My job not to judge you or to make the decision for you about whether you have a substance abuse problem. What I am able to do is give you the facts, to discuss the impact that your substance use has on your life.
This following list is the criteria for substance use disorder:
You experience cravings to use a certain substance
You have tried to cut down or stop but were unable to
Using in ways that are dangerous to yourself and/or others, (example: you have overdosed, driven while under the influence, or blacked out).
Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than you intended (or than was prescribed)
You have neglected other areas of your life because of substance use (school, work, family)
Your substance use has caused problems in relationships
When you've stopped using the substance, you've experienced withdrawal symptoms.
You have built up a tolerance to the substance and have to use more to get the same effect.
You spend a lot of your time using the substance.
Your substance use has led to physical health problems ( such as liver damage) or psychological issues ( for example depression or anxiety).
Problematic substance use occurs on a spectrum. You may find that you can identify with some of the above statements but not all. I can tell you where you fall in terms of risk but it will ultimately be your decision to make whether you feel that your substance use is a problem in your life.
How Will Therapy Help Me?
Substance abuse or addiction counselling increases your awareness of the ways that your behaviours are affecting your life. It can also help you to identify triggers (people, places, situations) that increase your risk of engaging in these behaviours. It can also assist you in understanding why you are using substances, the need that is being filled. This is important because if you decide to stop using, your problems do not automatically disappear.
What Do We Do?
I am not here to judge and I don’t set the agenda. You will create goals and we will use that as a starting point to work together. I will help you understand your thoughts and feelings and the way that they impact your behaviour.
I will ask questions about your life, both past and present, your family experiences, and the lessons or messages you received. This helps both of us understand how you have come to be who you are. We will talk about your relationships and interactions with others. We will also discuss how your substance use may be impacting those relationships.
We will talk about healthy lifestyle choices you make for yourself, the areas of your life that you feel satisfied with and those that you would like to improve on. In this sense, addiction counselling is about much more than substance abuse. Because each person is different, every individual’s treatment plan is unique and is based on their own needs. I use a combination of treatment modalities that include motivational interviewing, CBT, DBT, solution-focused and trauma-based approaches.
What To Expect
Your first session will involve an initial assessment of your overall well being as well as an intake of your personal history and background. Subsequent therapy sessions are 50 minutes in length and are unique to each individual's treatment plan. Get in touch with me to book your first session here.
Please note: I do not offer crisis intervention. If you are in crisis, please contact your family doctor, go to your nearest hospital, call the Ontario Mental Health Helpline at 1-866-531-2600 or call 911.