Psychotherapist discusses the hidden suffering of addiction

31 March 2023

In her article 'I work with women suffering with addiction every day. Here's what I want you to know,' psychotherapist (and PACFA member) Catherine Stokoe draws attention to the impact of shame on women battling addiction, and explains how removing it can change the secretive nature of these struggles.

The article was published in March on Mamamia, the Australian news, opinion and lifestyle website targeted to women.

Stokoe, a psychotherapist in one of Australia’s leading rehabilitation centres, explains that addiction often doesn’t look like most people expect. Often, it’s unapparent: “the friendly mum you waved to at school drop-off. Or the executive who's never missed a meeting or a parent-teacher interview. Or the friend whose Instagram feed is colour-coordinated as she trains for her next half-marathon.”

Because of the private nature of these addictions, many women can’t get the support they need and try to handle it on their own, using convenient coping mechanisms. Often, addiction is the logical progression. The author insists that we can all move past shame to grow in our understanding of the causes of addiction even as we allow those who are suffering to grow in their ability to reach out for help and support.

Read Catherine Stokoe’s article here.