An addiction is any behaviour which a person believes compels them to keep doing or consuming something over and over again with no apparent ability to control that behaviour.
In this sense almost any behaviour that is performed over and over again over which the person believes they have no control, could be described as an addiction.
For example, many people believe that they are addicted to chocolate.
However, chocolate does not contain any chemical constituents which might be considered to create a ‘chemical hook’ leading to the consumer having NO choice but to keep eating the chocolate.
Unless, that is, one considers sugar to be an addictive chemical.
How is Addiction Defined?
“The state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming to such an extent that its cessation causes (apparent) severe trauma.”
Is Addiction Physical or Psychological?
The above definition would seem to suggest that some things (substances or practices) might be ‘physically habit forming’, but most of us would not consider a ‘habit’ something that we had no control over!
It might be more useful to ask:
Is addiction caused by the substance having addictive qualities? (This is the physical addiction model).
Is addiction a personal behaviour? (This is the psychological addiction model).
Ask a person who has tried to quit smoking or drinking without success whether they believe that they are addicted and you are likely to get the response; ‘definitely!’
However, if you ask the same question to a person who successfully quit smoking because they believed that smoking was just a ‘habit’, then they will almost certainly disagree with the Addiction ‘model’.
How is it possible that one person was ‘addicted’ but the other person had a ‘habit’?
Surely, if the physical model of addiction is valid it should always be valid, not just sometimes.
So if alcohol is addictive, why doesn’t everyone who drinks alcohol become addicted?
If addiction is an individual, psychological trait, then the physical model of addiction cannot be valid!
Is Addiction a ‘Belief’ or is Addiction a ‘Real Biological Phenomenon’?
In order to make sense of the world, we all develop ‘perceptual models‘ that provide a set of rules and logic through which we are able to make sense of what is happening to us. What we believe can have the most dramatic impact on the way that we ‘process’ the world around us.
Some of these beliefs are well-formed and based on sound logical reasoning, and some are more ‘distorted’ and based on what we might have been ‘told’ is ‘true’ or ‘real’ but are not necessarily so.
Beliefs are then either ‘useful’ or ‘limiting’.
If beliefs are ‘useful’ then there is very little need to change or modify them.
However, Limiting Beliefs provide almost no benefits at all and so are something worthy of modification.
There is strong evidence that ‘addiction’ may depend more on what you believe than it does on physical chemical dependency.
Happily, we help people to change their limiting beliefs all of the time, so if YOU want to beat your ‘Addiction’, whatever it is, then please do get in touch.
Psychological Therapy for Addiction Problems
Tranceform Psychology can offer a range of different psychological therapy solutions for addictions which you can read about below.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Addiction Problems
If you’re committed to overcoming your Addiction problems then we highly recommend following our Advanced Tranceformental CBT programme with Paul which is available as an Online Therapy as well as a self-directed programme.
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic mental health counselling course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.
Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an evidence-based, research supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Alternative Therapy Options for Addictions
Although our preferred form of mental health counselling for Addiction problems is Tranceformental CBT we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.
General Counselling which is less structured but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss issues which is therapeutic in its own right.
Free Initial Consultations for Addiction Problems
We offer all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your Addiction issues prior to commencing any treatment plans.
The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are also available as part of our online therapy service.
At TranceForm Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Overcome Your Addiction Problems with Our Self-Help CBT Programme – Only £99!
Self-help CBT has been shown to be highly effective for anxiety-related problems such as addictive behaviours and can be carried out in the comfort of your own home.
Structured over TEN, in-depth modules, our Self-Help CBT course will teach you everything you need to know to change the way you think about and experience addiction without having to visit a therapist.
Click Self-Help CBT for addiction problems to find out more.