A habit can be described as someone having a choice as to whether they do something or not. Once brought to the conscious mind a habit can be changed. An addiction is something that cannot be overcome without help. People will go to great lengths to get what they need. It could be sex, alcohol, gambling, porn, drugs to name a few.
Research suggests that those with a hereditary lack of endorphins, young people with no strong family connection and the fact that some substances are more addictive than others can all contribute towards someone finding something more addictive than others although this is still not fully understood.
The brain makes us feel good about the addiction and wants it to continue and it helps us to feel pleasure with the substance causing the brain and body to flood with dopamine which is 10 times more intense than a normal reward. Because it is such a strong reward it motivates the person to do it more, but the brain keeps adjusting to the larger levels so you need more. Without it you end up with depression and will do anything to avoid the withdrawal symptoms.
Research also suggests that genetic influences can be changed by reprogramming the subconscious mind. This is where hypnotherapy can be beneficial.
The addiction will become the most important part of a person’s life and could eventually lead to problems with health, relationships, have trouble with the law and their fear of being judged and criticised may prevent them from seeking help. For some addictions the person may not experience any physical withdrawal but will still have a compulsion to carry out the addiction. The person may not be able to measure when it is too much and individuals are all different. Family and friends may even notice the person has a problem before they do.
Sometimes family can enable the addiction by making the person feel guilty or by taking on a policing role.
Hypnotherapy can help with addictions by raising self- esteem, self -belief and self- confidence. The repetition from hypnosis helps to fire up neural pathways in the brain so the new way becomes a new habit. Metaphors are often used in hypnotherapy to help the client surrender and accept they have a problem and can therefore make the changes they need to. It may seem that you don’t have a choice but when you really go for it you can change.
NLP techniques are used to help the client let go of their addiction and will also help to give them what we call anchors, which will reinforce the desired feeling. It also helps the client see beyond their addiction into the future and give different coping mechanisms to help them feel calm and reduce stress.
Hypnotherapy helps to reframe the withdrawal process and help to use past experiences in a positive way. It can help to let go of guilt around past behaviours and use those past behaviours to help them use those as opportunities to create a new positive future for themselves.
Parts therapy is also a part of the therapy so they can understand why they became addicted to begin with as there is always a positive intention behind every behaviour. Once you understand what the addiction is doing for you, you can then change that by fulfilling that need with something else, self esteem is usually always connected. Hypnosis will bring to the conscious mind all of these things which are unknown to the conscious mind. Secondary gains is the phrase we use to uncover what is really going on and what the client is gaining form the addiction.
I recently did a CPD course in addiction as I have had many clients come for different addictions over the last few years. I now have a 10 step programme to work with that will help with any addiction and will also help with more complex issues such as anorexia for example.
The 10 step programme needs to be completed in full so I charge an upfront fee for this of £450. Paying upfront shows the commitment you have to yourself to change and sessions can start off weekly, then go to fortnightly and then onto monthly so they are stretched out over a period of a few months. This would be negotiated with each individual.
If hypnotherapy is not suitable for you, I can use the 10 steps through the counselling process instead. If you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact me for a free initial consultation. Please note, this process is not for stop smoking, that is a separate 2 session process.