For many years now, alcoholism and addiction to other drugs have been considered a chronic illnesses that affects individuals biologically, psychologically and socially (biopsychosocial model).

Psychotherapy can benefit people either considering recovery or in the process of recovery. In psychotherapy unresolved issues, conflicts, fears and goals can be explored, approached and dealt in a safe and nurturing environment. In collaboration with the therapist, clients can learn new coping strategies, new behaviors, gain better insight and awareness either as stand alone work or as work that supports other efforts such as participation in one of the several12-Step groups. Such work can take place at any point during a person’s recovery regardless of how long they might have maintained continuous sobriety. Similarly, other occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, family issues and so on can be treated within the context of recovery.

Because alcoholism/addiction is a biopsychosocial chronic illness, it affects those close to the alcoholic/addict in a variety of ways including codependency, hyper-vigilance, anger, sadness, and others. Therefore, I work with couples, families, or individuals on issues brought about by someone else’s (spouse, partner parent, sibling or friend) alcoholism/addiction including lack of trust, dishonesty, communication, broken intimacy, codependency, infidelity and so on.

While recovery is obviously a good event, it can be a disruptive event, a transition. Recovery usually disrupts the way in which family members adapted to the behavior of the person in recovery during the active phase of their alcoholism/addiction. It often takes time, education and the practicing of new behaviors for those close to the alcoholic/addict to understand and to leave the “old ways” and adapt to the new possible ways of being brought about by the process of recovery.  There are many good opportunities and possibilities for the alcoholic/addict to get better once he/she goes into recovery. The same opportunities and possibilities to get better open up for those affected by someone else’s alcoholism/addiction once the recovery process is activated.

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