Have you struggled with using drugs or alcohol, or both? Finding yourself trying to quit, only to tell yourself, “I can have just one more…” and be right back to using again? Have you had family members upset with your substance use, or financial stress because of it? Maybe even legal problems? Maybe you have an Addiction to something else like pornography use, or even food! Things can get really complicated when you reach the point you need to stop using – for your health, or for your family, or for your own clarity of mind. You probably do things differently when you are sober, and you may feel overwhelmed with regret or shame as you try to stay clean and mend your relationships. This is hard work!

Several years ago, as I worked in an inpatient addictions unit counseling folks who were finding sobriety from drugs and alcohol, I was able to hear stories and meet people trying to change. I learned just how hard it can be to live the change, with relapse being common and dangerous, and how the burden of shame can prompt more use and create more guilt and shame in a nasty ongoing circle. My greatest learning was to notice a common thread of trauma in the history of so many of the people I met, motivating me to learn how I can best help those who are survivors of trauma find the change they seek without substance use. So, I found my way to IFS, and it seems to change everything!

The part of you who chose to use or drink (the alcoholic part, or the addict part, or the tweeker part, or the junkie part), will be welcome in IFS therapy with me. I know it is just a part of you – not all of you, and not your most true Self! Rather than trying to get rid of that part/thought/feeling that could trigger a relapse, we will want to get to know it and find out how that distraction or pleasure-seeking is helping. If there is pain to avoid, I can help you meet it and invite it to heal. With IFS, even shame does not have to be avoided and we can eventually unburden it. There is hope and you can do this, and I am glad to help.