Addictions - Including Substances Shame Counselling & Therapy

Addictions - Including Substances

While some people can use prescription or recreational drugs with no negative effects, many others become addicted and face dramatic health and lifestyle problems as a result. Substance addictions negatively affect relationships, home, school or work, leaving the person feeling ashamed, helpless and isolated.

Physical symptoms of substance abuse and addiction are varied depending on the drug of choice, but the symptoms of the addiction itself are similar. People who are addicted to substances may neglect their responsibilities, take potentially dangerous risks and get into trouble with the law. As their drug use spirals out of control, they will lose interest in activities that used to be enjoyable and continue to take drugs despite knowing the harm it causes.

Substance addicts tend to build up a tolerance to their drug of choice, and get angry when they can't get more of it. Withdrawal symptoms are highly probable when an addict goes without it for too long. Depression, nausea, insomnia, sweating, restlessness, anxiety and shaking are all common withdrawal symptoms.

Psychotherapy can help you to overcome substance addiction by focusing on correcting maladaptive behaviors. Substance abuse is usually a coping mechanism against emotionally overwhelming past events or memories. Substances are often used to provide instant gratification instead of facing certain issues.

Therapists are equipped to help clients deal with addiction recovery through empowerment and helping them set simple short term targets. The first target is sobriety, followed by empowering the client with adaptive skills and finding new coping strategies that deal with the issues that caused the addiction. Substance addiction can be ended, allowing the person to live a healthy, productive life.

If you need a counsellor or psychologist to help you address the effects of substance addiction, you can search the directory below to find a professional with the approach best suited to your situation.

Shame Counselling & Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy

There are a variety of approaches to address the issue of shame.  One of them is the Shame Resilience method is based on the research of Bren√© Brown, Ph.D. LMSW. 

Shame Resilience is the developed ability to practice authenticity when we experience shame, to move through the experience without sacrificing our values, and to come out on the other side of the shame experience with more courage, compassion, and connection than we had going into it.

Shame Resilience is about moving from shame to empathy- the real antidote to shame. Self-compassion is also critically important, because when we’re able to be tender with ourselves in the midst of shame we’re more likely to reach out, connect and experience empathy.

Other approaches, like Complex Integration of Multiple Brain Systems (CIMBS)  uses what is called a systems perspective that can address how an individual has learned to respond due to early trauma and or other developmental experiences.

Approaches to shame are not limited to the above.  There are many other therapies that address feeling.

If you do contact a therapist regarding shame issues please make sure that you ask them about their training in this area and choose a therapist whose approach makes sense to you.

 

Note:  Some practitioners practice Emotionally Focused Therapy rather than Emotional Focused therapy.  You will want to confirm that it is indeed Emotion Focused Therapy that the counsellor/psychologist practices.  

Matthew Beasley

M.Couns., RCC
Matthew is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in the Province of BC. He leads from a belief that every individual has an innate capacity to heal and grow. Matthew offers an opportunity when people feel stuck... Read more