Whether you’re struggling with an addiction to over-eating, sugar, alcohol, drugs, or any other self-sabotaging, self-destructive behavior, there are a few ways to get clean and sober or stop a negative compulsive behavior.
Community: Participating in a socially restorative environment where new messages and behaviors are reinforced accelerates the change process. Twelve-step programs, peer support groups, or group psychotherapy are all great examples of what social psychologists call “communities of practice.” Women-focused groups focus on the unique social conditions facing women today and how to navigate these challenges with better coping mechanisms.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy: This is the treatment of choice for disordered eating, anxiety disorders, and depression. An individual is made conscious of the negative thoughts that trigger compulsive behaviors and the early warning signs that help deter relapse. These negative thoughts are replaced with more positive, accurate, and life-affirming beliefs. Homework, reflection, and practice reinforce the new thoughts while simultaneously growing new neuropathways in the body that retrain the nervous system.
Information and Education: The more you know, the better prepared you are to interrupt an addictive cycle. Understanding the brain-body connection and the consequences of addictive behavior can shed new light on why you are doing what you are doing by drawing the line in the sand between your biology and psychology.
Expressive Arts: Adjunct treatment methods like art therapy, dream analysis, sandplay, or movement therapy enable exploration of the deep unconscious, and encourage imagination and creativity as ways knowing yourself and the world.
Spiritual Practice: At the root of all addiction is a crisis of faith. Committing to a spiritual practice whether Yoga, Agape, Zen, Wicca, or any organized religion of your choosing allows for your unique experience as a woman and assists you in creating a tangible relationship with that invisible force behind all this visible life.
What negative compulsive behaviors are currently holding you back and how might these antidotes help you break through to freedom?