There are a wide variety of treatment options and approaches for people struggling with addictions and/or out-of-control behavior. Some people advocate one or another approach or program to the exclusion of all others, but only you can know for sure the approach that works best for you.
If you suffer from addiction, if you suffer from out-of-control behavior, it is likely you have tried to kick your habit on your own. This rarely works. You need help from others. Many people try and fail to solve these sorts of problems on their own. Our experience is that the single most effective thing a person seeking relief from addiction or out-of-control behavior can do is to stop trying to do it alone, to seek help.
This help can come in many forms – group and/or individual therapy, psychoanalysis, twelve-step programs, other recovery programs, support from family and friends, etc.
- Many people have found Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, and other twelve-step fellowships enormously helpful in the face of addiction and out-of-control behavior.
- Many people have not found such programs helpful.
- Many people have found recovery from their addictions and out-of-control behaviors outside of such programs; and many people have participated in such programs and found them helpful, even while not finding recovery.
- We know of no simple way to predict whether a particular program or approach will help you – the only way for you to learn is to try.
- Evidence in support of any particular approach is scant. This does not mean that any particular approach or program is not effective, but it does mean you should be skeptical in the face of claims of efficacy. Addiction and recovery are notoriously difficult to measure. No one can make predictions about what approach is most likely to work best for you, other than you.
We are not advocates of – or detractors from – any particular program of recovery. Some take an absolutist view that theirs is the only proven path to recovery. Others take a similarly absolutist view that some or other approach is harmful, detrimental, makes false claims, and stands in the way of people’s healthy recoveries.
We have found much of value in many different approaches: we agree with proponents of twelve-step programs that, for some, they are the only path to recovery. We agree with detractors that, for some people, they prove, in the end, to be unhelpful, or worse. The same is true with other programs and approaches.
You would be misunderstanding our point if you used our views to justify remaining in the misery of your addiction or out-of-control behavior for a single day.
If you are hurting, if you are suffering from addiction and/or behaviors you can’t control, you need help. Try anything and everything. See what works for you.
And we would be glad to work with you – we have lots of experience with addiction and out-of-control behavior.
What is codependency?
The word codependent is often used casually as pop psychology jargon. It is, however, a complex psychological issue. Codependency is real and treatable. You may experience the pain of codependency if you tend to focus on meeting other people’s needs instead of your own.
This type of behavior typically develops in people who care deeply about someone who suffers from an addiction, illness or mental illness. Both people in these relationships can create a pattern of interacting which focuses primarily on the addiction or illness. The partner, caretaker, relative or child’s needs get sidelined and they may begin to believe that their needs are less important. This can lower their self-esteem. They may be resentful but feel intense fear or guilt about standing up for themselves. It can become extremely difficult for such people to regain their sense of self.
We believe recovering from the pain of codependency requires treatment. It is not something that will go away if the other person gets better. It is not something that will go away by itself, and it is not something most people can handle alone.
Treatment for codependent attitudes and behaviors is available in many forms. People have found relief and change through individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, 12 step groups such as Al-Anon and others, as well as a variety of other approaches. There are many paths to recovery and regaining a secure sense of self. There is no one solution to the problem. You must choose for yourself which one or which combination of supports best suits your needs.
We encourage you to value your emotional well being and to consider getting support for yourself. We are experienced in helping people recover from codependency and would be very happy to help you.