Chemical Dependance, Alcoholism, and other Addictive disordersThere is a whole list of factors which contribute to the formation and evolution of a personality that is more prone to addiction than other personalities are. Psychological and emotional, familial and social, physical and spiritual underdevelopments create gaps in the fabric of the "addictive personality" itself; much like ‘Swiss cheese holes.’ Developmentally, these missed teachings (e.g: acceptance of, and effective coping with all situations and the feelings about them, embracing the reality of one’s intrinsic value and becoming socially skillful) make it painfully awkward to get around in the world. Addictive strategies 'benevolently' numb the pain (and seemingly fill in those gaps) of one’s life situation, while inevitably, paradoxically sucking the life out of their host, as well as those around them (you might also take a look at my description of CoDependance).  Addiction manifests itself not only in Alcohol and other drugs, but  as you may already know, in gambling, shopping & spending (or hoarding), emotionally (like raging or complaining!), sexually, relationally, in work, and more. In time, ALL addictive coping strategies backfire. Their behaviors eventually become highly toxic, and can manifest in: 

    • Deterioration of internal organ systems
    • Deterioration of social and familial relationships
    • Deterioration of job and academic performance, employment and economics
    • And always, a deterioration of self esteem and in the general sense of well-being

Addictions are workable. It can be difficult work, but they are treatable. Each person is unique and so must be the approach to healing. Therapy will typically focus on accepting, tolerating, and regulating emotions, problem-solving, relationship skills, and of course relapse prevention.  It must address every aspect of “human being” and include individual, couple or family therapy. While a 12-step support program is not for everyone, it is for many, and is seriously encouraged for both the addicted, and their codependents.

 Please feel free to email or call me with any questions or comments at the address below. 

Peter Roseman Psy.S.
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