There are a broad range of addictions such as, gambling addiction, internet addiction, video game addiction, relationship addiction, nicotine addiction, shopping addiction, lying addiction, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, and substance abuse addiction. The compulsiveness involved causes significant distress for addicts and their loved ones. There are times when in-patient addiction treatment is the best course of action, however, there are times when those who are addicted are better served with out-patient therapy.
My approach is strength-based and nonpathological. I believe that those with addictions have a biological predisposition for addiction, however, biology is not entirely destiny. As an addictions counselor I’ve worked with a lot of addicts. In every addict I’ve ever worked with, every one of used their drug of choice to manage an emotional state that they didn’t have skill to manage otherwise. So in some ways, there is a sanity in the addictive behavior; It’s an attempt to regulate an emotional state that is overwhelming. A good part of my work with those who suffer from addictions is to help them expand their capacity to tolerate difficult emotions and offer better coping mechanisms than drugs or alcohol. Many who suffer from addictions also have trauma experiences that remain unresolved so trauma counseling is often necessary when working with addictive behaviors.