Addicton 2018-10-04T21:25:47+00:00

Addiction Treatment Program

My harm reduction substance abuse program aims to help you understand why you use while helping you to address the behaviours that sustain your use.

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Demian Brown Toronto Psychotherapist

About the Program

Like traditional drug and alcohol in-patient and out-patient Addiction treatment programs I will help you to develop:

1.    Strategies that target your addictive behaviours.

2.     Support a reduced use or abstinence goal.

3.     Form a plan of relapse prevention strategies

4.     Help ensure continued moderate use or abstinence should moderation not work.

Unlike traditional programs for substance abuse:

1.    I will go into more depth helping you to understand the psychological reasons for your need to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

2.     Through therapy address the issues that underlie and drive your substance misuse.

3.    Together we will learn how your addictive behaviours are directly related to your emotional issues.

4.     Target both issues at once.

It is through this combined approach of treating addictive behaviours and underlying issues that long term sobriety is likely. If you have thoroughly addressed in therapy the emotional, cognitive and relational factors that are causing you to self-medicate your distress then you will feel less need to escape.

Toronto Psychotherapist Addiction Treatment Psychotherapy


1. I will begin by doing an assessment of your drinking/drugging patterns while screening for common mental health issues. I am licensed to perform the Ontario Standardized Assessment Tools- a more thorough assessment-it can be used to get you into residential treatment programs should this seem like a good option.

2. The next few sessions will allow us to get a better understanding of the reasons that you have been using while I educate you about addiction and substance abuse.  The basics of recovery from my 10 years of experience doing addiction psychotherapy and treatment will be explained.

3. As I continue to assess your use from session to session I check to see how well our substance reduction or abstinence strategies are working while we tweak them where necessary.

4. At this point we will discuss what personal goals you would like to work towards in your life and initiate a good self-care plan. It’s important to consider what you will replace your substance use with that you can derive similar meaning and pleasure from.

5. Remaining sessions involve addressing through psychotherapy the underlying problems that lead to use. It becomes clear at this point what those issues are since the instability caused by the drugs or alcohol themselves will have diminished.

6. Structured relapse prevention strategies are employed to help you to sustain your gains over the long term. I usually have people come in periodically over the next few months for maintenance/aftercare to sustain these gains.

I offer an optional voluntary self-administered saliva drug testing  to my clients where I have them come in randomly to submit a saliva sample. Helping you be accountable to yourself and the program can make the difference in your treatment especially while cravings are their strongest. With your consent only I can tell your loved ones the results of the tests which can be helpful where building trust is vital.

1. Cognitive Therapy is the method most widely employed to treat addictive behaviours because its results based meaning it has measurable outcomes and has been demonstrated to be an effective approach to treating addiction. Psychodynamic Therapy is best for addressing the underlying emotional issues.

2. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy allows for more complex ways uf understanding your relationship with the substance and how that relationship has impacted on your own self-relationship to undo the damage. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) examines the reinforcers that sustain addictive behaviour while forming strategies to undo the learned behaviour of drinking or drug use.

3. Both theories Assist in the development of comprehensive treatment plans based on one’s unique ways of relating and experiencing while also informing about sets of reinforced behaviour. As a result  appropriate  plans of action to undo the contingencies of reinforcement determining prior use while also improving self-esteem and repairing relationship issues can occur.

This part of treatment is often vital to ensure a person’s recovery is successful. Relationships that have been damaged as a result of your use need to be mended so you can get the emotional support you need during this challenging part of your new life.
Often loved ones of the addict/alcoholic have changed too as a result of the change in the addicted persons character as a result of substance abuse. Loved ones will have worried about you and your health and safety, grieved the loss of the person they once knew and feel guilty for unwittingly enabling your use by “bailing you out” for the consequences you faced because of your addiction. Family often have a lot of anxiety about whether the recovering person will succeed.
Addiction becomes a family system problem. If those in recovery are changing again-even though its for the better-the family also need help changing and accepting your changes too if you are to have the best chance at success.
Therapy sessions with your family are desirable with a minimum of two sessions at the start of treatment and two to four near the end of treatment.


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“While in session I think, analyze, feel and assess out-loud with confidence as we go along allowing you to see my skills, my motives and judgements.”