Chronic Relapse Program
Importance of Honesty
Honesty is critical to what we do and how we do it.
In fact, it is the chief ingredient in helping our clients and families to achieve lasting recovery.
As many families will share, Burning Tree’s practice of honesty throughout the course of treatment may sometimes create discomfort, not only for the loved one, but for the family, too.
It can be difficult to look at ourselves honestly, to answer tough questions, and to be challenged in owning our mistakes. Yet honesty must prevail.
At Burning Tree Ranch, we believe honesty helps our clients and families achieve a fairer playing ground in their fight against addiction.
It helps them to see more clearly, to see things as they really are.
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
~ Arthur Schopenhauer
Honestly, We Ask a Lot of Questions
At Burning Tree Ranch, we ask a lot of questions.
As you can imagine, we do not always get honest answers.
Helping our clients recognize their dishonesty is a key component of the Burning Tree Ranch experience.
Through honesty, our clients can begin to evaluate their circumstances more accurately, and with more clarity. To achieve this, it is required that the family become honest, too.
Many of our families have lived in a place of fear for an exceptionally long time. Loving a chronic relapser can be a difficult, emotionally draining experience. Their inability to accept personal responsibility, to be truthful, and to function as reliable, trustworthy participants in the relationship causes an incredible degree of confusion for every person that loves them.
For some family members, they resist an honest exchange with their addicted loved one to avoid setting them off on a tangent, a spree, or a relapse. In other cases, the family member simply lacks the required energy to navigate the reactionary emotions that the chronic relapser responds with.
Sadly, the family has come to a place where they are no longer able to enjoy a relationship of integrity with the chronic relapser. Trust has been broken. Lines have been crossed.
Do Our Actions Match up with What We Say?
It is exceedingly rare for a family member to suggest that they do not want their addicted loved one to change. Even our clients say they want something different.
At Burning Tree Ranch, we are extremely interested in learning more about what our clients and families want. But first, we have to distinguish the difference between what they want and “what they say they want.”
We do this by asking questions and matching their actions to their words.
From years of experience, we know that words may lie, behaviors do not.
If a family member says they are willing to do anything to help their loved one recover, but they persist in rescuing, enabling, or engaging in other unhelpful behaviors, we know right away that the family may require additional support in becoming more honest about what they are really willing to do (and not do), to get ”what they say” they want. We employ this same protocol for our clients.
If a Burning Tree client says they are willing to go to any lengths to get and stay sober and to stop hurting their family, but at the same time they continue to break rules, resist suggestion, and make excuses…we know instantly that their behaviors have better information than their words.
This is where honesty becomes vital.
What Happens with Honesty
Once our clients learn to self-recognize how their actions and words match (or do not match), they begin to view themselves more clearly. This same process applies to the family.
For the first time in a long time, they are able to challenge themselves authentically, and to allow for greater scrutiny around their relationship with the truth.
This practice assists with the development of self-awareness and promotes a more genuine engagement with the world about them. In short, it helps them become more trustworthy.
Not surprisingly, as our clients develop the practice of honesty, they gain self-esteem. They come to embrace their emotions more readily and learn that they can communicate what they are feeling in a balanced, honest way.
Before long, manipulation (which is a form of dishonesty) finds itself replaced with assertive, direct statements or requests that are not tied to the expectation of any specific outcome.
For our families, the development of a deeper relationship with honesty creates vast opportunities for healing.
We want our families to mean what they say and say what they mean. Most importantly, we want their behaviors to match up with what they say they want, and with what they say they are willing to do.
This helps everyone to get on the same page.
Speaking of Everyone
Burning Tree’s mission is to help the entire family recover from the by-product of chronic addiction.
That means everyone.
We utilize direct, bottom-line language to communicate our intentions, our agenda, and our policies.
We do not sugar-coat.
As the nation’s only authentic, long-term treatment program for the chronic relapser, we are perfectly clear that our families are engaged on a life and death errand. We take our program, our procedures, and the trust that our families place in us very seriously.
We expect that the journey will be long, sometimes difficult, and incredibly rewarding.
The sooner we can help our clients and families match their behaviors to the claims they make about what they want, the sooner we can create a life of excellence beyond sobriety.
All we really need to make this start…is honesty.