COUNSELLING THERAPY FOR ADDICTION
HOW DOES ADDICTION COUNSELLING THERAPY WORK?
Counselling Therapy is a one-on-one talking therapy for individuals and couples focused on developing our understanding of why addictive behaviour takes hold of our life. Our relationship with substances like alcohol, drugs, medications or addictive behaviours develop out of a need to manage difficult situations, people and feelings, but these behaviours often grow out of old coping mechanisms learned when we were young, before these adult substances and behaviours were even an option.
In Addiction Counselling Therapy you learn skills; to deal with difficult emotions; to communication more effectively; to manage challenging relationships and situations; and you learn to manage triggers with more confidence and compassion to help relapse prevention. You will develop awareness of your personal relationship with your dependence on addictive behaviours and how your relationship with others and yourself feed and often enable these behaviours.
We all have our own unique life stories for why we use addictive substances and behaviours, but we are all doing our best to make it through life. What was once relaxing, exciting and/or pleasurable ultimately becomes a way to avoid bad feelings, bad thoughts, bad situations and bad people.
Unfortunately there's no magic bullet for eliminating those unwanted challenges in life (we already tried that) but, with some good guidance, willingness, and patience, Addiction Counselling Therapy leads the way out of the dark and into the light of a new life.
HOW LONG DOES ADDICTION COUNSELLING THERAPY TAKE?
Managing or abstaining from addictive behaviours takes time, and while Addiction Counselling Therapy treatment isn't for everyone and is not the only way to treat the problem, it's a good way. If you choose Addiction Counselling Therapy as a treatment for your addiction concerns it generally takes between 6 to 12 months to effectively make the changes needed to start living a happier and more fulfilling life.
We begin with one session once a week for a month or so, and then move to fortnightly or monthly as life improves. Each session is about 55 minutes long.
WHAT KINDS OF ADDICTIONS DOES SYDNEY ADDICTION THERAPY TREAT?
Obviously a human being has just one brain and one body, but our brain and body reacts differently to different addictive substances, behaviours and the situations we use them in. It can often feel like we have a different 'addict' brain and body from our 'normal' brain and body. It's as if we have a different mind-set 'personality' for each addictive behaviour that calls to us. Of course, even though we might feel different using one substance to another or one behaviour to another they eventually end up being the same problem. So at Sydney Addiction Therapy we treat all kinds of addictions.
It's common for people to switch between substances and behaviours, dropping one and returning to another when they give up or take a break. It's true that an addiction to ICE has very different consequences than an addiction to chocolate but it's still the same one brain and body that is reacting to the same triggers. When a person is trying not to eat chocolate they experience obsessive thoughts and feel overwhelming urges and cravings that eventually leads them to eating chocolate. It's the same for a person trying to avoid using ICE or shopping online or using porn or binging on Netflix, often only the intensity and consequences are different.
At Sydney Addiction Therapy we help you identify underlying 'triggers' and teach you skills for breaking the cycle!
HAVE YOU BEEN CHARGED WITH A DRIVING OFFENCE?
In NSW, driving under the influence offences such as PCA, DUI and DUID are treated seriously. Whether you feel you need counselling or not, counselling may help the magistrate look upon you favourably.
Taking the initiative to seek Addiction Counselling Therapy will show the court that you are taking the situation seriously, and are prepared to do something to resolve any personal issues relative to your case.
Addiction Counselling therapy for driving offences can also be helpful in obtaining a section 10 as it will show to the court that you have taken steps to resolve your issues to ensure that you don’t reoffend.
Counselling and obtaining a character reference from your specialist therapist will increase your chances of receiving a lenient penalty. By taking positive action to resolve your issues, the court is more likely to award you a lenient penalty.
Check out the Legal Aid NSW website for more info about factors that will assist the magistrate to look favourably on your case
HOW DO I NEED TO PREPARE FOR ADDICTION THERAPY COUNSELLING?
You don't need to bring anything to your first appointment except your willingness and commitment to begin this new chapter of your life story. But you might want to start thinking about how your preconceived ideas about addiction is informing your attitude to change.
Most of us have beliefs about who an addict is. We've seen drunks and users in the streets or at events, but often we don't feel we are anything like these people, even when friends or family share their concerns for us, because we understandably focus on the differences rather than the similarities.
Try taking a different perspective.
What if you saw your relationship with substance use or addictive behaviours as a dependence? Chances are you'll see a co-dependent relationship that goes back a long way to when you were much younger and had less choices. For example, most children learn to 'numb out' and dissociating from boring, uncomfortable or painful situations. Using alcohol and drugs or addictive behaviours are often an effective adult way to 'numb out'.
When you change your perspective from addiction to dependence you can start looking honestly at all the different ways you depend on the substance or the behaviour. A new perspective is the first step to change. It's time to change your old subconscious dependences into new conscious choices!