For many people, drinking or recreational drug use can provide a way to have fun with friends, relax after a long week, or celebrate important milestones, and these activities rarely impact life in negative ways. However, for many of us, these activities over time start to impact us in ways that become detrimental to our psychological, social, spiritual, and 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 acting like him or herself; perhaps the hangovers or coming-down times are becoming harder and harder to endure. Many of my clients have sought therapy when these symptoms have become too much to effectively manage by themselves and they have want 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 personal 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.
Being a sex-positive therapist, my approach is never to judge particular sex acts, or expect clients to conform to some specific sexual standard, but rather to explore what behaviors are putting the client’s emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual safety at risk, and what behaviors are negatively affecting their ability to have healthy connections with others, have good relationships with family and friends, and be happy and free of shame. I have extensive training in this area of addiction and am eager to bring compassionate attention to addiction, especially when it is so frequently misunderstood, frowned upon, or not talked about. I also provide training for clinicians and clients on treatment of gay men suffering from meth addiction and sexual compulsivity.