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Addiction Counselling in Dundalk.

Addiction. — admin @ 6:20 pm

Is addiction a disease; a genetic disorder or inheritance or is it a learned behaviour? These are the questions to which there are no clear answers especially when we are trying to work out if someone we know or love is an addict. There has been a lot of research on addiction looking to find answers to these questions but to date none of it has been conclusive.

The AA model of addiction as a disease has been a powerful model and the results speak for themselves. It is the largest fellowship in the world and has saved countless lives. In our work with clients we recommend the support of fellowships or self help groups. They can offer twenty four hour support, knowledge and friendship.

Therapy provides an opportunity to explore addictive behaviour, to provide a safe space to look at the personal experiences that may have brought ant of us to a place in our lives where we may feel a loss of control. Often we find that we have learned these behaviours from our environment; experienced, copied or observed.

They can represent a search, looking for a result, insight, change, control, reward, something to happen. At other times it is the opposite; wanting to block out awareness, to lose control. It may be a desire to numb ones feelings or to take a step back from reality.  Addictions are a way of changing ones reality; changing the mood.

A very simple example of this is the way in which we use food as a reward. In stressful situations people can to turn to food such as chocolate as a comfort to get us through a crisis. Once the crisis has passed food can be used to reward ourselves for surviving said crisis. The same things can apply to alcohol, drugs, food or sex when they are sought to relieve stress or are introduced as a part of our reward system.

We can then begin to create a relationship that shows signs of becoming unhealthy. How many times in our ‘normal’ lives have we questioned our relationship with food or alcohol? How many times have we chosen to stay off alcohol or go on a diet or do exercise in order to control the concerned behaviour? It is this lack of control that determines addiction as a learned behaviour.

When working with addiction we use the behavioural approach. That is to say addiction is a learned behaviour that gets out of control. Recovery is regaining that control either through abstinence or re-creating a healthy relationship with an old behaviour.

Counselling Connections, Dundalk.

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