An addiction is a habitual indulgence in any substance, activity or practice that is beyond your control and affects your life for the worse. Your particular addiction is your way of coping with yourself and your world, as it is at present. It can stem from problems or difficulties you have, or disappointments you have experienced.
Addictions occur in many forms - food, drugs, gambling and alcohol to name but a few. Sometimes though even healthy pursuits can become problematic and addictive when they are practiced obsessively - these include exercise, working, studying, money and attention seeking.
If you are becoming worried about any aspect of your behaviour (maybe you no longer feel totally in control of it, or you are concerned about the health implications, or about the fact that it takes up a lot of your time and money), then hypnotherapy can help you.
Perhaps you have tried before to stop or cut back the compulsive activity you now want to learn to control or cut out completely. You may have started off determined and confident, and at first everything seemed fine, but then you may have got to a certain part of the day, met up with certain people or even visited the place that you associated with your habit and then things may have started to go wrong and you let your subconcious mind take control - maybe you gave in straight away because the urge was too strong.
Understanding what drives your addiction is an important part of getting it under control. In treating addiction we must recognise firstly that in general the brain seeks the comfort of repeating experiences which are pleasurable. We also tend to to seek out more comfort in other ways when our emotional needs are not being adequately met in the present.
Treatment involves understanding what need the addiction is taking the place of, and finding ways in which you can get that need met in a healthier way. We would also work together to strengthen your resolve and your conscious awareness of the damaging nature of the addiction to help you establish a new pattern of thought and behaviour.
Providing that your intent is clear then there is every chance of success, because new behaviour and thoughts can literally change the pathways in the brain - which in turn helps you to change the way you do things.
Although any addiction can seem difficult at first, it will soon become second-nature to you to start doing things differently. The "hole" which was being filled by the addiction can be filled instead with positive behaviours and feelings. I will help you take steps to make sure your needs are being met properly so that you can gain pleasure in healthier, more fulfilling ways.
Hypnotherapy can help you build on and reinforce the positive qualities and talents you have that can lead you quite naturally out of addiction. When giving up something that you have been addicted to you replace it with something else - a new and healthy habit or a suitable strategy for coping effectively without the old habit. After a while the new habit or strategy becomes part of your make-up and the old one is left safely in the past. It is with this process that hypnotherapy can play a huge role.
Addictive behaviours are destructive even if they do seem fun and exciting in the short-term. I can get this message over to your subconcious mind so that it starts to support you properly, making it much easier to engage positively with a new lifestyle.
It should also be noted that if a person is seeking help with an addiction simply to please others (a spouse, parents etc), then the likelihood of success is limited. A successful outcome is far more likely if the addict is motivated to become free for his/her own benefit. Certainly, if a person has reached the point of wanting freedom from addiction enough to seek a therapist, the prognosis is usually good.
You acquire your habits from somewhere. If you can learn bad ones, you can certainly learn good, healthy ones too. Why not give hypnotherapy a try and start to improve your life now. It is a fast, effective and powerful tool for the permanent eradication of habits you no longer need.
Allison Reed, Complementary Therapist and Hypnotherapist Therapy Centre, 78-82 Church Road, Redfield, Bristol, BS5 9JY - Tel. : 07837 222 730