How I Work
Alternatives to 12-Step Programs
In my experience, I have found that many people believe that if they can simply stop their addictive behaviours, all will be well.
However, in reality, addiction is only a symptom of underlying causes. Addictive behaviours actually cover up unresolved feelings, such as sadness, anger, resentment, and feelings of low self-worth. Difficulties stemming from areas such as your family upbringing, problems in relationships, or unhappiness in your job might also be the cause for your addictions.
If you don’t know why you have engaged in addictive behaviours in the first place, you will likely continue these problematic patterns. As we work together, uncovering the deeper reasons for your unhealthy choices, you will be able to eliminate your need to use them. We will also become aware of the solutions that will work best for who you uniquely are.
During our counselling for your addictions, it will be important to explore all facets of you and your life. We will discuss how your life is being affected in a holistic way.
For example, we will look at your overall health from an emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual perspective. This will help us see how they all overlap to create the struggles you are currently experiencing, and how we can change your problematic patterns into more positive choices.
Andrea Moves from Rigid Perfectionism to Happiness in Relationships
“When I first went to see Candace, I thought I just needed to learn how to get along with my mother. However, through our work together I soon realized that my rigid perfectionism and judgemental outlook on the world were really messing up all areas of my life.
I was hobbled by grief over childhood pain and past losses to the point where I couldn’t engage in the present life. My relationship was teetering on the brink, and I felt aimless in my working life. Although I was surrounded by friends and family, I felt very isolated and alone.
Candace took a holistic, thorough approach and our work together touched on many issues. We worked on communication skills and assertiveness, and I learned how to get my own needs met with less conflict and chaos in my relationships. I am now less likely to try to control and to obsess over what I assume others are thinking or feeling. This has improved my connections with other people immensely.
Candace showed me how to adopt a practical and more neutral perspective on the world, which is a welcome change from seeing evil and pain lurking under every rock, tree, or newspaper headline the way I used to.
Growing up atheist, I had a difficult time exploring and expressing the spiritual aspects of life. Candace helped me develop a kind of non-religious spirituality, which has made me a more balanced person. Because of this, I am better able to notice and appreciate the blessings I have today.
My time with Candace brought about profound and enduring positive change in my life. My personal and family relationships have improved immensely and my job is back on track. Most importantly though, I have greater self-awareness and higher self-esteem, as well as a deeper sense of my spiritual well-being. Candace is a talented healer and guide, and I am deeply grateful for her many contributions to my life.”
What You Can Expect from Our Sessions Together
In our initial hour-long session together, you will have the opportunity to tell me about the problems you want to work on. I will ask questions and provide feedback that will help you understand how these issues may have originated. As we begin to “connect the dots” and see what the overall picture is, you will develop a clearer understanding of why you have been engaging in your addictive behaviours.
In our next sessions, we will continue our conversations about you and your life. We will explore your use of addictions more deeply, examining how they are hurting you as well as how they are preventing you from getting what you want in life.
Alternatives to 12-Step Programs
While 12-Step groups work well for many people, they do not resonate with everyone.
If you have tried 12-Step programs and have not found them to be helpful to you, don’t despair…
There are several alternative programs you can try if you like
attending self-help support groups. We can discuss this further in your counselling sessions.
One alternative I work with is The 16 Steps for Discovery and Empowerment, developed by Dr. Charlotte Kasl. Some people find this group of Steps to be a more spiritual and inclusive model than the 12 Steps, making it a better fit for them.
For a comparison chart of the 12 Steps vs. the 16 Steps, click here.
For more information about how we might use the 16-Step model in your counselling sessions, click here for my article entitled “The 16 Steps: An Alternative to 12-Step Programs.”
EMDR for Addiction Treatment
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic approach developed by Francine Shapiro. It is highly effective technique used primarily to resolve distressing life experiences and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Addictive behaviours often develop as a result of difficult experiences in our lives. If you are engaging in addictions in order to change the way you feel about what has happened in your past, it is possible that you are struggling with PTSD, and EMDR may be able to help you resolve some of your past issues.
I use EMDR along with a variety of other approaches in my work with you.
Through Addictions Counselling with me, you will discover that your understanding of yourself increases as you begin to learn new tools for managing your life. You will find that you no longer feel compelled to engage in your addictive behaviours as you become more positive, assertive, and empowered.
Want a free 30-minute call with someone from our team?
My office is located in Vancouver, BC, Canada. My team and I provide therapy and counselling services worldwide.