Sometimes Adults Need Tantrums, Too! – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

When I was studying to become a psychotherapist, a professor told me that people generally seek therapy for one of two reasons: They are either having a tantrum or they need to have one! I have actually counseled people for many additional reasons but the tantrum tip has stuck with me over the years. And as I have worked with clients’ issues (as well as my own), I have recognized the importance of an occasional adult tantrum. Tantrums are usually associated with children and are often considered unpleasant and unwanted. But what about a healthy, grown-up tantrum? What about making a conscious decision to welcome up our emotions rather than stuff them in or lash them out? We all experience bumps in the road that trigger emotions. These bumps can range from minor irritations to challenging hardships to major traumas. A flat tire, a root canal, lost luggage: not fun, but likely something you’ll… Continue reading

Attentional Bias in Addiction Recovery – William L White

People addicted to alcohol and other drugs see the world differently. They SEE the world differently as a result of neurocognitive changes in perception that accelerate in tandem with increased tissue tolerance, increased intensity of cellular hunger (craving), and the resulting obsession with maintaining the drug relationship at all costs. As drug seeking, drug procurement, and drug use rise to the top of one’s motivational priorities, one develops attentional bias toward words, symbols, and images linked to these substances. Perceptual preferences for drug-linked stimuli are an essential element within the neurobiology of addiction. In recovery, this perceptual preference is reframed, giving perceptual priority to words, symbols, and images that reinforce the recovery process. The journey from addiction to recovery is marked by extreme ambivalence, particularly during the early stages of recovery, and exposure to these contrasting sets of cues can tip the scales toward either addiction recurrence or the transition… Continue reading

Finally, an Official Diagnosis for Sexual Compulsivity! – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

  For a long time, sexually addicted/compulsive people did not have an official diagnosis delineating the criteria for diagnosing and treating their disorder. Nor could they get insurance companies to directly fund much-needed treatment for this debilitating issue. This did not by any stretch of the imagination mean that sexual addiction/compulsivity did not exist, because it did. (For a comparison, think about alcoholism, which was officially recognized by most medical and psychological organizations as a diagnosable and treatable disorder in the 1970s. But that hardly means the issue did not exist prior to that time.) The good news is that the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the latest version of its diagnostic manual, The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), will include “Compulsive Sexual Behaviour Disorder” as an official diagnosis. For those who are not familiar with this manual, I’ll simply state that it’s the most commonly used medical… Continue reading

This One Thing Could Change Your Life -Jeanne Foot 

  The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.” – Johann Hari As humans we are wired for comfort and will recoil from any discomfort which is why Addiction is such a pervasive disorder and is hard to treat.  In fact, it happens to have a very poor recovery rate compared to other chronic conditions. When life feels like it is giving out more than our share of what we can handle, it may not seem surprising that we will do anything to distract ourselves from the uncomfortable feelings that will steadily rise to the surface, until it is virtually impossible not to self sooth in ways that we have grown accustomed to. It may start with having that drink you know will deliver that ‘oh so good’ feeling that you have been chasing all day.  It may be more subliminal like a creative project such… Continue reading

Detox My Socks Off – Mark Masserant

  An unforgettable week on pins and needles unfolded while I waited for a bed in a Detox unit after my last drunk, but I rode it out. Things at my house were a little brittle. The treatment center I went to was filled to capacity, so I was returned home after my evaluation until space became available. They gave me a heartfelt ‘Hang in there!’ and a handshake to go, along with a fistful of pamphlets. My wife didn’t say a word. ‘Just my luck,’ I thought as I wandered off into the darkness of the night and my life. “We’re so sorry—it shouldn’t be long. Four or five days at the most,” they assured me. Still, it was no sure thing I’d make it back once I hit the bricks. “Remember– call if you need help,” they offered, but that was unlikely—I knew me. What’s worse, they forgot to… Continue reading