Addiction

What would life be like without the addiction?

Are you struggling with a habit that’s got out of hand?

When the thought of quitting is overwhelming…

Being addicted to anything goes against the grain of being human. We want the freedom (and willpower) to choose our thoughts and actions. Addiction can be painful and complicated. It can strip away your confidence and self-esteem, leaving you feeling desperate and hopeless.

Maybe you’ve tried to quit before until something happened and you were back where you started. It’s easy to feel guilty and ashamed by a lack of self-control but when a habit becomes an addiction it’s way more complicated than just saying no.

Addictive thoughts and behaviours can be one of the most difficult things to deal with. This is due to the compulsive nature of addiction, how long you’ve been doing it and the feelings of powerlessness that comes with it. It can have a devastating effect on your life, work, health and the people around you. But people can and do beat addictions, read on to find out how.

I’d hit a very low point and my drinking was causing problems with my family. I’d tried counselling before but it didn’t work so I was a little sceptical. Now my relationship with my wife and family have improved immensely. I can go out without worrying (or having the wife worry about me). I am truly happier every day.”

Brad, Sales Manager, Cardiff


Addiction

What is it?


We can get addicted to pretty much anything.

Alcohol, drugs, medication, eating or not eating (anorexia), self-harm, gambling, shopping. Or it might be compulsive thoughts or actions. You may want to deal with the problem but not know where to begin. It’s important to know even ‘healthy’ habits can become difficult – being addicted to exercise, work or sex can lead to problems if they get out of control.


I have a lot of experience in counselling clients with addictions.

Through my work with the Cardiff Alcohol and Drug Team. Because the patterns behind addiction are similar (regardless of what you’re addicted to) I use the same approach which is client-led. This means you choose whether your goal is to abstain completely or learn to control it. Whatever you decide I can help you work towards it and remember – it might be hard but people do quit addictions every day.


Why do we get addicted?

There are two main reasons: 1) Our brains are very good at repetition which means thoughts and behaviours can quickly become patterns. Especially if there’s enjoyment, release or feelings of control involved. And 2) If other situations in our lives are difficult to handle (or were difficult when the problem started) we can find ourselves relying on our habit to get a ‘buzz’ or simply just feel okay.


How We’ll Work

1) Exploring
We’ll talk through what you’re experiencing – looking at the thoughts and feelings behind your addiction and how it fits with other areas of your life.

2) Building Motivation / The Cycle of Change
We’ll use ‘Motivational Interviewing’ to help you build or increase your motivation to change. We’ll also look at the ‘Cycle of Change’ to increase your knowledge of the change process, including common pitfalls.

3) Deciding on a Goal
This will be the best fit for you. If you’re not sure, we can work through the options and it doesn’t mean you have to take action immediately. Often our work in the planning stage is just as important (if not more so) than the action stage.

4) Building strengths and resources
This could be inner resources (finding new coping strategies to deal with problems or difficult emotions) or outer resources (developing or strengthening support networks and filling the space addiction leaves).

5) Action and Support
It can often take a few ‘trial and errors’ to change or quit an addiction so ongoing support is crucial. It’s important to process feelings of change and loss you may be experiencing as you leave the addiction behind. And often we need someone to hold the hope when it gets tough. At times it can feel impossible to escape but people do get through it. And with the right help, you could be next.

If you could use some help with this, please get in touch.

BACP Logo

Photo Credits: Image by Pexels from Pixabay | Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash | Image by Alex Fotos from Pixabay |

Scroll Up