Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions about addiction recovery and our program.
Which types of addictions are covered in the L.I.F.E. Guide for Recovery from Addictive Behavior?
Addiction, as used in this book, is the umbrella that presents many compulsive behaviors, to include chemical substances (including prescribed medications), as well as other substances (e.g.: food, tobacco [both smoked and chewed]) and behaviors [gambling, sex (to include pornography, strip clubs, prostitution, as well as various extreme sexual activities), and engaging in activities that produce adrenaline ‘rush,’
What expertise does L.I.F.E. Recovery have in Recovery from Addictive Behavior?
Our twelve years of successful ministry in the area of sexual addiction have proven the effectiveness of our “Seven Principles” and three levels of assignments. And we have confirmed with expert sources what we have seen and heard from participants, that the results strongly confirm the effectiveness of our methodology across all manifestations of addictive behavior. Finally, as has always been the case, we have used only well qualified and knowledgeable authors in the preparation of our resources.
Does the author of this Guide have experience?
Dr. Ralph Spiller has lived through the experience of excessive use of alcohol as a ‘binge drinker.’ Alcohol was his drug of choice during his military days beginning at age 20 until his deliverance at age 37. Other issues have also been a part of his use of ‘diversion’ to cope with boredom, emotional pain, etc. Following his entrance into recovery, he became a counselor of mental health and addictions counseling culminating in his acquiring a Ph. D. and writing his doctoral dissertation with the title; The Unknown Addictions: Sex, Love, & Romance. He has practiced for 30 years, assisting those with mental health (specializing in traumatic stress) and addiction problems.
I see now how this behavior/substance can cause difficulty in my marriage/job/relationships, so I have the motivation right now to change. But why do I need to go to another person or group to work on this when I’m convinced I can do it on my own.
Proverbs 11:14, “Without counsel, the people fall; but with many counselors, there is deliverance.” Holman Christian Study Bible (HCSB)
Proverbs 15:22, “Get all the advice you can, and you will succeed; without it, you will fail.” Today’s English Version: Good News Bible (TEV:GNB)
Using the experiences of others helps us in identifying thought patterns and any false beliefs that we have developed over our lifetime that may have skewed our ‘core’ values. Our ‘core’ values have guided behaviors that we use to solve problems, ease pain, brought relief and helped us to cope with difficulties in life. In a group setting we are able to ‘normalize’ our situation as we see that we are not alone in our struggles in life, and we learn new skills to cope with the struggles or to remove/avoid the struggles together.
The span wire on a suspension bridge is made up of many strands, which is what gives it the strength to encounter storm as well as support the weight of the traffic that crosses each day.
Proverbs 11:2, “When pride comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom.” (HCSB)
Is there a connection between ADHD and a propensity for addictions?
Yes. Research has revealed a higher risk among those who use narcotic (controlled substance) medications, such as is prescribed in the treatment of ADHD. For additional information, please visit
How and why do churches avoid dealing with the “acceptable” addictions: gluttony, erotic romance novels, coffee, etc.?
People, in general, while they may not agree with another’s behavior even to the point of being critical, they will tend to be “accepting of” or “tolerant of” behaviors for which there is not a legal issue (i.e.: no law prohibiting such behavior, as would be the case of the examples you indicated above); therefore, they will, also, present the attitude “that is their own business, just don’t do it around me.”
Another attitude is that we are helpless to help another if that is the addict’s choice, so all we can do is shun the undesired behavior.
Yet another attitude could be, “I don’t know what to do,” or, in the case of churches, “It is not for us to become involved with these sinners.” Since churches are made up of people not unlike those with these problems, they feel that they are not in a position to help others. Understandably, these problems are not pleasing to our Lord, but the issue of sin is not a popular issue in many churches.
Is it ever possible to have complete victory over addictions or are they something we deal with to learn more about trusting God?
“Recovery” is the word that we use to describe the process of overcoming life controlling issues; it is a lifestyle change in process, just as is the journey we are making in our following the teachings of Jesus such that we become more like Him. That is our goal in ‘transformation’ from the life of sin before our surrender to Him to our becoming more like Him in our daily walk with Him until we reach Heaven where our transformation will be complete.
As the Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) experienced a ‘thorn in the flesh’ for which he “besought the Lord three times, that it might depart from me,” so we need to understand that our sin is as the thorn, and though our sin has been forgiven, we continue in this world with the temporal consequences, with the same promise that the Lord gave to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
How do you aid those who now say they want to change, but are not willing to let go of the thing that is keeping them where they are?
You don’t until they deal with that which is holding them where they are. They must make the move to begin the journey.
What strategy would one use to help the person to let go and to take the first step?
Explore with them the fear that is holding them captive with questions asked gently, with compassion, understanding their fear(s), such as, “What do you think will happen if you let go of ___________________?”
Assure them of complete acceptance of them in the state in which they are at the moment.
Assure them of your presence with them; that they will not be abandoned if they should fail. (I never abandoned a client who failed, which is not to say they did not have the option to abandon me (i.e.: I did not hold them captive, though if they were court ordered, the consequences of their abandonment would be reviewed. If they insisted on leaving I would provide them with a referral to another provider.)
Allow them to remain in the group to observe the group function. Continue to encourage them to step out with courage as they become comfortable with the group process.
Issues of drugs and issues of anger may need to be addressed separately until the issues of anger and anger management skills are resolved to the stage that they do not disrupt the individual or group counseling process regarding the drug or other addictive behaviors.
Where do the people go for support when they call in or email?
Contacts with emails and phone number needed. We do have access to experienced facilitators and subject matter experts over a broad range of subjects. Please feel free to contact us for support.
I want to start a group, but have never done anything like this before?
Under the Facilitator’s tab on the L.I.F.E. Recovery website there is information on getting started. Further, the L.I.F.E. Recovery Guide itself is quite self-explanatory and will guide a facilitator through how to conduct support group meetings. You can also download How to Start and Run a Group for guidance.
Are there knowledgeable people in our Ministry to help people coming from jail & or prison get back in to life?
Sorry, but no, that is not an area of ministry to which we’ve been called. But we recommend Matthew 25 Ministries for ex-offenders re-integrating into society.
Will there be separate groups for Recovery from Addictive Behavior and Sexual Addiction Recovery?
Yes, we strongly recommend that the Addictive Behavior groups be separate from the Sexual Addiction groups. And because we know that addicts often exhibit more than one addiction, and sexual addiction may be one of those, we recommend that the Recovery from Addictive Behavior groups be gender specific just as the Sexual Addiction groups are.