Tag Archives: LifeStar Alberta


Halt Sign NewHalt, read this! The word HALT is a great acronym that can help anyone struggling to overcome an addiction or for a partner of an addict trying to heal and be in recovery.

When you are tempted to act out in your addiction or feel that your recovery is in jeopardy, remember HALT. Ask yourself if your uncomfortable feeling or actions could be attributed to these other factors.

Am I hungry? When we are hungry we can experience mood swings. Just like an infant, we can be irritable and demanding. 3219197135_e2b8a35a03_mWe often can’t think clearly and may appear irrational. Be sure to take care of yourself and be aware of when and what you are eating.

Am I angry? Yes! There is a good possibility that anger has reared its ugly head couple-arguing-about-politics and you just don’t know what to do with it. Some people stuff it down and try to pretend everything is just fine. Others lash out in inappropriate ways by acting out or shaming others.  It’s best to recognize and accept that you are angry and to find ways to express that anger in healthy ways. Talk to a therapist or a friend, journal your feelings or exercise.  Anger isn’t the problem; it’s what we do with it.

2653175663_bf1faa46d0_mAm I lonely? The addiction itself has been your pretend friend for so long, it’s squeezed out other real friends and relationships. It consumed your time, emotion and energy. The person you may want to reach out to now for a sense of security and comfort may be the person that’s been hurt the most by your actions and unable to give you what you need.

You may be a partner of an addict and feel like the addiction has been your rival for intimacy and connection. Feelings of isolation and detachment can be powerful, but not permanent. Be committed to your recovery and reach out to others. Talk to a trusted friend, share with your therapist, and get involved with activities.

Am I tired? Our thinking can be impaired simply by lack of sleep. Sleeping on decisions, or going to bed and finding out in the morning that our situation feels less urgent and more manageable is a common experience that we often forget. Again, we can be like infants irritable, inconsolable and irrational without sleep. Be mindful of your sleep times and patterns.

As you work through recovery, there are going to be challenging moments.  Fortify yourself in every way that you can. Remembering HALT and asking yourself these questions can help ground you and keep you in recovery.


For more information about our leading out patient program go to www.lifestaralberta.com

Jennifer Thibodeau MSW, RSW,

Clinical Social Worker, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist


The Three A’s That Fuel a Sexual Addiction

Why is it that good men and women struggle with a sexual addiction that can devastate their love relationships, affect their performance at work, and leave them questioning their own value and worth? There could be many answers to this question such as the latest science research on the brain, past trauma, or the type of family they grew up in. But one thing we know for sure, is that the addiction is fueled by the three A’s which are Accessibility, Affordability, and Anonymity. Imagine if you were a drug addict and you could get your drug anytime anywhere for free and no one needed to know whom you are!


It use to be that a person who wanted to get their stash of pornography had to actually go to a store, ask for their magazine of choice and face the clerk who rang through their purchase. Obtaining pornography and opportunities for casual liaisons took some significant effort. However, in today’s Internet world, the simple act of clicking a button, or tapping our phones can open the gateway to endless varieties of pornographic images, chat rooms, social networks and on line affairs.


Indeed, if you can’t find what your looking for right away, you can open up several windows at a time, and spend hours searching through sites till you find the one that satisfies for that moment. We carry our electronic devices with us almost everywhere and as fast as a thought can cross the mind or the instant a sexual urge can be felt, we have almost simultaneous availability and access.

So, what does it cost to have such access and availability? Other than the cost of a smart phone, computer, or tablet with Internet service, not much. There is a multitude of free and affordable sites waiting to be accessed. Yes, there are some sites that require membership but there is a wealth of sites professional and amateur alike that are free.

3575828156_e04def5dfa_zAll this, and you can be anonymous! No one needs to know your true identity. On one hand you can be the upstanding citizen, father, husband, wife, son or daughter and on the other you can create a secret life. Unfortunately, this may leave you feeling like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but it is anonymous. Creating a dual life can leave you feeling more and more isolated from those you love. Trying to juggle dual lives can be emotionally stressful and personally demoralizing. Most often your secret life may go against your own personal value system and can leave you feeling lost and empty.  Learning to set boundaries and limits on your behaviour can be helpful, but you may need to seek professional help if you are struggling with a sexual addiction. There is hope, recovery is possible, come out of hiding.

If you would like more information about our out patient treatment program at LifeStar Alberta, go to www.lifestaralberta.com


By Jennifer Thibodeau, MSW, RSW, Clinical Social Worker, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist