Listen Again to Reifers’ Most Requested Talks
At the request of our alumni, families, staff and administration, Oxford Treatment Center shares three key presentations by our most respected addiction educator.
Garry Reifers, founding program director of Oxford Treatment Center, distilled his teaching for a three-part workshop in January in Olive Branch, Miss. Videographers provided by Oxford Treatment Center’s parent company, American Addiction Centers, were on hand to capture the presentations.
Those attending the workshop included mental health professionals as well as Oxford Center alumni and family members from the greater Memphis, Tenn. area. One mother drove 50 miles from her home north of Memphis to attend.
“I was in a state of shock the first time I heard Garry speak,” she said, recalling the Intensive Family Therapy Program session she attended for her daughter in 2013. “He had a very positive influence on my daughter. Having the chance to hear him again was very helpful.”
Part 1: “The Hijacking of the Brain”
Reifers connects his clinical observations to current theories on the brain science of addiction. Addiction is believed to trigger a conflict between two parts of the brain: The prefrontal cortex, where choices are made based on values and priorities, and the midbrain, which is hardwired for survival. Through a process that is not yet understood by science, addiction causes the midbrain to associate one’s drug of choice with survival. (84 min.)
Part 2: “The Power of Denial”
While those in addiction will lie freely, there is a different reason why they seem to believe many of the preposterous things they say. Denial provides as a delusional perception of reality for those in addiction. It is an automatic, unconscious response to the conflict between what one believes is the right thing to do and what one actually does. Reifers explains the process of denial and how therapists can begin to overcome it through addiction treatment. (84 min.)
Part 3: “Recovering Reality”
Adapting the Feeling Chart developed by interventionist Vernon Johnson, Reifers reveals emotional predisposition as one aspect of why some people are prone to addiction while others are not. He explains how the process of working a 12-step program can overcome the cycle of addiction and relapse — slowly, gradually — by moving someone up the scale toward happiness and even peace. (75 min.)
About Garry Reifers
Focused today on training and education, Garry developed the clinical content of Oxford Treatment Center’s residential program and provided supervision for all counselors and therapists.
A 30-year veteran of the substance abuse treatment field, Garry served as Program Director for The Haven House in Oxford from 2000-12. There, he worked to transform the size and scope of the program and was instrumental in creating the first medically assisted detoxification program for a Mississippi Department of Mental Health substance abuse treatment program.
Read more — Garry Reifers Caps Respected Career (Jan. 2015)
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