Cognitive Behavioral Learningtm (CBLtm): It’s All About Motivation
Cognitive Behavioral Learning, or CBL, is a method for facilitating positive self-change through a learning experience. CBL provides individuals the following in regards to addiction:
• Vital Life-saving Information: Information that specifically dispels addiction myths and misinformation that is common in Western culture. This truth builds the case for individuals to grow past their addictions completely and permanently and to do so without the individual being deprived of their happiness.
• 3 Specific Cognitive Attributes: A clearly defined and researched set of cognitive attributes to effectively address personal addiction problems, and/or any behaviors or habits that bring the individual self-limiting results.
• A CBL Experience: Should individuals need a more thorough, written presentation on what CBL is and how to apply it towards the topic of addiction (or any self-limiting thoughts, habits or behaviors), the St. Jude Retreats present a comprehensive guide entitled the St. Jude Program – A Comprehensive Guide to CBL (to be released in December 2015), which is offered at any one of three St. Jude Retreats in upstate NY, or at the St. Jude CBL day-class office in Manhattan, NYC.
In short, CBL provides the information and helps individuals recognize their own cognitive attributes that can be utilized to become a powerfully centered, freethinking human being. In Cognitive Behavioral Learning the term “cognitive” refers to thoughts; each attribute is thought-based. Individuals’ thoughts are completely independent of all other beings; they are theirs and theirs alone, and they are the chosen, autonomous causal force of one’s life. A person’s freely chosen (and held) thoughts and beliefs are the direct cause of their feelings (including motivational states) and behaviors. We repeat that below, because it’s so important:
Chosen thoughts and beliefs ultimately produce all feelings and behaviors.
So, the C in CBL refers to Cognitive, which is one’s cognition or thoughts, which then drive Behaviors, and in turn drive the experiential Learning process we call “life.” Because thoughts, behaviors, and learning are personal attributes of individuals, each person’s expression of the CBL experience will be different.
What is CBL exactly?
First, let us say what CBL is not: CBL is not treatment; CBL is not therapy; CBL is not 12-step dogma; CBL is not counseling; CBL is not philosophic make-believe, nor is it a religion.
Rather, Cognitive Behavioral Learning (CBL) is a title that describes a learning experience that provides the information needed to efficiently free individuals from self-limiting thoughts, choices and behaviors such as addiction, depression and anxiety. This experience will make you aware of 3 specific, inherent cognitive attributes that all individuals possess at birth. We call these simply, the CBL Attributes. This learning experience will make you aware of these specific 3 powerful cognitive attributes. It will also provide a path to streamline the natural process of implementing the attributes directly and efficiently into present and future life experience. Efficient and competent use of the attributes becomes a vehicle that can drive you past self-limiting habits, addictions, thoughts, and behaviors that may have caused dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
So what are the CBL Attributes and where can you learn about them?
CBL is facilitated by 3 specific inherent mental attributes :
1. The Positive Drive Principle – the knowledge that each and every human is motivated to think and act in pursuit of happiness at any and every given point in time, and that no other base motivation exists.
2. Free will – the knowledge that humans freely choose all thoughts and actions.
3. Personal Autonomy – the knowledge that humans are physically, mentally and mindfully independent from all other humans and external circumstances. Thus, no one or no thing can force another human to think, act, or feel any particular way.
As you can see from the article archives in TheTruth, we present the facts about addiction by dispelling addiction mythology and misinformation and providing the proven balance of research and practical lessons on effective, positive self-change. As previously mentioned, we do this not only through this blog, but also at the our residential retreats (the St. Jude Retreats in Upstate, NY) where the St. Jude Program – The Comprehensive Guide to CBL is presented and learned as an efficient path to gain full knowledge of the 3 CBL Attributes. After gaining knowledge of these powerful self-initiated tools, individuals can then determine the course of their life on this new, informed, free thinking basis. If individuals judge that their current choices bring the amount and quality of happiness desired, then they are free to follow their judgment and not make any changes to their lifestyle or current choices. If not, then they can implement any (or all 3) of the 3 distinct CBL Attributes with more focus as a means to explore, discover and create new options for their present and future.
