Mindfulness practices are invaluable for managing pain and anxiety, self-growth, fostering relationships, and increasing contentment. I work with my clients to find the mindfulness tools that work best for them, whether it is breathing exercises, establishing a daily sitting process, or going for mindful walks in nature.
We are relational creatures at our core. I work with my clients on repairing or deepening existing important relationships (family, friends, lovers, co-workers,…), developing effective communication, and expanding one’s support network and community.
Just as someone’s personality is unique, so is their suffering. I do not assume the role of medical professional primarily treating a disorder. With all of my clients I focus on their strengths, formulating and following personal goals, and increasing their level of supports and sense of community. I may recommend and assist in finding additional professional help or a higher level of care if I determine that those needs are not being met.
I do not see addiction as a ‘moral failing’ or as a medical ‘disease’, but rather as the result of an interweaving of behavioral, emotional, physical, and relationship factors. Addiction is when we turn to things that give us short term relief when life needs for connection and purpose are not met. Thus I have found that effective treatment is not focusing solely on abstinence as much as focusing on action plans to fulfill those primary needs. For an excellent short summary on the nature of addiction, I highly recommend this Ted Talk Video.