Addiction is a continued, compulsive dependence on a behaviour or a substance despite harmful consequences to the individual’s physical or mental health or social life. Some researchers speak of two types of addictions: substance addictions (for example alcohol, drugs, or smoking); and process addictions (for example gambling, spending, shopping, eating, internet/social media and sexual activity).
People affected by an addiction often suffer from feelings like anger, anxiety, depression, fear, guilt, shame, or low self-esteem. You may feel quite ambivalent about letting go of your addiction: It may have become a “crutch” for you when things get difficult, but you might also be aware that what you are doing is dangerous for your health and not what you really want in life.
Crossroad Counselling & Psychotherapy offers treatment using a collaborative approach based on respect rather than confrontation. I will help you explore your ambivalence and develop and maintain a motivation to change, identify and acknowledge your emotional needs, address the underlying issues which contribute to your addiction and support you in identifying healthier coping strategies. The aim is to help clients work out how to make and maintain changes.
When we try to change a habit or unhealthy behaviour we go through different stages. To be able to change you have to recognise that there is a problem first. I help people to figure out what stage of change they are at, i. e. what their motivation to change is:
- Pre-contemplation is when we aren’t yet recognising a need to change.
- Contemplation is when we are considering change.
- Preparation is when we are preparing to change.
- Action is when we start to change.
- Relapse is when we return to the old behaviour.
- Maintenance is when we succeed at change.
Treatment will depend on the stage you are currently at.