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For many drinking or recreational drug use provide a way to have fun with friends, to relax after a long week, or to celebrate important milestones, and these activities rarely impact their lives in negative ways. However, for some these activities over time start to impact their lives in ways that become detrimental to their psychological, social, spiritual, or physical well-being. Perhaps obligations with family or at work are not being fulfilled; perhaps others are starting to notice that a person is no longer him or herself; perhaps the hangovers or coming-down times are becoming harder and harder to endure. Many of my clients sought therapy when these symptoms had become too much to effectively manage by themselves and they wanted to address them in a more structured way.
In addition to substance use, many individuals who seek my help exhibit similar symptoms of unhappiness and distress when engaging in compulsive sexual behaviors that are outside of their values. Since people have differing values regarding sex, the actual behavior is rarely the key factor, but rather the level of distress that it is causing for a particular individual, couple, or family.