Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders & other Addictions (Gambling, Shopping, Porn etc.)
You never intended for this to get out of hand. Maybe you started using this behavior socially because it was what people did. Or maybe you’ve been around it for as long as you can remember, and it seems that there’s never been a time when it wasn’t around in one way or another. Whether you: smoke, drink, use prescription drugs, binge on food, starve yourself, shop beyond your means, are addicted to porn or gaming to get through the day – it isn’t working for you anymore. Substance abuse and addiction counseling is available to help you figure out what happened so that you have the clarity to move forward when you’re ready.
Maybe you’ve been hearing it from the people in your life for a while now…
You need to slow down, it’s getting in the way of work or relationships. You might not be able to see how your self-destructive behavior and choices are holding you back, but the people you love may have distanced themselves because of it. Using your destructive behavior of choice might be a way of coping with dissatisfaction at work, home, or in relationships, but now you’re ready to try turning it around and getting back on track. You’ve already tried to do so, yes? Not to worry, everything you’ve tried up until now still counts, but you need someone in your corner, with expertise and a never-give-up approach that will help you turn the corner.
Dr. Jane Baxter will meet you where you’re at…
Whether you’re at a point where you’re not sure if your use is a problem, or you know it is and are ready for a change, I will meet you where you’re at. As a result of our collaboration, you will learn healthy coping skills, identify your personal strengths, and build confidence so that when you’re ready, you will be successful. I am here to be a support in your life and to help you sort through the pieces and find the path forward. I use a combination of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) used for tolerating the distress generated by cravings, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Both are widely studied approaches that have been found to be effective in treating a variety of problems, including managing addictive behaviors, through the use of:
- Cognitive Restructuring or Disputing Irrational Beliefs
- Emotion Regulation
- Mindfulness Practice
- Moderate Drinking Training for Problem Drinkers
- Relaxation and Meditation Practice
- Communication Skills Training
- Relapse Prevention
Who is appropriate for this type of substance abuse/addiction treatment?
Individuals who are experiencing life problems due to their addictive behaviors are appropriate for this type of outpatient, weekly therapy. The negative choices may be impairing relationships, job performance, health, and/or a general sense of well-being. For those who require detoxification due to withdrawal symptoms, it is essential that a period of closely monitored inpatient treatment and/or a period of residential treatment be completed prior to outpatient therapy.
Do I have to go to 12-step meetings while in therapy?
That is completely up to you! Many individuals state that 12-step meetings are helpful when trying to stop drinking, as they provide a positive support group. However, AA, OA, GA etc. is not for everyone. In fact, there are many other options including SMART Recovery and Women for Sobriety meetings, as well other supportive, psycho-educational groups for those interested.
Once my problem behavior is under control, will my treatment be complete?
This question again depends on each person. For some, the problem behavior is the primary problem, and relationships, job performance, and overall mental and physical health improve once that is under control. For others, the negative behavior is symptom, an unhealthy coping skill or a way of “self-medicating” for underlying issues of trauma, depression, anxiety, and general problems with regulating emotions. These issues can also be addressed with coping skill development from DBT, DBT and psychodynamic therapies, and they will be treated along with the addiction issues, as treating one will have a positive effect on the other.
Is there any hope for me to have lasting behavior change?
Yes! It does take hard work and a willingness to practice strategies outside of the therapy session, including journaling, mindful monitoring of behavior, and challenging your own “self-talk;” however, there is research that demonstrates the effectiveness of the above behavior change strategies to develop a moderate drinking or an abstinence approach. Relapse prevention strategies and periodic therapy “booster sessions” can increase one’s chance of success even more. The strategies will help you cope with your triggers to problem drinking, so you can effectively cope with strong emotions, social situations, stress and conflict without self-medicating.
Dr. Jane Baxter provides services in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. If you want to find out more about how you can heal your self-destructive behavior(s) contact Dr. B via email: firstname.lastname@example.org 202-744-4381; she will discuss any questions or concerns you may have about addiction counseling.
Rates, Insurance and Common Questions
Rates vary for individual, group, couples and family therapy. Please feel free to call to inquire.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.
Cash, check and online transfer accepted for payment.
If you do not show up for your scheduled therapy appointment, and we are not able to reschedule the appointment within the next week, you will be required to pay the full cost of the session.
Request a therapy appointment online here.
Questions? Please contact me for further information.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Professional Activities and Memberships
Member of the American Academy of Psychotherapists