Individuals, Couples and Families
Substance Use and Addiction
Although I enjoy and am trained to deal with a wide variety of individual and couple issues, I have found my way to a specialization. The focus of my work has been supporting families where one or more members are substance involved. This may include the abuse or dependence of illicit drugs, prescription medication, alcohol and/or gambling.
For a long time it has been noted that families play a central role in the treatment of many health problems; substance use and addiction is no different. A person who is substance involved is more likely to succeed at reducing their use or abstaining with the support of family and friends. This being said, family members are often ready to seek help at different times which makes the process tricky. Regardless, if you are the one who is substance involved or are someone who is concerned about the substance use of another; education and therapy are vitally important to your emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, financial and social well-being.
Family involvement in substance use treatment is still not as widely incorporated into the treatment system as it could be and for this reason I am dedicated to working with families who are seeking support, education and counselling to deal with their concerns. Family and friends often experience many stressors, live in constant fear for their loved ones safety and have to take on more responsibility during daily life (for example: child care, household and financial responsibilities etc.). It is for these reasons (and many more) that it is so vital to your own health to ensure you get the support you need.
Through psychotherapy and education it is possible to address the following issues and concerns:
- Supporting your loved one in recovery vs. enabling their substance use
- Understanding why your loved one “just can’t stop” using their substance of choice/gambling
- Understanding the difference between sobriety and recovery, as well as the multiple ways in which people recover
- Understanding how and why people make change and the cycle of addiction
- The difference between harm reduction methods and abstinence
- How to talk to your loved one about receiving support and your concerns for their well-being
- Understanding the treatment options available to your loved one
- How to support you loved one when they return from treatment
- How to rebuild trust and work through forgiveness
- How to set boundaries with your loved one
- How to communicate more effectively with your loved one
- Working through past hurts and the impact of having a loved one who is substance involved
- How to cope with high-stress situations (for example: the holidays, important anniversaries, loss of a loved one or job, life transitions, etc.) and crisis management
- The importance of self-care – Probably the most important of all!!!
If you recognize any of these issues or concerns in your own life or the life of a loved one, then please do not hesitate to contact me for a free 20 minute phone consultation to discuss whether my services feel like the right fit for you.
Resources for Addiction and Mental Health
ConnexOntario Health Service Information – Helplines and Treatment Directories
- Addiction The Next Step – Interactive Guide to talking with your loved one struggling with substance use.
- Online Tools – Self help gambling tools
- About Gambling and Getting Help
- Information and Support For Families
St Joseph’s Health Centre Toronto – Mental Health and Addiction Services (child, adolescent, adult)
Centre For Addiction and Mental Health – Addiction Services
University Health Network – Mental Health and Addiction Services (Toronto General, Toronto Western)
Women’s College Hospital – Substance Use Services/Addiction Medicine
Breakaway Addiction Services – Harm Reduction and Addiction Treatment Services
Access Point – Centralized point to apply for individual mental health, addictions support services and supportive housing.
- Resources – Financial assistance, distress/crisis, mobile crisis intervention, food banks, legal, assaulted women, addiction, short term emergency housing
Mood Disorders Association of Ontario – Peer, students and young adults, online, and workplace programs
Grief Recovery After Substance Passing – Information and Support Groups
Family Health Teams – Mississauga and Halton
The George Hull Centre for Children and Families – Clear Directions Substance Abuse Program