- Are you or your loved one struggling with addiction?
- With over 10-years working with addiction, I can help.
Here’s what I mean by the opposite of addiction is connection.
It’s hardwired into our DNA and nervous system to bond and attach with a “stronger, wiser other” for survival.
In fact, severely emotionally neglected infants cannot thrive and eventually die without nurture even if food, shelter, and water are provided.
Philip Flores, PhD., author of Addiction as an Attachment Disorder states that individuals who have difficulty establishing emotionally regulating attachments [connecting] are more inclined to substitute alcohol and drugs for their deficiencies in intimacy.
What’s an emotionally regulating attachment?
It’s a trusting relationship where you can share your humanness and feel validated.
In terms of attachment researchers, it’s a relationship where you “feel felt.” This means sharing vulnerability and feeling closer as a result. Feeling felt provides calm when anxious, and warmth and energy when down. It has the power to regulate our emotions.
This is why an open conversation with a close friend, sponsor, or therapist has the power to uplift and vitalize.
This is what the substance abusing person needs to establish in order to recover. Learning to turn towards a trusting other and away from the substance.
According to Dr. Flores:
“Until every addiction is relinquished, addicts or alcoholics will never be forced to develop the only source of healthy affect regulation that is available to them: healthy interpersonal attachment.”
It’s going to be tough in the beginning of sobriety.
When working with me individually for addiction support, my job is to create a secure base within our relationship where you can share your humanness. Through time and willingness, the goal is for that secure base to be carried and accessed in your life outside our sessions. I will also encourage you to utilize a support group you feel comfortable attending in order to have more support “feeling felt.” This is also to have more accountability which is very important in the beginning of recovery.
When working within the couple, my work is so you two can begin to create that for each other. However, true intimacy can only be established with sobriety, because addiction is a barrier to intimacy and trust.
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