Breaking Addiction Through Counselling and Hypnosis
Look around and you’ll see addiction everywhere. Alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Gambling. Smoking. Technology. Even with our food.
For some time, there has been the long held belief that addiction comes as a physiological response; a chemical dependence. While there is certainly some instances where that can be the case, the way in which we perceive the addiction plays an equal or larger part.
Addiction is essentially a form of ‘experiential avoidance’; that is, it is a short term ‘feel good’ release that also avoids dealing with the real issues at hand.
The video below highlights this perfectly. When people have something to ‘go home to’, their chances of addiction are dramatically less than those who have nothing to go home to.
From the people who I have worked with that experience an addiction, there is often a self-critical component as well; a lack of self-compassion where they certainly have expectations of themselves that exceed how they would view anyone else. They’ve often focused on how flawed they are, how much they’ve ruined their lives and fail to see how living with this self-perception is driving them more towards the self-destructive behaviour.
They’ve allowed their toxic shame to take control and to drive them towards
behaviours that increasingly make it harder for them
to resolve the issues at hand.
While it may make them feel good in the short term and avoid dealing with the root causes that created that self-belief, it isn’t a strategy that can be sustained.
In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) terms, the addictive behaviour is a response to a challenging situation that is taking them away from becoming the kind of person that is aligned with their values. Through counselling and therapy, they can explore what kind of values are important to them – what kind of things they are willing to take a stand for – and come up with behaviours that will lead them towards that kind of person so that they can have a rich, full and meaningful existence. This will often involve exploring the kinds of thoughts and beliefs that they have about themselves and being able to observe those thoughts for what they are; neither true nor false, just simply thoughts. Our minds will often work in similar ways and we’ve all experienced moments where our mind has tried to trick us into believing the worst about ourselves. When we are able to step away from those thoughts, to observe them and to realise that they are nothing more than thoughts, then we can lessen the impact of the uncomfortable feelings these thoughts may bring up and choose to make decisions aligned with our values.
Until we can start to develop new skills, new techniques and new ways of viewing our lives,
we run the risk of being trapped in the very thoughts and feelings
that drive us towards the addictive behaviour.
Hypnosis can also be used to help increase motivation for people who are recovering from addiction, to help them create a positive and compelling future and to stay motivated and committed to their recovery.
Recently, there has been some exposure in the media that suggests that hypnotherapy can be a useful tool in the fight against the growing epidemic of ice addiction. As discussed in the article, the more people can explore different tools and means to break free of their addiction, the greater the chances of success they will have.
Check out the excellent video below on addiction that helps to explain this research further.