Psychotherapy for addiction and compulsive behaviour
We often use the word ‘addiction’ to refer to a habit or behaviour that is out of control and on which a person has become dependent and even though they want to, they can neither stop the behaviour for any period of time nor exercise control over its use, despite the negative impact that it is having on their life.
It may be alcohol or drugs, or a behaviour such as sex, viewing pornography, exercise – in fact, any behaviour that has become compulsive and assumed such a high priority in their life that they are experiencing consequences in other areas. These may be problems relating to family, relationships, money, health, work or the law.
If you recognise something of your own situation in this description, it may be helpful for you to seek therapy. I understand that if you have become dependent on something to make yourself feel better, to feel good or to help you to manage the difficulties that you face in life, the prospect of giving up or changing that behaviour can be daunting and very challenging. You may have sought help before or feel ashamed that things have got so bad.
It may be that you have already made the commitment to change but are finding the process of recovery difficult to negotiate. If you have depended on a substance or a behaviour over a significant period, the process of adjustment can be tough.
I will not judge or criticise you but I will help you to understand about your addiction and the purpose it serves, or it has served, in your life, and help you to make changes to your behaviour and provide support and guidance as you move away from addiction towards living a more fulfilled life.
The consequences of addiction and compulsive behaviour spread beyond the person themselves and you may be affected by someone else’s addiction or behaviour and struggling to understand or to cope with what is happening. In such situations, it is common and very understandable to become focused on trying to persuade that person to stop or change their behaviour, but it is important that you have a source of help and support for yourself. Helping yourself may be the key to helping someone whom you love or care about face up to their problems and seek the help that they need in order to get well.