An integral part of recovery from any addiction, counselling is the foundation stone upon which long-term rehabilitation and recovery can be built.
Estimates vary, but as many as 2 million UK adults suffer an addiction – which includes everything from alcohol addictions to sexual addictions.
Addiction counselling is the only way that most addicts will be able to overcome their addictions for the long-term.
While there’s a debilitating sense of shame associated with addictions, and they’re often perceived as a character flaw or weakness, most experts acknowledge that addiction is a form of disease or a mental illness. However one classifies addictions, an intervention organised by a professional interventionist is shown to be an effective first step in helping to break the cycle of compulsive behaviour. Addiction may have its roots in deep-seated psychological, emotional issues, or in the simpler urge for excitement or escapism, but by the time the behaviour – whether it be binge drinking, recreational drug use or gambling – becomes a compulsion, it’s less likely to be a case of thrill-seeking and more a case of physical addiction (the body’s physiological dependence on alcohol in the case of alcoholics) or psychological addiction (in the case of behavioural addictions such as gambling, sexual addictions and even shopping or eating addictions). It’s then that far-reaching damage can be done to the addict’s finances, career, personal relationships, mental and physical health.
Whatever the addiction you or someone you care for may have fallen victim to, with an initial intervention and the help of an expert addictions counsellor the dependency can be broken. At UK Rehab Helper we work with a nationwide network of psychotherapists, counsellors and professional interventionists at certified addiction and rehab clinics. We offer a completely free addiction assessment service, can arrange family interventions for those cases where the addict doesn’t recognise the seriousness of their situation, and can support you and your family through finding the right therapist or addiction counsellor and arranging ongoing therapy. Our intervention and addiction counselling service is completely confidential, and you can be assured that every interventionist, therapist and addiction counsellor we recommend will be non-judgemental, supportive and dedicated to improving your mental health and wellbeing.
Drug and alcohol addiction counselling
Drug and alcohol addiction counselling form the basis for therapy after undergoing detoxification in a rehabilitation centre. Drugs and alcohol form a physical and biological addiction; once detox is completed the cravings will still remain. That is in part because of the chemical changes in the brain made by the substances being abused – increased tolerance and artificial chemical production mean the brain isn’t naturally producing enough endorphins or dopamine to provide any level of satisfaction. An addiction counsellor will help to initiate the redressing of the imbalance which is a long-term process and involves addressing all the other elements of life that either played their part in causing the compulsion or which have unravelled as a consequence of substance abuse. Added to all of this is the inevitable shame and guilt at behaviour resulting from drug addictions or alcohol addictions – coming back from this level of despair can take extensive one-on-one counselling and group therapy, and depending on the causal factors and mental health, perhaps even psychotherapy. Even once the therapy for the addiction is well underway, there’s the risk of severe depression, which may require focused addiction counselling. The complex psychology behind all of the factors in play can mean that addiction counselling is a long-term investment of time and treatment. But the rewards once one’s life is turned around and back on track are immense. Family support will prove enormously beneficial throughout the addiction treatment.
Gambling is a behavioural addiction. It is of course an activity enjoyed for pleasure by millions of people who aren’t addicted, but ultimately it’s one that has the sole goal of reward. The build-up, the anticipation and the high of winning are like a magic formula for compulsive behaviour, and in the right – or rather wrong – social, financial, emotional and even genetic environment that’s the recipe for developing a gambling addiction. UK Rehab’s addiction counsellors are well trained in identifying the underlying issues and prescribing the correct course of action to help addicts recognise the need for change and recovery.
With the ever-increasing availability of the internet, addictions such as gambling are a greater risk and draw than ever. Unlike betting at the horse track, bookies or even a casino, internet gambling doesn’t involve the physical handling of money, so it’s even easier to keep playing when you’re losing. What non-gamblers – and non-addicts – don’t always truly understand is how a gambler keeps playing when the losses become too great. Gambling addictions can grip to the point where logic and reasoning no longer hold sway – just as with drug and alcohol addictions. Counselling through a qualified and experienced addiction counsellor or therapist can help to break that grip and regain control of your life.
As we know from the widespread nature of gambling addictions, addiction isn’t limited to substance abuse. While it’s easier to understand the nature of physical addiction to mind-altering substances, behavioural addictions can be as powerful and as destructive to the addict and his or her family. Internet addictions are of course a recent phenomena, and there’s some debate as to whether the internet is just a catalyst or a cause, and whether internet use on an excessive scale really constitutes addiction or is a symptom of an underlying problem, such as depression. It is of course a medium through which other addictions, such as gambling or viewing pornography can be channelled. But there are instances of heart attacks through spending days – literally – playing video games online. It can undoubtedly be extremely compulsive, and so-called internet addicts will display all the symptoms characteristic of classic addiction: lying to friends about use, thinking constantly about use, being unable to contain the compulsion, and risking relationships, education or work as a result of the compulsion. A professionally planned intervention and addiction counselling can help to break this cycle.
Regardless of the name given to internet addiction, psychotherapists and counsellors are well versed in treating compulsive behaviour like this. As with most addictions, therapy’s proven suitability in treating behavioural addiction can readily be applied to compulsive, excessive internet use - psychology’s rules apply.
Sexual addictions, shopping addictions and eating addictions can all be treated by psychotherapy and counselling. The psychology behind behavioural addiction is well established, and all of the specialist therapists we work with are fully trained and experienced. The shame and low self-esteem felt by people who fall prey to eating addictions and the like are effects which can be countered and overturned in time with addiction counselling. Just because there is no physical addiction, there’s no reason to treat behavioural addiction as a less serious condition, so if you know someone or are someone who is displaying signs of shopping, eating or sexual addictions, please contact us now for a free assessment. We can help you arrange a family intervention with an experienced interventionist and assess the suitability of various psychotherapists, behavioural therapists and addiction counsellors.