Abstaining from the use of drugs, alcohol, or any other physically addictive substance or behavior is a feat in and of itself. Many try to tackle this by “white-knuckling” or by relying on pure avoidance of people, places, or situations that may entice them to engage in their addiction. The mere “giving up” of a substance is only one component of sobriety and personal recovery. Acknowledging that there are intense and oftentimes seductive emotions underlying the cycle of addiction is key to achieving and maintaining an effective personal recovery program.
Emotional sobriety is respecting and allowing yourself to experience your emotions, rather than mask, ignore, or deny them. This means taking responsibility for your emotions by learning how to identify your feelings then cope with them in a healthy manner. Most people who experience addiction are adept at using drugs and alcohol as a means to avoid, deny, or alter their feelings. Take away the substance, and you’re left with very painful and raw feelings. These feelings can become overwhelming to a person who has little to no experience tolerating such negative emotions and can place a person at risk of relapse. Tolerate negative feelings.
Individual therapy is a way in which a person can work to achieve and maintain emotional sobriety. By gaining a better awareness of your personal identify, you can begin to identify and better understand feelings as they occur in the moment. A therapist can support you as you begin to tolerate your negative emotions and accept the positive feelings.
Please contact me for more information about the process of individual therapy.
Sarah Callow-St. George has extensive experience helping her clients address and work through their trauma. She takes a special interest in working with couples and relationships. Addressing addiction issues and underlying trauma is key to changing the way we interact and connect with others.