©2016 by Becca Davis, LPC-MHSP, CSAT. Proudly created with Wix.com

(423) 240-0581 recovery@beccadavislpc.com

Jordan Professional Building

101 Jordan Drive

Chattanooga, TN 37421

Healing from Trauma

Trauma seems to be a buzz-word these days, but is a very real experience with very real consequences. Traumatic experiences include childhood physical, emotional or sexual abuse, childhood neglect, sexual assault, physical violence, natural disasters, illness, constant criticism, shaming, bullying and other events. Experiencing an event as "traumatic" depends on the person who lived through it. Some survivors of trauma meet criteria for a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnosis while others may not. Some experienced trauma as children. For others, traumatic events in adulthood have caused pain and confusion. Regardless, living through traumatic experiences can negatively impact our quality of life.

Addiction Recovery

Dr. Patrick Carnes describes addiction as a pathological relationship with a substance or behavior. Almost anything can become an addiction if used  compulsively. Examples include alcohol, drugs, gambling, work, overeating, exercise, sex, relationships, overspending, gaming, and many other behaviors. Because the person no longer has control over the behavior or substance, damaging and heart breaking consequences may occur. Regardless of the behavior or substance, there are a few common characteristics of addiction. An addict may experience a few or all of the following:

  • continuing the behavior despite negative consequences

  • participating in the behavior even though one promised not to

  • participating in the behavior for a longer period of time or using more than was intended

  • needing more of the behavior or substance, or a higher intensity of the behavior to get the same results

  • experiencing less of a high or pleasure when using the same amount or behaving at the same intensity

  • one's social, occupational, familial, educational, and recreational activities are affected

  • persistent desire or unsuccessful attempts to stop or cut down on behavior or use

  • excessive time is spent in search of opportunities for the behavior or obtaining the substance, participating in the behavior or using the substance, and recovering from the behavior or substance.

Sexual Compulsivity and Sexual Addiction

Those with sex addiction continue to participate in sexual acts despite negative consequences, persistent feelings of guilt and shame, the desire to stop or cut back on the behaviors, and the violation of the person's own values or boundaries. These acts can exist anywhere on the spectrum of human sexual experience and may include viewing pornography, masturbation, affairs, one night stands, fetishes, as well as many others. Shame and secret keeping are constant companions of someone struggling with compulsive sexuality. This makes it challenging to ask for help. Help is available. Reach out and recover your life.

Depression, Anxiety, and Life Dissatisfaction

So often clients come to my office not really know what's wrong. They just know that life has lost meaning. They feel empty and, sometimes, hopeless and depressed. At other times, their worry and anxiety become overwhelming. Panic attacks, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, difficulty completing tasks or being motivated to take care of one's self, and overwhelming feelings of shame, guilt and worthlessness can plague these individuals. They often don't know where to turn and don't know how to recover the sense of joy and peace they may have had at one time.

Being in Relationship with an Addict

When your loved one is an addict, life can become very overwhelming, confusing, and painful. Regardless of the addiction, spouses, partners, parents, children, siblings, and friends feel disregarded, betrayed, disrespected, and hopeless to help the person they love stop destroying their lives. Partners and spouses of sex addicts can be especially affected by their loved ones' acting out. Sexual betrayal carries a kind of pain that takes extra effort to heal. Being the partner of a sex addict can be experienced as traumatic. Often, loved ones of addicts ask, "Why should I seek therapy? I'm not the one with the problem!" Yet, trying to navigate a relationship plagued by addiction can be lonely, frightening, and confusing. You don't have to do it alone. Help is available.

Love and Relationship Addiction

Like other addictions, those suffering from love or relationship addiction experience tremendous consequences. Love and relationship addicts spend significant amounts of time thinking about and trying to be with their "drug of choice" - a romantic partner. They may lose hours in fantasy about the other. When they are alone they may feel panicky or desperate. Love addicts neglect other important areas of their lives in order to maintain connection with their obsession. Love addiction can be quite painful, especially when the intensity of "being in love" ends and one is left only with the obsession.

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Issues for Therapy

People seek therapy for many reasons. Below are just a few. Call or email Becca Davis to see if therapy is a good fit for you.