CPMS Counselling and Mediation in Ashford, Kent

5th February 2019

Coping with Addictive behaviour

You may feel nervous or apprehensive about trying to turn away from addictive or potentially addictive behaviour patterns. And the road ahead my offer difficult challenges, many of which are more surmountable when faced with another person who gives you positive support. However, not facing them also has its downside in terms of the erosion of your own well-being and the effect of your actions on those who are close to you and who love you dearly. Sometimes it takes a crisis to provide the spur to seek help. If that is where you are just now, the following might help to allay your fears, and enable you to take the first steps towards a happier you.

Our first task will be to check if cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) will be helpful for you. This will include confirming what issues you want to deal with in the short, middle, and long-term. We can then work towards agreeing how your therapist will provide accountability for the changes in behavioural which we identify together in the course of our work.

Although CBT concentrates on the here and now - your present thoughts, feelings and behaviours, in parallel it may be helpful to explore those aspects of your life and background which can prompt, even unconsciously, the actions which are not helping you. This part of our work can bring you increased awareness and confidence to be yourself, and help you to counter feelings of guilt or anger about the past.

Talking is easier than taking action. However, together we can agree what actions can be changed and establish strategies that will reinforce your day-to-day practices that break the connection with what is damaging and provide the basis for accountability to your therapist.

Depending on the situation, will look for the “hot thought” that either lowers your power of resistance and/or causes you distress. We will then look to replace the “hot thought” with something one that strengthens your resistance. For example, replacing feelings of low self value in your own eyes or activities which threaten longer term physical and/or emotional damage with a more accurate assessment of who you are as a person or practical exercises to avoid what is harmful.

At each session we will discuss incidents since last time and how the exercises worked in the light of our work. Your therapist will offer feedback and suggestions if one of the tasks seems too difficult, or doesn’t seem to be working. During the work it is normal if, in spite of your best attempts, a harmful practice is not avoided. While this may add to a sense of guilt, these times are especially valuable as you consciously assess the results. The TED talk by font Judson Brewer suggests how this might work for you.

To summarise:
  • Recognising situations in which you are most likely to act in a way that reinforces your negative self-esteem;
  • Choosing to avoid these situations when appropriate;
  • Seeing failure as a positive outcome on the way to more creative behaviours and rewarding yourself even with the first tentative steps towards a stronger you.
Depending on how powerless you feel to break the control addiction has over your life, it may be helpful to join a group in which all participants are at various stages of recovery: eg for alcohol, dependency Alcoholics Anonymous and for drugs, Narcotics Anonymous. These both use a system known as the Twelve Steps and may offer a residential period as well as a regular weekly group meeting.

CPMS Blog. Miller TED  clip

5th February 2019

Facing death
At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for?

For many, it's simply comfort, respect, love. BJ Miller is a hospice and palliative medicine
physician who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients.
Take the time to savour this moving talk, which asks big questions about how we think on death and honour life.

5th February 2019

Breaking bad habits
Can we break bad habits by being more curious about them? Psychiatrist Judson Brewer studies the relationship between mindfulness and addiction -- from smoking to overeating to all those other things we do even though we know they're bad for us. Learn more about the mechanism of habit development and discover a simple but profound tactic that might help you beat your next urge to smoke, snack or check a text while driving.

More Information?

If the above topics don't answer a question you have, Counselling Directory has a comprehensive list of other issues that you may find helpful. And for special needs, access to counsellors close to Ashford who have undergone relevant additional training.

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