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Online Therapy for Addictions

Online Therapy for Addictions

Find Your Courage Again

Online Therapy for Addiction

Addictions are a type of suffering: clinging to a substance, a sexuality or a type of action that feels good for a moment, only to vanish, opens us to an endless cycle of suffering and escape from ourselves.
Although it may take work to stop the addiction, it is not impossible. They can really cause great pain in one’s life: from the actual addictive substance or action to its effects. They can be like wrestling an opponent who seems apart from you at one point, and then completely all “you” at another. How do you fight something like that? Take heart, the battle against addiction can be won. To find yourself, underneath this struggle opens up joy and possibility in your life.

Sessions: Online Therapy for Addiction

Sessions are typically 50 to 80 minutes long, once a week. 6-12 sessions is a reasonable amount of time to expect to work in the beginning and to expect results.

Next steps?

Click Book Session below to start working on your addiction(s):

Depending on the type and duration of your addiction, I use a combination of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) to treat addictions. All three are validated methods for treating addiction.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for addiction

  1. “Bowen and colleagues contributed “Mindfulness-based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) for Substance Use Disorders: A Pilot Efficacy Trial”, a study of MBRP for individuals who had recently completed intensive inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment. They report that MBRP participants, compared to those who received usual treatment only, experienced greater decreases in craving, and greater increases in acceptance and acting with awareness.”

  2. “In “Mindfulness Training and Stress Reactivity in Substance Abuse: Results from a Randomized, Controlled Stage 1 Pilot Study,” Brewer and colleagues compared a manualized version of mindfulness training to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for individuals in community-based outpatient addiction treatment. This study, which combined a laboratory-based behavioral experiment with psychological and physiological measures, suggested a reduction in stress-related indices in the mindfulness group compared to the CBT group.”

  3. “The last two papers are derived from the same main study and report findings of cross-sectional analyses of baseline (pre-cessation) data of 158 smokers enrolled in a smoking cessation trial comparing effects of MBSR to a standard of care treatment. Vidrine and colleagues examined the “Associations of Mindfulness with Nicotine Dependence, Withdrawal and Agency,” and found that mindfulness was negatively associated with the level of nicotine dependence and “anticipatory” withdrawal severity, and positively associated with a sense of agency related to cessation. In the same sample of individuals, Waters and colleagues evaluated “Associations Between Mindfulness and Implicit Cognition and Self-reported Affect” and noted that degree of mindfulness was negatively associated with severity of self-reported negative affect, perceived stress and depressive symptoms, and positively associated with positive affect level.”

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) for substance abuse and substance addiction

“The present study compared methadone maintenance alone to methadone maintenance in combination with 16 weeks of either Intensive Twelve-Step Facilitation (ITSF) or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in a preliminary efficacy trial with polysubstance-abusing opiate addicts who were continuing to use drugs while on methadone maintenance. Results showed that the addition of ACT was associated with lower objectively assessed opiate and total drug use during follow-up than methadone maintenance alone, and lower subjective measures of total drug use at follow-up. An intent-to-treat analysis which assumed that missing drug data indicated drug use also provided support for the reliability of objectively assessed total drug use decreases in the ACT condition. ITSF reduced objective measures of total drug use during follow-up but not in the intent-to-treat analyses. Most measures of adjustment and psychological distress improved in all conditions, but there was no evidence of differential improvement across conditions in these areas. Both ACT and ITSF merit further exploration as a means of reducing severe drug abuse.” Article

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) for sexual addiction

“While referring to the theoretical and practical model of R. Harris (2012), this article proposes the use of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in the treatment of sexual addiction. While dependent behaviors begin and may be maintained by refusal of unpleasant emotional states (that is, addict individuals tend to fight or flee negative emotions by replacing eventually painful or otherwise unpleasant states by behaviors providing pleasure), the ACT framework appears as an ally in treatment of addictive behaviors, in that its goal is a fit between patients' behaviors and their values (instead avoidance of unpleasant states avoidance). Within a clinical case of a patient suffering from sexual addiction, we show that using ACT helps (i) to decrease the intensity of sexual addiction** (as assessed through QMICA-Se in a pre-post design), (ii) to develop psychological flexibility (AAQ-II), and (iii) to decrease anxious and depressive symptoms of the patient (HADS). Moreover, the patient recognizes to feel himself in the here and now, and also to perform activities related to his own values. Acceptance of this limited form of sexuality now allows him to calmly consider the possibility of meeting a new person. ACT thus appears to provide clinical benefits in treatment of sexual addictions.Article

Internal Family Systems (IFS) for substance abuse

“During the first ten years of my career, I worked in a substance abuse treatment facility PHP (partial hospitalization program) and IOP (intensive outpatient program) as well as inpatient. I also worked in an outpatient setting where I helped to establish a substance abuse program and established an eating disorders group. IFS has been an easy paradigm shift for me in some ways. Prior to IFS, I had embraced the idea of not pathologizing clients, a perspective that is inherent in IFS. Being a systems thinker by nature and training, the concept of imbalances occurring within the inner system (family) was intriguing to me and made perfect sense. My feminist parts resonated with the collaborative aspects of IFS. The parts of me that love the experiential were attracted to the body focus and right-brain aspects of IFS. And the psychospiritual aspect of IFS has made it easy to integrate with the Twelve Steps.” Article