Counselling Services for Waterloo Region
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.