Resilience Psychological Services
Resilience Psychological Services
Our lives are filled with a wide variety of behaviors that we tend to repeat with frequency and consistency—from eating meals and snacks, to washing ourselves or checking our phones. Particularly when such behaviors offer a pleasurable or mood-altering reward, we find ourselves repeating them. Yet there is a point at which engaging in an activity or consuming a substance—whether a food, drink, or drug—becomes so compulsive that it begins to feel like it is the one consuming us.
People are drawn to addictive behaviors for a variety of reasons. Addiction can serve as a potent form of self-medication, offering an escape from stressful life experiences, whether past or present. Addiction can also seem to fill a void, or lessen painful feelings associated with depression or anxiety.
Some people are addicted to specific substances, such as alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications. Other people find themselves hooked on “soft addictions” or “process addictions” such as gambling, work, food, sex, internet, television, gaming, shopping, gossiping, procrastinating, or exercise. Sometimes these soft addictions are insidious and difficult to recognize; they can begin as harmless habits that we engage in mindlessly, but gradually consume more and more of our time. While some amount of mindless activity can certainly be helpful for coping with stress, too much time spent on these activities becomes problematic. Over-indulging in these activities can numb us from our feelings, suppress our consciousness or intuition, and deplete our energy. These addictions create barriers in reaching our goals and staying true to our values.
If you find yourself unable to stop doing something that you know has become harmful to you or your loved ones, you could likely benefit from speaking with a therapist about addiction. Know that you’re not alone, and we’re here to help. We understand the profound effects that addiction can have on you, your family, friends, and social environment.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Therapy can help you to uncover the ways in which your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors—together with your personal history and social environment—inform and perhaps encourage your addiction. This heightened understanding can help you to either change or avoid the factors that are your most significant triggers for addictive behaviors. Behind addictive behaviors, clients often discover a variety of suppressed feelings—such as fear, denial, a need for control, or a desire to numb their pain. Recovery includes feeling and processing these distressing emotions, rather than continually trying to distract oneself from them. It’s also not uncommon for us to find in therapy that a client is experiencing co-occurring addiction and another mental health issue, such as depression or anxiety. At Resilience, we can help you to understand and manage multiple, interrelated behavioral health disorders.
At Resilience, Dr. Masuma Rasheed specializes in counseling for addiction, and has assisted individuals and groups with addictions related to alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, food, and other substances and processes. She believes that therapy can help you to better listen to cues from your body and your mind that, if heeded and understood, can lead to a stronger relationship with yourself. When you are strong inside, you can approach your relationships—including your relationships with objects of addiction—from a position of strength and courage, rather than instability and fear.
Dr. Rasheed frequently teaches clients about how the body can be an important partner in the healing process. By tuning in to your body’s signals—its cravings, sensations, points of tension—and attempting to support and heal the body as an integral part of the self, you can reclaim or discover new, healthier ways to manage stress, so that you are less likely to turn to self-medication or other addictive tendencies. To this end, Dr. Rasheed sometimes incorporates mind-body practices such as yoga or meditation into her practice, for a mindful approach to addiction recovery. She is trained in a method of healing called Yoga of 12-Step Recovery, with which she helps clients by leading them through breath work, visualizations, and guided imagery combined with talk therapy to help manage soft addiction. By additionally focusing on the physical aspects of self-care (for example, improved sleep habits), Dr. Rasheed can help you to feel better physically and mentally, making you better equipped to continue on the journey to recovery.
The strong therapeutic relationship you build at Resilience can provide critical support as you strive for, achieve, and maintain sobriety, while preventing or coping with relapse. In some cases, we may determine that medication could be helpful for supporting addiction treatment. In such instances, we would make an appropriate referral to, and work collaboratively with, a doctor who is able to prescribe and manage such medication.
You don’t need to struggle with addiction forever, or alone. We understand the stigma often experienced by people struggling with addiction. Here at Resilience, we offer our clients a non-judgmental, safe space to freely explore the context for their addiction and begin, or continue, on the path to recovery. Please contact us for a free consultation.
Common symptoms of addiction:
• Inability to stop consuming a substance or engaging in an activity, despite the negative consequences of continuing
• Withdrawal: Experiencing negative side effects, such as nausea or irritability, when you stop using
• Tolerance: Discovering that you must use the substance, or engage in the activity, more and more to achieve the same effect
• Craving or compulsion
• Challenges with self-care
• Poor self-image, shame, or diminished self-respect
• Difficulties functioning in work, family, or social relationships