Addiction

addiction therapy chiang mai thailand

Therapy to treat addiction in Chiang Mai Thailand

The path to overcoming addiction is a personal one.  As a result, you need therapy that is tailored to your needs.  It is important to understand that addiction is a learned behavior, usually as a result of an unconscious attempt to relieve pain.  Therapy aims to build emotional education, resolve trauma and develop positive coping mechanisms.  Therapy sessions are available from the clinic in Chiang Mai and online.

What is addiction?

Addiction is any behavior that has become out of conscious control.  An addicted person feels compelled to take part in the object of addiction and are often not at rest until they have.

Common examples of addiction include habits such as smoking cigarettes, overeating, drug and alcohol use, constant use of mobile phones and toxic relationships.

Anxiety and addiction

Addiction is a common cause of anxiety, with anxiety itself fueling addiction.   Anxious emotions lead to engaging in the addictive behavior in an unconscious attempt to relieve the anxiety.  An addict often has little understanding that addiction itself is a common cause of anxiety.  Addiction is therefore a cycle.

For example, a smoker feels a craving (anxiety) to smoke a cigarette.  The feeling leads them to repetitively imagine lighting a cigarette and mentally associating smoking to a relief of anxiety.  This repeats until a cigarette is lit and the anxiety is relieved.  Nicotine levels spike only to be followed by the return of anxiety and nicotine leaves the body and the cycle is repeated again.

Emotion and addiction

It is interesting to note that emotions are themselves addictive.  On a chemical level, every human emotion is actually a drug produced naturally in the mind.

Unconscious human behavior is usually made up of the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain, and pleasure and pain are fundamentally defined by the presence of associated emotions.

Unconscious learning creates associations between past experience and positive or negative emotions that may set up addictive pathways in their own right.

Emotional addiction includes the addiction to spending time with certain people or engaging in extreme behaviors (such as adventure sports) because of the addiction to adrenaline.

An often overlooked example of addiction is becoming addicted to a relationship with an addict.  Such a relationship can be volatile as emotional shifts in the addict directly trigger the cycle of dopamine and adrenaline in the “relator” to the addict – forming their own pattern of addiction to those chemical highs and lows.

Positive vs negative addictions

Addictions are usually thought of as negative, however some addictions can indeed be positive.  A positive addiction might be defined as a habit that has an overall benefit in a person’s life – like going to the gym in the morning or practicing meditation.

For people who have a pre-disposing “addictive mindset”), replacing negative addictions with positive ones might be a useful step in therapy to treat addiction.  It is beneficial to help people with highly addictive mindsets in hypnotherapy because they are naturally highly suggestive.

Treatment for addiction

Therapy to treat addiction begins with the process of emotional education to develop awareness.

The following questions might be helpful:

When did the addiction start?

Was that behavior self learned or learned from other people when one was young?

What is the emotion that precedes the behavior itself?  And where in the body is that emotion felt?

How does that emotion fit into the structure of one’s life?  When in the past has the same emotion been felt?  And when was that emotion felt for the first time?

What does the addiction “give you”.  Parts therapy is one of many therapeutic interventions that explores behaviors with the understanding that behind every behavior is a “secondary gain” (otherwise known as a “positive intention”).  How can that same “gain” be achieved in a new way – effectively taking away the “need” or “benefit” for the old behavior at it’s root.

What are the “triggers” for the behavior?  Triggers usually consist of people, things and places.  With what people does one engage in the addiction?  In what places?  And what things in one’s life trigger it – like feeling overloaded with work.

What are the “costs” of the addiction in terms of relationships, friendships and finances?

What are the motivators leading to the addict being ready to seek treatment for addiction?

Is the choice to begin therapy the choice of the client or their partner?

Overcoming addiction and walking the path of recovery

Initial treatment for addiction should take place over a 21 day period with therapy sessions occurring between once and three times a week, depending on the severity of the addiction.

Over a period of 21 days, the average person will be exposed to the majority of situations in their lives.  In order for the addict to feel confident that a permanent “cure” for the addiction has been achieved, it important that they feel empowered to remain free of the old behavior even in situations that used to trigger it.

If the case of more serious (or even dangerous) addictions, it may be wise to reconsider one’s friendships and relationships.  Which people are offer a genuine source of support and uplifting presence?  And who would it be healthier to stop spending time with?

It has been said that we are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with.  Life choices should be made with this in mind!

Rehabilitation centers and addiction

For some people, a stay in a rehabilitation facility might be indicated.  Such programs usually have medical support for the physical aspect of detoxification followed by psychological support for the emotional and mental components.

It is important to choose a rehabilitation center that has an adequate therapeutic program for one’s needs and a healthy ratio of therapists to clients.

Time away from normal life can lead to a healthy change in perspective.  However not every person needs treatment in quite often very expensive rehabilitation centers to achieve this.  It might be more appropriate to travel to a place with no access to a drug, go trekking in the Himalaya or volunteer for a program abroad for a while.

All choices should serve as preparation for a return to normal life because most people will be subjected to the triggers of addiction again.  Only when the subconscious mind has learned to remember to forget – and there are no emotional urges to engage in the past – is the addict free.

Hypnotherapy to treat addiction

Therapy sessions focus on directly addressing addiction through:

1. Counseling

Non judgmental counseling with the goals of building rapport, emotional education and gaining the truth about the addition itself.

2.  Inner work (integrative hypnotherapy)

Therapy structured according to the needs of the individual.  Exploration of parts, building motivation for change, uncovering of psychological gains, healing of past trauma, clearing of triggers and future paced change work.

3. Follow up

Follow up guidance through the process of treatment for addiction.  Possible connection to recovered addicts.  Emotional support through the journey.

 

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