We all know that addiction is rampant—it’s a horrific problem for far too many people, all over the world. And even though ‘addiction’ can take many forms, from mind-altering substances to mood-altering behaviours, one thing is for sure: Most everyone on the planet today is either affected by addiction—their own or somebody else’s—or they know someone who is.These days, I work primarily with the loved ones of addicts because that is where the changes need to happen first—or at the very least, in … [Read more...] about Addiction and Codependency: The Top 10 Reasons to Stop Enabling the Addict You Love, Part 1
Setting boundaries with addicted loved ones
We all know that the Holiday Season is upon us. Depending on where we live, many of us began being pummelled with Christmas commercials on TV even before Halloween had come and gone. As we move into December, we are seeing the familiar media ads depicting gloriously happy families, all enjoying being together—opening gifts by the lavishly decorated tree and having sumptuous meals at their festive dinner table—smiles all around, nice and cozy. It all looks quite wonderful, doesn’t it?But the … [Read more...] about Surviving the Holidays When Loving an Addict
This article was originally posted on October 2, 2013. Is it possible to have a healthy relationship with someone who is in active addiction? What needs to happen for that to occur?If you are in that situation, you have probably wondered about this many times.THE QUESTION OF THE DAYSeveral weeks ago I was interviewed on Talk Recovery radio, a new program on Vancouver’s Co-Op Radio station, dealing with addiction and recovery issues. I was honored to be chosen as their very first guest, and I had … [Read more...] about Sometimes Love Looks Like “No”: When to Set and Maintain Healthy Boundaries
Whenever I hear clients repeating themselves in our therapy sessions, I take notice.Their repetition alerts me that something is really important to them. Sometimes they’ll tell me the same story more than once, other times they will ask the same questions a few times. In other cases, they will repeat words—especially when they are striving to let me know how they feel.So when I began receiving emails this past week from both colleagues and clients containing the same link to the same TED talk … [Read more...] about Addiction and Recovery: What Do Addicts REALLY Need?
In my last post, I wrote about Jessica’s manipulation of her parents and how they consistently gave in to her demands, allowing her disruptive and destructive behaviour to continue.By accepting that behaviour and not challenging their daughter, Jessica’s parents enabled her for many years. They posed no consequences for her and set the bar very low in terms of their expectations—and Jessica continued to live up to exactly the standard that they set. … [Read more...] about Saying NO to Manipulation: What Happens When We Enable an Addict?