Medication Dependence Treatment

trauma therapy

Primary care physicians and treatment centers tend to prefer the “medical approach”, i.e. intensive psychopharmacological approaches. This medicine based approach allows them to reduce the amount of individual attention and therapy required to deal with the symptoms. Many of my clients prefer to find ways of dealing with symptoms with lesser medication or none at all. As they work to find alternative ways to bring balance, their psychiatrist can reduce or eliminate your medications.

Benzodiazepine Dependency

One of the most popular category medications for anxiety are benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Klonopin… ).  These drugs have been studied for over 40 years and found to be effective for short term relief from anxiety and a bridge to more effective long term solution of therapy or learning new life skills.  However, many patient take them for months or years, never getting full resolution of there issues and suffering both short and long term side effects.

Research shows that it takes two to three weeks to work through the withdrawl and rebound effects that come with stopping benzodiazepines.

Read more at WebMD…

Prior to the starting, we will work your physician to define a tapering regime and train in mind body skills that will minimize any rebound effect of withdrawal.  Once you start the taper, we provide you an intense psychotherapy program for the next two weeks that will get you through the psychological dependence while teaching you new and powerful ways to manage your anxiety.

Normalcy – normal sleep, normal relations, normal work; often this means there needs to be a new norm without medication.  Often a therapist will introduce Cognitive Behavioral Therapy while this is effective, it can be

Dr. LaVine will help you identify the critical changes you can make and support you making these changes.

and anxiety is complicated by other issues such as addiction, depression, physical loss and or longstanding relationship issues. If so, Dr. LaVine’s depth of personal and professional experience and maturity provides him the ability to connect and relate at a level that is rare, but required, to deal with these issues while at the same time his personal commitment, perseverance and compassion provides energy and the dedication to help with the change.


In many cases, acute trauma, whether a moment or series of moments, creates a dividing point in a person’s life, there is a before, and an after dividing line in the person’s story. There is a residual fear and uneasiness that persists.   Quite often a sense of loss, it may be a loss of security or trust, or in many situations a loss of a previous life or identity.

From Dr. LaVine’s personal experience, he knows that the loss of the old life, and the anticipation of the challenges of the new life may be as overwhelming and more debilitating than loss of limbs, permanent scars, loss of “intelligence”, memory or clarity. The loss can be overwhelming. The anger and disappointment at the medical community in their inability to deal or even in many cases, causing the loss, is all but consuming.

For those that need to find a new life, or a new identity, the challenge is great. Dr. LaVine specializes in this existential crisis, or existential opportunity, depending on point of view using Existential Therapy. His own narrative of recovery from serious burns and head injury in a boat explosion puts him in a unique stance to relate and be helpful. If a new life is required, letting go of the old is a challenge and finding a path to make the new life better that is better than the old may require support and guidance. As Vicktor Frankel expressed – our response, is ultimately our freedom.

Chronic Trauma

Dr. LaVine has also worked with a subtler form of trauma that comes from the emotional abuse that occurred in childhood. These patients often suffer from the constant stress to be perfect or not disappoint others, that eventually manifests as anxiety and sensitivity. This pleasing way of thinking and acting often works better for others than the person themselves. Hypnotherapy, especially cognitive therapy, can be helpful. So are the Mind Body Mastery for Stress Group skills taught in the MBMS group.

You can learn more about PTSD at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) or Mayo Clinic