There are many misconceptions about what addiction is. A lot of people associate addictions only with things like drinking, gambling, smoking and drug use. In fact, we can become addicted to almost any activity or behaviour. In our role as therapists we meet people who have unhealthy relationships with a whole range of substances and activities including work, sex, shopping, the internet and gadgets, food and exercise and even healthy eating; and who struggle to manage them.
Addiction counselling seeks to explore where the behaviour has its roots and to discover the underlying issue or trigger.
The first step towards recovery is acknowledging that substance use or the behaviour has become a problem which is disrupting or destroying the quality of your life. Being an addict is defined as whether you ‘do’ or ‘do not’ have control over your own behaviour. Addictive behaviour generally involves activities that start out by providing an escape from worries or pain – emotional and physical. If these activities are controlled and done in moderation, they can actually be a useful source of comfort or distraction; exercise is good for us, as is healthy eating, and there might be nothing wrong with the odd glass of wine. However, if they get out of control, they can take over your life and become a source of struggle and conflict in themselves. Once an activity or substance becomes an addiction it can have a severely damaging effect on your life and that of those around you.
How does addiction counselling help?
Many people are embarrassed about their addiction and the effect it has on them. Seeking counselling for your addiction is a big step. Your therapist will not be shocked or judge you, whatever the addiction. Working with a trained addiction counsellor can help you to find the roots of your addictive behaviour. For many this behaviour started as a reaction to or coping mechanism in another area of your life that wasn’t under your control.
Addiction counselling seeks to explore where the behaviour comes from and to discover the underlying issues or triggers. This will help you to be able to address your addiction and learn to find a way forward to manage it so that it no longer manages you. Your therapist will often use a variety of approaches tailored to your needs. These may include aspects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and talking therapies such as counselling. Research indicates that a good relationship with your therapist is vital in your recovery. The therapists at Cardiff Therapy Rooms are trained to deal with your problems.