Most of us are familiar with the one-liners that are part of most 12 Step recovery programs.  You know the one’s I’m talking about, “One Day at A Time,”  “Take it Easy,” “Let Go, and Let God.”

Frankly I find these affirmations at once endearing and infuriating:  Endearing because for the most part they define a problem and provide a solution in just a few words; Infuriating because they can often be used as a way to bypass deeper work that might yield longer more enduring results.

Be that as it may, one phrase that has become part of my life as well as part of my treatment plan for all my clients is H.A.L.T.

H.A.L.T.  is an acronym for the words:

When you are feeling at the end of your rope, the edge of your cliff, ready to go postal, whatever metaphor works for you, take a deep breath and HALT before you say or do anything.  Ask yourself, “Am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired?”

Generally you will answer, “Yes,” to at least one.  That’s the diagnosis.  The cure is simply to address that need before you speak or act.  Have snack, cool down, call a friend, take a nap … or maybe do a combination of all four.

Try this for a week and see what happens!


Leave a Reply