At Trauma and Beyond Psychological Center ® we focus on treating addictions of all kinds. Our treatment program can address those in early recovery from: drug and alcohol addictions, disordered eating, codependency, sex and love addictions, gambling, shopping, and electronics.
Our Sherman Oaks addiction treatment program is appropriate for those who may have already completed some initial type of addiction treatment or are in early recovery from their addiction, and are looking for the next step towards deepening their healing. At Trauma and Beyond ® we see addictions as a symptom of an underlying distress.
― Russell Brand
What is Addiction?
When someone suffers from addiction, they have a physical or psychological need to use a substance or engage in a behavior that may have brought comfort or relief at first but is now causing problems in their life.
When we think about addiction, we understand that it has many dimensions and expressions. We typically think of addiction to substances, however behavioral addictions develop and operate out of a similar unmet need.
All addictions, be it to drugs, alcohol, gambling, eating, exercise, gaming, social media, self-harm, pornography, sex, or love are the outward expression of our inability to regulate our internal emotional worlds. It is what we consider a survival strategy and though at one time may have been adaptive to deal with pain, discomfort, depression, and anxiety, it is now negatively affecting their life.
It is a common occurrence for individuals to suffer from what we call a “co-occurring disorder” or “dual diagnosis” that denotes both their struggle with addiction as well as the presence of a mood or other disorder. It is incredibly rare that individuals develop a substance use disorder and do not have additional mental health needs.
How It Affects Us
No matter the addiction, pursuing an external means of regulating your internal reality (typically by numbing) often becomes the priority in a person’s life. People who suffer from addiction spend more time and money on their addiction, which leaves less of both for work, family, and hobbies.
Substance abuse in particular often creates an unhealthy physical dependence and leads to a state of withdrawal which causes potential immediate physical danger. Other forms of addiction can be less physically dangerous but psychologically very distressing as they all affect the brain’s reward system.
At Trauma and Beyond ®,we focus on teaching our clients the skills they will need to widen their window of tolerance and have the capacity to feel all types of feelings, as well as to develop affect regulation and distress tolerance skills so that they will have new strategies to cope with daily living stressors that are not maladaptive. With our Addiction Treatment in Sherman Oaks we focus our work on individuals who are in early recovery, as we have found that without the foundation of sobriety, they will not be able to learn and employ the skills for self-regulation.
Initial treatment will focus on helping clients develop the ability to self-soothe and regulate emotions as we begin to address the underlying emotional distress, in order to prevent return to their prior survival skills (the addiction) and in order to build new neural pathways will not be able to form.
If you are suffering from an active addiction, we would be happy to refer you to a substance abuse treatment program to start your recovery process.
How Addiction Develops
Understanding the nature of addiction is not easy, since it develops in many different ways. Clients will participate in an assessment to help ascertain their underlying issues connecting to addictive behaviors. However, listed below are some common roots.
How It Starts: Attachment, Loneliness and Belonging
Addictive behavior starts with the need to regulate emotions or physical distress. We all have ways to self soothe or to help improve our mood. When these behaviors become harmful and we continue to use them, we call this addiction. Few things are as vital to our emotional wellbeing as connection with other people and having a sense of purpose. Attachment distress and relational connection most often starts with the primary caretaker’s.
How It Starts: Self-Medication
Whether for physical or psychological pain, many people find that drugs and alcohol (along with other addictive behaviors) are powerful in their ability to numb the pain of these deeper issues. They begin to turn to substances to “self-medicate”, or attempt to deal with the pain by dissociating from it. These behaviors become the best tool for managing our emotions, and eventually the only one we have.
Physical & Psychological Dependence
You may begin to rely on the substance or behavior to get you through the day. When stresses arise, or you’re facing the difficulty of being a human in this specific day and age, you’ll notice the craving to indulge in your favorite coping mechanism—the feeling of being high, the thrill of the hunt for the perfect pair of shoes, the comfort of carbs glazed with sugar, or the anticipation building for your next big win.
In time you may recognize the pattern: at the hint of discomfort, we reach for the tool that keeps us “safe” in the world of unfeeling. We forget how to calm ourselves or feel better without the aid of a substance or other unhealthy behavior.
What was once a purely psychological pattern of addiction soon creates profound changes in our brain chemistry. Just as we come to rely on our addiction for emotional wellness, soon our body comes to depend upon the substance for our physical wellness. Even in behavioral addictions, the reward system of the brain becomes dependent upon the dopamine provided, and without it, happiness becomes elusive.
This makes the battle to maintain healthier lifestyle changes, not only dependent upon solving the body’s physical dependence, but also the psychological patterns that underlie the addiction.
Healing at Trauma and Beyond with Addiction Treatment
Here, our goal is to build on early recovery. We work with clients on understanding triggers and relapse prevention that includes Trauma Resource Model skills and additional self-regulation treatment such as DBT and CBT.
Our job is to help you experience the world differently and be more fully present for yourself and connected to others. By dealing with the root cause of your addiction, you’ll have a better capacity to experience daily life stressors, or internal distress, and greater skills to fight the urge to fall back into addictive patterns.
Our Sherman Oaks Addiction Treatment Center offers direction and a plan to help you develop agency and empowerment, where you are able to not only understand your patterns, but to move forward and develop healthier ways of being in the world.
Do I Need Addiction Treatment?
- Do you feel like you can’t have fun without substances?
- Are you bored with life or just using substances to mask feelings of isolation?
- Do you carry around a sense of emptiness or aloneness and yet push away those who care most about you?
- Have you turned to alcohol, drugs or other substances to help you “numb” your reality?
- Have you recognized an unhealthy relationship with food, exercise, shopping, gambling, gaming, or social media?
- Are you stuck in a cycle of bingeing, purging, or restricting your food intake?
- Are you useing pornography, sex, or love to try to heal old attachment wounds?
- Do you find yourself losing hours of the day due to numbing out with electronics?
- Do you struggle to have other healthy connections without drugs, alcohol, or distance found thru social media?