Malinda Davenport-Crisp, PhD, LPC/MHSP 

Licensed Professional Counselor - Mental Health Service Provider  



The Science of Addiction

Posted by MalindaDavenport on April 25, 2012 at 5:10 PM

The science of addiction is fascinating. I recently read an article on the website, "How Stuff Works" called How Addiction Works that gave a quick, yet accurate assessment. I have worked with so many individuals, highly motivated, to quit all kinds of addictive mood altering substances and processes. The recidivism (rate of return) is astronomical and confounding. In my research and experience, it takes more than willpower, motivation, self efficacy, and support for long term recovery.  

Addiction is an area I specialize in helping individuals uncover and bring healing into points of entry where addiction gained its stronghold which can be viewed as a traumatizing event. These can be "little t" traumas such as hearing a statement made by a loved-one in the heat of the moment that affected your self -esteem, an argument or fight you witnessed, or a scary situation or turn of events.   Entry points can also stem from experiencing a car accident where someone was killed or maimed, being in a war and seeing action, being assaulted, etc. You get the point, I hope. 

Trauma is witnessed differently by different people. People hold memories in their body and feel sensations differently. All people who have these experiences deserve relief. Relief through healing is preferable to relief through acting out in addiction. Yet addiction feels so good and it tends to bring immediate results. I totally understand that if a human's options are only two in number so that you have to either feel crappy or feel good than I see where feeling good would win... all the time! But feeling good can come through treatment of trauma. There is hope!

I see healing occur through the use of two types of treatment modals. One I use is Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The other is called EMDR also known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. If you are interested I suggest you do some research and/or call me. EMDR grants the person alleviation of symptoms rather quickly (to varying degrees) while the Trauma-focused CBT brings about greater insight and awareness as well as symptom relief over a bit longer duration in therapy than EMDR typically.

The science of addiction is facinating. However, I hope we all will be motivated to seek the help and support for any issue in their lives before they get to the point of disruption that typically occurs when people come into my counseling office struggling with the ill effects of addiction. Quality of life counseling and prevention are so rare... that's another blog!  

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