Have you gotten sober, but life is still a struggle?

Have you recently completed treatment and really committed to staying sober this time? Are you participating in a 12 step or other recovery program, but you aren’t sure who you are without addiction or how to do this on your own? Do you feel lost, because everything seems different now and the things that used to work no longer help or simply are no longer an option?

Or maybe you’ve been sober for a while. You’ve given it your all but feel like something is still missing. Or you’re finding that the old triggers that led to your drug or alcohol use to begin with are still bothering you. You might have noticed that, while you haven’t picked up, you are engaging in other compulsive behaviors that you know aren’t helping you – gambling, eating, engaging in sexual relationships you know aren’t healthy for you, shopping, gaming.

If any of this feels familiar, you are in the right place. Addiction counseling can help you build the life you want!

Feeling lost or frustrated or scared, whether you are early in your sober journey or have a few years, is common.

Most people in sobriety discover that there is much more to sobriety than not picking up a drink or a drug. Their relationships change, with different boundaries and needs. Many find that they can no longer include certain people in their lives because those individuals are not able to support their sober lifestyle and might even want to get them to return to active addiction. They go through a confusing stage of learning how to build open and honest relationships, rather than the guarded or dishonest and manipulative relationships that are common in addiction.

Sad woman standing in front of wood plank

Especially with the widespread availability of stronger and more addictive drugs now, so many have watched friends relapse and hold onto that heartbreak (and fear that it could be them). They also recognize how much it seems they lost while using and have difficulty seeing a way to rebuild a life that is meaningful and fulfilling.

Or the challenges that were numbed by substances begin to resurface once the substances are gone. Almost all of my addiction counseling clients come to me having found themselves struggling with the symptoms of anxiety, depression, grief, childhood trauma or PTSD that were numbed by addiction. Even their giftedness often bubbles to the surface again. Many are highly sensitive, artists, math or science whizzes or gifted in some other way and, in an attempt to fit in, used substances to shut down their gifts.

No matter how far it may seem you fell in your alcoholism or drug addiction or how long you have been working on your sobriety, you are not alone. Working with an addiction counselor, you can learn the skills you need to build the sober life you long for.

Addiction counseling can help you heal and begin to build a sober lifestyle that works for you!

People and dog at a picnic

Maybe you stopped using all at once or you enrolled in a MAT program. You may be fully involved in a 12 step recovery program – AA, NA, CA. You may have a sponsor, working the steps, attending meetings, doing service in the rooms, sponsoring others. And that feels like home. Or you may have found that the 12 step programs don’t feel like a fit for you. Perhaps the mention of God doesn’t work for you or some other aspect of the program does not resonate for you.

Wherever you are right now, addiction counseling can help you build the life you want. With an experienced, compassionate and sensitive therapist, you can put the pieces of your life together in ways that work for you. Together, we will begin with the challenges that seem most pressing, then begin rebuilding the picture of your life into a satisfying, meaningful experience.

My approach is gentle, allowing you to set the pace and to begin where you are, while also bringing out perspectives that you may not have seen before. I will take time to get to know you, where you have been, and where you would like to be, offering you room to know me as a therapist as well. During our sessions, you can share openly and freely. I provide a safe, judgment free space, where your background and experiences are welcome, respected and honored.

My toolkit includes psychoeducation about a variety of challenges. I also utilize many mindfulness skills, helping you to be present to your experiences in the moment. Additionally, I am trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). With DBT, you can practice skills that help you cope with and reduce symptoms of distress, build effective relationships, and regulate emotions.

people in shadow on beach celebratingI have been working with people who have struggled with drug addiction and alcoholism since 2007, building a large toolkit to support my clients in their journey. Early in my career, I worked in two treatment centers. In the first one, most of my clients were mandated to treatment by the State, having faced difficulties with either child protective services or the legal system as a result of their addiction. The second provided long term treatment for women, where the clients received residential services an average of 4-6 months before moving to outpatient treatment.

In both experiences, I gained a deep respect for the journey my clients walked, courageously making dramatic changes in their lives and giving themselves the space they needed to heal. I continue to honor my clients for bravely moving forward in their recovery, often leaving virtually nothing in their lives unchanged, sometimes stumbling and getting back up to continue moving forward.

Like other clients I have worked with, you too can rebuild family relationships, develop new friendships and partnerships, create a career you are passionate about, and mostly, heal your relationship with yourself, gaining confidence and treating yourself with compassion and patience.

You believe addiction counseling can help you, but you may still have questions.

I’ve tried counseling before, but I still relapsed. Will this time be any different?

I know the journey of getting and staying sober can be a bumpy ride. While I don’t know if this time will be the time that you stay sober, I do believe that you never go all the way back to the beginning. Even if you’ve tried several times before and relapsed, one thing I know is that you have gotten up each time and tried again. And you learned things each time. Your courage continues to carry you forward.

Together, we can work on the challenges that get in your way, building on the foundation you’ve already constructed. I have had many clients over the years who have felt the same way. A few have relapsed while working with me, but were even more committed to their sobriety when they returned to therapy. By truly connecting with a therapist and an extended support system, they have accumulated many years of sobriety and begun to live wonderful, fulfilling lives.

I’m already going to meetings and working with a sponsor. How will seeing a therapist help any more than that?

Twelve step and other support groups, along with working with a peer mentor, like a sponsor, is an Happy woman crossing streetimportant step, for sure. Building connections with people who are walking a similar path and have experienced some of the same challenges is essential to staying sober. A therapist can help you with difficulties that perhaps your support system cannot.

Perhaps you are struggling with anxiety or depression or old traumas are coming to the surface. Or maybe coping skills for situations that you find triggering seem difficult to master. A skilled therapist is able to guide you through these challenges and ultimately can help you strengthen your relationships with your peer supports.

How do I know if you are the therapist who is best for me?

This is always a great question to ask! Working with a therapist who is a good fit for you is so important. To do the deep healing work of addiction counseling, you need to trust the person you are sharing such personal information with, feel safe with them and believe that they get you. You can find out some things just by reading a therapist’s website, but you likely still want to know more before choosing to make an appointment. That’s why I encourage you to reach out to me to ask me questions and explore whether I feel like the right fit for you.

You can find lasting sobriety.

If you are ready, I invite you to make an appointment for a full session or schedule a 15 minute phone consultation at (561) 533-0948. And if you don’t feel a connection with me during our first session, that’s okay. I can offer suggestions for another colleague who may be a better fit for you. My priority is that you get what you need from your therapy experience.

Contact Sara