“Stop asking, “Why the addiction, start asking, “Why the pain?”


Check out this interview with Gabor Maté, MD, Canadian Doctor and Addiction Specialist.

I recently helped a father to get sober after years of addiction to opioids and alcohol. He said “it feels SO GOOD to get honest…. um, kinda sorted, well mostly honest, well okay there is some stuff I left out because I’m too ashamed to talk about it.” We all need someone on our side, especially if we need to get honest with ourselves before we get honest with others.

It’s bad ass when clients see articles like this in my waiting room, or online, then come in to therapy appointments ready to face their pain, learn, and change patterns of thinking and behaving.

You might have heard that we “can’t save our ass and save our face at the same time,” (thank you NA), but that sure the hell doesn’t stop brilliant addict brains 🧠 from trying.

We learn the most from the people we serve. Mostly from teenagers, I’ve that we can’t criticize ourselves into positive and lasting change. We can’t criticize ourselves out of criticizing ourselves. The trap of negativity creates the illusion of growth and change.

When I was a younger therapist, I would say things like, “Don’t beat yourself up…give yourself a break….”. Now that I’m a little more um seasoned, I say things like, “You can go ahead and beat yourself up, I can’t stop you, just not all day.”’

In therapy (along with concurrent programs like AA and NA), many clients reduce the negative thinking that comes with addiction by 50% and then, when the time is right, we walk through that fire 🔥 together.

It’s possible. You’re not alone.

Bay Bridge, Oakland, CA