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Understanding addiction and therapies that can help

Understanding addiction

Addiction and the therapies that can help

As a follow on from last month’s article Is it possible to be addicted to happiness?, we wanted to take you through a series of therapies that can be used to provide positive shifts in addictive behaviour that leads to addiction.

But before we get into the therapies, we’re going to briefly explore the relationship between addiction and connection, as there is compelling research that shows how the two are linked.

What is the opposite of addiction?

While a logical and reflex answer to the above question might be ‘sobriety’, recent research shows that connection is in fact the flip side of addiction. As Johann Hari explains in his TED Talk titled Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong, people who become addicted are in fact seeking connection. When people have healthy bonds and connections in their life, namely with other people, with their work and a sense of purpose and meaning, they have no reason to take up addictive substances or crave the next big thing in life.

Why connection matters and how you can use it to heal

Many people try to tackle their psychological health in isolation, on their own. Sales of self-help and pop-psychology books are at an all-time high, as people seek ways to remedy their psychological difficulties by themselves. While this is great news, addiction is one area, that we believe, truly benefits from a face-to-face connection with a qualified professional.

By working with a qualified professional at every step of the way who knows all the pitfalls and what to expect as you grow and evolve, addiction can become a thing of the past – in a more concrete and long-lasting way than if you try to tackle it alone. A large part of healing addiction requires people to engage with society, to be with others, to be truly seen and heard.

Your connection with a therapist over a set period of time is actually an important stepping-stone to making your recovery from addiction complete. As for which therapies will be required, we can put together a unique programme tailored to your needs, that uses a couple or several of the techniques described below.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

In this modality, you’ll work closely with your therapist in examining your thoughts and behaviours around certain things. Instead of exploring the history of where these behaviours come from, the focus is instead on managing the immediate feelings that arise within day-to-day activities.

By increasing your awareness of the micro-moments of these daily activities and what’s happening in the present moment, you will be empowered to make more conscious choices, that will provide better results in the long-run. Find out more about CBT here.

Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MCBT)

This technique aims to focus one’s awareness in the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting ones feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.

It can help you through depression and chronic unhappiness as well. Ultimately, the focus in this technique is on helping a person understand the underlying moods that influence their mind, and how to develop a new relationship – with both their feelings and their mind. You can find out more about MCBT here.

 

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Sometimes, we spend extra energy worrying about the future or things that are outside of our control. This therapy aims to free up that energy by bringing what’s not within our control to our conscious awareness. When you can accept what’s outside of your personal control, you can single-mindedly commit your energy and attention to actions that will improve the quality of your life.

This unique approach to behavioural change has been proven to be effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety, pain and anorexia. It has also been an excellent tool to help people come off all kinds of addictions and can even be used as a model for life coaching and executive coaching. Discover more about ACT here.

Telephone / Skype Therapy

While in-person sessions are ideal, telephone or skype therapy offer exactly the same level of healing connection required to resolve addiction. Ranging from occasional sessions, to an agreed set of sessions, we can help you determine what works best for you. We have many clients based overseas, and this has also proven to be an excellent option for local residents who find themselves travelling a lot for work. Explore the options of Skype therapy here.