Addiction Counseling in Palm Beach County, FL
Mangrove Therapy Group counselors specialize in the treatment of all types of addictions. This also includes compulsive behaviors and related emotional challenges. A person may be at the beginning stages of their use and only starting to notice problems. Or they may have been in and out of treatment for many years. Regardless, we provide effective addiction counseling and psychotherapy across the entire addiction spectrum. An addiction therapist can provide support for clients to achieve lasting recovery.
What is an Addiction?
The following are general characteristics involved in any addiction. Whether related to substance use or for what is termed process addictions. If you show any of these experiences, you may be developing an addiction:
- Doing more of the substance or behavior for a longer period of time or for longer than intended
- Unsuccessful efforts to stop or cease the behavior
- Continuing to engage in the behavior despite negative consequences
- A great deal of time is spent to get the substance, engage in the behavior, or recover from its effects
- Cravings or obsessive thoughts about the behavior or substance
- The behavior leads to a failure to fulfill major obligations or responsibilities
- Giving up things you would consider to be important because of the substance or behavior. These may be things like recreational interests or social activities
- A need for increased amounts of the behavior or substance to achieve the same effect. This is also known as “tolerance”
Types of Addictions treated at Mangrove Therapy Group
There are a variety of behaviors that a person can become “addicted” to. The official terminology has changed over the years. This occurs to reflect the need to reduce stigma and acknowledge the issue as a genuine mental health concern to be treated with care. Even so, the underlying issues remain the same. Some of these include:
Substance Use Disorders
Around 20 million people in the United States suffer from a substance use disorder. Formally referred to as “chemical dependency” or “substance abuse”, these refer to the problematic use of alcohol and/or other drugs. These include:
- Prescription medication (opioid painkillers, antianxiety medications like benzodiazepines, stimulants for ADHD, etc.)
Unfortunately, the cost of substance abuse for individuals as well as society as a whole is very high. For example, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, there have been 700k overdose deaths since the year 2000. And in 2017, the estimated cost of drug abuse in the US was $272 billion when taking into consideration crime, healthcare needs, lost work productivity, and other impacts on society. There need for high-quality, effective addiction counseling is critical.
Click here for more info. Learn more about how Mangrove Therapy Group treats Substance Use Disorders.
Eating disorders are serious illnesses that can often be life-threatening if left untreated. In fact, it’s estimated that 30 million people in the US have struggled with an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime. Eating disorders are often thought to be associated with women’s issues. But, men can definitely suffer from them as well. The stigma often causes them to keep their issues hidden.
Types of eating disorders:
- Anorexia Nervosa refers to obsessive efforts to stay very thin.
- Bulimia Nervosa refers to binge eating followed by behaviors to help “purge” that food from the body. Various ways of purging include induced vomiting, laxative use, diuretics, or over-exercise.
- Binge Eating Disorder refers to eating a very large quantity of food in a short amount of time.
- Orthorexia refers to the obsessive focus on healthy or “clean” eating.
Click here for more information. Learn more about Mangrove Therapy Groups’ approach to treating eating disorders.
Compulsive gambling is also called Gambling Disorder. This refers to the uncontrollable urge to continue gambling despite negative consequences. With the increased access to gaming as a result of technology, many more are at risk of developing a problem. According to the National Center for Responsible Gaming, approximately 1% of the adult population in the US has a severe gambling problem. Recent research shows that 6-9% of youths and young adults experience gambling-related issues.
Click here for more info on Mangrove Therapy Group’s approach to treating gambling-related disorders.
This dynamic has been gaining more and more attention lately with the widespread availability of technology. A person can develop an addiction to various aspects of technology. These may include video gaming, social media, or internet use in general. Research into digital addiction is relatively new. As a result, the disorder is not included in the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. But, it is clear that the behavior can create many challenges in a person’s life. As a result, these challenges are deserving of clinical attention through addiction counseling,
Compulsive Sexual Behavior
The term “sex addiction” is often no longer used. But, individuals may develop compulsive behaviors around sex or viewing pornography. These behaviors can often cause major distress and disturb individuals and their families. The disorder has an estimated prevalence of 3-6% of US adults. As with many addictive behaviors, addiction counseling often entails resolving core emotional wounds. Only by doing so can one address difficulties with attachment and healthy intimacy.
