Therapy for Substance Use Disorders

  • Are you struggling with drinking too much or smoking weed excessively?
  • Do you find yourself using substances to cope with difficult emotions?
  • Is your habit causing you to feel anxious, depressed, and disconnected?

Maybe you’re not positive that you want to quit, but you know that you want to reduce the amount of substances you use. Perhaps you feel like you need to drink or use drugs in order to socialize, function at work, or parent effectively. You might not be using 24/7, but you still feel dependent on substances—you feel like you can’t regulate your emotions without them. As a result, you may be thinking it’s time to moderate your habit and be more self-reliant. For the first time, you may be considering counseling for substance abuse.

Although you probably drink or smoke weed to deal with your emotional issues, perhaps your habit has started to negatively impact your mental health. Maybe you find yourself pulling away from your loved ones and becoming more disconnected and isolated. Part of you wants to reach out, but another part of you feels too ashamed. You might be worried about what other people will think of you if you admit you have a drinking or drug problem.

At the Therapy for Women Center in Philadelphia, we provide a safe, shame-free space where you can share your struggles with substance abuse without any fear of judgment. Our therapists are trained and equipped to help you manage your triggers and cravings, create healthier outlets for stress relief, and live a life that’s free from dependency.

In many ways, substance use is intertwined with everyday life in our society. This is especially the case with drinking, since alcohol is so widely accepted as a social lubricant, although it’s quickly becoming the case with marijuana, too. So much of everyday socializing is synonymous with drinking and smoking. For many, the idea of hanging out with friends isn’t complete with weed or booze.

Because of how ubiquitous drinking and drug use are, it’s very hard to quit. Doing so can be very isolating. Since many people are simply expected to engage in drinking etc. with their friends, they often get asked “why?” or receive strange looks if they don’t. This creates a culture of pressure that’s hard to escape. As a result, many people are beginning to turn to therapy, since it provides a safe space to work through their habit away from the pressures of the outside world.

Many people feel conflicted about addressing their drug and alcohol use. They might think, “Well, I’m not addicted, so do I really need to stop?” The truth is that you don’t need to be using 24/7 to seek support. You might not crave drugs or alcohol every hour of every day, but perhaps you’ve become dependent on them in certain circumstances—you use substances to calm your nerves in social situations or cope with the stress of parenting. As a result, maybe you’re looking to reduce your consumption.

At our practice, we’ve seen more and more women question their drinking and using habits. Many of them have realized that you don’t need to call yourself an “alcoholic” or “addict” in order to cut back on your substance use. They’ve simply recognized that substances no longer serve them and they’ve decided to become less reliant on them.

Drinking or using is often a symptom of a larger issue going on underneath the surface. Many people who experience anxiety, depression, trauma, and other mental health issues use substances as a way to numb their emotions and self-medicate. At Therapy for Women, our goal is to help you understand why you’re drinking or using so that you can change your behavior permanently. Once you recognize the core issues at the root of your struggles, it becomes much easier to regulate your triggers and cravings and challenge the behaviors that fuel your habit.

Unlike many therapists who aren’t trained to treat substance abuse, we use a harm-reduction approach instead of an abstinence-only approach. The focus is on moderating your substance use and diminishing the control that it has over your life. You are welcome to quit using substances entirely, but we will never pressure you to do so. Our mission is to accommodate whatever your goals are for therapy and create a shame-free environment for talking about your usage.

 Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)—Drug and alcohol abuse have a way of brushing up against your values. For example, maybe you deeply value your relationships with your loved ones, but your substance use has made you disconnected from them. ACT can help you identify your values and live in alignment with them, allowing you to build your confidence and self-esteem.

 Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)—The goal of DBT is to increase your distress- tolerance so that you can manage the difficult emotions that cause you to engage in substance use. You’ll have a larger set of tools that you can use to stay regulated when you feel tempted to drink or smoke weed.

 Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy—This approach is built on the idea that each person has many different parts that make up who they are (e.g., one part of you may struggle with self-sabotage; another part may want to numb your pain rather than work through it). IFS can help you make peace with all of your parts, allowing you to increase your self-compassion. It can also help you establish healthier boundaries with people who encourage you to use substances.

By living in line with your values, adding to your repertoire of coping skills, and communicating and setting boundaries in your relationships, it is possible to free yourself from a life controlled by substances. Through our harm-reduction approach, we are confident that we can help you moderate successfully or recover from substance abuse entirely.

No, you won’t. We believe in helping you improve your mental health and teaching you new
coping skills until you are ready to start cutting back. We also believe in helping you reduce or
moderate your intake if you’re not interested in total abstinence. We always seek to meet you
where you’re at, which means you are in charge of your own goals for treatment.

12-step meetings can be a wonderful resource for many individuals. However, we recognize that
they’re not a great fit for everyone. You don’t have to commit to going to meetings in order to
benefit from therapy or reduce your substance use. In short, we’ll never make you do something
you don’t feel fully comfortable doing.

Not every therapist is trained to work with people struggling with substance abuse. At Therapy for Women, we have a team of counselors who specialize in treating this issue. Our founder, Amanda White, has even published two books on the subject. We believe we have the expertise, compassion, and understanding to help you.

If you’re struggling to regulate your drug and alcohol consumption, we encourage you to pursue counseling with us and begin your journey toward recovery today. To get started, you can contact us or book an appointment.

Do You Want Help Reducing Your Substance Use?

Over Time, Your Substance Use Could Take A Toll On Your Mental Health

We Live In A Culture Where It’s Hard To Escape Substances

You Don’t Need To Have A Serious Problem To Quit or cut back

Counseling Can Help You Recover From Substance Abuse And
Lead A More Empowered Life

What To Expect In Substance Abuse Counseling

Will I have to stop drinking or using in order to do therapy?

Do I have to attend 12-step meetings?

I’ve tried therapy before and nothing changed. How will this be different?

You May Have Some Questions About Substance Abuse Counseling…

Substance Use Does Not Have To Control Your Life

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