Addictions Counseling

Our Unique Approach to Your Addiction and Recovery

ADDICTION and RECOVERY are very complex and personal issues.  There is no one-size-fits-all treatment.  In fact, the medical and scientific communities cannot even agree about the definition of those terms, let alone a single treatment.  At Pathways to Wellness, we believe it is up to each individual to define addiction for themselves, and it is up to our therapist to help guide each individual on their unique pathway to recovery.

In the current landscape of insurance-dictated treatment, it is no wonder that people are finding themselves caught in the “rehab-mill” or watching helplessly as loved ones are marginalized and forgotten.  While the grand institutions debate whether addiction is a brain disease, a mental illness, a disorder of will or a maladaptive coping strategy-and it is likely all of these people are left suffering, and families are being torn apart.

Even when a person identifies that addiction is a problem and seeks help, sadly, we are not aware of any single treatment method that claims to have better than a 30% success rate for long-term recovery.  With those odds, one might rightly wonder whether the treatment method had even correctly identified the problem. 

At Pathways to Wellness, we do not claim to have all the answers or the magic solution, but we do claim to treat each person as a human being, first.  Our therapist will take the time to understand you as a person, rather than a label, before tailoring the treatment to your unique circumstances, strengths, challenges, and goals.

Whether you or a loved one have been struggling for years or are simply questioning the role that addiction may play in your life and relationships, consider that your path may have led you here and contact one of our therapists at Pathways to Wellness.

We Treat All Types of Addiction

At Pathways to Wellness, we recognize each individual’s right to identify and define the nature of their own addiction and recovery.  At the same time, it is our role as mental health professionals to guide you along that journey while bringing to bear our training and experience.  At its core, we believe the essential feature of an addiction disorder is simply when the individual continues the addictive behavior despite significant behavior-related problems.  We help people examine, define, and redefine their relationship with addiction.

At Pathways to Wellness, our therapists have extensive experience treating addictions to a wide range of substances and behaviors, including the following:

We Treat Substance Addictions

-          Alcohol

-          Caffeine

-          Cannabis

-          Hallucinogens

-          Inhalants

-          Opioids

-          Sedatives

-          Hypnotics

-          Anxiolytics

-          Stimulants (amphetamine-type substances, cocaine, and other stimulants)

-          Tobacco

We Treat Behavioral Addictions

-          Gambling

-          Sex

-          Love (i.e., “Limerence” as a state of infatuation or obsession)

-          Porn

-          Videogames

-          Exercise

-          Shopping

-          Smart Phone

-          Social Media

Our Approach to Conjoint Addiction Treatment

Just as each individual is unique in their addiction, we believe the path to recovery must also be tailored to each individual’s particular strengths, goals, and resources.  At Pathways to Wellness, we take a nonjudgmental and inclusive approach that incorporates all the resources that have, or may, work for the individual.  Our therapists have the knowledge and experience to guide you in forming a treatment plan that includes any number of resources, including the following:

-          12-Step Programs (e.g., AA, Al-Anon, NA, Nar-Anon, etc.)

-          Organized Religion / Spirituality

-          SMART Recovery

-          Harm Reduction Models (i.e., non-abstinence based)

-          Cognitive Behavioral Models

-          Rehabilitation Programs and Intensive Out Patient (IOP)

We Understand the Link between Addiction, Mental Health Disorders, and Trauma

As therapists, we here at Pathways to Wellness are uniquely qualified to address not only your addiction, but also any issues that may be underlying or collateral.  There is an increasing body of research and awareness concerning addiction and its co-occurrence with other mental health disorders, as well as the presence of a history of traumatic experiences.  It is with that understanding that our therapists explore all aspects of the individual, as well as the interactions of those factors, to develop a more effective and coordinated treatment plan that includes a multi-layered focus. 

There is a well-documented link between individuals who struggle with addiction and one or more mental health disorder, such as Depression, Bipolar, ADHD, PTSD, etc.  More recently, we have begun to appreciate the greater link between addiction and trauma.  Trauma can result from any extreme stressor that presents itself in the form of direct or witnessed experiences (e.g., natural disasters, accidents, life threatening illness or painful medical procedures, physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence, or loss of a parent or significant person).  Not all people who experience trauma will exhibit symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  However, in one study published by Brady et al. (2004), the data revealed that men with PTSD were 5 times more likely and women with PTSD were 1.4 times as likely to abuse substances.

Here at Pathways to Wellness, we understand the complex and painful life experiences of those struggling with addiction.  It is from that place of understanding that our therapists take a compassionate, rather than blaming or judgmental, approach to the individual and a realization that often what lies behind the addiction is a coping mechanism for trauma or other mental health issue. 

We Treat the Impact of Addiction on Families

Whether addiction arises in one or many members of the family; in a child, parent, grandparent, caregiver, or member of the extended family; and involves individual, multiple, or generational addictions…At Pathways to Wellness, we understand and treat not only the impact of addiction on family members, but also on the family system

Families operate through a complex system of interactions between its members, and family systems have a remarkable ability to cope and adjust to challenges in order to maintain a state known as homeostasis.  Homeostasis is essentially the balance point or equilibrium that is naturally reached in a family (like setting a thermostat to 70 degrees).  When the stress (or temperature) rises above or drops below the set level, the members of the family will automatically adjust to return the system back to its set point (like triggering the heater or a/c to turn on).  But when addiction is introduced into a family, it can push the family system into unhealthy levels and a dysfunctional sort of balance.  As family members struggle to maintain an unhealthy set point, they can gradually wear out and become comprised in their ability to regulate their own emotional and behavioral functioning. 

By understanding and treating the impact of addiction on homeostasis in the family system, our therapists can help families to adjust and navigate the inherent challenges of recovery, such as the common occurrence of relapse after the addict returns home from treatment or the well-meaning family member’s continued enabling of an addict. 

Contact our office today! 714-432-9856