Trouble with Drugs or Alcohol?

Are drugs or alcohol a problem for you? If yes, then what needs to happen next? Maybe you're not sure how to get started on changing your bad habit, or perhaps you've tried different ways, but none have been successful. As a psychotherapist, I use some methods that are very practical and immediate and others that will probably be new to you, all to bring your substance use under control and your life back the way you want it.

My name is Brian Murphy, M.Ed, LCSW, and I started in this field in 1996 at a needle exchange program in the South Bronx. I did sidewalk counseling on the streets of the Bronx and East Harlem right outside of the needle exchange van. Since then I've had thousands of conversations with drug users and drinkers of every race, sexual orientation, income level, and drug of choice, in all kinds of settings. Here are some of the lessons they have taught me:

I have two main approaches around alcohol and drug use. One is Positive Change Coaching and the other is Holistic Psychotherapy, and it's possible we might use both before we are done.

Can you get a grip on your bad habit by keeping a log of your use and setting clear goals for change? If so, Positive Change Coaching will work for you. Using my 3x system, I help you craft a weekly plan designed to reach your goals and to keep you away from bad choices. We strategize together on how to get past cravings, how to deal with the challenges of social get-togethers and other triggers, and how to work with relationships that lead you towards substance use. And most important, we look for activities that really satisfy you, instead of the dubious joys of impairing your brain.

For many people though, the compulsive power of substance use lies in its ability to numb pain. The high gets to be more about coping with hurt, or filling up that feeling of emptiness, than about increasing pleasure. Holistic Psychotherapy works by inviting you into a state of focused attention, where you can connect with places deep inside yourself and heal the emotional wounds that got the downward spiral started. When the original pain gets better, then you can wind down the addictive behavior and become a good steward of your own life.