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Beating unwanted habits or addictions and the reason why your attempts so far may have failed.

Whether it's Cocaine, Gambling, Overeating, Internet Games, Shopping, Self Harm, Hair Pulling or Nail-biting. most of the many unwanted habits or 'addictions' are actually a person’s attempts to feel better when confronted by a negative emotion or situation. In other words, the behaviour began as a coping mechanism (or solution) for another problem in their life. 

A way of checking whether this is true for you is to be aware of your thoughts the next time you experience stress or a painful emotion. Do you seem to automatically think of your problem habit or addiction at that point? Does it seem to give you momentary relief? If so, the chances are you have what’s known as a displacement behaviour. A displacement behaviour is a behaviour that someone uses to exit or escape from a negative emotional state.

Problem Memories

The roots of many of these negative emotional states can sometimes be found in childhood experiences that haven't been dealt with, causing a person to respond in ways that seem inappropriate or out of proportion to current circumstances (even child-like sometimes).

When the addiction or habitual behaviour is the only coping mechanism a person has for dealing with these emotions, it can be understood why focusing therapy on just the habit or addiction in some cases is unlikely to succeed. In these situations, the problem emotions need to be dealt with first, then the coping mechanism is no longer required. 

phone call

If any of the above sounds like you or someone you care about why not call me to find out more and whether the approaches I use are right for you or the person you care about. For more information (in confidence) call me on:

Office: 0800 468 1990 

Mobile: 0777 630 4063

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