Addiction Recovery Specialist

For over 10 years, I have been helping people struggling with drug & alcohol problems and the dual diagnosis of mental illness that often goes hand in hand.  I provide state of the art treatment for persons motivated to stay clean and sober.  This includes knowledge of psychopharmacology and consultations with psychiatrists as needed.

My approach to addiction treatment differs from traditional 12 Step based models provided at most Rehab facilities.  While I strongly promote the use of 12 Step Support Groups as an integral part of maintaining sobriety, science and psychology tell us the roots of addiction go deeper than 12 Step Support Groups can fully address.

In-Patient Rehab centers can only offer a short course of treatment. Upon discharge, the Individual and their family may think they are "fixed" and strong enough to avoid relapse. This can set them up for disappointment, if and when relapse happens. Science tells us it takes at least 2 years for a person to attain stability in sobriety and for their brain to recover from the assault of their addictive behaviors.  One should expect mistakes in the form or relapse along the way.

I approach addiction from an "emotional defense" Bio-Psycho-Social model which suggests substances are used to ward off unbearable emotions and not caused by character flaws or selfish inconsideration of others.  The use of substances is a person's misguided attempt at finding a solution to a problem, to ward off unbearable emotional pain, or  relieve their coinciding mood problems like depression or anxiety, or to avoid unpleasant thoughts or feelings, or as a way to reward oneself, to feel better, to feel numb, etc.  Eating disorders & other Self-Harming Behaviors can also fall into this realm, as extreme defenses used to feel better.

Changing how one thinks and behaves is not as easy as ones logic might suggest. It takes hard work and determination. The key is to get right back into the recovery process, work through  why the relapse occurred, and learn from these repetitive patterns to form new, healthier coping skills.

When engaging in treatment with me, we will begin by pinpointing the areas that keep you stuck, shed light on maladaptive defenses, including the use of drugs or alcohol to cope.  We will explore possible biochemical imbalances causing a mood disorder, which you may be self-medicating.  We will work towards developing long lasting change & healthy coping skills that enhance your well-being.

I also work hand in hand with the families of affected individuals so they can heal their inevitable hurts & develop their own coping strategies.  This is done through education about addiction, dual-diagnosis, affirmation of their own struggles, & individualized approaches to setting healthy boundaries, while maintaining loving relationships which are the corner stone to emotional healing.

© 2017 Victoria Sayles, LPC. All Rights Reserved.