The Mindful Path to Habit Transformation: a four-quadrant model

Dr. Larry Peltz

September 13th 10:50am-12:30pm Sky Room

Abstract: We all have habits, from the seemingly harmless or trivial to life threatening addictions. But how do they really work? And why are they are they so resistant to change? The simple answer is that our habits give us a sense of routine, predictability and even of who we are. Whether it is a habit of ingesting, behaving, reacting, thinking or relating, our actions have benefits and costs. We might want to change our pattern because of its consequences or we might be afraid to do that since it has been an old friend who has given us reliable comfort however fleeting or unwholesome.
This workshop will present a brief model of identifying four categories or quadrants of experience—the pluses and minuses of maintaining vs. relinquishing a habit. Once this is understood, effecting change of the habit utilizing mindfulness practice and Buddhist psychology will be approached through lecture, discussion and experiential exercises. You will also find this model compatible with any number of psychotherapeutic approaches including psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, parts and ego state work.

Objectives:

1. To understand the continuum from habit to addiction.
2. To explore a model which illustrates how habits both help and limit us.
3. To experience mindfulness practices as useful means toward understanding the inner
workings of a habit and assessing a client’s readiness for change.

References:

The Mindfulness Solution –Ronald Siegel

Let Go –Martine Batchelor

The Craving Mind–Judson Brewer

The Mindful Path to Addiction Recovery–Lawrence Peltz

Bio: Larry Peltz is an addiction psychiatrist and medical director of the Bournewood-Caulfield Partial Hospitalization Program in Woburn, Massachusetts since 1998. He has been on the clinical faculty of Harvard Medical School and Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Peltz trained as a mindfulness teacher at University of Massachusetts Medical Center and worked for two years in the UMass Prison Project. He has taught mindfulness approaches to addiction and psychiatric patients for the past twenty- five years and also utilizes parts work (voice dialogue, internal family systems) and hypnosis in psychotherapy. He is author of the book, “The Mindful Path to Addiction Recovery: a practical guide to regaining control over your life.” (Shambhala, 2013)