Tag: Addiction

3 Most Important Factors To Consider In Choosing a Therapist

Choosing a therapist was a log harder than I expected.  There were a lot of options.
I never wanted to go to therapy.  
At all!
Then one day I realized that I was hurting the people I loved and I couldn’t stop. So I went.  
My first therapist was amazing.  Later I would learn, both personally and professionally, that they’re not all that way.   
So I understand the difficulties of choosing a therapist.  I can relate to the pain, the fear, and finally having the need to reach out to a professional.  Whether you choose me or someone else, I want to support you in your journey toward finding a someone who can help. 
Over the years I’ve taught therapists in graduate school as well as hired and fired them as a director. Some of them are…  better than others.  Here are some suggestions that I hope prove helpful:
1. Connection matters: 
Find someone you trust. You should feel at ease in their presence and have a sense of their competence. You should know, without a doubt, that they’ll be able to keep everything you say in complete confidence.
2. Specialization matters: 
Postgraduate training and certifications cost time and money. The top clinicians I’ve seen work are willing to invest in continuing education to help their patients. 
3. Personal experience matters:
Time and time again, this has proven to be THE MOST important factor in clinical excellence.  Find someone who has done their own therapy. Master therapist Carl Jung said to his students, “you cannot see in others what you cannot see in yourself.” The clinician you working with is much more likely to be able to guide you through things that he or she has gone through themselves. Many clinicians don’t believe in extensive personal disclosure, but at the very least finding out if they’ve gone through their own therapy is a step in the right direction.
These guidelines will prove a step in the right direction in terms of finding a clinician who can be of maximum service in your journey.  I wish you the best!

Q: Why do I go to sleep after I use meth?

I’ve been working in substance-abuse counseling as a therapist for 10+ years. During that time I’ve encountered several patients who discovered that meth actually calms them down.

My experience regarding this is that the patients probably have biological ADHD.

In my experience, there is ADHD related to trauma and ADHD related to biology. Note that the two are not mutually exclusive.

Two forms of ADHD

When a person has trauma dissociation helps to protect them. If the trauma is chronic and repeated often times the dissociative mechanisms just remain “on”. People with this pattern will report feeling a bit more clumsy than their peers and they might appear spacey and distracted. They’ll sometimes also experience a nagging sense of loneliness.  This loneliness only goes away if they’re participating in some sort of intense activity or if they’re extremely busy.

People with the biological variety of ADHD don’t get enough blood flow to the front of their brain. The part of the front is called the neocortex.  It’s in charge of “executive functioning”. That means it’s responsible for hitting the brakes when you have impulses to do things that are socially unacceptable, dangerous or both 🙂

Why meth makes you sleepy:

Taking methamphetamine increases the blood flow throughout the body, but particularly to the neocortex. Suddenly, the brakes are able to kick on and your body says “hey, let’s take a nap.” Everybody else is taking apart their toasters and all the sudden you can’t stay awake. 

In the field in which I work we call this “being your own pharmacist.” Meeting with a psychiatrist who can prescribe time-release stimulants would probably be helpful. Besides the obvious, consistenly medicating biolocial ADHD might be quite helpful with addressing the things that make you want to use meth in the first place.  

Not to mention the fact that your meth dealer probably doesn’t have the same quality control standards as a pharmacuetical company. 🙂

For counseling and therapy related to trauma and/or meth addiction, please feel free to contact me using the form below:

Contact Greg Struve today for more information:

Sex Addiction vs. Sexual Anorexia

The desire to come together physically with another exists, more or less, in all human beings.

Unfortunately, for many of us, sexuality presents opportunities for suffering and pain, rather than connection and intimacy.

The challenges can take many forms and have many causes.

Addiction vs. Anorexia

Sex Addiction / Sexual Compulsivity – Happens when sex becomes the most important thing in a person’s life, and also takes on an obsessive-compulsive quality. For a sex addict, sex is the greatest need.

The type of compulsivity can vary tremendously from person to person – pornography, affairs, sexting, anonymous hookup apps, fetishes, BDSM, strip clubs, prostitutes, bath houses…

The exact issue doesn’t matter that much.

What matters is that for the addict, they can’t stop.

No matter how bad it gets.

No matter what they lose.

Sexual Anorexia – Although it’s a bit less common than sex addiction (at least in terms of what I’ve seen clinically) sexual anorexia happens when avoidance of sex becomes a central focus of a person’s life.

Most of these folks have a deep phobia of emotional intimacy, sexual intimacy, or both.

Some avoid relationships entirely.

If the opportunity for a relationship comes up they’ll simply disappear.

Sometimes they’ll wear clothing that allows them to “hide” from the eyes of those who might otherwise be attractive to them.

Other times they’ll choose (consciously or unconsciously) to adopt a body shape that will help keep potential mates at a distance.

Others will enter into a relationship, but when the opportunity for physical intimacy presents itself they’ll find a way to avoid it.

Sometimes that means starting a fight.

Other times they’ll find other things to do, and get too busy, tired, hungry, angry, preoccupied, worried… etc.


A friend of mine who has been in the field for a number of years summed up treatment of sex addiction and sexual anorexia pretty well: “It doesn’t usually happen by accident.”

What he meant by that is that people who treat sex addiction generally need to know what they’re doing and be very deliberate about how they’re doing it.

Or it won’t work.

If you’re looking to get treatment, my advice is to find a professional with experience in the field. I’m happy to provide the services. Feel free to drop me a line in the “contact” section of the website.

Contact Greg Struve today for more information:

Pain is Gain in Early Recovery

When does an addiction start?

I’ve worked with hundreds of addicts in my lifetime. The answer is almost always 12 years old, give or take a year.
Every once in a while I run into a client who says they got into it later than that. But when I do I ask them about their relationship with sex or food.
People who did not get started on their addiction to a substance usually got started on a behavior.

Read more