Specializing in Grief & Addiction Recovery

My approach

Participating in addiction and bereavement counseling or life coaching service can result in a number of benefits to you, including improving interpersonal relationships, establishing healthy boundaries and finding resolution to specific concerns that led you to seek out therapeutic services. However, working towards these benefits will require action/effort on your part. During the course of counseling I will draw on various psychological approaches, according to the problem that is being treated.

My approach includes – cognitive, behavioral, family/systems, solution focused therapy, relapse prevention techniques, and psycho-education. Issues related to emotional, physical and spiritual are interrelated and maybe addressed to work towards an individuals well-being and wholeness.

I focus on bringing both education and healing to the entire system. Whether that is your own individual process, couples work, or family dynamics. My goal is to provide you a safe and supportive environment so that you may express your deepest truths and discover your own personal worth and intrinsic value.

You have been Designed with An Extraordinary Purpose.

 

“What are you waiting for...”

 
 
Grief
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Defined

Simply defined, grief is the normal and natural reaction to significant emotional loss of any kind. While we never compare losses, any list would include death and divorce as obvious painful losses. Our list also includes many others; retirement, moving, pet loss, financial, and health issues, etc. The range of emotions associated with grief is as varied as there are people and personalities. There is no list of feelings that would adequately describe one persons emotions, much less an entire society. Grief is always individual and unique. So are the feelings and thoughts each person will have about the relationship that has been altered by death, addictions, divorce, or for other reasons.

The Problem

While grief is normal and natural, most of the information passed on within our society about dealing with grief is not normal, natural, or helpful. Grief is the emotional response to loss, but most of the information we have learned about dealing with loss is intellectual. The majority of incorrect ideas about dealing with loss can be summed up in six myths which are so common that nearly everyone recognizes them. Most people have never questioned whether or not they are valid. The misinformation is best described in the following:

Six Myths

Time heals all wounds

Grieve alone

Be strong

Don't feel bad

Replace the loss

Keep busy 

Foundational Facts about Grief

Being educated about grief will help you lay a healthy foundation for yourself. Accepting the facts will enable you to develop the stamina and patience needed to endure the long, painful road ahead. Grieving is a tremendous burden and perhaps will be one of the most stressful times of your life.

FACT #1   THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY OUT OF GRIEF AND THAT IS THROUGH IT!

There are no shortcuts to a good and full life after a major loss. Grief work is so demanding it is common to look for an way to avoid more pain. Only through experiencing the loneliness and heartache can you effectively work through grief and heal the deep wounds that enable you to regain a sense or balance.​

  • To achieve peace you must face some very difficult feelings.

  • Getting in touch with unpleasant feelings requires a strong sense of purpose and direction.

  • Confronting grief is not comfortable. If you feel uncomfortable you’re growing.

FACT #2   THE VERY WORST KIND OF GRIEF WILL BE YOURS!

  • It will be very difficult to be objective about your own personal loss.

  • Learn to acknowledge that your loss is worthy of your grief.

  • If you are going to achieve reorientation, integrating, and reconciliation then you must give up words like “ought” and “should.” This is a time for you to be concerned about how you feel.

FACT #3   GRIEF WORK IS HARD WORK!

  • No one can do your grief work for you. No one can acknowledge your loss or say good-bye for you. Your work becomes “grief work.”

  • Grief work must be done when you feel like doing nothing at all.

  • Following a loss, most people experience a dramatic decrease in the ability of their immune system to fight off illness.  Be encouraged to help your immune system’s effectiveness by meeting your physical and emotional needs with a health conscious lifestyle.

FACT #4   EFFECTIVE GRIEF WORK IS NOT DONE ALONE!

  • Grieving alone raises the possibility of having it become distorted.

  • Those who share heart-to-heart deep places become a real help to each other and establish a supportive community.

  • The more you share your grief the more effectively you will adapt to your loss and integrate it into your life story.

  • Many people have strong family, community, and/or religious ties to help them through their loss experience.  There is power in sharing experiences.

