Positive Psychology

Traditionally, when addicts go to treatment, they are given little hope. They are told by those meant to help them that they have a disease for which there is no cure, to expect relapse, and that few will recover. Is it any wonder then that at one year post treatment, an estimated 83% of them will be using?

We don’t take this approach at Cliffside Malibu. We view addiction as a behavioral disorder – and you CAN change behaviors. Our interest is in helping you look at what caused your addiction so that you can overcome it and thrive. Recovery is about finding and living your dreams. You may believe that you have sunk too low to find your way back; we know that’s not true and have the experience to prove it.

The life of an addict can be very boring. Every day, day in and day out, you must get the alcohol or drugs you need to survive, to keep from feeling sick or having the waves of pain you’re avoiding overwhelm you.  You deserve better than that. Whatever dreams or goals you had before you became an addict are still waiting for you. All you have to do is know that you can attain them and start down the path leading to the life you desire.  In order to help you achieve that, we do not focus on dysfunctional behavior.  Instead, we will help you transform your life by providing skills to improve your communication and develop a happier existence. In recovery, even when you face adversity, every day will have a joyful lining.

This approach to addiction treatment comes from a field called “Positive Psychology.” It is a relatively new field that developed out of the humanist psychology movement of the mid-twentieth century.  Psychology isn’t just about treating people with mental disease or defects, but also about helping regular people find ways to thrive and be happy in their lives.

Over the past few decades, psychologists like Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi have led the field of positive psychology.  They describe the field like this: “We believe that a psychology of positive human functioning will arise that achieves a scientific understanding and effective interventions to build thriving in individuals, families, and communities.” In other words, they put the science of psychology to work toward creating a world in which people can thrive. We use the same science at Cliffside Malibu to help addicts recover.

We want you to live the best life you can. All addicts know pain and demoralization. Recovery at Cliffside Malibu offers hope, connection, and a true ability to experience happiness and a fulfilled life. Using positive words and treatments, we can help you live the life you were always meant to live.