If you keep on engaging in behaviours in spite of the negative consequences they bring, you are likely on the addiction continuum.
I specialize in 3 areas of addiction: substance abuse, sex and love addiction as well as working with loved ones affected by substance and/or sex addiction.
Addictive behaviour doesn't just go away by itself.
Counselling is a step to liberate yourself from your addictive behaviours by:
- Assessing the progression of the addiction
- Assessing contributing factors eg. mental health and/or trauma
- Breaking through the denial that keeps addictive behaviour intact
- Assessing the severity of your substance addiction and creating an individualized treatment plan
- Learning tools for Relapse Prevention
- Identifying thoughts and feelings that fuel your addiction
- Fostering Accountability and Integrity
- Understanding and setting boundaries essential to maintaining your well-being
SEX & LOVE ADDICTION
Sex addiction might sound like a great addiction to have but let me dispel some myths:
- There is little pleasure involved in it
- Both Men and Women can be sex addicted
- Engaging in a lot of sex does not mean you are addicted to sex
Sex addicts use sexual behaviour compulsively in spite of negative consequences such as loss of self-esteem, financial losses and losing important relationships. Sex becomes a tool to mask emotional pain and/or deal with the wounds of unresolved trauma.
Sex addiction can be as devastating as alcohol or drug addiction.
Therapy provides a safe space to:
- Properly assess problematic sexual behaviour
- Establish an effective treatment plan
- Utilize Patrick Carnes' 30-task Model to confront denial, identify triggers to sexual acting out, reduce shame and identify boundaries to sustain recovery
LOVED ONES OF ADDICTS
If you love someone who is struggling with substance addiction, you know first hand how painful it is to be powerless over someone else.
You might find yourself:
- Over-functioning when the addict under-functions
- Having difficulty drawing boundaries with the addict
- Putting the addict's needs before yours
- Constantly making excuses for the addict’s behaviour
- Taking care of the addict excessively eg. Financially, emotionally
- Telling yourself things will change if you just help 'one last time'
- Lying awake at night in fear wondering if the addict is okay and wondering how you can fix the situation
PARTNERS OF SEX ADDICTS
One of the biggest misconceptions when working with partners of sex addicts it to label them as suffering from codependence.
When partners learn of their partners sex addiction, they are emotionally gutted; afraid; and engage in behaviours ranging from emotional shut down to rage to becoming obsessed with finding evidence to understand the extent of the addict's behaviours. These partners are experiencing trauma symptoms which are normal and understandable under the circumstances.
You will likley be experiencing PTSD type symptoms such as:
- Feeling on high alert or like you are in danger
- Paranoia - Snooping and being hypervigilant
- Trying to be overly sexual to compensate for a fear of your partner seeking sex elsewhere
- Depression and Anxiety