Addiction & Substance Abuse Issues

What is important to understand about addiction is that drugs and/or alcohol (or gambling, shopping, nicotine, sugar, caffeine, or internet gaming) is not the problem. The objects of addiction are symptoms of a much bigger problem. Realistically speaking, all addictions are coping mechanisms used to solve, and sometimes minimize, what the actual issues or problem(s) are.

Whether addiction started as a distraction or a means to numb pain of some kind, addiction & substance abuse and dependence can impair our functioning and can certainly affect our relationships. I work with people to help them gain a better understanding of how addiction impacts their lives and provide treatment options to best suit each individual.

The disease of addiction thrives in isolation and feeds on shame. One on one therapy provides undivided attention and focus on the addiction and uncover the issues that contribute to it. Identifying and addressing the hidden causes behind how addiction developed (usually referred to Adverse Childhood experiences or ACE's), can help us unlock and address the pain we might have tried to numb or deny.

Working consistently with a therapist can us learn new and healthy coping skills to replace what the addiction was treating and allow us to explore and utilize self-reflection as a means to healing. Additional benefits of individual therapy include gaining awareness of how to avoid specific triggers, learning how to set and maintain boundaries that promote good overall health, and establishing a strong understanding of the disease of addiction through psychoeducation.

It is recommended that we engage in therapy only after having completed some kind of treatment program or are currently working in a program with a sponsor. This ensures that the therapy being done is that much more effective through encouragement and built on skills that have already been part of our growth.

I understand the impact addiction has on us as well as the family, and how deeply our early experiences impact our ability to connect later on in life. It is difficult to define what a healthy relationship looks like because it varies depending on a so many factors.

The goal of therapy in this area is to help clients discover what healthy looks like to them, to make decisions that benefit and honor positive choices, and to find fulfillment in one’s own ability to sustain it.