Recovery/Addiction is one of our main specialties
The road to recovery starts here
I begin my assessment with a negotiation with my client about whether an addiction is present or not. Can you “use” in a controlled manner? If there’s any doubt, I’ll try to establish a structured relapse prevention plan with you that has certain rules and conditions to allow you to use in a very controlled way, to test whether you can or not essentially. There are some cases where it’s apparent that it is inappropriate, and abstinence will be recommended.
I let my clients find out whether they can control their use. Ultimately, we will devise a plan limiting your controlled use to certain situations and amounts with no exceptions. If you can’t follow your own rules in the end, we should reconsider abstinence eventually. Therefore, in the event of that discovery, the treatment plan just needs to be modified slightly to become a lifelong abstinence plan. Treating underlying issues at the same time is paramount. Depression, anxiety, self-esteem, disorganization are common in addiction, and can sometimes cause addiction or, in turn, be caused by it. Usually there’s a combination of both. I have the extra skills to help reduce and eliminate addiction while at the same time treating underlying issues and improving mood instability all around.
Entering recovery is a big step so making a call to us is a heroic move and you should be proud of yourself! If you’re close to someone then they’re part of your addiction as well, and should be part of your treatment periodically, especially in early recovery.
Common fears entering recovery
- Will I be happier if I quit and can I even do it?
- Do I really have an addiction or is there someway I can control my use and continue to do it?
- I’ve been substituting with a lot of other things trying to quit what I’m using and having problems with other addictions.
- No one‘s ever helped me resolve the underlying issues, and only treated my addictive behaviours and I need to resolve why I’m using.
- Everybody’s angry with me now that I’m in recovery. They should be proud of me. How do I get through this?
- Now that I’ve quit using, I have to fill the time up with other things and reinvent myself. I’m not the same person I was before I started using. How do I get back the life I had before I started using?
- Look at the struggle right now as getting through each day.
- I’ll help you understand your triggers both internal and external, high-risk situations and all the underlying reasons for your use.
- Through motivational interviewing and structured relapse prevention planning, cognitive behavioural therapy, and usually some family work, my success rate is very high.
- From the time you stop, your brain chemistry is changing and your brain's repairing itself and healing.
- You can’t really do much to make ammends and truly fix the problems that your substance use problem has created. Now that you’re in recovery every time you choose not to use, you're apologizing for every time you did use in the past because it’s the only thing you have control over now.
- It’s a waiting game; the longer you can outwit it and beat the addiction, the better you’ll get and the easier it’ll become. Time is the key!
- Recovery is positive and I will show you - it’s not all negative. There’s a grieving process, so if you’re not sad, you haven’t let go of the substance yet.
- Personify your addiction; it’s not you, it’s something controlling you that you must to identify the difference between; when are you making decisions and when is it manipulating you to do things instead. I’ll always be on your side and against your addiction.
- I pace my sessions very well. I’m not a taskmaster and I completely respect peoples right to self-determination. You won’t feel judged coming to see me. I’m well known in Canada in my field for this area of my work specifically.
The path of healing
We offer expertise in many other areas of psychotherapy
It can serve to alert us to minor or major dangers, or push us to plan or strive harder. But prolonged, recurring, or extreme anxiety handicaps our normal social and personal functioning rather than heightening it. It robs our quality of life, our relationships, and our work. Sometimes it seemingly has no cause. There is nothing to be anxious about, yet symptoms refuse to abate. Intense anxiety and disorders from it are common in our common human experience. CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy is extremely effective and its hands on, action oriented approach is empowering.
Clinical depression is not the same as feeling sad. It is a very serious and very common illness. Sorrow is an inescapable human emotion we all experience; responding to a divorce or lost pet or bad news. This sadness will vary in intensity and duration, depending on the degree of attachment towards the trigger. It is not a temporary change in mood but a real and medical disorder. The most effective treatment for clinical depression is neither medication nor therapy; rather it is a combination of both. The most effective treatment for grief or other difficult periods of loss and sadness is counselling with a supportive, experienced and compassionate psychotherapist or other counsellor.
