Wednesday Evening Open House for Individuals or Group Studio Visits

Abuse and Addiction

A majority of people who have addictions were abused as children.

Addictions can be related to food, sex, drugs, alcohol, work, compulsiveness, obsessive compulsive disorder, gambling, shopping, cleaning or smoking. Addictions can be to anything that gets in the way of a healthy balanced lifestyle or result in the loss of the things and people you need.

Can we change the question people ask from "What's wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?"

Healing from addictions and abuse is possible and they often go hand in hand. It takes time, it takes trust.

Treatment facilities need to be there ready to help and support when the addict is ready.

Recovery processes must go at the pace of the survivor and when they choose them. There needs to be tolerance because there will be slips.

Treatment needs to be a national priority. There is a great need for more treatment facilities that can deal with both addictions and child abuse. They have to be affordable and available to everyone who needs them, this requires government support and funding. Can we afford to do this work? We can’t afford not to!

"The correlation between chemical dependency and abuse has been noted repeatedly. That incest [and abuse] often occurs in the context of an alcoholic family or when the abuser has used alcohol or drugs is now well documented. A history of incest in the background of a sizable percentage of alcoholic women has also been identified."
Christine A. Courtois, Ph.D.


Using the Empowerment of CVR (Creative Visualization and Relaxation) Light and Sound Technology to help with Addictions



































Healing hands
along the path help me find
courage strength and self respect to
conquer the pain, tears and broken hearts
Breaking the cycle of generations of
Alcoholism and abuse.

Healing Hands
along the path
A healthy way
Safe circle and goddesses
knowledge and freedom

Healing Hands
along the path
Mom, Dad, brother and friends
show me the courage and sensitivity
to survive life.

Healing Hands
began the path in the safety of Pinky Bear.
Later, its my courage and strength.











You choose
You win
You lose

Maria P.

Discussion - Abuse and Addictions

Addictions are a way of dealing with abuse. They manifest as eating or obsessive compulsive disorders, problems with alcohol and drugs or addictions to gambling, sex, work, shopping, cleaning or smoking. They are anything that gets in the way of a healthy lifestyle.

A huge percentage of people who are addicted have been abused. Some people may be born with a propensity to addiction. They are more susceptible to both addictions and abuse, since abusers prey on weak individuals. The addictions may be related to post-traumatic stress disorder.

We should not judge people. Addictions are what people are doing to help themselves survive. Can we change the question people ask from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”




Many addicts use drugs to escape the truth of being sexually abused. It is not usually a conscious decision, but one that is sublimated into a socially more acceptable activity. “It was a way to escape - there was no one to tell about what was happening to me.” “I don’t care what people think when I’m drunk or high.” It is more socially acceptable to be using drugs or alcohol than to talk about the reason behind it. It takes the attention away from the sexual abuse. Drugs and alcohol are coping mechanisms which allow addicts to be able to talk to anyone. Most addicts need them to get through the day.

Very few services exist to help with both issues: addictions and abuse. It needs to be understood that the two go hand in hand. The services which do exist are often inadequate, requiring the individual to heal only on the therapist’s terms, or to “get clean first, then we’ll talk”. Often if you make one mistake, you’re out of the addiction program. This isn’t fair. Only one out of every 100 people make it, perhaps because of the programs themselves.

Survivors need to value themselves, to be true to themselves. Survivors often find it hard to say no to anything, and survivors need to fit in, so they often say yes. They often have no boundaries, because they often have no idea of what boundaries are. Our abusers took away our trust. When parents, the most trustworthy individuals in a child’s life, tell a child the boundaries and then break them, this tells a child that it’s okay for them to go beyond the rules. As survivor parents, we let our children take control of us because we don’t ever want to break their trust.

We need to understand that treatment for addictions is slow and progressive. You cannot help addicts quickly or with some other drug.



Resources are going to have to address both issues: addictions and abuse. We need facilities and clinicians that deal with both issues simultaneously - not one day Alcoholics Anonymous, the next day therapy for abuse.

Addicted survivors have to be able to find a way to deal with the pain without drugs or alcohol. Eventually an addicted person reaches a point where they cannot use the drugs or alcohol because it will kill them. Often, survivors manifesting addictive behaviours find that the experience no longer helps. When nothing works for them any more, this is frequently a turning point in their recovery.

There are common central issues to both emotional and spiritual healing: there are trust issues in both areas, as well as anger and rage, there is also terror, shame and guilt. Healing needs to happen in each of these areas.

Are there pressures in society which push people into addiction? “All of the addicts I have known have been sexually abused.” Sexual abuse is a huge contributor to addiction. Some survivors turn to prostitution, a form of addiction.



There is an enormous cost to society from addictions and abuse. If we could cure or end child abuse, we would empty prisons and eliminate drug and alcohol problems.

What are the possible consequences of giving out the information that the majority of addicts were abused as children? Would this frighten the survivor? Is it dangerous to provide the information? Many addicts could become normalized as a result.

The statistics and surveys are ever changing. Surveys vary because sometimes people don’t remember being abused or they don't want to tell anyone about their experience.

Survivors need to feel safe to tell, or people won’t come forward to reveal their experiences of abuse.

Confidentiality needs to be maintained. How do we make it safe for people to ask for help? How do we make it so that people don’t feel isolated and alone? Sometimes survivors are the most helpful people for other survivors to talk to.




Public forums and more education in schools.




Bradshaw, John. Family Secrets: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You. New York: Bantam Books. 1995.

----------. Healing the Shame That Binds You. Deerfield Beach, Fla.: Health Communications, 1988.

Elkin, Michael. Families Under Influence: Changing Alcoholic Patterns. New York: Norton, 1984.

Herman, Judith Lewis. Trauma and Recovery. New York, N.Y.: BasicBooks, 1992.

Kasl, Charlotte Davis. Many Roads, One Journey: Moving Beyond the 12 Steps. New York, N.Y.: Harper Perennial, 1992.

National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse. The Relationship Between Parental Alcohol or Other Drug Problems and Child Maltreatment. Chicago, Illinois. (Online) Available September 1996.

Nelsen, Jan, Riki Intner and Lynn Lott. Clean and Sober Parenting: A Guide to Help Recovering Parents. Rocklin, CA: Prima Pub. 1992.

Taylor, John and Jennifer Torrance. Ruth: The Recovery Series. Film, directed by Moira Simpson. Canada: Distributed by the National Film Board, 14 min. 18 sec., 1985.

Williams, Terence. Brave New Families: A Guide for Families in Recovery. Center City, Minn.: Hazelden Educational Materials, 1994.


Using the Empowerment of CVR
(Creative Visualization and Relaxation)
Light and Sound Technology
to help with Addictions


I have a chemical dependency because of past issues with abuse. Your contributions will be very therapeutic!
Julie Atwood



All of our precious
children deserve to
feel safe and loved.






Using the Empowerment of CVR (Creative Visualization and Relaxation) Light and Sound Technology to help with Sleep



You idiot.
I think child abuse
is menes,
don to children
by grown ups that
are drunk.
Teddy, age 10
[child's spelling]




I wish that there
would be no drugs
in the whole world.
Helena, age 10








Stop the cycle,
break the silence.
Embrace the child within.
She did what was
necessary to survive






Spanking is not discipline.
Raise a hand to a child
only to hold.
Abuse hurts!
Stop the hurt!








You will be








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*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)

*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2004)