STAGES OF CHANGE
If you experience addiction, or if you suspect or know you compulsively use drugs, alcohol, smoke, gamble, view pornography, eat, work, shop, or any number of other activities in which you believe you have lost control, I can help you find the motivation to overcome dependence – to either regain control or to stop the behavior. There are 5 stages in the change process through which the large majority of people who conquer addiction and compulsive behaviors pass. These are: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Attending inpatient recovery programs may help, and may even be necessary, but are not alone a guarantee of recovery. Anyone who is addicted to or compulsively engages in some behavior is currently in one of those stages.
CRAVINGS AND CHOICE
Regardless of the compulsive act over which you feel you do not have control, whether alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling, spending money, eating, working, or a host of other compulsive and repetitive acts over which you may feel no control, not one of those acts ever occurs without your decision at some point to act. Not all behaviors and substances produce the same level of cravings and withdrawal. And when you attempt to stop or cut back, they can be powerful. Powerful to the point of believing you have no choice but to give in. They may be physical, psychological, or both. But cravings and withdrawals do not continue unabated forever. In most cases they become less frequent and less intense the more often and the longer you do not permit them to tell you what to do. It is true that your brain becomes accustomed to short term pleasure as you engage in an addictive behavior, and that you need more and more of whatever you are giving your brain in order to continue to feel good. But your brain will not become self-reliant again until you stop enabling it. Even when you do, you may always have to live with some level of urge or craving. At some point on the road of change, however, everyone must regain and be confident in their ability to decide.
I CAN HELP
I will help you identify the stage you are in, how to get to the next stage, and to make that decision. I use evidence based treatments such as Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Support programs that are an adjunct to therapy may include the ideals of SMART Recovery, Rational Recovery, and 12 Step programs specific to your addiction or compulsive behavior. I can also help you decide if intensive outpatient (IOP) or inpatient (IP) treatment is appropriate for your process of change, and provide appropriate referrals.