Why Do You Want a Therapist?
Maybe, you have struggled with the same problem for years. You kept hoping that it will just go away on its own, but it doesn’t, and it continues to affect you now. Perhaps a current situation in your life is bringing back, unpleasant feelings, sadness or frustrating behaviours that you can’t figure out how to deal with. It’s affecting yourself, others and those closest to you. Maybe you’re experiencing something that you’ve never dealt with before, and your normal ways of coping just do not work!
Psychotherapy teaches us how to control our emotional life…
Many people of all ages and backgrounds seek therapy to make some kind of change in their life. There is no true “normal” for everyone, so if your experiencing distress, feeling a stuck-ness or overwhelm-ness, then trust yourself and get support or just tell someone – two minds are better than one. In our work together, you are the expert on your life, feelings, and experience – You will be in control of that change you seek; I guide you to help answer the tough question of “who am I” and “where do I belong” so you can have a “way of being” and have a sense of belonging that’s worth it – because you are!
Sexual Addiction Specialist Counselling Psychotherapy
Addictive behaviours represent confusing and complex patterns of human activity. My intention here is to help you gain insight into these confusing, often embarrassing, intemperate behaviours and attitudes you or your partner may have. For many years, concepts of addictive behaviour and motivation were polarised between two theoretical models. One viewed an addiction as moral failure for which addicts are rightly held responsible and judged accordingly. The other saw an addiction as an adapted brain disease that occurred in response to chronic drug or alcohol use, and over which the addict had control. Neither stance considered the partner, family or wider community. This polarisation overlooked and limited investigations regarding behavioural addictions and associated idiosyncratic characteristics many addicts had. The capacity to observe neurobiological phenomena greatly improved, uncovering the consequence of an addiction on brain behaviour. This connected the dominant theoretical models and increased public interest. Furthermore, this neurobiological evidence verified that an addict is NOT a weak-willed person who has a self-inflicted disorder that they don’t want to stop.
As understanding on addiction behaviour deepened, those addicted were no longer vilified and able to seek help for their intemperate, impulsive activities.
The field of addictions was revolutionised, moving beyond the polarized stance. Other behavioural addictions gained recognition. Growing public understanding saw an addiction that comprises a person’s ability and a an addicts solution to despondency (not the cause). Therefore, the addiction is a symptom of an underlying problem rather than the problem in itself. However insight into the addictive behaviour must be dealt with first.
Addictions are now usually categorised as either; Substance Use Disorders (alcohol, opiates, barbiturates, cannabinoids, amphetamines etc.) or Process/Natural addictions (Internet pornography, sexual addiction, deviant online behaviour (catfishing), internet relationships, eating disorders, gambling) – replacing Behavioural Addictions. Regardless of the substance or behaviour, there is an associated between “using” and depression, anxiety, loneliness, isolation and paranoia, low self-esteem. The unfamiliar practitioner may; 1) minimize the problematic substance/behaviour; 2) emphasise the associated symptoms; 3) suggest you are going through a midlife crisis, have a Madonna syndrome or just hypersexual.
Brain Reward Circuitry
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) distinguished the functioning and brain circuitry of the brain with an addiction (regardless if substance or process) differ from the structure and function of the brain without an addiction. They put the difference to the brain reward circuitry system. This is a survival mechanism in all humans, which make food, sex and social encounters exciting and naturally sought. In a healthy brain, the rewardal mechanism says enough! With an addiction, there is a pathological pursuit of rewards, and the brain circuitry establishes a neurological pathway that says “keep going” and “let’s do this again”.
Simply put, the addictive substance/ behaviour is a motor vehicle to get you from A to B. This vehicle is the “pathological pursuit of a reward” and “brain reward circuitry” is the motorway your vehicle takes. Location A is an anxious, unsafe, lacklustre, boring place, making B’s location far more exciting and rewarding!