Genesis Counseling Center
Addiction Counseling
Dr. Amaya Rucker, Psy.D. LCP

Jerry, a 45 year old husband and father of two, often finds himself out at the local bar most evenings after work. Although Jerry has a good job and a loving family, it seems he just can not stop drinking so much. If this sounds familiar to you, read on to learn more about how to spot and stop an addiction.

An addiction is more than just a habit. In fact, addictions can be considered a brain disease. Researchers have found that the brain actually changes with addiction, which explains why it is hard to stop. A person becomes addicted to something when they have a psychological need for it, even though they realize it’s not good for them, they just can’t seem to stop.

Cause:
There are two trains of thought.  One is that there are biological factors which make it easier for some people to become addicted to substances or activities such as gambling or sex. These people are more sensitive to the feelings they get when engaging in the addictive behavior due to their biological make up. The other line of thought is that the use of drugs or other activities serves as a way to cover up emotional difficulties such as depression or anger. When these individuals do not address the underlying cause of their emotional or spiritual upset, they turn to the addictive behavior to make them feel better.

How counseling can help:
Addictions counseling can help individuals and families return to a healthy and productive lifestyle. An important focus of any addictions counseling should be toward finding motivation. This involves finding a reason to stop the addictive behavior. However, motivation is not the only focus of successful addictions counseling.  Successful counseling for addictions should also include helping the person restore relationships with their family, as well as helping them to become a productive worker and citizen. Often, when someone is battling an addiction, they also are battling other mental health difficulties such as depression or low self esteem. Therefore, it is important for these difficulties to be addressed as well.  Finally, a successful addictions counseling program should include support. Although no one counseling technique has been proven more effective over another, a solid support system has been shown to decrease relapses.

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