Nancy Pentz

Individual & Couples Therapy

1875 I (Eye) Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC  20006

Addiction and Compulsive Behaviors

  • Are you preoccupied by the use or desire for alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or food?
  • Are gambling, spending, and/or shopping taking up more of your time?
  • Is clutter in your home or office causing your co-workers or spouse to complain?
  • Are these behaviors causing you to have health, financial, legal, occupational, or relationship problems?
  • Is a someone you love or work with having these problems?

As a fully trained addictions counselor, I have an understanding of the complications these behaviors can have in your life and in the lives of those around you. I think of addiction as two “types”: substance addiction and “process addictions” or compulsive behaviors. Substance addictions include, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and food. Process addictions or compulsive behaviors include shopping, spending, gambling, sex, relationships/love, or other numerous other behaviors that are compulsive or habitual in nature.


I offer evaluations that are confidential and completely independent of insurance companies, treatment centers, workplaces, or other institutions that could have a financial or other stake in the outcome of the evaluation. The evaluation is an interview process that can take as little as 30 minutes to two hours or more depending on the nature of the behavior. I share my findings with you only unless you give me prior written approval to share the information with specific others. Your confidentiality is protected by state and federal law. After I share my findings, I also share my recommendations for treatment. I do not provide primary substance addiction treatment, but I will assist you in going forward with any medical or other treatment referrals.


I provide treatment for individuals and adult family members whose co-workers or loved ones are struggling with substance addictions and/or other compulsive behaviors. I provide treatment for process addictions and compulsive behaviors.


The definition of “aftercare” is, simply, counseling after the completion of a residential or intensive outpatient treatment program. Aftercare is highly recommended for individuals who continue to struggle with situations and issues caused by prior addictive behavior and those who have mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. Aftercare is best when combined with self-help groups such as 12 Step, Rational Recovery, or Smart Recovery programs.

Modalities Used in the Treatment of Addictions and Compulsive Behaviors:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Positive psychology/learned optimism
  • Systems theory
  • Jungian therapies
  • Neuro-linguistic programming
  • Books, workbooks, movies, music, expressive arts
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Consultation with traditional and alternative medical practitioners
  • 12 Step programs
  • Referral to community resources

For information on scheduling your first appointment, click below.