Are you addicted to alcohol or substance misuse, as a means to cope with life?
Here's how to tell:
Addiction counselling can help you understand, and move beyond reliance on a coping mechanism or substance.
For those in addiction, their substance of choice is a ‘solution’ to life’s problems.
In *some* way, addiction works *for* the individual.
A great part of overcoming addiction is initially understanding, specifically, what the addiction is achieving for you.
This is often difficult to believe, as the consequences of addiction in the real world, are devastating. Not only to the addict themselves, but sometimes even more so, for those around him/her.
I could be drinking because...
...but whatever the reason is, can you see that it's pointing us to the underlying beliefs? e.g.
…and these are part of the core drivers behind addiction.
By looking at addiction through this lens, you can begin to understand it....and overcome it. No matter how hopeless it seems.
Via addiction counselling, you’ll be exploring and more importantly – understanding - your addiction, from multiple angles, including:
- Triggers, conditionings, associations toward your addiction and addictive behaviours
- Underlying beliefs, values, and behavioural patterns
- The reasons *why* you’re in addiction, personally
- What emotional disparity the addiction is attempting to compensate for
For some, it will be easy to point to certain events in life, and identify that ‘it was after *that* , that I started drinking or using drugs’.
For others, it could be elements of life history that are much more subtle, such as observational learning from parents, or a long term lack of self-esteem.
Indeed, anxiety and depression usually run hand-in-hand alongside addictive patterns, and form part of the underlying reasons the addiction exists.
However, once you truly understand the addiction itself, and the reasons it’s there, it becomes dramatically easier to understand what’s going on during moments of feeling triggered, and to intervene appropriately, before abusing alcohol or drugs.
- Awareness of how and why you arrived at where you are currently, in addiction
- Significant insight into the reasons the addiction exists – the reasons that are unique to you.
- Better coping mechanisms when triggers arise, and setting up multiple supports to help you in these situations in future
- A deeper awareness of who you are, and how to avoid addictive behaviours in future, when life’s stressors occur.
Like most things in life, recovering from addiction takes work – every day.
It’s not one-off work done solely in the counselling room, it’s a new lifestyle choice.
But by stacking work done in addiction counselling, with strong follow up support, like a sponsor, mutual aid meetings, and specialist addiction recovery groups, it becomes possible to truly overcome addiction in the long term, and reclaim your life.
Our counsellors for addiction adhere to the BACP code of ethics and practice.