Substance Abuse and Addiction

At Portland Psychotherapy, we tend to avoid terms such as “alcoholic” and “addict.” Instead we prefer the less stigmatizing and more precise terms substance abuse, substance dependence, substance use disorder, addiction, or simply problems with substances. For us, labels are only helpful so long as they guide treatment.

Many people use substances (e.g., alcohol, drugs, or medications) with little harm, but for some people, substance use can begin to become a problem when it leads to problems at home or work, legal repercussions, dangerous behaviors, or unpleasant craving and withdrawal symptoms. Our treatment approach is informed by the idea that all people have the capacity to make changes in how they relate to substances.

Our Approach

When questioning whether your substance use is problematic, it can be a positive first step to get help with determining the answer. One of the best ways to tackle a problematic behavior is to start by understanding it. We will work together to find out what triggers use, which behaviors (and responses) are getting in the way, and how to increase effective decision making.

At Portland Psychotherapy, we collaborate with people on how they want to address their substance use. Some people have a goal of abstinence whereas others simply want to cut down. We help people identify what will work in their lives and make changes that fit their unique life situation.

Whether your goal is abstinence or to simply cut down, you’ll find here support and a process of collaboration which makes you an active part of your recovery.  Changing habits is about much more than simply not doing substances.  Instead of simply focusing on what to eliminate from your life, we will put our attention on finding out that which is meaningful and important to you.  Our time will be spent determining which choices will allow you to live a life of meaning to you.  I help clients to develop the skills need to have a sense of choice on whether to respond to urges, craving, or other uncomfortable feelings that come up.  Again, the most important goal in treatment is to assist clients in creating a life worth living.

What we offer

In treating substance abuse, we draw from mindfulness- and acceptance-based treatments such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP). Often when we are able to notice and stop struggling with uncomfortable thoughts and emotions, we can make choices more in accordance with how we want to live our lives.

Services we offer:

  • Individualized outpatient treatment
  • Assessment and referral services – if you aren’t sure what you need, we can do an assessment and help you find your way in a complicated treatment system
  • Support for families of people with addiction
  • Full service health insurance billing
  • If you are interested in learning more about who our current counselors are, click here.

What we do not offer:

  • We do not have inpatient treatment
  • We do not offer detox. For those without insurance coverage looking for detoxification in the Portland area, please call Hooper Detoxification Center at (503) 238-2067.

Get a Free Telephone Consultation:

If you would like to talk to one of our therapists about a problem with substance use that you or a family member has, you can call 503-281-4852 and leave a confidential message. Someone will call you back shortly. 

You can also send a confidential message below.

What Makes Us Unique

Portland Psychotherapy is a clinic, research & training center with a unique business model that funds scientific research. This results in a team of therapists who are exceptionally well-trained and knowledgeable about their areas of specialty.