Raising the minimum wage, for instance, and providing affordable housing and health care. Social tools that build community and address the spiritual void that arises from materialism, like drum circles or community gardens, can also make a difference. When we focus on the financial, mental, emotional, and physical well-being of people with addiction, we can improve their living situations. In previous articles, we discussed how shame can dog people, particularly if they have marginalized identities. That creates a mountain of chronically unsolved problems, and likely heaping helpings of frustration and shame: three things that are sure to load up your metaphorical seesaw in the negative direction. Others may have a Not Always/Not Everything style, which is stressful in a different way. That leads them to believe a problem is more solvable than it really is, so they waste valuable time and resources wrestling with something that's outside their control. In either case, they're upping their level of stress. There is a third explanatory style that impacts stress: Me/Not Me, which focuses on who you believe is to blame. Is the problem something you believe you generated, or is it something that happened because of others or circumstances outside of yourself? A Me explanatory style can be empowering, because it puts the locus of control within you. You can do damage control or fix what needs fixing. You are taking responsibility for your destiny. The flip side of this, however, is that you may automatically blame yourself for any problems that come up, even when you're not the cause, loading up on sadness, guilt, shame, and embarrassment. If we take this hypothesis as a description of what education should provide, it will be seen that such education would be far different from present-day programs. It may be objected that learning goes on in spite of, or even because of, threat. Witness the platoon which is likely to be fired upon as it goes into enemy territory, and because of this threat learns rapidly and effectively about the terrain. It is true that when reality provides the threat, the learning of behaviors which will maintain the self goes on apace. If the desired training has no other goal than to maintain the self as it is, then threat to self may not impede the progress of learning. But in education this is almost never true.

What is desired is growth, and this involves change in the self. Whenever such a broader goal is envisaged, then threat to the self appears to be a barrier to significant learning. THE APPLICATION OF THESE PRINCIPLES IN THE CLASSROOM The abstract hypotheses just cited are obviously the product of experience, not the forerunner. They see themselves as failures, as flawed. They internalize societal stigma. Addictive behaviors allow them to get away from this experience of themselves. Reassigning the blame to the culture and addressing the shame is an important aspect in healing. We'll talk more about that later on. WHO SUCCUMBS? Of course, privilege and status do not provide freedom from addiction. In fact, some research indicates that teens who are raised in affluent families and attend prestigious high schools are more prone to addiction and substance abuse, relative to the national average. Kids from affluent families are subject to some of the same vulnerabilities as poor kids, including genetics, neglect, trauma, and so on. They also have other contributors. While the Me/Not Me element is less potent in terms of our ability to solve problems than the Always/Everything and Not Always/Not Everything factors, it's still helpful to note as you look at all sides of a problem's causes to mine for the most options for viable solutions. Solving the Unsolvable Just as with our emotion radars and icebergs, we tend to pick up our parents' mental models of explaining how the world is. And just as with your other thinking habits, you develop habits around your explanatory style. Because those habits are learned so early and deeply ingrained, when a problem comes up, you automatically attribute the causes according to whatever you've learned. The problem is that you're applying the same old tired thinking to the same recurring issue--not really a formula for breakthrough success.

The secret to getting unstuck is in understanding where your explanatory style is limiting you. Your explanatory style only allows you to see a narrow subset of causes of the problem. When you can only see a subset of causes, you can only see a subset of solutions. You're stuck because your explanatory style is blinding you to a whole array of other possible solutions. We shall endeavor to present some of the experiences out of which they grew, and the present formulation of a teaching approach which implements them. The Creation of an Acceptant Climate As in counseling, our first experimental approaches to the teaching situation relied rather heavily upon teacher technique. Gradually the realization grew that if the teacher's attitudes were such as to create an appropriate classroom climate, the specific techniques were secondary. This relationship between basic attitude and specific method is well stated by Eiserer. If teachers accept students as they are, allow them to express their feelings and attitudes freely without condemnation or judgment, plan learning activities with them rather than for them, create a classroom atmosphere relatively free from emotional strains and tensions, consequences follow which are different from when these conditions do not exist. The consequences, on present evidence, seem to be in the direction of democratic objectives. It is apparent that the above conditions can be achieved in more than one way -- that the climate for self-directed learning by students is not the result of only one kind of practice. As to the effect of this climate upon the student, Shedlin, who has achieved effective results in this type of teaching, has this to say: A classroom climate of permissiveness and understanding provides a situation free of threat, in which the student can work without defensiveness. For example, I had extra money, safer places to acquire drugs, and a car that got me to my dealer's location easily. Because I was doing well academically, people didn't suspect that I had a problem. These made my drug habit easier. Substance abuse is way more than a poor person problem. WHO RECOVERS? Why does one person recover from addiction and not their friend?

People will say it's about hitting bottom, but I don't think so. Some people's addictions expose them to horrible pain and yet they still won't give them up. What prevented me from descending into severe addiction was faith in my future and my conviction I had something to contribute to the world. Academic success allowed me to experience my worthiness and helped me set boundaries: no coke during the school day, abstaining when I needed to focus for an assignment or test. Like any thinking style, the key is to get it out of the subconscious so that you can evaluate it properly. Learn what your style is--and how to be flexible around it--and you unstick the problem. EXPLANATORY STYLE AND RESILIENCE: What makes someone resilient? When Andrew asks that question of audiences, the typical response is They persevere. And in a way, that's right. But if you drill down, there's much more to the story. What makes one person persevere and another person give up? Many would say hope. Hope is a wonderful thing to have, but what makes one person have it when another does not? A person has hope because they still have possible solutions available to them; The decks are kept clear for him to consider the material being discussed from his own internal frame of reference. His desire for acceptance is realized, and because of this he feels the demand upon himself to be responsible for his own interpretations and insights. He feels the full strength of another person's belief in his integrity. An interesting and important outgrowth of this self-acceptance is the observable improvement in his inter-personal relations with others. He will tend to show greater understanding and acceptance of them, and develop freer, more real relationships with them. This has great importance from the standpoint of the communication and extension of the basic classroom mood.

Although the type of climate described is essential throughout the conduct of the course, the teacher who is eager to experiment with this approach in education will wish to know how to develop such an educational climate at the beginning of the course. The answer here seems to be twofold. First, a permissive and understanding climate, which respects the selfhood and purposive individuality of each student, can be developed only in so far as the instructor holds a philosophy which is consistent with these elements. The point of view developed in the second article of this article seems to hold for teaching just as much as it does for counseling. Not everyone receives that kind of external validation. INJUSTICE CONTRIBUTES TO ADDICTION Discrimination and disparity in income result in inequitable access to opportunity, achievement, or hope for a better future. The same conditions that keep us from acquiring education or wealth or family happiness often steer us toward more immediate rewards--short-term stimuli that turn into addictions. Combine this with home environments that tell some kids they aren't valued and addiction almost seems like a foregone conclusion. LOVE IS THE ANSWER We all need supportive resources and opportunities to create a meaningful life. In particular, we need people who believe in us. The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection, concludes author Johann Hari in his convincing TED Talk, Everything You Think You Know about Addiction is Wrong. When they are stuck in their explanatory style, and only have a subset of causes and solutions in their view, they can only see what they can see, and are thus missing out on a whole array of other possibilities. Are you getting bogged down under unsolvable problems because you have an Always/Everything style, and you're blind to those aspects over which you have control? Or do you have a Not Always/Not Everything style that's causing you to spin your wheels on a problem that you're convinced you can handle but that actually has large chunks of its cause outside your control? Let's find out. What's Your Explanatory Style? Your style may not necessarily be an absolute Always or Not Always, Everything or Not Everything;