The Solution

Recovery from loss is accomplished by discovering and completing all of the undelivered emotional communications that accrue in relationships. We are all advised to "let go", and "move on" after losses of all kinds. Most of us would do that if we knew how. Completion of pain caused by loss is what allows us to let go and move on. It is almost impossible to move on without first taking a series of actions that lead to completion. Before taking action it is important to identify, and dismiss, some of the ideas or myths that we have tried to use in coping with our losses, that do not work. For a new perspective to emerge and healing to begin we need willingness, honesty, and courage. Integrating loss means remembering "the ways it was," and finding ways to rebuild life and meaning once again. Grief Recovery transforms us and allows us to discover new ways to relate, understand, create, and commit ourselves to an ongoing process of self discovery. 

Addiction
 

It is not a hard sell point to convince someone that there is an extensive problem with drug and alcohol abuse in our society. We have either personally been affected by addiction, or we know someone who has struggled with addiction in his or her life. Regrettably this is a problem that is growing at an exponential rate. It is unfortunate but necessary truth - we need drug and alcohol counselors.  

 

There are a multitude of stigmas and stereotypes that society has regarding addiction. But truth be told, addiction has many forms. We tend to think that addiction is defined by substance abuse. Regardless of “what” the individual is addicted to, it can ultimately become a destructive force in their life.  Do you identify…

   

  • Workaholism

  • Excessive exercising

  • eating disorders 

  • self-harming behaviors 

  • anger/rage

  • gambling

  • shopping

  • sex 

  • pornography

Addiction is like being shackled and chained. Lori can help you break free these restraints; to experience a life designed with purpose.

Signs and Symptoms of Drug Use and Addiction

  • Cravings. People may experience intense urges or cravings for the substance use as their addiction develops.

  • Physical dependencePhysical dependence develops as a person becomes accustomed to the persistent presence and influence of the substance. The changes in physiology that accompany this process leave people feeling badly or functioning sub-optimally when the drug is no longer in the system.

  • Tolerance. Over time and with prolonged use, people can build up a tolerance to the drug, meaning they need more of the drug to achieve the desired effects.

  • Withdrawal. The addict experiences withdrawal symptoms when they stop using abruptly or wean themselves off the drug. This is the presence of a withdrawal syndrome which indicates that physiologic dependence is at play.

  • Poor judgement. An addict will do anything to obtain more, which include risky behaviors at any cost.

  • Financial trouble. Because an addict spends a large amount of time and money on their addition, they drain their bank accounts and neglect financial responsibilities. 

  • Develop unhealthy relationships. When people start using new substances, they may spend time with others who have similar habits that encourage unhealthy behaviors.

  • Isolate. Addicts hide their drug use from friends, family, and employers due to perceived stigma, increased depression, anxiety, or paranoia as a result of their addiction.

Moving Forward in Recovery

Just as the addict must apply maintenance to continue recovery, you – as a family member – must do the same. Like recovering from the patterns of addiction, changing family patterns can be hard work to accomplish at first. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are good starting points to find guidance and support for others who are struggling with their loved ones’ addictions. Recovery time depends on how much damage an addiction has done, and how much emotional support an individual will need in order to feel safe and secure to begin the process of integrating into a normal life, once again.  Finding help is easier than many people realize. There are many resources available that provide services, treatments, and guidance for an individual to begin the recovery process.

 
Codependency

Understanding Codependency

Many people have heard the word codependent, but they are unable to define it. Therefore it would be helpful to provide some insight:

  • Codependent - has been originally used to identify a person living with an alcoholic

  • Codependent person - has become identified as those dependent on another despite abuse, control, and manipulation

  • Codependency - is a dysfunctional behavior of a person seeking to adapt to the destructive behaviors of the other person  

  • Codependent enabler - is a person that contributes to an addicts, or abusers, behaviors through the absence of strong boundaries 

 

Codependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. It is also known as “relationship addiction.” Codependent behavior is learned by watching and imitating other family members who display this type of behavior. It is progressive and at its core it is internal brokenness or loss of self.

Who Does Codependency Affect?

Codependency often affects a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a friend, or a co-worker of a person afflicted with alcohol or drug dependency. Similar patterns have been seen in people in relationships with chronically or mentally ill individuals. Today, however, the term has broadened to describe any codependent person from any dysfunctional family.

