/ By Recovery Expert

Desert Solace co-founder Jerri Jorgensen describes the ways trauma can lead to substance and behavioral addictions, such as pornography addiction.


As the co-founder and family liaison of Desert Solace, an inpatient addiction rehab center for substance and behavioral addiction, Jerri Jorgensen has seen the many ways in which addiction can lead to interpersonal dysfunction.


Furthermore, she’s seen how trauma can be at the root of much of that dysfunction, and may even be at the core of addiction for many people.

Related: Reaching Out For Help: The First Step To Recovery For Behavioral Addiction

Describing trauma as a “core issue” when dealing with addictions, Jorgensen described addictions as ways people maladaptively cope with negative emotions. In her view, addictions often form “because the core issues have never been addressed.”


“Some people think that trauma has to be this huge event where there was molestation, there was abandonment, or a huge accident, a natural disaster,” said Jorgensen. “Trauma can be as maybe insignificant as ‘My dad didn’t show up to my ball game,’ or ‘He didn’t come to my band concert,’ or ‘I got turned down for a date.’”


Jorgensen explained that trauma isn’t proportionate to the scale of the negative events in a person’s life. Instead, trauma often forms as a result of how people internalize the events in their lives.


“It’s not necessarily the event that happens to us,” said Jorgensen. “It’s the stories that we make up about it. Like, ‘Oh gosh, okay, I got turned down for this, well, what does that say about me?’”


Jorgensen said that poor self-esteem and shame which originates from trauma can often be the underlying condition behind addiction.


In order to combat addiction, Jorgensen believes it is first necessary to face the shame and other negative emotions the addiction is covering up.


“We’ve got to step through that shame and step through that fear to get to the other side,” Jorgensen said. “The only way out is through. That’s the only way out. You can’t go under, around, or over.”


To that end, Desert Solace focuses on group therapy, nature and equestrian therapy and building a support network inside the client’s home community through spousal support.


Desert Solace also follows up with each client after they graduate from the inpatient resident program to help them along their continuing recovery journey.


“There’s a lot of aftercare that goes on, and we figure out the aftercare plan for them, because we want to stay connected,” Jorgensen said.


For those looking to work through their trauma and get to the core of their addiction, Desert Solace has references and information to help move forward.


“I can suggest a place to go,” Jorgensen said. “I can suggest good therapists. Or just good resources. So if you call and you’re not even thinking about residential treatment, we’re still really good resources.”


Desert Solace is an inpatient addiction treatment center in St. George, Utah. Desert Solace specializes in the treatment of pornography and sex addictions. Additionally, they offer treatment programs for gaming, gambling and substance abuse. Their inpatient facility for porn, sex, gaming, gambling and substance addictions features professional, licensed counselors, a professional chef, equine therapy and more. With ongoing outpatient support for patients and their loved ones via phone calls and online messaging, Desert Solace believes in involving the client’s family in the pornography and sex addiction recovery process.

Desert Solace
451 N Meadow Dr.
Dammeron Valley, UT 84783, USA
(435) 817-1351

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