Are you looking for addictions help in London? It is important to realise that you’re not alone. In fact, there are a lot of people, maybe even one in three, who right now have some sort of addiction or habit that feels too much. This means that when you walk down the street about a third of the people you pass may be reaching a stage in which they may consider looking for addictions help in London. I work as a hypnotherapist in the centre of London. I see many clients with a whole range of different addictions.
What is an addiction?
There are many definitions of what an addiction is. Perhaps it’s easiest just to see an addiction as not having control over doing, taking or using something. That can be to the point where it harms you or other people. People often look for addictions help in London because of that feeling of being out of control or no longer fully able to say no. Where are you on this spectrum? Maybe you’ve just decided that it’s time to get a habit or addiction under control. Are you feeling more desperate for help? Have you reached a crossroads and are now ready to turn a corner?
Addictions, of course, are associated with gambling, drugs, alcohol and nicotine. It’s easy and possible to be addicted to almost anything. For example, I help clients, providing hypnotherapy addictions help in London and see clients who feel addicted to the Internet, pornography, sex or to work, relationships and almost any behaviour pattern that feels like it has taken over too much.
Does this sound like you or someone you know? Are you using your computer or smartphone to a degree that has increased and can feel too much? You may spend many hours each day surfing the internet, gaming or neglecting other parts of your life, using the internet as a reason to not live your life fully. Other people can feel obsessed with work, becoming workaholics. This can leave you physically exhausted. Family, relationships and also social life can be affected by becoming addicted to work. You might find it hard to say no to extra work. You might find that every night you’re coming home late, overworking and working longer hours.
People can also get addicted to solvents. These might be inhaled. For example glue or aerosols or petrol can give a feeling of intoxication. We joke a lot about shopping being addictive. However, actually for some people, the compulsion to buy things, be that in shops or online, can be very strong. Like most addictions, it’s a need for a high, a transitory good feeling. Like most other addictions, this is often followed by feelings of guilt, shame and despair.
Indeed I have many conversations with addiction hypnotherapy clients here in London about their feelings and emotions. It is clear that perhaps a definition of an addiction will also take into consideration those painful or unpleasant feelings you experience after the event. I would say that for all clients who come for hypnotherapy addictions help in London, they would agree that an addiction includes any activity that you feel compelled to do, but which leaves you with feelings of guilt, shame or despair.
What causes addictions?
There are many theories about why addictions begin and what causes them. For example, people often talk about early childhood traumatic experiences or genetic dispositions affecting addictions. As many clients in London tell me, sometimes an addiction can start off as an enjoyable way to pass time. A good example is taking cocaine or other drugs with friends when younger. However, fast forward a few years, and that weekend fun activity is still there. The difference is that it now feels as if it’s part of a life you want to leave behind, but somehow it’s difficult to say no. You might still hang out with those old friends, the ones who drink with you but it then almost always end up leading to drug taking. This might be your story however you may have a different way that a habit has been overstaying its welcome, now an unwanted guest in your life. Clients I see for hypnotherapy, supporting them with addictions help in London often have a story of a pattern, which was okay but then over time, has become unwelcome.
Addictions also can result in withdrawal symptoms or a ‘come down’ and that can be unpleasant. Some addictions, in particular with drugs, the distress can go on for a number of days. Indeed with all addictions, there’s not just a physical addiction, but a psychological one as well. This means that when you seek hypnotherapy addictions help in London, you need to realise that you have to overcome both of these addictions. Of course leaving an addiction can mean a withdrawal. It also means thinking about what would life be like without that addiction. If the addiction has become a large part of your life, this can feel a big barrier to get over. These are all things that I look at with clients in my central London practice. Sometimes it’s actually the fear of how will I lead my life without that substance or behaviour pattern, which is the biggest fear of all. If you are contemplating leaving an addiction, what are your biggest concerns about quitting?
How has your addiction affected you?