 

Characteristics of Codependent People Are:

  • An exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others

  • A tendency to confuse love and pity, with tendency to “love” people they can pity and rescue

  • A tendency to do more than their share, all of the time

  • A tendency to become hurt when people don’t recognize their efforts

  • An unhealthy dependence on relationships. The codependent will do anything to hold on to a relationship to avoid the feeling of abandonment

  • An extreme need for approval and recognition

  • A sense of guilt when asserting themselves

  • A compelling need to control others

  • Lack of trust in self and/or others

  • Fear of being abandoned or alone

  • Difficulty identifying feelings

  • Rigidity/difficulty adjusting to change within the relationship

  • Problems with intimacy/boundaries

  • Chronic anger

  • Lying/dishonesty

  • Poor communication

  • Difficulty making decisions

 

Moving Beyond Codependency in Recovery

The first step in changing unhealthy behavior is to understand it. It is important for codependents and their family members to educate themselves about the course and cycle of addiction and how it extends into their relationships. A lot of change and growth is necessary for the codependent and his/her family. Any care-taking behavior that allows or enables abuse to continue in the family dynamic needs to be recognized and stopped. The codependent must identify and embrace his/her feeling and needs. This may included learning to say “no,” to be loving yet tough, and learning to be self-reliant. People find freedom, love, and serenity in their recovery. Hope lies in learning more.  The more you understand codependency the better you can cope with its effects.

 
Individual

In our collaborative approach together, I will guide you through the exploration of your life challenges. Enabling you to redefine your goals, relationships, and recovery journey. Giving you the courage and ability to step into freedom.

Some issues we explore may include:

  • Overcoming addictions, anxiety, stress

  • Healing from past wounds (abuse, trauma, losses, etc.)

  • Strengthening self-worth & self-esteem

  • Dealing with grief/loss

  • Dealing with family/relationship issues

  • Establishing healthy boundaries

  • Developing healthy coping skills

  • Spiritual development

  • Relapse prevention and family planning

  • Anger management skills

 
Family / Couples
Lori can provide support to individuals and families. She can provide guidance to family member of and addict in supporting their loved one’s recovery and sobriety.

During family counseling, family members learn how to develop the necessary skills needed to assist a loved one towards the path of recovery. It is important to realize that some individuals may not be able to discern or comprehend the reason behind their loved one's addiction. Family counseling is designed to define and bring understanding to those underlying issues, and allow the family to grow through the recovery process. Family plays a vital role in our emotional, physical, and spiritual development since each individual in the family impacts and is impacted by the other members. Studies show how family counseling can result in lower relapse rates, increased happiness in the family dynamic, and improved interaction and functioning in children of addicted parents. 

The benefits of family counseling include:

  • Strengthening the family/couples and improving communication skills between the members

  • Educating each family member about addiction and the methods that will be need in order to overcome substance abuse

  • Learning how to "not" enable certain behaviors that can lead to, or maintain, an addiction

  • Educating family members on the warning signs of relapse and how to help your family member pull through challenging situations

  • Addressing each family member’s concerns during the recovery process and improving transparency for all members

 

In family counseling, willingness and availability are a key component towards reconciliation and healing. If family members are willing to provide love and support for an individual walking through the recovery process, the benefits of counseling will become clear, and each participant involved can begin to heal and grow together. 

 
Life Coaching

Life coaching involves a one to one, continuous, deliberately formed relationship in which the client is guided by the coach to make better decisions, consider better alternatives to current choices, identify obstacles, challenges, reach beyond their feelings of inadequacy, and focus better to accomplishing their personal goals.  

In order to develop efficient and effective strategies we will collaborate together to explore your preferences, motivations, and personal values. This process will assist in allowing new perspectives to emerge. It's difficult to find lost valuables in darkness. Life coaching helps bring illumination to an individual's negative patterns and thought processes.

 

Life coaching isn't just inclusive to addiction counseling. It encompasses recovery coaching, personal and spiritual development, as well as health and wellness coaching. When utilized in conjunction with drug and alcohol counseling, life coaching can help finalize the healing process. Counseling entails recognition to recovery, while life coaching entails recovery to restoration