Addiction comes in many forms. Drugs and alcohol often start out as recreational. You drink or use to have a good time, to fit in, or maybe to make social situations more bearable. Or you struggle with body image issues, so you try dieting, eating healthy, and exercising. Or you frequently have sex with strangers. Or you repeatedly find yourself in relationships. You’re just looking for love. Or maybe you start scratching yourself or picking at your skin. All of these things may initially seem harmless, but over time they may become more compulsive behaviors. You learn to avoid overwhelming feelings and to numb out using alcohol, drugs, sex, relationships, self-harm, or other addictive behaviors and before you know it, you feel like you can’t function without these things. You may only struggle with one of the things I mentioned or you may struggle with several. Many times, something that started out as innocent or fun, turns into a way to numb intense emotions, difficult childhood memories, trauma, or other painful experiences. There is a physiological reason why these addictions are so difficult to shake. In childhood, you may have noticed and taken in everything in your surroundings, which can be overwhelming. Often such children find ways to turn down their emotions and the world around them through drug and alcohol addiction, sex and/or love addiction, eating disorders, or self-harm, among other things.
It is often necessary to learn coping skills to replace old addictive behaviors. Safe Haven uses DBT, EMDR resourcing, mindfulness, yoga, and other somatic interventions to help with replacing old behaviors. A willingness to give up old behaviors and an openness to try new skills is a necessary part of successful recovery. Additionally, we will identify your triggers and help you find ways to work through them. If you have a history of trauma or relationship issues that contribute to your addiction, you can see the other tabs listed under “specialties” to learn more about how these issues are addressed.
Safe Haven believes that individuals struggling with addiction are also lacking in deep, authentic connection with others. These unhealthy behaviors have become the comfort you seek. You may have lost the ability to open up and become close with others. In addition to therapy, it may be helpful to work a 12-step program with a sponsor such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Eating Disorders Anonymous, Codependents Anonymous, etc. to help with support and accountability. Additionally, it may be beneficial to join a group offered by Safe Haven. If we do not have a group that fits what you’re looking for, we’d be happy to help you find one that does.