The Refuge offers holistic and experiential residential treatment in a serene, secluded healing environment for love addiction recovery, moving beyond the symptoms to resolve the underlying issues.
Learn more about love addiction
Addiction to love looks and feels very much like traditional addictions, however, treatment for it is somewhat different. Love addiction includes moments of being triggered, relapsing into old behaviors, periods of cessation, and a cycle of relapse. Love addiction also includes withdrawal symptoms which can be equivalent to – or more powerful than – withdrawal from opiates. Our love addiction treatment center helps our clients get through this difficult period, a point which most love addicts relapse, by providing support and compassion.
A broken heart can cause much grief and make daily life challenging. When a broken heart is compounded with love addiction, this dynamic combination can cause debilitating physical, mental, and spiritual pain. Without resources, trauma resolution, and love addiction treatment, the love addict often relapses into the old behaviors which may increase in severity, consequences, and potential impact to daily life.
Learn more about what can cause love addiction
Our residential treatment center provides a highly specific treatment for people who are struggling with an addiction to love. Addiction is often defined in general terms as a compulsive and chronic pattern of using a substance or type of behavior to avoid uncomfortable feelings. Typically, addicts continue using their “drug of choice” despite any negative consequences. Love addiction is a compulsive, chronic craving, and persistent pursuit of romantic love in an effort to obtain a sense of security and self-worth from another person. Love addicts spend much effort and time on the person they are addicted to; these people often value their significant other more than themselves. The focus upon their loved one is often obsessive. Love addiction results in the addict not taking care of themselves in a number of ways, including, abandoning important parts of their lives and sacrificing their well-being to stay connected to the objects of their affection.
Many people who become love addicts have a history of abandonment by their primary caregivers. Adults who are love addicts usually understand that, as children, their needs for validation, love, and connection with one or both parents were not met. This leads to low self-esteem in adult life and results in a conscious fear of abandonment as well as a subconscious fear of intimacy. Love addicts often mistake intensity in a relationship as intimacy.
Learn more about the science behind love addiction
The neurochemistry of love addiction includes neurotransmitters such as phenylethylamine (PEA) which are released during the experience of falling in love. These stress-related neurotransmitters become activated during the process of infatuation and boost euphoric feelings and excitement. This chemical reaction demonstrates that a love addict can actually develop a dependence on the physical and psychological arousal triggered by PEA and other neurotransmitters including:
- Oxytocin is released during sexual intercourse, helping to bond the relationship between two people.
- Endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, are released during physical contact – including sex – and play a role in long-term commitments as they produce feelings of well-being, safety, and security.
- Vasopressin is associated with the formation of long-term, monogamous relationships
Learn more about our treatment solutions for love addiction
At our residential treatment center, our counselors work with each client to create a timeline of his or her love addiction and attachment disorder behaviors. The process of developing insight and gaining awareness of patterns begins when the client creates his or her trauma story. Shame reduction and continued practice of observing traumatic patterns begin to form as the client shares his or her timeline with peers. The client will hear stories from their peers which continues healthy attachment formation while reducing shame. Due to the physical and emotional dependence a love addict has a major part of treatment uses the same 12-step principles used by other addicts.
In addition to 12-step work at our treatment center, the client will work on identifying specific triggers and patterns of relapse while referring back to their trauma story. This allows clients to best understand the role these faulty coping skills played in their addiction to love. As the client and treatment center counselor weave the love addiction story into the trauma story, we’re able to build a better understanding of the recovery story. This will help the client make significant progress in his or her recovery by stopping maladaptive behaviors and developing positive skills and behaviors. This will, in turn, help the client to reconcile the negative attachments and belief systems carried over from their trauma history.