Addiction Case Studies
These case studies are representative of the many addicted clients that have seen me over the last few years. In all cases, names and other details have been changed to preserve complete anonymity.
Terence was a high flier addicted to coke
Terence worked in a big law firm for many years– under real pressure but earning a lot of money. His problem was crack cocaine – which was now impacting on his work. He sometimes went missing from the office for days and when he returned he was hardly fit. His colleagues were covering for him but would not do so for much longer.
The first thing needed was to confront other problems in Terence’s life – trauma from his childhood and the nature of his marriage. When this had been put on a firmer footing, we worked together over 2/3 months to change the habitual triggers that led to the benders and also to build up his self confidence. Control came slowly and it was a number of months before Terence was ready to stop the habit completely.
Brian, a binge drinker since a teenager
Brian had been drinking more and more as a means to suppress his anxiety – but he was suffering black outs after his binges when he could remember nothing. This terrified him. The source of the problem was trauma from a very bad accident – which had then put a stop to a cherished ambition to study.What was needed was not only the de-traumatising of the experience but to help Brian to get his life back on track – a career path that would satisfy him and a better relationship with his long suffering girlfriend.
Ursula, a young woman ready to stop
Ursula was in her late twenties and over the past few years had found that most of her socialising on a Friday and Saturday entirely revolving around coke and alcohol. She was sick of it but found that she could not stop.
The first task was to get Ursula’s life working better. She needed to leave home and maybe even change jobs. She was a travel agent. She also needed to spend time with other friends who were not into this coke culture.
And when she was ready to stop, it was quite easy. The patterns of her weekends could be changed and her focus became increasingly balanced and healthy.
Evelyn, a regular user of cannabis for many years
Evelyn’s life was working well. She was married and had a small child but found that her long-standing cannabis habit was still with her. A lot of it was associated with sex with her husband. We had one long session of therapy and that was all that was needed. I explained to Evelyn exactly what the psychological basis of her habit was and this relieved her. We then looked at the triggers that ended with the cannabis consumption – and found ways to shift and rehearse new triggers in trance.
Mike’s journey to a new life and freedom from coke
Mike’s life was a mess. His marriage was breaking up, his teenage daughter was spending less and less time at home and his job was massively stressful. So what he did was to retreat to his room and take coke, at weekends for sure and also at times during the week. This took all his spare money, fed his chronic anxieties and meant that he felt completely incapable to make the life changes that he knew were essential. His self-confidence was at rock bottom.
In this situation, the first requirement was to take the pressure off Mike and take the change he needed as slowly as possible. His first step was indeed to move out of his house and the second was to begin to establish a new life. Mike also found that there was good trance work that would connect him with times in his earlier life he had felt himself to be successful. There was also a big issue over the death of his brother that he could not yet resolve. So we worked on this also and then slowly at first, his life began to take shape. There was a girlfriend that was waiting for him to get clean (or cleaner) and he had a new business idea to get his teeth into.
All in all, it took 3 months or so but by the end, he was much happier in himself, taking control and finding he could limit his coke to when he wanted it – and this was increasingly rarely.
Dave had a serious gambling addiction
Dave’s gambling had been a problem for a number of years now. His gambling was entirely undertaken in betting shops where he focused mainly on racing. He could spend up to £500 in a week which left him without any spare cash and having to cadge and borrow wherever he could. But he had had enough of it and was ready to seek help, having failed to stop whenever he had tried on his own.
Dave was a builder and had worked on the Olympic stadium – both on the original and on its conversion to football. He was a skilled labourer and was well thought off. But he needed to work in London and so stayed in digs. He lived in mid-Wales and returned periodically to see his mother. He had a son living there too, who was now a teenager and who lived with his mother with whom David had a difficult relationship.
When working with Dave, it was clear that the gambling filled a big hole in his life, which would need to be filled up with something rather better. But there was something else and this became very clear in our first session. It was that the memory of the breakup of his marriage to the mother of his son and left a powerful imprint which was still with him and which was affecting his confidence.
One of the wonderful aspects of my Human Givens training, is that it was quite straightforward to free Dave from this bad past experience and then to build up his confidence. And this is what we did using hypnotherapy methods.
