Living with addiction has, unfortunately, become a common difficulty in todays world. The challenges of overcoming this life-changing affliction are many but they are achievable. Addiction can be tackled if we look at the underlying causes of the problem. Addiction does not occur in a vacuum and if it is treated as a symptom of and a reaction to these underlying causes then it can be demystified and the compulsion to use can be understood as an attempt at a solution. A solution that has worked previously but no longer serves the individual. This is how I approach the work, by identifying the underlying causes and developing a new way to cope with and manage these causes, whether one is abstinent or trying to manage or reduce their use, the work of explaining where the compulsion to use comes from can be carried out and worked through.
Gender & Sexuality
The issue and difference between gender and sexuality has become more prominent today than ever before. The reasons for this are not well understood but may be connected to the continuing diminution in the nuclear family and the increasing prevalence of divorced and single parent families, societal roles are becoming more all encompassing and less defined. With this has come a more fluid individual in all aspects of life, not just sexuality. My orientation in therapy views an individuals sexuality as particular to them, with reasons for this that are particular to their experiences. The difficulties for people are coming to accept and becoming able to present themselves to a world that may not be receptive and working through these in therapy is the best way for those concerned to become comfortable with these new realities. Therapy should involve working on coping with this transition and change by providing a safe space to process through these experiences.
Marriage & Couples
With the ever-increasing pressures and options in modern life, the difficulty of keeping a marriage a contented happy place can be confounding. When I work with couples I take a non-judgmental approach, one based on enabling both parties to be heard and grow, to see how the relationship has changed with time, how each has a responsibility for that change and how to continue with the relationship if that is what is desired by both parties. This work can be difficult and time consuming and naturally involves some acute emotional reactions initially, however, if the couple can persist in the knowledge of the future they want then it can be a very rewarding experience for the couples future and one where self-knowledge grows and enhances their relationship.
Personality disorders are defined by difficulties in thinking patterns, emotional responses, impulse control and interpersonal difficulties. The previous listing is so broad that anyone can potentially fall into these categories. The problem with these diagnoses is that they do not include an interrogation of the individuals’ personal experience and history when they come to these conclusions. All they really consider is how an individual deviates form a norm of behavior defined externally to the individual. This is not to say that people don’t suffer and experiences difficulties in their lives, of course they do. How to approach care is what is important, not a diagnosis. Again, in my work, what is important and what can be beneficial for individuals is to increase knowledge of how their experiences and the ideals and beliefs that have formed as a result of these experiences have begun to function negatively for them and address how the individual can come to an integrated approach to their history and the reality of their lives.