very shy about other people learning about what they are dealing with. Text Coaching allows participants to avoid having to show up in an office or participating in a group therapy.
  • Geography irrelevant – It doesn’t matter where you live. You will probably want to make sure your phone plan has enough minutes for this much texting, but most people have unlimited texting at this point anyway.
  • Consistency, repetition, accountability – all on a daily, unignorable basis.
  • Fingertip access to one of the most effective addiction therapy teams available.
  • Effective for all unwanted, re-occurring behaviors – Addictions to alcohol, drugs, sexual activities, chocolate, food issues, etc.

What if you have tried it, and feel it’s not working?

“It doesn’t work!” some warriors exclaim after receiving the daily texts and experiencing no change in their lost battles. “It’s just a waste of time and money. I signed up, but nothing changed.”

When they say this, I ask them a few questions. “How many of the texts have you responded to?”

“Um…well…I have responded to several of them.”

“Okay, how often have you responded would you say—on average? Once a day? Twice a week? Once a week?”

If they’re honest they usually answer, “once a day, maybe every other day. It depends.”

When I hear this I begin teaching my “IT” principle. When someone calls into IT technical sup port for help with a computer that isn’t working, before asking any complicated questions, the IT representative will ask: “Is your computer plugged in? Did you try hitting the power button?”

This may be a no brainer, but often times the client will say, “Oh, wait, it wasn’t plugged in,” or “where is the power button?” For a computer to work, it has to be turned on, for Text Coaching to work, you have to “turn it on” by responding. Just signing up will not magically remove the addict’s habits, but it does give the warrior an ideal opportunity to daily remind himself why he is fighting and how he must do it.

I cannot stress enough the importance of actually replying to the text messages. Even if the answers are one sentence answers, or even one-word answers. Just the act of responding consistently puts the warrior’s brain in a different mindset.

Text coaching works. It works when it is used. Like any tool, if it is left on the shelf it is useless. Simply receiving text messages is not going to change much, but consistently responding to 6 text messages a day—that will make a difference.

If you are receiving Text Coaching and not satisfied with the results you are receiving, I have a challenge for you.

In the next two weeks, respond to every Text Coaching text as soon as you can, even if it is one word. That means over the next fourteen days you will respond eighty-four times.

Like Dragons Did They Fight Book CoverBe completely honest, if you haven’t run your flag-pole, or written on your calendar, say so—and then go do it. Do this for two week and then use your internal scanning skills to see what changes have happened to you over the previous two weeks. It is a cool experience. Try it out.

To find out more about the TEXT COACHING, please call our office at 877-437-6877 and we can assist you and answer any questions.

Text Coaching is part of the Sons of Helaman program for young men struggling with pornography challenges. Find out more tools in the book Like Dragons Did They Fight free ebook download.

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