Professional Counselor Lonnie Jones Explains His Approach to Addiction
Lonnie began partnering with Project Rescue in August of 2018.
He visits the Project Rescue campus on Tuesdays between 4pm and 9pm. He meets 50 minutes 1-on-1 with four members and teaches a 1 hour class.
Lonnie is a licensed professional counselor and also nationally certified by the national board of certified counselors. Lonnie has been in private practice for over twenty years and is qualified as a supervising licensed professional counselor. He has over two hundred hours in training dealing with trauma including EMDR level I, RRT Level I and II, Trauma Informed Hypnotherapy. Lonnie is a volunteer chaplain with Huntsville Public Safety and trained as a Crisis Negotiator serving as a mental health consultant with both the Critical Incident Team, S.W.A.T. Team and adjunct instructor at the Police Academy.
Lonnie has over thirty-five years experience as a minister and has served in the Huntsville area since 1986.
Lonnie’s approach is a combination of techniques based on the work of Lance Dodes (“The Heart of Addiction” and “Breaking Addiction”), John Connelly’s Rapid Resolution Therapy ©, and Courtney Armstrong’s work in Trauma Informed Hypnotherapy ©.
Lonnie Jones explains his approach:
What if we understood “addiction” as compulsive comfort seeking? What if addictions were rooted not in the chemical itself or the cluster of behaviors we often see manifested but rather in traumatic events. Based on the theories of Lance Dodes, the mind-body research of Bessel Van Der Kolk and the work of Kaiser Permanente on Adverse Childhood Experiences we are discovering that Developmental Trauma Disorder should be included in our diagnostic manuals. Unfortunately it is not. So we are stuck treating diagnosis of outward behavior: Attention Deficit, Oppositional Defiance, Intermittent Explosive, Emotional Dysregulation and Substance Abuse Disorders. All these diagnoses are concentrated on outward symptomology and do not address the root causes. Simply put what we now understand as addictive behavior is an adaptive behavior that has developed covertly to deal with underlying feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, pervasive powerlessness or being trapped. The individual experiencing these sensations are often unaware that these feelings are connected to previous significant events (traumas) from earlier circumstances. Through the course of this process the addictive behavior serves as replacement behavior to address these feelings, sensations, thoughts and beliefs. If we can find the root cause of the original use or when/how the substance abuse was non consciously bonded to the original trauma we can break this connection and create new neural pathways and substitute the behavior with alternatives that are not illegal, immoral or damaging to the soul. This approach is not about talking about not drinking, not using pills or not engaging in compulsive acts. It is not about discussing the harmful consequences of these behaviors but rather understanding how these addictive behaviors have nonconsiously been connected to these feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and powerlessness.
In the last six months I have been fortunate to explore this approach with the men who live at Project Rescue. We are employing a five to six session program where we discover together what attachments, connections, feelings and traumas can be associated with the individual manifestation of addictive behavior. In many cases we find that the connection is such a part of ingrained behavior that it is not recognized as problematic or even connected. In the cases where we have made these connections the new thought pattern concerning substance use is almost spontaneous. In other cases we are using a trauma clearing protocol based on the work of Courtney Armstrong’s Trauma Informed Hypnotherapy and John Connelly’s Rapid Resolution Therapy. It is too early to state a statistical significance to this approach but the men are self- reporting a new insight and the ability to see the possibility of lifelong sobriety rather the old understanding of life long addiction “one day at a time”.
The gentlemen at PR are often here through self-initiated behavior and many have been through several rehabilitation programs. Their honesty, sincerity and desire to become the men that God called them to be is inspiring. Their bond to each other and inclusion of me as part of the “family” is a genuinely heart warming experience.
Lonnie Jones MS, LPC, NCC, CCH