Christian Counseling: Addiction Treatment

Many who treat various addictions are CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) oriented. Their primary aim is to stop or eliminate the use of all addictive substances, such as alcohol, or material, such as pornography, and associated dysfunctional behaviors. It is also the goal of self-directed support groups, such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or SA (Sexaholics Anonymous) and the sometimes accompanied Twelve Step Program. CBT began its development in the 1950's (Albert Ellis' Rational Emotive Therapy) and AA in 1935 (Bill Wilson and others). Since then these approaches and others that have developed have helped many find and maintain recovery. At our Christian Counseling Center we always consider and almost always recommend a client enter an adjunct treatment, such as an SA group, to our insight-oriented, talk therapy in individual and/or group counseling. 

Our Center's focus is quite different than CBT or a self-help group. Instead of focusing on stopping drinking or using pornography we focus on developing a client's awareness of the conscious and unconscious dynamics that drive addictive behavior (which puts control of stopping in their hands when they are ready). Our belief and clients' recovery tell us that assisting one in developing the know how to control addictive desires eventually leads to mastery of the addiction. Our clients learn how to turn down the dial of unwanted desire, which gives him or her the confident ability to choose with success to more naturally or easily stop addictive behaviors. This is an alternative to a recovery based on a white-knuckling it approach or will power, which most always fails. Our approach brings most clients to a place where they wholeheartedly no longer want their addiction. They find their desire for it so minimalized it is easy or much easier to just say no to the temptation. Their level of confidence in avoiding the addiction in the future is most often strong and sure because they conquered the powerful emotional drivers.

By way of example, our approach helps a client develop awareness, gain insight and correct things like: 

An extrovert's propensity to excitement, impulsivity and lack of detailed thinking. 

Anxious and depressive people's need to modulate or control feelings by addictive behavior. 

Feelings that underlie addiction, such as loneliness, repressed anger or fear.

Needs that underlie addiction, like deeper connections to others or God and how to get there.  

Beyond the importance of faith in God's caring help, awareness of and remedying the points above puts necessary and needed control of an addiction into the hands of one who is seeking recovery.

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