The counselor welcomes the client and provides an overview of the session. In this session, the counselor helps the client manage thoughts about marijuana use.

Reinforce That Thoughts About Marijuana Use Are Normal

The counselor discusses the relationships among thoughts, feelings, and using marijuana:

Counselor (C): For people who have smoked marijuana for a long time, thoughts about using are normal; almost anyone who stops using thinks about starting up again. Thinking about using is not a problem provided you don’t act on those thoughts. You may feel guilty about thoughts, and you may try to get them out of your mind. This skill topic will help you learn new ways to manage your thoughts before you slip. Sometimes the thoughts are obvious, but sometimes they creep up on you without notice.

Identify Thought Patterns Associated With Use

The counselor explains how negative thinking relates to marijuana use:

C: People who used marijuana need to be aware of a state of mind that predisposes them to a relapse. This state of mind is characterized by dangerous attitudes and thought processes and is called “negative thinking.” Negative thinking is dangerous because it induces people who have used marijuana to let down their guard (decrease vigilance). The thought itself isn’t the problem; it’s how people cope with their thoughts. If people learn to dismiss this thinking from their minds whenever it appears, recognize it for what it is, o rcounter it with a challenging thought, it need not lead to a relapse. You can learn strategies for coping with these thoughts.