Addiction Counselling

Addiction Counselling
Services in Calgary

Stepping into Addiction Counselling is a big step so congratulations on getting to this point. Stepping into Addiction Counselling is a big step, so congratulations on getting to this point. By now, you likely have some suspicion (if not total clarity) that your substance use or behaviour engagement has become unmanageable and you would like to further explore treatment for this. Below is information about how Sana Psychological may be able to support you in your journey.

A woman holding her forehead

The short story

At Sana Psychological, Paige Abbott (Registered Psychologist) works with Addiction of any manifestation.

Addiction counselling involves an initial session or two to get to know you and determine treatment planning and recommendations, which will include self-management strategies as well as community support. Sessions can occur in person or virtually (by phone or video). Fees are $200/session. Treatment can be short-term (3-6 months) or long-term (6 months +) depending on need and preference. Addiction is treated as a chronic condition of the brain and sessions are a combination of process and psychoeducational support to appreciate the difference between you and the unhealthy part of your brain. Sessions are also available for family members and loved ones who are open to supporting around boundaries, self-care and communication.

The long story

Addiction counselling involves an initial session or two to get to know you and determine treatment planning and recommendations, which will include self-management strategies as well as community support. Sessions can occur in person or virtually (by phone or video). Fees are $200/session. Treatment can be short-term (3-6 months) or long-term (6 months +) depending on need and preference. Addiction is treated as a chronic condition of the brain and sessions are a combination of process and psychoeducational support to appreciate the difference between you and the unhealthy part of your brain. Sessions are also available for family members and loved ones who are open to supporting around boundaries, self-care and communication.

At Sana Psychological, Paige Abbott (Registered Psychologist) works with Addiction of any manifestation.

Follow-up sessions will be a combination of processing where you are at, what you have been trying and doing, what is/is not helping, exploration of triggers and vulnerabilities, building of strengths and resources through accountability and gentle feedback and challenging. Paige Abbott endorses and encourages participation in addiction recovery community support groups, whether that be 12-Step programs, SMART Recovery, Recovery Dharma, or any other support groups that you come across to aid you in your journey.

A major part of Addiction Counselling is the exploration of relationships and feelings, as these do tend to drive a lot of the fuel that supports Addiction. Therefore, you can anticipate that the exploration of these areas will constitute part of the counselling process. Initially, we will focus on stabilization and immediate needs for health and safety, including looking at detoxification supports if needed. As stabilization occurs, a more in-depth exploration of the underlying roots and drivers of problematic behaviours can happen.

External Referrals

Sometimes people require more intensive treatment programs than what can be provided in outpatient counselling.

If this is the case for you or if it is determined you would benefit from more intensive treatment, Sana Psychological can provide referrals to suitable rehab programs at treatment facilities. As mentioned above, encouragement may also be made to check-out community and mutual support groups as peer support for recovery is incredibly important. Sana Psychological is here to help you start your journey of recovery as well as for continuing care. If you have been in recovery for years and are looking to keep furthering your journey to well-being, please reach out.

External Referrals

Sana Psychological’s Approach
to Addiction

Paige Abbott has worked in Addiction treatment since 2011 and has come to strongly appreciate that Addiction is Addiction, which means that Addiction is about the brain and genetics more than it is about the specific behaviours (these are just symptoms).

In a nutshell, the understanding is that risk for Addiction is created at the level of genetics

1

Becomes triggered or activated by the environment, exposure, stress, and/or trauma

2

Starts to show up in certain areas initially (often relationships, food, media, early substance use)

3

Over time progresses and impacts all areas of life, including memory and motivation.

The treatment plan becomes about the stabilization of acute physical health and substance risks, followed by getting to know what Addiction looks like and how it operates inside of you. Encouraged recovery is to look at a variety and diversity of coping mechanisms, including aspects of physical, emotional, cognitive, social, spiritual, financial, and cultural health.

Paige is the co-author of three books related to Addiction that she would encourage you to check out to learn more about this approach to Addiction Counselling. These books are ‘Addiction is Addiction,’ ‘Addiction is Addiction Workbook‘ and ‘Love, the Drug.

2 pairs of hands clasping

For loved ones

Sessions are also available for family members and loved ones who are concerned about someone else’s Addiction-related behaviour and are open to exploring support for themselves. Typically this support will involve learning about you, the challenges and strengths you carry, and exploration of boundaries, self-care, and healthy communication.

Additional points

Unsure if you have Addiction? Sana Psychological can help you assess and determine where you are currently at and provide support suggestions to meet you wherever you are in your journey of health and wellness.

Logistics

Addictions counselling Calgary sessions are offered in-person and using Technology Assisted Counselling across Alberta and Canada, depending on need and preference. Session fee is $200/session and can be short or long-term support for those new to or experienced in recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: I operate from the perspective that Addiction is a primary, chronic issue of the brain and it is not about the individual behaviours that the brain becomes attached to. Therefore, I use the language of Addiction (with no ‘s’) which allows us to explore all aspects of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that are impacting you. I work with individuals who struggle with alcohol, drugs of any kind, spending, sex, relationships, gambling, codependency, love, work, food, body image, as well as chronic challenges with feelings (over feeling or under feeling), intrusive and problematic thoughts, and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and low motivation-all of which are common symptoms of Addiction.
A: Addiction is a primary (meaning it is not caused by anything), chronic (meaning it is long-lasting) brain issue (meaning that the brain is the organ that is malfunctioning). The reward circuitry is not functioning properly in individuals with Addiction and makes it difficult for them to refrain from impulsive, compulsive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Addiction primarily comes from genetics (60-70%) with environment, exposure to substances, trauma, and external circumstances contributing to the rest of its manifestation.
A: There is no fixed period of time for Addiction counselling. Some people come for a few sessions to learn some new tools and/or to establish a recovery platform that they can execute outside of sessions. Others like to come for longer-term counselling that usually starts off as more intense (sessions every 1-3 weeks), followed by periodic check-ins to ensure maintenance of progress and recovery.
A: I encourage and support people in finding the recovery platform and lifestyle that suits their needs. We will explore how nutrition, rest, exercise, connection, peer support, medication, spirituality, emotional coping can fit into your life, as well as whether to pursue abstinence or harm reduction. I meet people where they are at, we establish goals together and move towards those using whatever tools and strategies are appropriate to help you get there.
A: Yes. Family members can attend joint appointments to learn more about Addiction and how to support their loved ones. They can also attend appointments on their own to process their own thoughts, feelings, and issues, as well as pursue their own recovery.
A: Sessions are $200/50-minute appointment. If you have insurance benefits, the whole or a portion of the session fee may be covered as services are provided by Paige Abbott who is a Registered Psychologist.
A: Appointments can be booked online, by calling Paige, or by email. No referral is required.
A: I do not identify as having Addiction. I recognize that there is Addiction in my family lineage and I am at risk for Addiction. Because of this, I live according to the recovery principles that I encourage others to follow. For me, this means abstinence from all mood-altering substances (inclusive of alcohol, drugs, caffeine, nicotine, and as little pure sugar as possible), as well as thoughtfulness around nutrition, body movement, rest, self-care, as well as engagement with tools like meditation, journaling, play/fun, connection with supports, balance and boundaries. I believe that my professional experience can serve you well in your recovery journey and be a complement to any peer support you are receiving or would be interested in seeking out.