Ongoing support for your recovery:
Therapy for recovering addicts has many benefits and finding the right therapist is an important factor in achieving the best recovery. I have experience providing support to clients seeking to sustain long-term recovery from alcohol or substance use disorders.
Maintaining sobriety can be challenging. I will provide you with a comfortable, non-judgmental, and respectful space in which to focus on some of the issues that have been enabling your dependence to these substances. It’s important for anyone beginning therapy to be aware of why they are seeking help. For those in recovery, it may be about uncovering how emotional triggers affect your relationship with your substance abuse disorder. Discovering these relationships help to guide our work in therapy. Often in recovery, this may be the resurfacing of old memories of trauma, abuse, neglect or other issues that didn’t have emotional impact until you stopped practicing your addiction. These issues have been suppressed by drugs, alcohol, or other addictive patterns of behavior. Once you are no longer practicing your addiction, memories and emotions begin to surface. Often, addicts come to recognize grief, anger, anxiety, and other emotions that were not present when they using. Dealing with these kinds of emotions can be scary you have a long-term practice of avoiding emotions with addiction.
Being clear about goals in therapy can give you the opportunity to focus on your recovery process with me in our work together. We will discuss these goals early in our work to ensure we’re on the right track as we support your ongoing recovery. As mentioned, some of these goals may include:
- Developing an understanding into why you use a substance.
- Finding out what triggers your desire to use the substance.
- Filling the void that was occupied by the substance.
- Developing insight into urges and learning to tolerate them while understanding that they may be intense, they are only temporary.
- Developing a strong social foundation to keep your mind focused on other things.
Along with the focus on alcohol and substance abuse recovery, our work will likely attend to other issues such as family and work stress, self-esteem and loneliness. All of these may contribute to problems with substance misuse. When feeling isolated, guilty, depressed or anxious, it can be helpful to know that someone understands the complicated feelings that can come up about alcohol and substance use and can help you address these feelings constructively.
Therapy as a part of your recovery:
As Kelly McClanahan, MSW writes, it is seldom recognized that therapy is the end-all and be-all of recovery. There is personal work in most recovery models that falls outside the realm of traditional talk therapy. This can be the 12 Steps of the Anonymous programs, such as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous, or other types of individual recovery work. There are sponsors and support groups that may be involved in this process. Much will depend on the you and your personal plan for recovery.
When we meet to discuss your personal journey of recovery, I will ask about the your ongoing plan for recovery. I will expect that you are actively engaged in some form of recovery program in order to maintain abstinence while we work together to improve your mental health. It is my professional belief that therapy alone is insufficient to ensure ongoing recovery from chronic or long-term addiction.
When working with clients in recovery, I expect that they maintain abstinence while in my care. Best practices maintain that working with a practicing addict can be counterproductive or even enabling of the behavior that supported the addiction.