Therapy for Addiction 

Substance abuse, chemical dependency, food addiction, shopping addiction, internet addiction and all other addictive behaviors have one thing in common: during the experience of "using" it feels really good.  Before and after, not so much.  Prior to using, one might feel lonely, depressed, anxious, or angry leading to using behavior as a release, or coping mechanism, to get to a better, more numb, or pleasurable feeling. 

 

The brain can get addicted to this positive feeling state that is created and asks for more and more of it to get the same result.  This is known as tolerance.  Symptoms after using can look like more anxiety, greater depression, deeper shame, intense fear, and severe consequences like loss of relationships, jobs, financial security.  As a result, addicts end up using again to get rid of the negative feelings.  

 

If you can relate to the cycle of addiction, you might want to get help before it gets worse.  Your bottom gets to be when you stop digging.  Often jobs and family relationships are the last thing to go in addiction.  Faithful companies and partners, kids and parents will stick around the addict and long for them to change.  Addicts are often highly intelligent, capable, successful people, but they are powerless over their addiction to the positive feeling they get from their choice of addiction.  

 

Using EMDR, we target the positive feeling state that addicts get no matter what it is that they are using to get it, and then get to the negative beliefs underneath the addictive behavior.  Beliefs like "I'm not good enough," "I'm a failure," "I'm out of control," or  "I'm weak".  Floating back through life, we target all the trauma memories associated with the negative belief, present day experiences that relate to it, and we create future templates to think about how to respond to situations that might trigger the addict in new more adaptive ways than using.  If you want to start treating your addiction that is hurting you, reach out today. 

 

Tellmemore@agapechristiantherapy.com