Addictions - Including Substances, Chronic Pain Counsellors

Addictions - Including Substances, Chronic Pain

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.

Chronic pain brings hundreds of people to therapy every week. Many physical and psychological issues can cause chronic pain and it is important to rule out any medical causes and get treatment by speaking to a physician.

Some people experience chronic pain as the result of untreated emotional overwhelm, unexpressed anger, depression or grief. Symptoms of chronic pain typically include headaches; muscle tension, pain or fatigue;  shooting nerve pains, and tension in the back, neck and shoulders.

Many people with chronic pain disorder are reluctant to explore the emotional causes of their pain for fear of being told that they are inventing the symptoms. However, true somaticizing is a very real condition in which the emotions are unable to leave the body.

Another reason why people are loathe to admit the emotional roots of their pain, is that they fear that there would be no medical cure. Chronic pain with an emotional root requires that they confront the emotions that have been hidden away, and this can be challenging.

Therapists and psychologists who do  chronic pain therapy offer a confidential and safe environment in which people can explore pent-up emotions and as a result experience short term and long term relief. Symptoms caused by long term emotional build-up may require long-term treatment and due to the physical changes, some medical intervention and active physiotherapy is often very important as well.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist who works with chronic pain you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

Note: You may narrow your search by selecting more than one filter below.

Dr Joti Samra

Ph.D., R.Psych
Life is not always easy, and it is a core belief that all of us – if we live long enough and go through enough life experiences – will struggle with psychological health difficulties at some point in our... Read more

Alex Kwee

Psy.D., R.Psych
I am a Psychologist registered in British Columbia (CPBC #1903) and the State of Washington. Currently I am an Assistant Professor at Trinity Western University, where I serve as a core faculty member in the MA in... Read more