Do you have reason to believe you may be addicted to drugs or alcohol? Have you ever considered getting help for your problem with substances? My approach to treatment is to focus on the whole person, not just the addiction.
I believe that recovery is a choice, a decision that requires a commitment to a greater awareness. According to Nathaniel Brandon, the avoidance of consciousness or awareness is clearly evident in problems of addiction. When we become addicted to alcohol or drugs the intention is to ameliorate anxiety and pain to escape awareness of one’s core feelings of powerlessness and suffering. These unpleasant feelings are still present, but we become less aware. To the addict, consciousness is the enemy.
Recovery requires changing core beliefs–to change your experience, you must first change your thoughts.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs lists common human needs from the most basic to the most complex.
- being real
- opportunity to grieve losses and to grow
- loyalty and trust
- accomplishment, mastery
- transcending the ordinary
- enjoyment, fun
- unconditional love
How many of these needs did you get met as a child? How many are being met now?
The goal in recovery is serenity, or peace of mind. This is the opposite of chaos. In order to achieve serenity we must learn to accept the things we cannot change, change the things we can, and have the wisdom to know the difference. This is a minimum requirement. Additionally, we make choices every day that either bring us closer to serenity or closer to chaos and self-destruction. We need to bring greater awareness to our choices, and in doing so we will experience higher self-esteem and feelings of empowerment.
The goals in therapy are not just to address issues of addiction, but to increase self awareness and self-esteem, identify core issues, understand needs and develop coping tools so that you may live purposefully, experience and express feeling in a healthy way, and learn to accept and love yourself unconditionally.