About Co-Occurring Disorders

When clients present with addictions and substance abuse, we typically find that other problems exist in addition to the substances and behaviors, and are part of a larger, more complex picture. Substance and process addictions are often the solution that clients use to manage a range of emotional states as well as early traumas.  Co-occurring disorders or COD refers to mental health problems that are combined with alcohol or substance abuse. The addiction or substance use aspect is often used to self-medicate a mental health issue such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, Asperger's, PTSD and personality disorders. Common examples of COD's include alcohol addiction with panic disorder, poly-substance use with schizophrenia and personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD and major depression or Bipolar disorder with cocaine abuse. It's not uncommon for individuals to have more than two disorders such as anxiety and depression. More than half of all adults with mental illness are further impaired by substance use disorders either abuse or dependence related to their drug and alcohol use. The mental health issues may vary in terms of chronicity, severity and the degree of impairment in functioning. When more than one psychiatric disorder exists, both may be mild or severe and one may be more severe than the other. Thus, there is no single combination of co-occurring disorders. However, patients with similar combinations are often encountered in certain treatment settings. 

A treatment approach that addresses both the substance abuse or addiction and the mental health issue is necessary.  Neglecting one, while treating the other, often worsens either the psychiatric issue or the substance abuse. Unfortunately, treatment often focuses on just the addiction -- labeling individuals as "addicts," can be unhelpful and stigmatizing, neglecting the underlying mental health problem that the individual attempts to solve through his or her alcohol and drug use. One example is an individual who suffered trauma or abuse and attempts to manage his or her emotional pain with poly-drug use (the combination of two or more drugs). There must be a willingness on the part of the clinician or treatment team and patient to address the underlying mental health issue and the addiction, either through harm reduction or abstinence.  Treatment takes hard work and commitment and can be successful when the patient receives support from friends, family and community support from a twelve-step program such as AA or NA, or alternative program such as SMART Recovery. Ongoing individual psychotherapy that may include EMDR, SE or other treatments for difficulties related to trauma and group therapy which utilizes CBT and DBT skills is an effective strategy for recovery.

Kim Seelbrede is a former Miss USA and a licensed New York City Psychotherapist, Stress Management Expert and EMDR Therapist who specializes in an integrative approach to therapy and coaching, working with adults, adolescents and couples. She has a special interest in celebrity mental health and enjoys working with gifted and talented individuals who struggle with self-doubt, perfectionism and performance difficulties . Her intuitive gifts, compassion and eclectic training enables her to work with a range of personal and situational difficulties. Kimberly is trained to collaborate with her clients in developing enhanced self-awareness, personal insight and adaptive coping skills to address many concerns including: relationship and interpersonal difficulties, anxiety, depression, panic disorder, OCD, personality disorders, self-esteem, self-harm, shame, ADD, ADHD, adolescent challenges, family of origin issues, underachievement, identity and sexuality concerns, addictions, compulsions, eating disorders, PTSD/trauma, transitions, health concerns and stress management. Integrative therapy sessions can address concerns related to spirituality, life-purpose, work-life balance as well as providing meditation and mindfulness support. She conducts couples intensive workshops, groups and consults with organizations on stress reduction and mindfulness. Please email her to arrange a consultation in her Manhattan office or online via Skype. 

Kim completed her graduate studies at New York University and has advanced post-graduate psychotherapy training from The William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis & Psychology in Eating Disorders, Compulsions and Addictions. Additionally, she has received advanced EMDRIA-approved EMDR training as well as specialized training in Brainspotting, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and DBT Therapy. In her work with couples, she uses Solution-Focused Therapy, Non-Violent Communication (NVC) and applies the work of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and her training with The Gottman Institute. She Is a registered yoga therapist (200 + 500 RYT), integrative therapist and Reiki practitioner trained with the Urban Zen Foundation.

If you are a fan of social media find Kim Seelbrede on: LinkedinFacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest, Google +Wellness.comPsychology Today, Network Therapy, Good TherapyTherapy TribeUrban Zen Foundation Integrative TherapistEMDR Therapist Network and www.kimseelbrede.com 

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a licensed Psychotherapist, EMDR Therapist and Personal Coach with a private practice in New York City. As a clinician who is passionate about the interplay between mind and body, she practices mind-body psychotherapy, providing holistic counseling and coaching for her clients. Her counseling modalities include: psychoanalytic psychotherapy EMDR therapy, CBT, DBT, mindfulness, crisis counseling and coaching with expertise in anxiety, depression, pain and chronic disease management, eating disorders (anorexia, binge eating, bulimia), addictions, alcoholism, trauma resolution, relationship + marital difficulties, women's issues (postpartum depression, new parent, divorce, separation, hormone imbalance), performance blocks, self-defeating behaviors, loss, grief, loneliness, self-esteem issues, post-rehab support and sexual problems. Via Skype, Kim Seelbrede provides life coaching, executive, personal and career coaching. Kim Seelbrede works with celebrities and high-profile individuals as well as high-level entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executives around the world including London, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Connecticut and Washington. Her professional personal and executive coaching services are tailored to each clients individual needs and targets concerns such as feeling stagnate and stuck, self-assertion, self-sabotage, substance abuse, pain management, chronic illness, work/life balance, performance problems, communication challenges, anxiety and stress management/reduction.

If you are a fan of social media find Kim Seelbrede on: Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, EMDRIA Find an EMDR Therapist, Psychology Today, Good Therapy, Urban Zen Foundation, EMDR Therapist Network, www.nycemdr-integrativetherapy and www.kimseelbrede.com

Beauty Queen: A Memoir to be released late 2016