Addiction Counselling

Experiencing issues with drug and alcohol addiction?

Sick and tired of being sick and tired? Deciding to change compulsive or addictive behaviour is one of the best decisions you can make. When you know that you want to make a change, why waste time? Lingering longer than you need to in a house that is on fire is only going to cause more damage. Take the opportunity to get out while the door is ajar and I promise you will never look back.

What is Addiction Counselling?

Addісtіоn іѕ frеquеntlу being compelled tо engage іn a behavior that provides ѕhоrt-tеrm rеlіеf, but lоng-tеrm dаmаgе in any аrеа оf уоur life. Addiction could bе to ѕubѕtаnсеѕ ѕuсh аѕ alcohol, drugѕ, or fооd, or it соuld be to bеhаvіоrѕ ѕuсh as gаmblіng, ѕhорріng оr sex. All аddісtіоnѕ аrе there tо ѕеrvе thе ѕаmе рurроѕе, whісh іѕ tо change thе wау thе addict fееlѕ. Addісtіоn is frequently mаѕkіng unresolved pain and many people experience both negative mental health consequences as a result. Sometimes an addiction may trigger mental health consequences such as anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.

Addiction can relate to chemical (alcohol addiction, methamphetamine addiction, cocaine addiction) or behavioural (gambling, food, internet, shopping, pornography). Chemical addictions can be prescribed (antidepressants, tranquillisers, sleeping pills, methadone), illicit (crack, cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, cannabis, ecstasy) or legal (caffeine, cigarettes, sugar, chocolate or alcohol).

Indicators of Addiction

The DSM V is the handbook used by health care professionals to guide the diagnosis of addiction disorders. The DSM V allows counselors to specify how severe the substance use disorder is, depending on how many symptoms are identified. Six or more of the following symptoms indicate a severe substance use disorder.

  1. Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than you’re meant to.
  2. Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to.
  3. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance.
  4. Cravings and urges to use the substance.
  5. Not managing to do what you should at work, home, or school because of substance use.
  6. Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships.
  7. Giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of substance use.
  8. Using substances again and again, even when it puts you in danger.
  9. Continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance.
  10. Needing more of the substance to get the effect you want (tolerance).
  11. Development of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance

Considerations when chossing a drug and alcohol counsellor

Addiction counselling is a highly specialised area. I have gained experience in one of the worlds leading residential drug and alcohol facilities, community alcohol and drugs (CADS) programmes, in addition to private practice. Having initially trained as a relationship/couples counsellor, I have a specialised interest in couples in recovery. Most recently, I have completed training with the association of partners of sex addicts trauma specialists with Dr Barbara Steffens and regularly engage in international group supervision with world leading experts in this area. Because I have specialised training in CBT, psychotherapy, counselling, neuro-linguistic programming and hypnotherapy, I can tailor a programme based on your unique needs. If your relationship has been affected by addiction, then I urge you to seek professional that has specialised knowledge in both couples therapy and addiction counselling.

What happens in an addiction counselling session?

In our initial assessment, we will discuss the changes you want to make in your life and how being addiction-free can lead to incredibly positive relationships, health, finances, job satisfaction as well as an ability to gain authentic joyful happiness once again.

Based on your goals for living a happier, more fulfilling life, we will create a treatment plan tailored to overcome your unique challenges which could include medical detox, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, stress/burnout or dissatisfaction with career. We may also do a spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health assessment. If you are thinking about making a change in any area of your life, please contact us today for an initial appointment to take the first step to achieving a life you know is possible because you know you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by allowing us to help you.

Addiction treatment planning can include:

  • Develop practical skills for dealing with cravings
  • Rebuilding relationships
  • Identifying high-risk situations and find coping strategies
  • Building self-efficacy
  • Neuroscience of addiction
  • Motivation strategies
  • Creating a new identity as a non-user
  • Relapse prevention planning
  • Dealing with lapses

Some of the common addiction areas I work with include:

  • Alcohol addiction
  • Cocaine addiction
  • Pornography addiction
  • Sex addiction
  • Cannabis/Marijuana addiction
  • Methamphetamine addiction
  • Prescription drug addiction