Therapy for Addiction
Addiction can often feel like a hell you can’t escape. If you’re considering therapy for treating addiction, you’re probably experiencing some version of this already. This cycle can feel like an epic battle of wills and it takes up an incredible amount of mental energy — energy robbed from the rest of your life: a repetitive thought process where you obsessively crave and yet try to stop the addictive behavior — and then you may frequently feel guilt, shame and failure for having behaved this way again.
At its essence, addiction is an anxiety management response. People struggling with addiction use substances, activities and behavior to try to control the angst they carry around about what disturbs them the most: emotions, change, that they cannot control other people, death.
I help people resolve addiction by observing this whole cycle, deconstructing obsessive thinking and resulting addictive behavior and understanding the basic anxiety that underlies the cycle. This process takes time, commitment and courage to change. Like the wheel of addictive behavior, the healing process takes twists and turns. But the more mindful attention we bring to it, the more it will unwind and the more freedom you will experience.
I sometimes suggest that clients consider additional support systems (e.g., 12-step programs) as well as therapy, depending on the nature and intensity of their addiction.