Whether you are interested in a 12 step program of recovery concurrent with psychotherapy, or you are interested in one on one intensive psychotherapy with alternative support systems, we will work together to compile a comprehensive treatment plan that will assist you in setting and meeting your recovery goals.
How? While predominately a psycho dynamic (object relations, self psychology) therapist, I utilize a protocol of cognitive behavioral and psychosocial modalities (including awareness of and tools to deal with triggers, cravings, and possible relapse), when working with those in early recovery from substance abuse. After sobriety is stabilized, I slowly proceed into deeper, more insight oriented work to bring to consciousness the underlying causes and conditions of the addiction. Sometimes these people are known as dual-diagnosed with mood and/or personality disorders accompanying the addiction. Sometimes psychiatric medication is recommended during this challenging time.
In addition, I will utilize EMDR and mindfulness meditation training when clinically appropriate. EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing) is an empirically validated treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other complex traumas occasionally used with people suffering from obsessive thoughts and behaviors. EMDR helps to neutralize traumatic memories so that their recollection no longer produces the strong affective triggers and responses that lead to drug and alcohol relapse or a reliving of the trauma.
Working with the family is also an important component of recovery. If possible, it is important to work with the family members of the person suffering from addiction. Psycho-education regarding drug addiction and alcoholism is an important part of recovery for the whole family, and I will be there to help facilitate any and all aspects recovery for everyone in the family system. Couples and Family therapy may also be in order and either I will work with the family together or will refer to an appropriate therapist (or 12 step group) familiar with addiction and substance abuse treatment.
About Addiction and Substance Abuse
Everyone’s attitude towards recovery from addiction and substance abuse varies. I don’t believe in any kind of cookie-cutter approach to substance abuse recovery. Every person is different and every approach should be individualized in order to mesh with the patient’s particular stage of change, their schedule, interests and willingness to make long term changes for a sustained, satisfying sobriety.
Initially, when a patient comes to my office I immediately assess if detoxification is required. If that is the case, I offer several referrals to reputable, in-patient rehabilitation facilities where this important and sometimes necessary portion of treatment can commence in a safe, medically appropriate environment. Afterwards, depending on the desire of the patient, treatment can commence at the facility and later can continue with me, or once medically stabilized, the patient can begin their treatment in a one on one basis in my office, usually beginning with 2x a week early recovery skills and then tapering down as clinically needed to a more psycho dynamic approach. An important element to early treatment is accountability – to the therapist of course, but most importantly to the patient himself. When accountable to someone, there is no more hiding behind the addiction. True recovery begins with honesty. It may be a paradox, but beauty can be found in the sometimes ugly truth about our problems.
While I am 12 step knowledgeable, friendly and completely in sync with the spiritual aspects of recovery, I also use an alternative approach to the 12steps if a patient is not agreeable to the 12 steps as outlined in the fellowship and literature of Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous,Narcotics Anonymous or Al-anon. As an alternative to the 12 steps, I will work closely with you to approach your initial recovery in a more cognitive behavioral way that can be fundamentally important in assisting you to achieve a long lasting, satisfying life free from drugs and alcohol. We will work together to build the support systems you will need in order to achieve your personal success in your early sobriety and later stage recovery.