• Addiction Counselling
Addiction Counselling

Addiction counselling can help you take control of addiction and your life.

Addiction can be to any kind of pleasurable behaviour: drinking, sex, shopping, food, and so on. Some activities or substances can generate a feeling that is so powerful that it may seem that life without that feeling may never be worthwhile again. Many life-long gamblers, for example, have had a big win early in their career and go on to spend the rest of their life chasing that buzz.

Am I Addicted?

Do you:

  • Unintentionally overdo it (bingeing, overdosing, etc.)?
  • Need more and more to satisfy you?
  • Get withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and tremors?
  • Persistently try but fail to quit?
  • Find your performance at work or important relationships are deteriorating
  • Use the habit to relieve anxiety, tremors etc.?
  • Continue your habit even when you suspect it is destroying you physically and/or emotionally? 

Who needs help for Addiction – Addiction Counselling?

If you can identify with any 3 of the above statements you may benefit from addiction counselling.

Some addictions cause more damage to our health, our life, our work, our relationships, our finances than others. Whether you need help with an addiction depends on what you are addicted to and how damaging it is to your life and those around you. To put it another way, addiction to running is less damaging than to alcohol.

Why do Addictions seem so hard to beat?

Our brain wants us to enjoy life. When we first do things that give us a real “buzz”, our brain retains a strong memory of this. So, when we have an opportunity to do this again, our brain strongly encourages us to do it by producing a brain hormone called dopamine. Dopamine, which is nature’s cocaine, drives us to achieve our goals in life. However, it can unfortunately drive us to addiction by making us strive for goals that give us only a short term fix. Our brain, driven by the memory of the “buzz” drives us to pursue those activities even when the habit is destroying our lives.   The urge is so great that we “do it” even though the consequence will be far worse than the benefit. We may feel remorseful, but the dopamine-laced memory makes us give in again and again.

Not only that, but the warm feelings of satisfaction we get after doing something — eating, laughing, having sex, or achieving some new understanding or skill — are produced by endorphin, another natural substance (which is similar to heroin). Working together these chemicals keep us interested in performing the biological functions that preserve the species, and stretch each one of us to learn and achieve.

In a well-balanced life, a reasonable amount of natural reward is felt every day, but in a life where essential emotional needs are not met and abilities are not stretched, the rewards do not come and life feels flat and meaningless. This kind of life is rich territory for the development of addictions, as every addictive substance or behaviour either stimulates a natural reward mechanism or provides a chemical reward directly.

Addiction can be beaten

Addiction is beaten by many people. To get away from addictive behaviour it helps to understand the way these reward mechanisms work, how they drive your addictive behaviour and how to take back control.  Addiction counselling can help you to understand these mechanisms and also help you to find ways to create a new, more satisfying way of life full of the natural rewards that make addictive activities less attractive.

How can I stop?

When you understand how your brain is “tricking you” to pursue fool’s-gold, you can use the same knowledge to STOP the dopamine surge which drives you to “take one more drink” etc.

Addiction Counselling – Professional Help

All therapists in the MindFully Well network  are fully trained to help people take control of their addictions and their lives.

We can help you to:

  • work out and resolve the issues that initially caused you to over-indulge
  • create a true memory of the detrimental impact of the addiction to replace the fool’s-gold memories which keep you hooked
  • learn to recognise and instantly kill the dopamine surge which drives addiction
  • create a more satisfying life full of the natural rewards that make addictive activities less attractive

If you would like help dealing with addiction, contact any counsellor – psychotherapist in the MindFully Well network and they will be happy to give you professional help.

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