Addiction treatment begins with getting a better life balance
For all addiction treatment, there is a powerful emotion anticipating the pleasure from indulging which overwhelms the rational higher self. The higher self appreciates the costs of the addiction and understands, in calmer moments, the anticipation is never completed or fulfilled. This is so, even as the anxiety caused by the addiction raises the bar.
The dependence can be based around gambling or sex or the internet or retail and shopping – it really does not matter. The psychology is similar and so it the route to freedom.
To help you overcome an addiction, listen regularly to my Overcoming Addiction MP3.
Listening to the Mp3 will embed all that must be understood about your addiction and so to be able to begin the process of recovery. The download induces trance states at times and of course trance is a necessary requirement to overcome addictions as we are dealing with deep emotional patterns and habits.
How I treat Addictions
- Building control and empowerment by getting needs better metThe addiction, arising out of behaviour which at the beginning was moderate, would have reflected a life that was not working in some way. This could have been in response to a crisis – at work or family perhaps – or something more deep seated concerning basic safety and security, relationships and work and meaning. Evaluating needs with the Needs Audit then and now will be important.At this stage too, it may well be helpful for both the client and therapist to evaluate resources and capacities.
- Often the secret is not to rush into complete cessation but to set objectives that make sense and work in a way that does not add to the pressure but in fact relieves it.First it may be that the objective is not to stop completely but is to keep the pleasurable activity but in moderation.Second of course, a better balanced life with needs met and resources working well is a precondition for complete cessation or control.Dip the toe in the water and only begin to swim when it feels safe.
- The identification and clearing of an unhelpful emotional response – triggered from a past event or set of experiences. This then becomes the starting point to the rehearsal of new behaviours and responses.
- Practising relaxation and self awareness. General relaxation can help, as awareness grows, while in a relaxed state, rehearsal can be undertaken of particular trigger situations.
- And we always bear in mind where you are on the staging posts to successful addiction treatment.
- Pre-contemplation: Before you know you have a problem
- Contemplation: Yes, maybe you do have a problem
- Determination: a decision is taken – something has to change
- Action: You do something about it
- Maintenance: There is real effort to stick with it
- Relapse: You learn that any (likely) slip is not a disaster but a staging point on the road to complete cessation.