Addiction is the impulsive, uncontrollable use of any substance, feeling, person, or behavior with an inattention to the negative social, psychological, and physical consequences. Addiction comes in many different forms and takes hold of individuals in various ways. The good news is, although many suffer from addiction…many have also overcome their addictions.

“Addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you–it’s the cage you live in.”
-Johann Hari

Dr. Gabor Mate is a renowned speaker and author. He is the author of the book “The Hungry Ghost” which is a phenomenal read on the topic of addiction. Dr. Mate describes addiction in scientific terms focusing on early childhood development, with a large focus on compassion. Here is a clip of Dr. Mate speaking about one of his talks labeled  “The Myth of Normal”.

So How can I treat my addiction?

Addiction is more complex than other mental health issues. It is best to use a holistic approach when treating addictions. This includes; individual therapy, group therapy, support groups, engaging in neurofeedback or taking medications,  and maintaining positive physical health. Individual therapy is very important. I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help address day-to-day habits and struggles and formulate a plan for short-term success. And I use Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to address symptoms of addiction by desensitizing day-to-day triggers. After using these techniques and recovery is maintained for a period of time, I use EMDR to address underlying trauma which then allows the potential for long term recovery.

*note-depending on severity, a more complex treatment plan may be recommended