has been said that our society today demands addiction, that if
we haven't learned how to be a good addict by the time we reach
adulthood, we'll be out of place in this culture. Although many
of us have addictive tendencies, a full scale addiction is the point
where we become trapped in the cycle-frantically trying to fill
our internal emptiness (or silence our discomfort) with our chosen
substance or behavior.
a Jungian perspective, addiction is the wrong way of reaching the
right thing. Jungians understand addiction as a religious or spiritual
search that has gone amuck, a quest for the infinite in a form that
does not satisfy. Jungian analyst Marion Woodman teaches that addicts
try to escape ordinary humanity and lift from the mundane realm
of matter up into the high realm of spirit. She says addicts want
to take a short cut into something more sublime and transcendent.
that we all have a fundamental need for connecting with something
larger than ourselves, the question is how and where we do it -whether
legitimately, or faking it through a needle, a bottle, or a behavior.
Johnson puts it succinctly by saying, "The only hope for healing
an addiction is to offer a better form of ecstasy, to upgrade so
the addict will give up the stupid one." Is the chocoholic looking
for sweetness? Is the alcoholic looking for spirit? Is the sex addict
looking for unconditional connection? Is the bulimic looking for
the compulsive collector looking for security? When we understand
the metaphor behind an addiction, then and only then, can we start
work to help the addict find a higher grade version of his or her
the past decades, dozens of organizations have followed the model
of Alcoholics Anonymous in creating supportive environments for
recovering addicts of all descriptions. Clients already involved
in a 12-step recovery program will find InnerWork Psychotherapy
to be very compatible.