And the result was profound and immediate. Dave felt a great weight had lifted and he was now adamant that he was ready to stop his gambling – in its tracks. Further, he could see how he would change his daily life – both in London and when he went back home. And then we had an extended trance session, which was about rehearsing the changing he was ready to make and about shifting the trigger situations.
I saw Dave a couple of weeks after that session and he was transformed. He had not gambled since that session and he was filling up his time with fitness work and visiting mates. I told him that all of this would be laying down new patterns of behaviour and he was well on his way. He was off to Wales that weekend and we talked and rehearsed how he would approach it differently. And that was the last time I saw Dave.
Justin had become increasingly addicted to pornography and interest in prostitutes
Justin worked at BT as a senior software engineer, he was married and had two teenage boys. He found his work increasingly stressful. He said that he still loved his wife but there was no doubt that after nearly 20 years it was not satisfying on a number of levels, not just sexually. He did visit prostitutes occasionally and spent a fair amount of time looking at sites of prostitutes and escort agencies. He also was now spending an increasing amount of time, maybe 3 to 4 hours most nights which went into the early morning, looking at pornography sites.
Masturbation was certainly a part of this almost nightly time, but was not primarily what it was about. At times Justin barely understood why, but he found it hard to stop even as his wife was increasingly aware of what he was doing and had confronted him.
He wanted to stop and he knew he was letting his wife down. He was very clear in his mind that he wanted to improve his marriage and be the best father he could.
Justin listened to the first two tracks of my Moving Beyond Addictions audio programme and as he did so, he began to understand much more clearly why he was addicted to this pornography and external sexual interest and began to be more and more disgusted with himself. At the same time, we discussed ways in which you would get closer to his wife and he found it easy to recall earlier times when he had been.
And so after a period of some six weeks, he found it increasingly easy to step back from his pornography addiction and get his life moving much better. He also made a change at work by applying for a job in a different area of the company. And he realised that previously he had not had the confidence to do that, which in retrospect was clearly another reason why he had got himself stuck.
Smoking Case Studies
Katy was in her early thirties, happily married, with a nursery school job that she loved and had no financial worries. A great thrill for her was that she was three months pregnant. There was just one terrible sadness and stress – which was that despite her best efforts, she was still smoking. She had been a smoker for many years and was horrified that despite putting her unborn baby’s welfare at risk, she just could not stop.
After she had told me all of this at our first (and only) session, I realised that there must be a hidden pattern at work otherwise, given her lack of stress otherwise, Katy should have been able to stop. After a little investigation, we found it. It was that some ten years ago, she had stopped smoking but at this time, there was some terrible stress in her life. Her mother had died and she had lost her job. Also she had begun to suffer from a painful skin condition on her face which Katy believed was stress related. In any event, she had begun to smoke again and her life began to get back to normal.
It was clear that unconsciously Katy believed smoking was a stress reliever and indeed the fact that smoking while pregnant was stressful, might well have been locking her in a negative feedback loop – so to speak.
So we did trance work including a Rewind of that time ten years ago in order to break this link in Katy’s mind. That did the trick and having tried a cigarette that day and found it “disgusting” she never smoked again.
Lyn was in her 60s and had smoked all of her adult life and was determined to have another go – to stop. This was for health reasons and because her daughter hated her smoking. We discovered that there was a lot of trauma in Lyn’s past – mainly around two unsuccessful and quite abusive marriages. She was also a little depressed – evident by her bad sleep and her core scores.
So I worked on this. First I used Rewind to de-traumatise and then we built her confidence so that she could be more social. There were five sessions of therapy and only in the last, did we work directly on the smoking cessation. But by that time, she was ready to stop and indeed she did.
Amelia had been a moderate smoker for many years and just could not stop. It was really annoying her and having married she wanted to try for a baby. There was clearly very strong motivation and I could also see that Amelia lived a well-balanced life – with friends, her marriage and interesting work.
We focused on changing the patterns of Amelia’s daily life when smoking was a temptation and set up a plan to change these over the next week or so. This was part of an extended preparation for the trancework that was to follow. Additional preparation included the scientific explanation of addiction (the dopamine surge) and finding her resources. We finished the session with that deep trance session.
We arranged to meet in a fortnight, but Amelia phoned to cancel on that day. She was unwell but volunteered the information that she was “amazed” at her progress. We then rearranged for two weeks hence. Again on the day of that session, she phoned to cancel. She was ‘cured’ she said – and pregnant.