addictions counselling

Counselling Services for Waterloo Region

It is impossible to understand addiction without asking what relief the addict finds, or hopes to find, in the drug or the addictive behaviour.
— Gabor Maté

Whether in the form of drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping, exercise, food, porn, sex, or internet use, addictions are a response to trauma. The compulsive use of these strategies originally develop as a means of coping and initially appear to work as they numb out the pain. However, this coping mechanism quickly turns into a spiral of loss of control, shame, hopelessness, and the very pain that it was meant to avoid.

A lot of addiction treatment focuses on the behaviour ("just don't drink/use/eat so much!") instead of looking at the root cause of this coping mechanism. If we don't address the "why," we can't address the "what."

Being a partner, family member, or friend to someone struggling with an addiction can be challenging, as well. Therapy can offer a space for you to address how you feel impacted by someone's addiction, whether they are in recovery or not.