Traumatic memories are really frozen negative experiences that are lodged in the right hemisphere of the brain away from our ability to logically process them with all of their associated negative emotions, physical sensations, images and negative beliefs about ourselves that developed at the time of the trauma. These memories become generalized and easily triggered by reminders in the present that instantly bring on emotional flashbacks called re-experiencing or reliving of the traumatic event. EMDR Psychotherapy eliminates these triggers and flashbacks by neutralizing the entire traumatic memory and installing positive core beliefs.
Men’s counselling can provide objective and fresh insight and give men perspective and new skills that will make it easier to navigate this labyrinth. Men's counselling can help men set priorities that guarantee they fulfill important obligations but still retain a place for their own needs and interests. Most men might simply need a a listening ear or guidance in matters of depression or work expectations. By learning new skills in communication or by releasing burdens to an objective listening ear, men will be able to sort out everyday problems as well as more serious issues.
What is healthy sexuality? Some of us have a deeper confusion and sexual identity conflicts. Our desires may be triggered in conflict to what our society finds acceptable. Maybe we are haunted by desires that we struggle in vain to relinquish. When should we seek to come to terms with that sexuality and when should we seek help to prevent dangerous compulsions? We may have serious trouble relating to our partners, or an inability to commit. Maybe we can’t find true intimacy and act compulsively while enacting more superficial encounters that lead nowhere. Or maybe our sexuality feels healthy enough but is at odds with our family’s religious or cultural expectations.
We have all experienced traumas, whether a painful break up or divorce, being downsized at work, or watching helplessly as a loved one succumbs to cancer. Therapy is often about helping people come to terms with trauma. Current emergencies or old resolved traumas don’t have to take centre stage. Focusing on personal growth and development are important pursuits in therapy. Just like gardening, drawing, or a new board game, much about our lives is learned. We don’t have a very good built in instruction manual. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses integral to our personality- these strengths can be developed further with focus and intent, and our weaknesses can be improved or even resolved with concentration and insight.
Grief and loss
Best understood as the process of responding to loss, grief includes emotional, physical, cognitive, behavioural, social, existential, spiritual, and philosophical changes. Since the losses causing grief take many of us by surprise such as following that unexpected 2:00 am call or the ominous knock at the door in the night, many feel violated by grief itself, not just by the bad news that preceded it. Even worse, our instinctive attempts to side-step grief, such as ignoring it, or drinking, don’t work. Time passing is healing but not enough since grief can sometimes be postponed, but never avoided. Grief counselling facilitates the process of resolution in the natural reactions to loss. Coping with the loss and with grief itself can be achieved through grief therapy and grief counselling that provides interpersonal support and tools for understanding. Coping skills can be learned, and the harm that grief can do to your employment, family relationships, and more, can be reduced.
Migration and cultural change
Coming to a new country and finding yourself in a different culture is exciting and can present new opportunities and new friends. Nonetheless, leaving loved ones hurts, and unfamiliar cultural traditions and values can present challenges to identity and relationships. We are fortunate enough in Toronto to have the chance to engage with people from every cultural background across the globe. We are enriched by diversity in our business sector, in our culinary sector, famed among the most diverse in the world, and we have churches and temples of every conceivable persuasion. We can hear hundreds of languages on our streets.
Self esteem and self confidence
People with low self-esteem hold a negative perception about their own worth and value. Without confidence in one’s value, it is difficult to face life’s challenges and to grow, or to seek out worthy partnerships in work and love and social interaction. People with low self esteem often allow themselves to be mistreated. The failures and toxic relationships that result serve to reinforce the sense of low value or worth. Those with low self-esteem are prone to negative thinking and have difficulty standing up for their own needs. Various factors contribute to low self-esteem, including childhood abuse, whether emotional abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse. They can be corrected via psychotherapy and with a Psychotherapist’s patience, compassion and encouragement.