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Behaviors, Addictions, Substances

 

We treat a variety of relationships to substances and behaviors that perpetuate concerns in our clients' lives.  These may include:

·       Marijuana, alcohol, benzodiazepine, cocaine, or methamphetamine use, abuse, or dependence
·       Out of control sexual behaviors including on-line cruising, masturbation, pornography, chronic infidelity
·       Out of control gambling, shopping, spending, or eating behaviors
·       Relationship dependency

We work from a philosophy that posits these behaviors as ways humans have learned to cope with life experiences, emotions, traumas, and relationships; ways to provide temporary relief from distress, disconnection, and overwhelming emotions and/or memories. However, over time, these behaviors no longer serve and people seek help or are urged to seek help by their loved ones. Eventually the consequences from engaging in these behaviors outweigh the benefits though one may feel helpless in creating any type change.

Our integrative, trauma-informed approach to supporting your recovery process integrates four components:

1.     Mindfulness

Prior to initiating behavioral change, we support clients in mindful observation of these patterns, helping to elicit curiosity rather than judgment. Often shame, guilt, fear, and denial initiate the change process, though when unaddressed, these emotions perpetuate the pain and thus the behavior. Not until one accepts themselves as they are, true change can occur.  As client's engage in treatment, understanding how the behavior serves them emotionally, socially, and physiologically, we can start to develop resources to provide the function of the behavior and thus displace it.  Once diligent mindfulness has been acquired, learning practical strategies and resources to cope with urges become a focus of treatment.  

2.    Social support

While not appropriate for everybody,group, family, and relational therapy is often an integral part of the change process. Out of control behavior affects the entire social system, and often, it is within the context of  historical social systems that client's behaviors developed. Group therapy is a collaborative way for client's to engage with others who are going through a change process in their lives. Hearing from other's while acquiring practical skills, dissolves the isolation so often a part of recovery. Family and relational therapy are also often an essential component to treatment. When all components to a system are communicating, then the system is inherently self-correcting and self-directing and has inherent wisdom of its own. Often out of control behavior thwarts this dynamic, and when one part of the system changes, the entire system needs to accommodate this change. Also, out of control behavior often leaves a legacy of mistrust, betrayel, resentment, exhaustion, and confusion to those closest. Addressing these are essential for an integrative and sustainable transition towards treatment goals. 

3.    Trauma Treatment

Often, personal histories of trauma are at the root of addictive, compulsive, and out of control behaviors. When left unaddressed, behavior change becomes unsustainable and overwhelming. Without learning to cope with the dynamics of one's trauma history, one painful behavior is often supplanted by another ad nauseum.  Therefore, trauma treatment is an integral part of the change process and is integrated into services at Embodied Mind NYC. 

4.      Accountability

When one is ready to engage in an active change process, external accountability can be a necessary part of maintaining a different approach to life. Receiving accountability apart from the client's social system eases the tension change can create on others. Having clear, concrete, attainable goals, day to day and week to week, are a part of any treatment plan moving forward. Through groups and individual therapy, client's learn to hold themselves accountable to make choices in their lives congruent with their goals and intentions.