Love and Relationship Addiction Treatment and Counselling

Love and Relationship Addiction (otherwise known as Addiction involving love and relationships) can involve symptoms of obsession, rumination, compulsion, difficulty being alone, compromised boundaries, low self-worth, dependence on others, avoidance, isolation and the same seeking of escape, reward and relief that people struggling with Addiction involving substances experience.  Behaviours persist in spite of detrimental consequences in relationships and are common symptoms of Love and Relationship Addiction.  Often once people have been in recovery for Addiction involving substances, food, gambling or other behaviours, they start to look at their Love and Relationship Addiction symptoms, which are part of the same disease.

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, memory, motivation and related circuitry.  Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations.  This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief, including using Love and Relationship Addiction for this purpose. Addiction is about differences in brain functioning where the substance use or behaviours are recognized as consequences of the disease.  Addiction is a single condition-Addiction is Addiction rather than describing “addictions”. This is the reason that we use the language of “Addiction involving…”

Addiction is characterized by:

A.  Inability to consistently Abstain
B.  Impairment in Behavioural control
C.  Craving
D.  Diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviour and interpersonal relationships and
E.  Dysfunctional Emotional response

Love and Relationship Addiction Treatment

Total abstinence from love and relationships is not possible as human beings are fundamentally relational. Through counselling, awareness is cultivated about the specific areas in which the individual is vulnerable to love and relationship Addiction. This may be in the realm of fantasy, acting out with multiple or subsequent partners, specific topics of conversation, specific people or certain environments, to name a few common vulnerable areas. The goal is to then establish and maintain internal boundaries in these areas to promote recovery and health. Slips into love and relationship addiction behaviours are likely and are used as learning opportunities to re-establish boundaries and recovery priorities. This work may be done in residential, partial hospitalization, intensive or outpatient settings and participation in love and relationship Addiction specific 12-step groups is often very useful.

At Health Upwardly Mobile, we provide outpatient continuing care for Addiction.  All new clients initially undergo our full comprehensive assessment. It is recommended that all 3 appointments be done on separate days to optimize the opportunity for you to talk openly and honestly with each professional and learn incrementally through each interaction. A comprehensive treatment plan will be developed throughout this process and shared with you as the assessment progresses. By the third and final assessment session, recommendations will be discussed, which will provide guidance regarding ongoing services at HUM, which includes individual counselling and group therapy.  Referrals to external resources can be done as needed.