Return to Home Page (click here)
North London Stress Management Centre.
Tel: 020 8444 4871
There are no obvious set of circumstances behind addiction. You may be suffering from a lack of coherence within your inner self, a feeling that your world is meaningless, empty, devoid of happiness and that there is no hope for you. Or every day you experience contentment, fulfilment, pride and joy. Whatever state of mind you are in, you are seeking help because, whether it be alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, gambling, shopping, sex, internet, gaming, mobile phones, social media, smoking, prescription drugs, MDMA (the list is endless) your addiction has taken over your life.
There are five commonly identifiable stages of addiction, summarised as follows:
Stage1: You do not believe you have a problem
Stage 2: You start to accept that there is a problem, and that you are facing negative consequences as a result.
Stage 3: You come to the conclusion that you need to take action to address your addiction.
Stage 4: You make an attempt to change, either by seeking professional help or through self-imposed willpower
Stage 5: You quit your addiction and experience a period of maintenance, hoping you will not relapse.
These five stages can by their very nature be open to interpretation. No two experiences are identical, we are each treading our own uniquely individual path through life. What is important at this point, however, is for you to understand what is actually happening during this time, and to recognise the seemingly never-ending struggle between the Self and the Addict. This concept is worth explaining, as it will help you see why you are currently suffering.
The Addictive Personality:
Though this concept will be explained in more detail during the first therapeutic session, it is still worth giving an overview here. The idea of the addictive personality should not be confused with the general theory that there is some genetic background to those who have an addiction based on evidence pointing to a family history of negative dependency. Whilst we estimate that around 60% of the people we have seen over the years do indeed have such a family narrative, this is not what we mean by the addictive personality. Instead, we consider the typical addictive psychological profile to comprise of two parts: the Self and the Addict:
The Self is the emotional relationship we have with our inner personality. It provides the basis of our character and shapes our identity. We naturally, from birth, have feelings of Self-confidence, Self-belief, Self-respect, Self-esteem, Self-determination, Self-control, Self-importance, Self-love. However, over time and based on the events we experience (starting from early childhood) the Self becomes an ever changing pattern of beliefs, emotions and behaviours – some positive, some damaging.
The foundation of the Addict, the second part of the addictive personality, is found in us all, whether we progress to dependence or not. It has as its basis the perfectly normal desire we all have to get through life with the least amount of pain and the greatest amount of pleasure. It is found in our pessimistic and negative view of the world, however large or small these feelings may be. When these negative beliefs control our way of life, as they do with addiction, we experience a damaging inner conflict. The Addict part of the personality holds an active belief and commitment to a negative lifestyle – whether the sufferer realises or desires this or not - and grows when a person abandons the natural ways of getting emotional needs met and becomes overtaken by dependency. The Self and the Addict are constantly locked in internal conflict. The longer the struggle, the more emotional power the Addict gains and establishes, becoming fully in control.
Much of the sufferer’s mental obsession results from denial or refusing to recognize this loss of emotional control. Obsessive thoughts, absurd rationalizations and negative pre-occupations become an ever-increasing part of the addict's life. Failure to reverse this conflict between the Self and the Addict explains why, even when sufferers manage to give up their current dependency, they may well drift to an alternative vice (switching from regular cannabis use to excessive alcohol consumption, for example, or trading in a specific obsession with social media for overuse of general internet platforms, etc.)
We help you take back control. By applying specific techniques that reverse the feelings feeding on and sustaining your addiction we can start the process of recovery. This is not a 12 step programme. Though we have a great deal of respect for the fellowship, we refuse to believe that you will be an addict for the rest of your life, no matter how long you are in abstainence. Instead, we help you take complete control of your life. We utililse psycho-cybernetics, CBT, mindfulness, Emotional Freedom Techniques, gestalt psychology and (where appropriate) hypnosis to empower you along the road to recovery, altering the emotional imbalance and conflict between the Self and the Addict and enabling you to adopt a highly positive approach to solving the problems that are associated with your dependency. It is a life-changing experience.
Discounts for low waged or unemployed available on request.
Seeking help is a display of strength, not weakness and you have our complete support, encouragement and indeed, admiration for starting the process. We do ask you to consider one further thing, however. It is vitally important that YOU YOURSELF HAVE TO WANT TO CHANGE. If you are otherwise happy with your addiction, and are only contacting us to please a friend or loved one (or if you are a musician, fellow band-members) then we will not be able to help you. The decision to give up your dependency must be yours, and yours alone.
For more detailed information on five of the principal addictions, please click on the images below:
COVID-19. For updated information and to access your FREE recordings please click on the following images: