Traditionally, addiction is defined as a disease. In fact, most medical associations, including the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine consider it as such. They believe that like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, addiction is caused by a combination of behavioral, environmental and biological factors.
From the perspective of addiction-as-symptom, an addiction is the attempt to ease the pain or difficultly of unknown, deeply rooted psychological or emotional issues through the use—or overuse—of behaviors or substances.
Whether considered a primary issue or a symptom, the cessation of problematic behaviors remains the goal of all addiction counseling. At Leah Benson Therapy, uncovering, processing, and eliminating the underlying emotional motivations for addictive behaviors is also a goal.
Whether your experience of addiction is about your relationship with a substance or is about a different type of problematic behavior, the goal will be the same. You and Leah Benson will uncover the underlying beliefs and powerful emotions fueling your problematic actions.
If necessary, any detoxification requirements will need to be addressed with a medical provider. However, once your body is clear of substances, the work of discovering and eliminating unconscious sources of motivation for, and power behind your problematic choices will be primary.
In addition, as you participate in addiction counseling at Leah Benson Therapy, you will spend time generating and learning to tolerate high levels of stress in your body. The reason you will do this is that the mind and body are not separate. As a result, the practice will translate to allowing you to tolerate higher and higher levels of emotional and psychological stress that you encounter in the “real world.”
Since stresses in the real world often trigger utilization of “addiction behaviors,” your ability to tolerate higher levels of stress will automatically eliminate some of your use of those behaviors.