Areas of Specialty
Unwanted, unhealthy, destructive habits – we all struggle with them.
Food, alcohol, recreational and prescription drugs, shopping, sex, gambling - and even relationships - can be addictive if they are repeatedly used as a way to cope with stress and escape from unwanted feelings and intense emotional states.
At first, these behaviors may seem harmless and may serve as a useful distraction. However, if these habits and behaviors become the primary way we cope with stress and difficult emotions, the behaviors themselves can become unmanageable. The habits can take over our lives, making us feel out of control and trapped in a never-ending cycle.
Many people come to therapy looking for healthier, more effective ways to cope with stress and difficult emotional states. Typically, I work with clients to help them become more aware of triggering situations that may bring on stress and uncomfortable emotions.
Sometimes a trigger can be a family relationship, or maybe it’s a work scenario - unfortunately we can’t always avoid these types of situations. In therapy, we can recognize triggering situations when they occur and learn new ways to cope with the stress in healthy ways that align with our long term goals.
Common Habits People Seek to Change
- Emotional eating
- Drug and alcohol binges
- Compulsive, compensatory exercise
- Casual/anonymous sex
- Food rituals
- Obsessions about food
- Poor body image
- Body checking/avoidance
- Compulsive spending
- Self-harming behavior