Today we would like to share with you a video from our annual ATCPCC 2013, Addiction Treatment Centers and Professional Consortium. Here in our guest lecture video series is Director of Five Sisters Ranch, Lori Jean Glass, who lectures on Love Addiction. We have a transcript of the lecture for you to follow:
Hi. My name is Lori Jean, and I’m the director at Five Sisters Ranch, and I’d like to talk to you today about love addiction. Now, love addiction is a very – first of all, it’s a real interesting title. To have someone tell you that you suffer from love addiction is painful. Often it’s painful because really at the core of love addiction, it’s really unmet longing. Now, a lot of clinicians call it an intimacy disorder, and when you’re looking to change your life and get help and not use drugs or alcohol or use other substances or processes to feel better and you’re told you suffer from an intimacy disorder, it’s very shaming, and often people don’t know where to go or what to do. And I’m actually a recovering love addict, and it changed my life to be able to put my arms and embrace that concept and do something about it.
And what I know about love addiction today, and I’ve worked with hundreds of women who suffer from love addiction, is that there’s really two sides to love addiction. There’s what we call love addiction, and there’s also what we call love avoidance, and the love addiction really comes from when you grow up and have an avoidant bond with your parents. So anyone that was gone all the time or wasn’t available to connect with you because of their own addiction or just simply their own inability to parent because of an old wound, they avoided you. So you grow up with this unmet longing and craving to be seen and craving to be understood.
And the other side of love addiction is love avoidance, and that’s that overly controlled and anxious and almost suffocating like environment where the bond is so intense – it’s not a healthy bond. It’s just a – think of it like energy. It’s like an energetic bomb that’s going off 24/7. So you’re terrified of anybody getting too close to you. You don’t want to be engulfed. So it’s really hard to show up for an intimate relationship as an adult when you don’t trust the connection. It’s really, really challenging.
Treating love addiction is not as complicated as you might think. There’s several ways that you can get help if you suffer from this intimacy disorder. A great place to start is to find a therapist that you really, really trust and can start talking about some of this pain that lives inside of you. Oftentimes there’s intensive programs that are available. There’s one-week workshops, two-week workshops. We happen to have a wonderful 12-day intensive where you can come and really dive into understanding your own storyline and get help around this so you can change the way you are relationally.
If you relate to anything I just said or know someone who might suffer from love addiction, feel free to give us a call at Five Sisters Ranch. We have a 12-day intensive, and that may or may not work for you, but we know lots of therapists and different organizations that can help you. And you don’t have to live with it. It’s really possible to have relational freedom and to be able to navigate the world free and not have all of that pain in the relationships that you show up for every day or don’t show up for every day. You know, there is help, and we can help.