An addiction is often something you need to now manage rather than enjoy and when you manage anything that takes up energy. You use energy and attention which can then put a strain on other areas of your life, be that at work or your relationships. Sometimes relationships can end because the other partner cannot take living with the addiction anymore. Addictions, of course, can have psychological and even physical effects. Many studies show that addictions can form when we’re around other people who have addictions. So sometimes addictive behaviours can have a negative effect on other people too.
Is your addiction a way of locking out or ignoring difficult issues? Are you using it so you don’t address important or meaningful aspects of your life? Unemployment, poverty or poor mental health can sometimes trigger on addiction. I see often with hypnotherapy clients who seek addictions help in London that their stress and emotional pressures can be very much connected with addictive patterns and behaviours as well.
Addictions are normally treatable and there are different ways of going about it. You may feel you wish to speak to your GP. Having hypnotherapy can also help you with your addictive pattern. There are many other services and there are also groups which can be very powerful as well. In fact, when clients come to me, for addictions help in London, I often recommend, besides sessions with me, that they seek out group support. This might be a 12 step group, or some other supportive group, that helps with the type of addiction they are dealing with. Of course if things get very bad or perhaps in the moment when you are in immediate great need and have that compulsion for the addiction, you can always call the Samaritans. The Samaritans are free to call on 116 123.
How can hypnotherapy help you with your substance use?
I often tell people that you can never truly believe that you are free of the substance cravings. Thoughts and desires can pop up at any time. So hypnotherapy, as I use it with addictions clients in London, is not a magic wand. However it will help you and will hopefully give you both insight and the push you need. Hypnosis helps change your unconscious thoughts. In sessions, I think together with clients about why the addiction started and why it has remained as an aspect of life. We look at why it is a challenge to say ‘no’ and give it up.
Often there are two types of hypnotherapy. One involves giving very direct commands to the unconscious mind. For example, just by putting you into a relaxed state and explaining to you that you no longer have any need or wish to smoke or have that craving for addictive drugs or alcohol, is a method which can actually be very effective. This can also involve using visualisations and your imagination too. Another type of hypnotherapy works by looking at the underlying layers of your patterns. We ask, what’s really going on, what’s driving and pushing that addiction and what’s causing it to remain? This goes a little deeper but is perfectly safe.
Does hypnotherapy work for addictions?
There have been studies of hypnotherapy in general and its use for pain and issues such as IBS or other challenges. For example, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2007, a study found that hypnosis can help alleviate pain after operations. There have been many other studies showing hypnotherapy to be effective for a range of conditions.
Another study looked at addictions. This researched group hypnosis and its benefits for drug addicts. That study showed that 90% of the patients who completed the process and all the hypnotherapy sessions saw some benefit. A 1972 study looked at the use of hypnosis in the treatment of drug addiction and was carried out by B.J. Hartman. Hartman showed that hypnosis and hypnotherapy could be used to treat addictions. He noticed that for hypnosis and hypnotherapy in particular, this was very helpful in a number of different ways. Hypnotherapy for addictions helped people cope with or even eliminate some withdrawal symptoms. He explained that it follows that the use of hypnosis in the treatment of drug addiction shows a great deal of promise. Also that programmes employing hypnotherapy have consistently shown results between 60% and 70% of people seeing benefit and this is very good news.
Hypnotherapy is a method I use with clients seeking addictions help in London every week. I also use other methods too. For example I use aspects of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness. I also like to use positive ego strengthening techniques. I will, most importantly, look at your habit and behaviour patterns, viewing your compulsion in a thorough and holistic way. I always ask clients to keep a diary for a few days before they come. This is useful so we can already begin to see patterns. You can more easily think about why you started using the substance or the behaviour pattern and what’s driving it. Then together we form a plan and I give you all the support that you need.
My hypnotherapy smoking cessation programme is for two sessions. Of course people are welcome to have more sessions, especially if there are other issues going on. For example, a concern about weight gain or if anxiety or stress are at all central in their smoking habit. Other addictions, for example, sex, drugs, or alcohol, or the Internet, we just take each session as it comes. However, I work very hard together with you to ensure that sessions, in my London practice, are very effective and that you are able to reduce your dependency on that addiction.