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The Full Story


Therapy for Addiction | Addiction Therapy | Online | London


Substance abuse, dependence and addictions of any kind are an issue that almost always progresses with time. Tolerance levels increase and so an increasing amount or extremity of behaviours are needed in order to reach a 'high'. Addiction can have a devastating impact on physical and mental health, for both the suffering individual as well as their loved ones, family, friends and colleagues. Ultimately addiction can be fatal.  


Addiction is a complex psychological issue that is characterised by compulsive drives or urges to seek, take and recover from substance use - regardless of what that 'drug of choice' may be. Despite varied negative consequences and risks, a person with an issue of dependence or addiction will feel compelled, in a variety of ways, to continue an obsessive or compulsive use and engagement in their addictive substance or behaviour. The DSM-V describes Addictive Disorders as including cravings, increased tolerance, withdrawal symptoms and persistent drive to use. 


The most comprehensive model of understanding the cause of addiction is one that includes Biology, Psychology, Social Influences and Spirituality.

With regards to Biochemistry, it is regarded that certain disruptions are present in the brain chemistry of those more susceptible to addiction. Genetics can play a part in this, as can earlier life experiences - adverse childhood experiences (ACE), trauma and lifestyle choices. Usually alcohol and drug abuse alone is enough to cause severe disruptions and deficiencies in vital micronutrients and such imbalances can only further exacerbate the problems. This can be addressed naturally through lifestyle changes, psychotherapy and micronutrient supplementation. 

Psychologically there are many factors that are linked to addiction. These often go hand-in-hand with social influences. These include; 

  • Adverse childhood experiences

  • Difficulty regulating emotions

  • Dysfunctional coping strategies

  • Low stress tolerance levels

  • Trauma/PTSD

  • Shame

  • Distorted cognitions and beliefs

  • Low self-esteem

  • Compromised ability to deal with feelings

  • Interpersonal difficulties

  • Lack of social support

  • Loneliness

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

Often these types of emotional issues exist before addiction develops and the substance abuse in itself can contribute to psychological and social issues.

A Spiritual view of addiction encompasses the 12-step programme based on the ideas of Carl Jung that suggests addiction is a result of a 'spiritual malady'. There are many components of the 12 step programme that has been shown to be helpful in supporting recovery from addiction, although this approach is not for everyone.


Issues of addiction are ideally addressed holistically, considering psychological, biological and social factors. The feeling-state EMDR therapy protocol can help to treat addictive behaviour. ACT Therapy and CBT Therapy are also helpful. For more information on Addiction Counselling in Marylebone, Central London or online counselling for addiction or to arrange an appointment, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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