Addressing Intimacy and Relationship Issues in Treatment
When we work with those who are struggling with a chemical dependency, our counselors will be continuously assessing what underlying issues have contributed to the substance abuse. For some individuals, that includes issues with intimacy and relationships, including love addiction.
What is Love Addiction?
Having a relationship with a significant other and falling in love is something that virtually everyone aspires to. Experiencing a relationship with another person is commonly considered to provide the “highest highs” and “lowest lows” that a person can experience.
For someone with addictive tendencies, the intoxicating feeling of falling in love and experiencing intimacy with another person can be addictive. This results in compulsive behaviors that have negative consequences. Some of these behaviors may not surprise you like promiscuity, “falling in love” too easily, or obsessing about a love interest. But other behaviors and symptoms of love addiction may surprise you, like withdrawal from family and depressive symptoms.
The resulting behaviors and symptoms of a love addiction intertwine with and exacerbate the substance abuse.
Recovery From Love Addiction
Our years of treating women in our gender-specific programs has given our clinical staff unique insights into how to “meet the client where they are” and use therapeutic processes to reveal how relationship and intimacy issues may complicate the recovery process.
Struggling with love addiction can be very debilitating and should not be minimized compared to a substance addiction. The process of abstinence and relapse from both behaviors could depend on successfully treating both addictions.
In fact, many of the same healing processes are incorporated into healing love addiction as a substance addiction:
- individual and group counseling
- 12-step programs and working with a sponsor
- identifying triggers and preventing relapse
Trauma and Other Co-occurring Disorders
Many women’s journey to recovery includes addressing trauma that they have experienced. This trauma can complicate how they interact with others in relationships. In addition to trauma, the counselors at Balboa Horizons will assess the client to identify if symptoms of other disorders like anxiety or depression are present.
The Joy of Recovery
Do not despair if you are feeling overwhelmed that you or a loved one is struggling with intimacy issues or love addiction. The fact is that millions of Americans struggle with these issues and many of them get help and recover.
Addressing intimacy and relationship issues with the guidance of counseling and the support of peers in the recovery community will lead to the creation of healthy boundaries and new responses to the stressors created by relationship.
There is so much momentum created when these new healthy behaviors are combined with abstinence from drugs or alcohol. The combination of positive behaviors helps solidify a new lifestyle which produces so much self-esteem which helps prevent relapse on either front.
The key is to seek professional help and guidance like what is offered at Balboa Horizons (and then, of course, to maintain participation in the support community for during and after treatment).
More on Love Addiction Treatment
As with our treatment of substance addiction, the counselors at Balboa Horizons will create a support system for each client that is created specifically for the issues that they are struggling with in order to give them the best chance at long-term recovery.
The goal is to create awareness and understanding of what might have caused the unhealthy relationship tendencies (i.e. looking back at the family system and past relationships) so that a path forward toward healing can be created and understood.
Understanding the history of the love addiction will illuminate triggers and this is a critical part of the recovery process. Identifying triggers will allow the client will to plan for the triggers and commit to healthier responses (i.e. reaching out for help from a sponsor, peer, or clinician). By remaining in treatment during the early recovery process, the client is held accountable to making healthier choices by her counselor. After the treatment ends, the goal is for the client to be involved in the recovery community to provide support for long term abstinence from unhealthy behaviors.
Our recommendations may include participation in niche 12-step support groups (example: codependency related groups) and connecting the client with specialized therapists who have a specialization in helping with an issue related to the love addiction.
Gender Specific Treatment and Working With Others
Treatment programs at our Balboa Horizons are offered in gender-specific and gender-separated groups. This creates a tight-knit community of trusted peers, which reduces the shame of past behaviors. This environment, which encourages open and honest sharing, fosters change as accountability to others is created.
Frequent and confidential ‘one on one’ counseling will provide the opportunity for our clinical staff to discuss the sensitive issues and monitor the progress of the woman’s recovery from love addiction.
Getting Help from Balboa Horizons
Our history of treating women (and men) in gender-specific programs has given us great insight into how to give our clients the best possible chance at recovery. Our location in Newport Beach allows access to an incredible support system of 12-step programs that address specific behaviors (like relationship issues) and clinical professionals who can provide therapeutic guidance for issues like codependency and love addiction.
Call our admissions counselors today for more information about how to start down a path to recovery from substance and love addiction.