Ph.D. Psychologist and Therapist

Psychologist and Therapist, Individual and Couples Therapy,  Bellevue, WA

Licensed Clinical Phsychologist
Bellevue, WA

Design By:

When people come to therapy to address alcohol or drug problems, there are typically two very important and distinct parts to the project.  The first part involves changing the pattern of substance use, either by striving for abstinence, or by shifting toward truly healthy moderation.  The second part of the project involves repairing one's life and one's relationships once the substance use itself is under control.

Dealing with an alcohol or drug problem can be complicated and quite challenging. Therapy can play an important role, but addiction often requires getting help from other places in addition to therapy. Since this website is designed to tell you about my therapy practice, I will begin with the role therapy can play, and then will offer some information about some of the other forms of help that might be needed.

In addition, I often work with people in therapy who are already in recovery from their addictions, but are trying to repair their lives, or deal with some of the emotions that they had previously numbed somewhat by using. If you fall into that category, you may want to look at Part 3 below.

Part 1: Assessment of the Problem and Preparation for Change

Since psychologists are extensively trained in assessment, there is an important role at the beginning that involves assessing the problem, and making a game plan about what might be needed to deal with it. There are several important questions to be answered at this stage.

Part 2: Therapy for Continuity, Ongoing Treatment Planning, and for Relapse Prevention

Part 3: Therapy to Deal With the Psychological Side of Things

Addiction is typically tied to family issues and emotional issues in a variety of ways. Here are several ways that therapy can be used to address these things.

The Role of Inpatient Treatment, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Other Resources

Addiction can be incredibly powerful. Many people have tried to get addictions under control and failed, even with the help of therapy, inpatient or outpatient treatment, and 12 step groups like AA. But many other people have tried to get clean and sober and succeeded, using some combination of these strategies. If it becomes clear to you that you are alcoholic, or have an another addiction, my best advice is to get all the help you can. Here are some things to consider: