Private One-On-One Addiction Counseling
ADDICTION – is a way of life which friends, family and co-workers don’t understand. They don’t understand the calm serenity of alcohol or heroine, the numbing feeling of stuffing food, the healing effect of a lover during an affair, the adrenaline rush from gambling, the sense of accomplishment from on-line gaming, the thrill of shopping, the excitement of dangerous sex, the sense of power and being above it all from meth and cocaine, or the safety created by mountains of "stuff" when hoarding. They don’t understand that this way of life starts when you wake in the morning, not when you open the bottle, or log onto the internet, or enter the store, or climb into bed, or take that first hit.
And now that you have found your drug of choice, your brain is working against you - your brain structure and chemistry have actually changed. Per Psychology Today, February 2013, "when we develop a habit, the brain creates a path in itself in support of that habit. As we engage in the habit over and over again, the pathway becomes well-worn or stronger. This is similar to lifting a weight. If you lift a weight over and over, the muscle will get stronger. In many ways, addiction can be explained as a neuroplastic event. The brain gets trained to do a particular behavior – use drugs or alcohol or gambling – eventually to the exclusion of all else."
Your Brain Can Change
On top of that, science used to think that the brain, once damaged, could not repair itself. Breakthroughs in neuroscience have shown that this is not true. The brain attempts to heal itself when damaged by making new connections or new neural pathways as "work-arounds" for the damage. This is called neuroplasticity."
Ok, so how does neuroplasticity effect addiction and addiction treatment?
In our one-on-one counseling sessions, I can help you retrain your brain, in effect, develop a new pathway that supports recovery. With alternative treatments like guided imagery and art therapy, and the traditional treatment of talk therapy, I help you strengthen your new, non-addictive thought pathways within the brain. The brain then learns to enjoy being addiction free, preferring things that give you pleasure in a sober life – reading, working out, hobbies, family, work, interpersonal relationships...
Treatment With Dr. Mickey
I know I can't change your past - what happened to you and/or the resulting choices you made. BUT, with guided imagery, I can change the way you think and feel about it, and that changes everything. And, I understand that it can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, even frightening, to discuss very personal and private information with a stranger. I do not judge or criticize. Not you, your actions, your thoughts or your decisions. I specialize in healing the underlying pain, which created the addiction in the first place. I would be honored to share my decades of experience with you - my truest desire is to help you heal, and get you to your highest level of functionality as soon as possible.
Psychology Suite 101 reports that “It’s an alternative therapy that’s noninvasive and drug-free.” The publication explains that guided imagery “sends direct, positive messages to the emotional control center of the brain. Those messages then travel to your immune system and autonomic nervous system, which affects your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rates…You let positive hormones flood your body, and you concentrate on keeping that positive energy strong. Your body can’t differentiate between reality and thoughts…you imagine positive events – and your body responds in healthy ways.” Imagery is at the center of relaxation techniques designed to release brain chemicals that act as your body’s natural brain tranquilizers.
The Cleveland Clinic states, “Clinical studies have shown that Guided Imagery can bring about the state of mind and body most conducive to healing.” This article goes on to state the benefits of guided imagery:
1. Reduce stress and anxiety
2. Decrease pain and narcotic consumption
3. Enhance sleep
4. Increase client’s satisfaction and quality of life