Addiction and CBT

What is addiction: Addiction describes a person’s physical and mental dependency on either behaviour or on taking a mood-altering substance such as nicotine, cannabis alcohol to mention just a few.

There are key features such as the strong desire to take part in a particular mood altering behaviour. Difficulty in controlling this and distress and discomfort and even pain when there is no access to what is desired.

Cognitive behavioural therapy can tackle the learned behaviours and thoughts that develop and are maintained through experience throughout life. There are various cues from the environment that maintain the craving. Advertisers are good at capitalising on these cues and design their adverts to entice people and to trigger desire. The next time you are in the pub have a look around at the brightly lit and colourful displays at the pumps. The back lighting and mirror effects behind the bar with a myriad of beautifully shaped bottles cleverly branded to be instantly recognisable as a particular drink. The cues are strong for someone who is alcohol dependent and if your intention is to reduce or stop drinking it may not be a good idea to go into bars. When the payoff e.g. mood altering, relaxation, elation etc. Brought on by partaking in the addiction is outweighed by the pain it and cost in your personal life it is at this point you may feel the need to seek help to reduce the negative effect or to eradicate it. The challenge is great and the reward is to gain control of your addiction and your life.

There are many types of addiction such as shopping, pornography, exercise, sex and drugs of various kinds including prescription drugs. These behaviours have been learned over time for a reason and discovering and exploring these reasons will form a basis for the therapy as well as exercising choice. There is always choice and with addiction we need to take responsibility for the action in order to be able to change it. The incentive is to regain control. Anyone who has given up cigarettes will recall it was not easy and there may be some false starts to quitting. A lot can be learned from relapsing as it gives the opportunity to learn what triggered the relapse and to prepare a strategy that will work to manage in a more positive way when and if it happens again.

If you feel you would like to  arrange a counselling / psychotherapy session simply contact me on 086 3298395 by text or to speak to me on 01 2951095.  You can email me at