Break the Cycle That is Holding You Back
I have worked for many years with people suffering from a number of different addictions: love, food, sex, alcohol, gambling, video games, drugs and work.
If you are struggling with addiction, you’re not alone. Tens of millions of Americans suffer each day with addiction. And, it affects people from all walks of life: physicians, company executives, lawyers, mothers and fathers.
The good news is — addictions are very treatable.
Traditionally, addiction is defined as a disease. In fact, medical associations, including the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine, believe that like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, addiction is caused by a combination of behavioral, environmental and biological factors.
From a symptomatic perspective, an addiction can also be an attempt to ease the pain or difficulty of deeply rooted psychological or emotional issues through the use—or overuse—of behaviors or substances.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
When working with clients who struggle with addiction I can help you pinpoint the root cause of your addictive behaviors. Research tells us that childhood trauma (like abuse, bullying, high parent expectations or feeling left out) can contribute to addiction. People with trauma histories need to find a way to cope with their trauma, which is often when an addiction begins as an attempt to feel better. The addiction helps a person self-sooth in the short term, but ultimately leads to life being unmanageable and chaotic.
Once the underlying feelings are identified, we will strategize with tools to help you take care of yourself and your feelings in a safe way. You will learn self compassion exercises to self-soothe through the discomfort.
Mindfulness meditation will also allow you to sit with the fear or pain without going into negative self-talk. The ability to be with feelings without sinking into shame is a major movement out of addiction.
Finally, we will develop your harm reduction/sobriety plan to identify those triggers that lead to addictive behaviors. We will then identify what coping skills to access when you are triggered and reach for your “drug of choice” (i.e. food, love, sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, people, etc.)
If left untreated, addictions can be very toxic to your well-being, the well-being of your friends and family, and in some cases, even life threatening.