Hope for Overcoming Addiction from a Therapist’s Perspective

Asian American Woman learning about Residential Rehab

Hope is necessary for overcoming addiction [1]. Addiction can feel overwhelming and can lead to feelings of stress, guilt, shame, anger, fear, and grief. It can be hard to stay hopeful when individuals and families are impacted by these feelings and other negative consequences from substance use.

When we feel hopeless, it can be powerful for other people to be hopeful for us. If other people are hopeful, then we are more likely to find hope again. Recovering from addiction requires a sense of community that can provide support, acceptance, encouragement, and hope [1].

Sometimes addiction can negatively impact the relationships we have. If you are currently feeling isolated due to this or don’t have a supportive community, there is still hope for you. In fact, this blog post can serve as a token that there is hope for you or your loved one’s recovery.

Maura Merritt, a licensed marriage and family therapist in California, has worked with many individuals during the addiction recovery process. When asked about why there is hope for overcoming addiction, she said, “I’ve seen a lot of clients make the choice to become free of substances.

It’s not an easy journey but it’s so fulfilling for my clients to be able to see and feel what it is like to create a healthier life worth living free from drugs or alcohol” [2].

Woman overcoming addictionMerritt went on to say, “once a client starts to feel the positive effects of a sober lifestyle, the hope for a brighter future can begin” [2]. It may seem difficult if you are currently struggling with addiction to imagine that a sober lifestyle could be fulfilling.

This may be especially true if substances are the main way that you cope with emotional or physical pain. However, there are many people who have overcome addiction, even with underlying mental health conditions or physical pain.

This reality creates the foundation of the 12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. 12 step programs were created by people who recovered from addiction and continue to be facilitated by recovered people. The fact that these groups exist serves as hope that recovery is possible.

If other people can recover, so can you. It’s not an easy process, but it is possible. There are plenty of resources available to you or your loved one for substance abuse treatment. Whether you find support from a treatment center, outpatient therapist, or a 12 step program, you don’t have to do this work alone. You can achieve sobriety and maintain it so you can have a fulfilling life.


[1] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020, April 23). Recovery and recovery support. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/recovery

[2] (M. Merritt, personal communication, October 6th 2020).

About the Author:

Samantha Bothwell PhotoSamantha Bothwell, LMFT, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, writer, explorer, and lipstick aficionado. She became a therapist after doing her own healing work so she could become whole after spending many years living with her mind and body disconnected. She has focused her clinical work to support the healing process of survivors of sexual violence and eating disorders. She is passionate about guiding people in their return to their truest Self so they can live their most authentic, peaceful life.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from multiple physical, emotional, environmental, and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Published on October 21, 2020
Reviewed by Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on October 21, 2020
Published on AddictionHope.com

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter Ekern is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He contributed and helped write a major portion of Addiction Hope and is responsible for the operations of the website.