Definition of addiction and compulsive behaviour
Addiction is an intense craving for something that triggers compulsive behaviour and loss of personal control leading to adverse consequences.
It changes the brain by disrupting the way it registers pleasure whilst corrupting other normal drives such as motivation and learning.
THINGS TO OBSERVE IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE AN ALCOHOL ADDICTION
- Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
- Have people annoyed you by criticising your drinking?
- Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
- Have you had “blackouts” as a result of your drinking?
- Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?
If you answered ‘yes’ to 2 of these questions, you may have a problem with alcohol.
SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR DRUG USE
- Have you used drugs other than those required for medical reasons?
- Do you abuse more than one drug at a time, including alcohol?
- Are you always able to stop using drugs when you want to?
- Have you had “blackouts” or “flashbacks” as a result of drug use?
- Do you ever feel bad or guilty about your drug use?
- Does your partner (or parent) ever complain about your involvement with drugs?
- Have you neglected your family because of your use of drugs?
- Have you engaged in illegal activities in order to obtain drugs?
- Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms when you stopped taking drugs?
- Have you had medical problems as a result of your drug use?
Please contact me if you have any concerns or uncertainty about your alcohol or drug consumption.
APPROACHES AND TECHNIQUES I USE IN TREATING ALCOHOL AND DRUG ADDICTION/COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOUR
- Psycho-education – Understanding the neuroscience of addiction: compulsive and addictive behaviour, the cycle of addiction, brain chemistry.
- Preventing relapse with Brief Interventions – Identifying high-risk situations, triggers and cravings, coping strategies. Enhancing motivation towards behavioural changes.
- Learning new coping mechanisms: relaxation training, stress reduction exercises, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and homework exercises.
- Dealing with anger using CBT – Identifying and dealing with automatic negative thoughts by managing boundaries and assertiveness training.
- Motivational Interview – Learning to rely on personal resource to make changes.
- Psychotherapy using Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioural approaches – Dealing with past experiences and linking them to familiar situations in the present moment. Addressing and dealing with root cause of trauma and shame.
- Bespoke after-care recovery/coaching plan – Tailored to meet the needs and requirements of the individual.
- Abstinence-based programmes (12-Step) or abstinence-based therapeutic recovery – Working the 12-step programme and its philosophy.
My treatment focuses on three main areas:
- The logistical concern of separating the individual from the harmful behaviour of using alcohol or drugs.
- Facing the guilt, shame and depression associated with this behaviour or illness.
- Putting together a structure to achieve and sustain recovery.
I am also able to offer an out-of-hours recovery-based personalised mentoring coaching plan. This package includes:
- Day-to-day individual one-to-one support and recovery consultation.
- Travel assistance to and from abstinence-based, 12-step meetings
- Working through the 12-step programme.
- Any other duties assisting the recovery journey.
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