Anyone can become addicted to a variety of substances and behaviors. Some people appear to be more prone to developing addictions than others due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There are numerous types of addictions including alcoholism, chemical dependency (including both illicit and prescription drugs), television, computer and internet addictions, workaholism, spending/shopping addictions, sex addiction, compulsive over-eating, compulsive gambling, love and relationship addictions, exercise addiction, and others.
When someone has an addiction, typically the person is the last to know it as all addictions have a component of denial that doesn't allow the addict to see the addiction as the problem. Often, people begin using a substance or behavior as a solution to problems they are experiencing. Eventually, their solution becomes the problem when it progresses to an addiction. Until a person has enough consequences, they are unlikely to break through their denial and seek help for their addiction.
At Veritas Counseling Center, addiction services offered for adults and adolescents included assessments, referrals, outpatient individual, couples, and family therapy, relapse prevention and aftercare. When appropriate, clients were referred to more intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment programs. The therapist was also a trained interventionist with experience in both traditional and invitational interventions assisting families with getting resistant addicts into treatment when their own attempts have not been successful. Because the disease of addiction can be fatal, interventions can be a life-saving approach.
There was a strong emphasis in helping clients to get linked up with 12-Step recovery programs in addition to therapy. The therapist is also involved in her own recovery programs and added this additional empathy to her work. She utilized a family systems approach seeing addiction as not just an individual problem, but one that affects the entire family. Whenever possible, spouses and family members were involved in the treatment process.
The therapist also frequently works with clients who are returning home from being involved in inpatient treatment programs and provides ongoing continuing care and relapse prevention through outpatient individual, couples', and family therapy. When appropriate, adjunct Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is also available.
Codependent was originally a term to describe spouses of alcoholic and chemically dependent persons. As time went on, it was recognized that the term could be applied to people who grew up in dysfunctional families and people who were involved in relationships with people where something other than chemical dependency was a primary problem. Melody Beatie defines codependent as “a person who has let someone else’s behavior affect him or her and is obsessed with controlling other people’s behavior.” Using this definition, codependency then is the term we use to describe the affliction that codependents suffer from (i.e. the tendency to let other’s behavior affect him/her and become obsessed with controlling other’s behavior).
As an addict gets addicted to their drug, a codependent gets addicted to the addict. The addict may suffer from alcoholism, chemical dependency, eating disorders, sexual addiction, compulsive gambling, rage and violence, underachievement, or a host of other problems. The codependent believes that he or she can change the behavior of the addict (or others in his/her life) and becomes obsessed with doing that. When they are unsuccessful at changing others, they may feel frustrated, responsible, angry, fearful, depressed, anxious, or ashamed. They tend to worry obsessively about people and situations they cannot change and their own lives are often chaotic as a result.
Codependents come in many forms and may be loud, controlling, and dominating, or quiet, fearful, and submissive. But their lives become organized around other people to the extent that they often lose their own identity in the process. When codependents get help, they are able to get their focus on themselves and their own problems and the addicts in their lives typically have increased rates of sustained sobriety because addictions are a family disease. When codependents are untreated, they tend to have a pattern of unhealthy addictive sorts of relationships and may struggle with parenting issues as well.
At Veritas Counseling Center, codependency treatment was offered for individuals, couples, families, and occasionally groups. Weekend Intensive Workshops and Retreats are also available for various populations that are involved in codependency recovery. When appropriate, adjunct Equine Assisted Psychotherapy was also available. As with addictions, 12-Step recovery programs were strongly emphasized and the therapist is committed to continuing her own recovery involvement as well.
People involved in recovery often struggle with a variety of related issues including continuing periodic post acute withdrawal symptoms, difficulty expressing emotions appropriately, relationship problems, ACA (adult children of alcoholics) and other family of origin issues, social adjustment issues, and sometimes substitute addictions. At Veritas Counseling Center, LLC these problems were also treated and clients can learn new coping skills that aid them in continuing to address ongoing recovery issues that come up in their lives. Clients were referred to 12-Step Recovery Programs that may help them with tackling family of origin issues as well as substitute addictions and relationship issues. When appropriate, adjunct Equine Assisted Psychotherapy was also available.
The therapist at Veritas Counseling Center was also an author and offered free stress management tips to those in recovery as well as to the general public. For this month's tips visit www.calmingmeditations.com