ADDICTION & COMPULSIVE BEHAVIORS
"Addiction is an attempt to solve a life problem. Only secondarily does it begin to act like a disease. The question we must ask is not why the addiction but why the pain?" ~ Gabor Mate
Addiction is a complex process that involves brain, body, emotions, psychology and social relationships. The expression of addiction is any behavior where a person craves and finds temporary pleasure or relief in something, but suffers negative consequences as a result of and is unable to give up despite those negative consequences.
Addiction could be substance-related -- alcohol, cigarettes, heroin or cocaine -- but it could also be sex, gambling, eating, shopping, work, extreme sports, relationships, or the Internet. It could be anything. So it’s not so much the activity per se but the question of, does it provide temporary relief or pleasure? Does it create craving when you don’t have it? Does it create negative consequences, and is it difficult to give up despite those consequences?
Over time and with continued use, some people may find that these behaviors can start to cause pain and suffering. When the use of drugs, alcohol, or behaviors starts to increase problems and feels out of one’s control, it may be an addiction
Talking about addiction can be difficult. We approach these conversations compassionately and free of judgment. If you are not sure you have an addiction, we can help you determine this. At Best Life Therapy we take time to understand each person's story and struggle and support them in making the changes wanted. We can help you find ways to address addiction through therapy, medication management, moderation management, and support groups (AA, SMART Recovery).
Addicted Family Systems
Addiction is not an individual disease, it is a family disease. It is often referred to in this way because addiction affects the entire family. It can be difficult to watch a loved one repeatedly put themselves in danger. It is common for loved ones and family members to feel a mixture of fear and frustration.
Family therapy is beneficial to help resolve family issues and maladaptive trans-generational patterns. Facing issues that have created resentments, misunderstandings, and estrangement can help restore balance and the wellbeing of the family in therapy. Since addiction is a family disease, family can unknowingly hurt a person with a substance use disorder by enabling or they can play a vital role in helping your loved one recover from substance abuse with the help of a family therapist. Providing family support via therapy can be an integral part of recovery for both the person with an addiction and the family as a unit.
Family therapy and treatment can be especially helpful for families affected by substance abuse. At Best Life Therapy we support loved ones who are struggling with addiction. Sharing difficult emotions (e.g. fear, anger, disappointment, stress, shame, and frustration) in a safe therapeutic environment can prove to be transformational for family and individual recovery.