I am a long term resident of Vancouver, and feel lucky to have come of age in this diverse community. After many years in the business world, I determined that I should turn my vocation - being there for people in trouble - into my profession. I returned to school, graduating from Vancouver Community College as an Addictions Counsellor, and then began studies specific to the area of sex addiction at The International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). There I gained access to the specialized tests, tools, skills and resources required to assess for sex addiction (and co-occurring addictions) and to support long-term recovery. I credit my own history with a professional counsellor for helping me find the courage to make these important changes in my life and realize my true calling.
I come to this work out of a sincere desire to help people understand why they suffer, and how to change. In the last 20 years as a client, life-long learner and counsellor, my belief in the value of trained support has only grown - for many, it is an integral step needed to get started on the bumpy road of recovery and change. I know how important it is that you find the person with whom you can be your wounded self. My life experience and my education have affirmed how common and understandable is the response of addiction to the wounds so many of us receive throughout our lives – I accept it is a sensible response to events, but like so many automatic human responses, it’s short term gain yielding long term pain. Our brains were not created for our happiness, merely our survival, and changing how they are currently working is difficult. I am committed to being knowledgeable, professional support to those who are choosing change, and want to come home to the true self, the one they were born to be. Sex addiction is an attachment disorder – one of the roles of a counsellor is to model and teach healthy attachment. I believe that within that accepting connection, when my desire to help you meets up with your desire to help yourself, the work of healing begins.
Making our lives better involves practice. Our habits are like the grooves on an old-fashioned phonographic record, and only practice of new, healthy habits can cut new grooves in our brains. Researchers continue to uncover the phenomenal neuroplasticity or adaptability of the human brain, which has the capacity to alter and evolve throughout our lifespan. Every consistent focus of our attention eventually becomes hard-wired into our neural pathways.
Andra Adams, ASAT, RPC-C
Sex Addiction Counsellor
Not just my job, not just my career, but my vocation.