Addiction & Recovery
“All addictions—whether to drugs or to non-drug behaviors—share the same brain circuits and brain chemicals. On the biochemical level the purpose of all addictions is to create an altered physiological state in the brain. This can be achieved in many ways, drug taking being the most direct. So an addiction is never purely “psychological;” all addictions have a biological dimension.”
Ready to live a more full life free from addiction?
If you are reading this, you’re likely aware that your relationship to a substance or other addictive behavior is problematic. Perhaps there’s still some bargaining or hope that it’s not that big of a deal. I understand how frustrating and painful it can be to get to a place where you have to ask for help.
In order to move forward try asking yourself these important questions:
Are you tired of feeling ashamed and disappointed with yourself?
Have your promises and plans to quit substances or behaviors consistently failed?
Have you had success in recovering from one harmful behavior only to find new harmful patterns popping up?
Do you rely on substances or behaviors to relieve stress, relax, connect, or "check out?"
Are you willing to consider that underlying depression, trauma, anxiety or grief may be contributing to your painful behavior and that you will need to get help for these before you can fully recover?
Don't let addiction rule your life.
If cravings and compulsions monopolize your thoughts, you may not be reaching your full potential in your professional, social or creative life. You might be preventing yourself from developing relationships or accessing more nourishing activities that truly feed you. You don’t have to regularly experience shame, regret or avoidance. I can help you discover what your mind and body needs in order to manage stress, access support and make long-lasting change. There’s no reason to do it alone.
Break the cycle of compulsion and shame.
Due to the stresses of living in the modern world we naturally struggle to balance work, school, relationships, family and other activities that fuel our sense of of purpose and connection. It’s overwhelming and quite frankly impossible to do it all perfectly.
Many people find some way of "checking out" of the realities of their lives. However, for some these methods of escape from daily stress do more harm than good. For example, drinking heavily on the weekends may feel good at the time, but, over months and years, alcohol abuse causes brain fog, hangovers, organ damage, and can lead to physical dependence. Similarly, although eating that pint of ice cream may feel like the only thing that will make you feel better in the moment, it may negatively affect your sense of self-worth leading to guilt and shame.
But there is some really good news...
You can find healthy ways to manage your life and experience fulfillment.
It is possible to be free of the behaviors and substances that plague you. I have seven years of professional experience in various addiction treatment settings from independent living to wilderness programs and in my private practice. I have witnessed people grow in therapy as they confront their addictive patterns and the underlying emotional components. I’ve also helped people do the necessary grief work to heal deeply and access their own resilience and health.
I approach addiction counseling through an emphasis on mindfulness, trauma healing and connection. In sessions, I will help you identify what goes on in your body and brain during stressful situations and teach you how to manage painful thoughts, feelings and sensations without letting them overwhelm you. I can also give you tools to effectively navigate normal life triggers, like work and relationship stress.
If there are mental health issues such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, or other mental health needs, we can work to address these as well. There is plenty of research pointing to the need to address co-occurring mood issues with substance abuse or other addictions at the same time.
Together, we can explore your thoughts, patterns, and related behaviors, examine how they serve you and where they may be limiting you. I believe that everyone who has a problem with addictive behaviors or substances does so because they were once served by the substance or behavior--even if only momentarily. But, as you may know, these behaviors cease to be beneficial, and at a certain point, become dangerous to yourself and others. With your willingness and desire to allow change into your life, I can guide you toward nourishing and sustainable methods of finding ease, comfort, joy, and connection.
What if I'm not sure I want to quit?
I am not here to force you to do anything you may not feel prepared for. I strive to offer a collaborative relationship, not judgment. Together, we will identify your addiction(s), consider the physical and emotional underpinnings and consequences, and address your potential to change. I am here to help you understand your mind, body, feelings, and actions so that you can make a well-informed choice about how to best live your life.
“Every worthy act is difficult. Ascent is always difficult. Descent is easy and often slippery.” ~Mahatma Gandhi