Allenmore Psychological Associates remains OPEN. During this period of concern and anxiety having access to quality behavioral health care is important and our staff is dedicated to ensuring your behavioral health care needs are met. In the unlikely event that the WA Department of Health directs us to close we will notify patients via telephone on the day of their appointment (similar to our Snow Day policy). If you are an existing patient who is demonstrating symptoms associated with the coronavirus or impacted by related closures (e.g. cannot find day care due to a school closure) and need to cancel we ask that you inform our staff as soon as possible, APA will not charge you for a late cancellation.

Addiction and Recovery

When we hear the word addiction, most of us immediately think of drugs and alcohol. While these types of addiction are very real and concerning in our society, they are not the only forms of addiction. There are a variety of addictive behaviors including, but not limited to, smoking, alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription drugs, gambling, sex, eating and dysfunctional relationships. In recent years, drug addiction has changed significantly, especially with the rise in prescription drug abuse, in particular with the abuse of a wide range of substances including painkillers, stimulant drugs and tranquilizers. Treating prescription drug abuse poses some unique challenges in that sufferers may obtain drugs from doctors and not view their misuse as an addiction because the drugs are not illegal. In general, addiction is considered to be a repetitive habit that causes significant health, personal and social issues (i.e. impaired relationships, trouble at work and legal difficulties). These habits are usually associated with immediate gratification (short-term goals) but have detrimental effects on long-term outcomes. However, given that these habits provide short-term benefits, it often makes it difficult for individuals to change the addictive behavior on their own. Without treatment from a qualified counseling professional paired with stable and consistent support in one’s environment (i.e. family, friends, support group), the rate of relapse is extremely high.The therapists at Allenmore Psychological Associates (APA) understand how difficult it can be to fight back against addiction, and believe that regular counseling can be an important component of your consistent support system. They also understand the stress and sadness that a loved one’s drug use can cause, and offer counseling for affected family members. APA’s therapists have significant experience providing effective addiction counseling to Tacoma area residents.

What are the Symptoms of Addiction?

  • Feeling like you have to engage in the behavior regularly (several times per week or per day)
  • Being unable to discontinue this behavior despite your best efforts to do so
  • Feeling like you need to engage in the behavior to cope with the problems you face
  • Devoting excessive time or money to this behavior even though you can’t afford to
  • Feeling the need to hide these behaviors from others
  • Engaging in risky behavior as an indirect or direct result of the addiction
    (e.g. driving under the influence of alcohol; having sex with strangers; stealing to finance the addiction)

What Can Be Done to Help People with Addictive Behaviors?

At Allenmore Psychological Associates we understand that all individuals are unique, and that no two people experience addiction in the same manner. As a result, we believe that the most effective treatment is always tailored to the individual client. To accomplish this, we generally begin our work by getting to know the patient, obtaining a thorough personal and family history. After having taken the time to truly listen to the individual and get a sense of their significant life experiences we begin to narrow our focus to the specific addictive behaviors that led them to seek treatment.

In addition to focusing on getting to know the client in a thorough manner and tailoring treatment to their specific needs, the professionals at Allenmore Psychological Associates also recognize that clients may require additional treatment options outside of psychotherapy to assist in their recovery. For example, some clients may benefit from combining a group therapy or support group-type treatment modality with individual psychotherapy. Others may require inpatient treatment or detoxification services in order to help them through their recovery. It is our job as professionals to help clients determine what would fit best for their individual needs and to provide the necessary referrals to ensure that each client has the best chance to recover from their addictive behavior or behaviors. As a therapy practice that has been providing the drug, alcohol, sex and gambling addiction counseling Tacoma-Seattle area clients have relied on for 30 years, we are familiar with the many diverse treatment facilities and support groups operating in Tacoma and the greater South Puget Sound region.

Therapeutic Approaches for Addiction

There are a number of research-based psychotherapeutic approaches that we utilize at Allenmore Psychological Associates to treat addictive behaviors. These include:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT is based upon the understanding that when individuals are hurt and experience emotional pain (primary pain), it is their natural response to try and escape this pain. It is this act of escape or avoidance that can cause emotional suffering (secondary pain). Addictive behaviors can often be seen as an avoidance strategy or an attempt to self-medicate emotional pain. ACT helps clients to develop mindfulness strategies and awareness associated with their inner experiences through counseling. This awareness allows the client to “take a step back” from their feelings which can reduce avoidance. Additionally, ACT helps clients to determine what they value most and empowers them to live a life that is directed towards these values rather than a life directed towards avoidance.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This treatment approach views thoughts, behaviors, and emotions as all inter-related. In counseling, the client is helped to foster insight regarding their thought patterns and behaviors that cause, contribute, and maintain their addictive behaviors. With this insight, the client can then be empowered to change their thoughts and behaviors in ways that will build the steps necessary for a full recovery from their addictive behaviors.

Contact Us for Help with Addiction

At APA we have over three decades of experience counseling individuals in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area, and treating a wide range of conditions associated with addiction. We are ideally positioned to assist individuals in the greater Puget Sound region in obtaining relief from these troubling disorders. There is no need to continue suffering from addictive behaviors when effective treatment is available. For more information about treatments for addictive behaviors available at Allenmore Psychological Associates in Tacoma, or to schedule an initial appointment, please call (253) 752-7320.

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