Effectively implementing CBL Attributes 1, 2 and 3 requires intellectually understanding the information, the research and the cognitive excercises as it’s presented in the St. Jude Program – A Comprehensive Guide to CBL. Once this knowledge is acquired, it becomes much easier to make practical and positive use of the inherent Attributes in everyday life. Although we recommend understanding CBL in this time-tested manner, there are other paths to gain this knowledge. One might attain it by gaining an understanding of the PDP, Freewill and Autonomy on their own, and then making practical use of these powerful tools without the formal training of the St. Jude Program. Simply living one’s life with the conscious awareness that the Attributes exist and that they can be called upon at any point, and then apply that knowledge in real time and in an experiential manner can provide the path to a more satisfying life experience. Try to remember – you are born with the 3 CBL Attributes and they are an undeniable part of you and your mind!
CBL Obliterates the Addiction Disease Concept
All actions in life (including those habits that seem to be autopilot responses, like those of active substance use) are cognitive choices made real. Every single choice made in a lifetime has been formed first as a thought, and then may or may not be acted out through behaviors. Obviously, this obliterates the disease and powerlessness theory of “addiction,” which claims that you have no control – both mentally and emotionally – over drug and/or alcohol use. Every choice made to use substances began with a thought, therefore people are not powerless, as they have initiated and created, in their own minds and actions, their current reality and lifestyle. The good news is that this fact is also true for the future; all individuals get to decide what their life will look like from this point forward, by choosing to initiate new thoughts and beliefs that will create new feelings and new behaviors.
To effectively understand the PDP, Freewill, and Autonomy, one must put into practice HOW to apply these mental powers in daily life, and also understand WHY this is so vital for lifestyle improvement. At the moment you know that you have gained a thorough intellectual understanding of the “how” and “why” of CBL (through knowledge gained from the St. Jude Program or through simple daily experimental trial and error) it will become necessary to consistently apply it in real life situations to truly master of all three powerful Attributes. Once this occurs, you will have the experience of BEING someone who applies CBL effectively – the HOW and WHY no longer matters – implementing the Attributes effectively will simply become a powerful positive habit that brings huge positive dividends. When CBL is habitually implemented and has become second nature, life will roll forward with joy, success and a natural resiliency that was unheard of prior to your experience with the three CBL Attributes.
Unlike treatment for alcohol and drug use issues, CBL has no negatives associated with its methodology. This is revolutionary. With CBL, individuals can change and modify or eliminate unwanted habits (such as heavy drinking or drugging) without any sense of loss or feelings of being deprived of what makes them happy. The idea of sacrificing any piece of one’s happiness is absent in the CBL experience. There is no need to learn to “cope” with cravings when abstaining from substance use, nor is there a struggle to stick with newly modified levels of use in the future if that is the particular path chosen. It is often quite a relief to no longer feel the need to fearfully avoid “triggers.” Individuals are able to accomplish all of this without therapy, self-help meetings, or the recovery subculture that is unfortunately a common counterproductive part of quitting or modifying substance use in our recovery based society, today. All of this flies in the face of the recovery society’s ideas of the “perpetual struggle of addiction” that it promotes.
The Attributes to overcome self-limiting habits exist directly and naturally within you – you’re born with them. That is the beauty of CBL, its inherent simplicity and power. These Attributes have always been there within you mentally and emotionally and will always be there for you to access whenever you choose, because they are what make up how you are motivated internally. We here at Baldwin Research and St. Jude’s simply present knowledge of these three powerful human attributes and their inherent value. Then you can decide if you wish to consciously implement the Attributes in your own unique, autonomous circumstances – or ignore them – it’s up to you and always has been.
We will discuss each of the CBL Attribute individually in subsequent articles. You might want to refer to the article archives under the CBL category above to access this powerful information as it becomes available.