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:
- No two people drink or use drugs for exactly the same reason, and no two people get better the exact same way
- Drug users are often seen as problem people; but the truth is that most drug users are good people – with bad problems
- People who successfully quit a bad habit are not always the smartest or the ones who make the fewest mistakes – they are the most persistent, the most open to new ideas, and the ones who keep hoping
- Encouragement works much better than judgment.
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
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.