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"It’s through a dynamic emergent process of confrontation with the truth, that solutions arise.
Trauma involves a lifelong pushing down— a tremendous expenditure of energy–
into not feeling the pain.
As we heal, that same energy is liberated for life and for being in the present. So the energy of trauma can be transformed into the energy of life."

Dr Gabor Maté

Addiction work

Part of my training consisted of being a volunteer counsellor for clients with dependency issues and their friends and family, at Catalyst, Surrey. This is a special area of interest for me and I incorporate this experience into my private practice.

My approach to addiction counselling stems from my belief that addictions are often the result, not the original cause of distress. They may stem from a person's natural need to find a way of coping with trauma or something painful that has happened in the past and which hasn't been adequately processed. Or to cope with uncomfortable feelings in the present which may not be completely understood.

The addiction may be to a substance or behaviour which over time becomes a way of being and feels impossible to break. This in turn may cause more distress, guilt and shame and which continues in a cycle that can make you feel trapped.

There are no judgements from me – I recognise that it is very human to search for self-soothing mechanisms. Life can be very painful at times and this is a natural response to feelings we think we can't otherwise endure.

For some, their self-soothing has become harmful and habitual and my aim is to help to find new, healthier ways of coping with distress.

Addictions may include:

• Alcohol • Illegal Drugs, class A, B, C • Prescription drugs  • Gambling • Sex • Exercising • Eating • Gaming

My approach to addictive behaviour counselling

Recently, more clients have been asking specifically about how I work with addictions. So I have put together a list of areas of interest:

(If they opt to, we can explore any or all of the following lines of enquiry)

  • Readiness to change

  • Client's support networks

  • Client's isolation or lack of deep human connection

  • SMART principles (taken from Self Management and Recovery Training) which includes Building and Maintaining Motivation, Coping with Urges, Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviours, and Living a Balanced Life.

  • Replacing unwanted habit with chosen new habits to fill the void

  • What is addictive behaviour offering?

  • Understanding how moments of vulnerability arise

  • Learning to tolerate short-term discomfort

  • Tackling hopelessness

  • De-shaming self through understanding

  • Changing relationship with addictive behaviour or substance

  • Frustration intolerance

  • Checking for extreme thinking

  • Lapse analysis

  • Journalling thoughts and feelings

  • Shifting focus onto life containing actions which are in line with client's specific values

Please note

Depending on the severity of the addiction problem, I may or may not be the best person to help. For effective therapy it is important that a client with addiction issues is somewhat ready for change and I am happy to discuss this with you, to find out if therapy is the right option for you or your loved one at this time.

Please see my signposting links page for other support services in Surrey.

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