Being addicted to love is more than a state of mind in a 1980s hit pop tune. Love addiction can actually be a serious condition that can have devastating consequences in one's life like any other addiction. Luckily, there is hope. You can deal with a love addiction by attending 12-step programs such as Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and by talking with a therapist, like Caroline B. Goldberg, LCSW, LLC. Here is how therapy can help you combat this problem.
Identify Your Patterns
While love addiction has a wide umbrella that can cover a variety of unhealthy relationship behaviors, some things are really specific to most people who suffer from this addiction. Work with your therapist to take an inventory of the dysfunction patterns that existed in previous relationships that were affected by your addiction. (Spoiler alert: It will include all of them.) If you're not already in a relationship, it's best to stay out of one for at least six months while you identify your patterns and do the work on your recovery.
Open Up About Past Trauma
Love addiction is complex, but it may be tied to early experiences of abandonment or rejection that can go all the way back to childhood. Sexual abuse is sometimes tied to later love addiction as well. Although you may not see the direct correlation between rejection that you faced in childhood and your love addiction, the therapist may be able to provide insights that can help you face the full truth of the problem.
Do Your Homework
Therapy is not meant to serve you for the 50 minutes that a session lasts each week. You should also reflect on what was learned, discovered, and simply discussed in the therapy session each week. Make writing in your therapy journal a priority, and write down your specific journey of healing. You will be learning about more than your love addiction in therapy, but you may find that discoveries about your past sometimes tie into how the addiction was formed. Keeping a diary may seem time-consuming when you first think about it, but you can simply set aside 10 minutes in the morning or evening, and then you'll have a valuable record that you can look back on where you've charted your progress. If you don't have time to keep a journal, ask the therapist to record your sessions so that you can have a copy later.
Finally, keep in mind that everyone's response to therapy will be different. You need to commit to facing the addiction and working with your therapist to help you deal with the problems and emotions that led to the addiction in the first place. When you prioritize therapy and treatment options, you are setting yourself up for success in your recovery from the addiction and empowering yourself to go on to have healthy, happy relationships.Share