Addiction / Dependence
Our main motivation in life is pleasure. When our everyday life can’t fulfill our need we can seek compensation in the excess of a behavior that naturally brings us some pleasure. It can lead to excess with food, alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, virtual life and/or codependency. It can be a temporary response to a singular stress or become a long-term issue.
The challenge to altering addictions is the belief that you can’t change, which can push one into denial and cause him/her to minimize the consequences of his/her excessive behaviors. Whatever you discover about yourself and however painful your discovery, dramatic breakthroughs are always possible. Addiction is a treatable condition. The first step in changing an unhealthy habit is to understand it. Patients use their addiction to manipulate their feelings away from fear, anger, jealousy or sadness.
Because co-dependency is usually rooted in a person’s childhood, treatment often involves exploration into early childhood relationships and the reconstruction of family dynamics.
Treatment focuses on helping patients rediscover themselves and identify self-defeating behavior patterns. With the support of the therapeutic alliance, they can get in touch with feelings that have been buried during childhood. The goal is to allow them to experience their full range of feelings again. Desire is part of being human, but sometimes we cling to our suffering as the archaic link for something that lies out of our grasp, that ought to be or should have been, or that has already passed away.
In addition we use meditation to help lower stress and regulate mood. Mindfulness can retrain our mind and create new neural networks that can positively alter our personality traits, open an affective space where we can observe our feelings, take some distance and gain free will.