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If you’re looking for confidential, compassionate counselling and psychotherapy in the Northern Beaches area, then Living Consciously is the perfect choice.

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What does drug and alcohol problems look like?

Seeing the signs and reading the effects of drug and alcohol addiction is relatively easy.

The person you are observing may start to withdraw from their family and friends, and/or change their friends and the people they hang out with.

Their performance at work or school may start to decline and they may start asking to borrow money more frequently. Look for more frequent mood swings and evidence of anxiety, agitation or hostility. There are physical manifestations too, such as enlarged pupils, trembling and twitching, loss of coordination and balance, drowsiness and changes to sleeping and eating habits.

Drug or alcohol addiction is the state of being heavily dependent on the use of certain legal or illegal substances. Signs of addiction include constantly thinking about using along with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you stop using such substances. Drug and alcohol addiction is considered a disease of the brain because drugs change the brain, change how it works.

For this reason it is important that drug and alcohol addiction is treated because in extreme cases it can be fatal.

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What are the early signs of early signs of alcohol and drug abuse

Alcoholism and drug abuse is a progressive disease, and it is important to get treatment early before it really starts to take hold and take over a person’s life.

Things to watch out for:

  • an inability to limit drug or alcohol intake. If you are regularly simply intending to have ‘a few beers’ or ‘a glass or two of wine’ or smoke one joint, but then drink or use to the point of intoxication, you may have a problem;
  • Regularly missing work or school, or social events, because of a hangover;
  • If drinking or drugging becomes an obsession, ie if you spend a lot of time thinking about your next drinking or drug session and what and how much you are going to consume;
  • A constant urge to drink and get drunk or use drugs, especially if you experience that urge even when alone;
  • An increase in mood swings and irritability;
  • If you feel an overwhelming urge to drink or use drugs when you first get up in the morning;
  • If you intend to quit drinking or drugging multiple times but then find yourself relapsing;
  • A strong urge to drink alcohol or take drugs to attempt to cure hangovers, upset stomachs, or to stop having the shakes;
  • An inability to relax or fall asleep unless you have consumed alcohol or used drugs first;
  • Craving the ‘feeling’ that drinking alcohol or consuming drugs gives you, and when that craving starts to become a priority over other concerns, such as family, health, financial etc.

What is the therapy for drug addiction & alcohol addiction?

My experience, combined with my calm and non-judgmental manner and unique step by step process, makes me an ideal choice to assist you with your drug and alcohol issues.

Drug and alcohol problems often go hand in hand with psychiatric issues such as anxiety and depression, as people often attempt to mask or self-medicate against more deep-seated underlying issues.

As is so often the case, the first step in solving a problem is the acknowledgment of its existence.

Once this important step is taken, a range of alcohol and drug addiction help is available.

An early step in the process is detoxification, which essentially means to remove or clear a substance from the body whilst attempting to keep withdrawal effects to a minimum. Often what follows detoxification is counselling and therapy, talking about your challenges and triggers, getting it out in the open and learning about practical strategies you can bring to your everyday routines.

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My Step-by-Step process

In our initial session I will deeply listen and attend to your full life story.

I’ll ask you about your life passions, the things you feel are challenging your well-being, and your medical history.

From here I’ll help you to start healing and feel at peace with yourself.

In counselling and psychotherapy sessions, I help you resolve your problems and any past traumas by focusing on a proven 6 step process.

Step 1: Develop Safety and Trust

We will first work to ensure that you feel safe in your relationship with me. I will do whatever I can to help you feel comfortable and to meet your needs. I will be accepting of you and whatever issues you want to discuss with me. Building a trusting relationship with me will help you feel more safe, secure and confident within yourself and with others.

Step 2: Discover How to Calm and Soothe Yourself

When you have had long-standing problems such as depression, anxiety, and troubled relationships, your emotions are often on high alert and can feel out of control.

In therapy, we will work to help you relax your mind and your body so that you feel calmer and more at peace. This will make it easier to live your life feeling more comfortable and in control

Step 3: Feeling More at Ease in Your Relationships

As you progress in therapy, you will increase your understanding of how your relationships with others have been impacted by the stressful events in your life.

You will develop a stronger sense of yourself in your relationships, set better boundaries, and become clear on what you need and want from them

Step 4: Increasing Self-Awareness

As your self-awareness of your problems and the role trauma has played in your life increase, you will be able to respond to your life and others in a more positive way.

You will no longer feel like a victim to your emotions and behaviors. You will feel good about the choices you make and your approach to life.

Step 5: Helping You Improve Your Mood

As you heal in therapy, you will begin to experience more joy and pleasure. You will unearth your creativity and experience a greater sense of competence and mastery.

Step 6: Integrating Your Learning into

Your Life You will feel stronger in yourself and feel more whole. Problems and distressing events from the past will no longer have a “hold” on you. You will have a sense of being free and alive.

Why Choose Me?

  • I work with you from a framework of compassion and collaboration to help you solve your problems.
  • I commit to working with you until you heal. My core philosophy is that there is always hope for you to feel better about your life.
  • I help you manage strong emotions, as well as change your thinking and behaviors so that your life improves
  • I will listen to you and accept you, regardless of the problems you bring to therapy.
  • I support you towards being more loving and caring towards yourself, increasing your self-confidence, having better relationships and feeling good about your life.
  • I provide comprehensive mental health assessment and accurate diagnosis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I an alcoholic?

There is no single definition for an alcoholic. What may present as problem behaviours for some may not be for others. There is a difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism. However both are damaging and may prevent you from living a happy and healthy life.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol issues, please reach out today.

Can I just detox to beat alcoholism?

Unfortunately not. While detox may reduce symptoms and stabilise your life, it does not teach the valuable skills of identifying and managing triggers. Most people who detox will eventually fall back into negative drinking habits without adequate coping strategies.

Does an addictive personality lead to alcoholism?

There is no single personality type that leads to alcoholism. However, other mental health challenges may increase the likelihood of turning to drugs or alcohol to cope.

For example, PTSD, anxiety, depression or stress may all contribute to drug and alcohol problems.


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