Mangrove Therapy Group believes that deep, lasting recovery from an addiction requires a comprehensive, trauma-informed approach to addiction counseling. But, the hard truth is there is often much more work that needs to be done than abstaining from the substance or behavior. Here are some areas of concern when treating addiction:
Addictions or compulsive behaviors are often maladaptive coping mechanisms for uncomfortable emotional states. Humans are emotional beings and, as such, constantly experience a wide range of fluctuating emotions (pain, sadness, anxiety, shame, anger, guilt, etc.). For a variety of potential reasons, individuals may struggle with managing these feelings.
As a result, they may avoid or distract themselves with the use of substances or addictive behavior. They may be completely unaware this process is occurring. Or, they may believe they enjoy doing the unhealthy behavior or activity. Yet, if they were to examine some of the underlying forces that occur, they would often realize there is much more going on than meets the eye. Effective addiction counseling needs to bring awareness to this dynamic. All while developing more-effective coping strategies and a greater window of tolerance for these emotions.
As mentioned in the previous section, individuals are often coping maladaptively with substances or compulsive behaviors. As a result, they need new, adaptive coping skills to better manage these challenging emotional experiences. Skills, often originating from therapies such as:
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT),
- Frustration tolerance
- Distress tolerance
- Stress management
- Delayed gratification
- And others
Counseling serves as a way to learn and practice these skills for everyday challenges.
Individuals who have unresolved psychological trauma, PTSD, or more-complex trauma histories often struggle with addictions or compulsive behaviors. It is easy to see how someone with debilitating flashbacks and panic attacks from past trauma resorts to self-medicating with substances or other compulsive behaviors. This occurs to numb or distract from their uncomfortable feelings and body sensations. Unfortunately, this only serves to increase their trauma symptoms over time. It also engages the individual in a vicious cycle of despair. At the same time, how can a trauma survivor be expected to stop the use of these substances or behaviors when they are having these distressful experiences. Effective addiction counseling must actively target any underlying trauma as part of the addiction counseling plan. By doing so, individuals can find peace and recovery.
An individual’s family dynamics are very important to examine in the course of therapy. These may be related to their current family structure or their “family of origin” growing up. As a result, It comes as no surprise that, much joy and connection come from relationships with family. But, they also are often the source of the most stress and conflict. Thus, these relational dynamics in the addicted person’s family structure will need to be addressed. Better communication and often sessions with family members become part of the addiction counseling plan. Unhelpful messages learned in childhood often perpetuate the addictive cycle. So, they may need to be explored and challenged. Trauma from dysfunctional experiences at home as a kid will need to be resolved.
The therapists at Mangrove Therapy Group are happy to work with individuals struggling with addictions. We are also happy to support family members who have been on the emotional roller coaster going from crisis to crisis. Often, these family members need significant support and guidance in navigating their loved one’s journey. Click here to see our page on working with families of addicts.
Mental Health Concerns
A large percentage of people have issues with substance use and/or compulsive behaviors in addition to other mental health or psychiatric conditions “co-occurring disorders.”. For comprehensive recovery, all these issues will need to be addressed. Many conditions create new challenges as well as opportunities for growth and recovery. Some of these include conditions such as:
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Other Services Offered with Mangrove Therapy
Addiction counseling isn’t the only service we offer. Our clinicians are experts in treating substance use disorders and processing addictions, and eating disorders, but also in a variety of other issues. These include issues including body image issues, anger management, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Additionally, we are happy to offer support for trauma, PTSD/C-PTSD, “Failure to Launch” syndrome, personality disorders, grief and loss, DBT, CBT, and much more. Feel free to visit our blog today for more info.