Talking Back to Your Thoughts, or, You Don't Have to Believe Everything You Think

Posted on 03/12/2015 11:54:00 AM

We all have urges to do things that aren't in our best interest long term, whether that is overeating, refusing to eat, self harm, suicide or alcohol/drug use. 

Learning to recognize urges as urges (which may be very strong and compelling) but not as mandates or musts, takes a bit of work. 

One skill that can be helpful is called Disarm. It stands for Destructive Self-talk Awareness and Refusal Method.  

This is a cognitive behavioral technique that asks us to identify the thoughts that drive or enhance the urges, making us think we must act on the urge, rather than tolerate it and let it pass. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1.  Do I have to give in to the urge because it is intense and hard to resist?

2.  Will it be awful to deny myself by not giving into the urge?

3.  Is it really unbearable not to give into this urge?

4. Am I somehow entitled to be able to give up using without strong urges to go back to using?

To learn more about refusal skills for problematic behaviors, check out this article from SMART Recovery.