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Three circles

Three concentric circles exercise where three circles are drawn, one inside the other (like a bull's eye). The addict then places his or her bottom line behaviors (behaviors he or she is avoiding) in the bottom circle (bottom right circle).

The second circle represents possible "red-light" behaviors that may or may not be acceptable depending on his or her state of emotional or mental health. This includes behaviors that addict is not sure are appropriate or things that may lead towards the bottom line behaviors in the center circle.

Finally, the outer circle includes the addict's healthy behaviors.

This visual image of three circles can help addicts realize when they are in trouble and what they need to do to move closer to their definition of a healthy behavior.

Three circles - term used to describe healthy and unhealthy behaviors by addicts.

  • Inner circle or bottom line behavior - behavior which once engaged in leads to worsening self destructive consequences
  • Middle circle behavior - behaviors which are much less destructive and weaker in intensity. They tend to lead addicts back to the inner circle.
  • Outer circle (top lines)

Term is used in Twelve-step program and in treatment of addictive behavior.

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