Addiction Counselling and Psychotherapy in London

Are Your Bad Habits Controlling Your Life?

It is a common misconception that addiction is only associated with substance abuse, such as drugs and alcohol. Contrarily, we can become grossly addicted to many other substances and experiences: these include (not mutually exclusive to) Love addiction, Gambling, Sport, Shopping, Internet, Pornography, Sex, Social media (Facebook, twitter, Instagram), Electronics and gadgets, Negative or Risky Behaviours to name a few.

In essence it is important to characterise and understand what we mean by addiction at Harley Street Psychology. When we engage in activities that prompt a surge of chemicals in our body, such as adrenaline and dopamine, these chemicals provide a temporary “high” which causes us to be destabilised within our bodies. Depending on our current circumstances we may be rational enough to know that the event was something enjoyable and have strong enough boundaries to not continually use the “substance” and carry on normally.

The problem arises when the experience with the substance or event has fuelled our life with a different sense/feeling/chemical which is removed from our sometimes stagnant lives. This is where we become open to having our perception changed for the worst. We begin to view the event/experience/substance favourably because of the new feelings it promotes which in-turn manifests into an addiction through our repetitive behaviour. Because we so easily connect with repetitive “bad” behaviour and thinking, we reinforce the new need and dependency on the substance which ultimately causes us to feel that we “need” it and cannot function “without it”.

Regardless of the type of addiction you feel you have, it will take a serious toll on your physical, and psychological wellbeing. If you feel you are in this repetitive cycle and are able to acknowledge to yourself that there is a problem–contact us on 0207 060 5257 immediately!

What is Addiction Counselling, Addiction  Psychotherapy and Psychiatry?

Addiction counsellors can help you identify whether you have an addiction and may suggest a course of counselling sessions to help overcome it.

Therapy for addiction can help you to examine the underlying causes that precipitated the vicious cycle and identify any possible triggers that may lead to a relapse. It can also help you deal with any other psychological issues that may be attached to your addiction such as depression, low self-esteem or anxiety. Finally, it can guide those around you such as family and friends to better understand your addiction and learn how to support you during your recovery.

If your addiction is serious, you may also need to meet with a consultant psychiatrist to diagnose, monitor and treat any mental health issues arising from it, and they can refer you to a rehabilitation centre if a residential stay is recommended.

Breaking the Addiction Cycle – The Harley Street Psychology™ Method

Addictions most commonly are treated with the aid of a 12 step programme that essentially guarantees the success in overcoming the addiction to either drugs, drink, food, sex, love or any other potentially addictive substance or act. The concern here is that there is no pivotal research that indicates the success of such programmes and there have been three primary studies which have researched the efficacy of AA styled programmes, only to find that they are obsolete and have a higher relapse rate than a fully tailored and bespoke psycho-therapeutic intervention.

In lay mans terms, the process of AA style meetings provides a platform for people who are struggling with addictive behaviours to identify with the experiences and stories of “recovering addicts” so that they can gain perspective on their life experience with the aid of the “buddy” programme or “sponsor” to help through difficult periods when they want to give into their addiction.

Historically AA programs have introduced quite an evangelical style to the meetings with the hope that by introducing God or Godly ways into the meetings there can be a displacement of substances for something more spiritually fulfilling.

By no means is this a dismissal of this process and depending on the depth of belief of the person, this may work, however there is not enough evidence to point the substance abuser in the direction of actually learning how to change unhelpful behaviours and understand the need for such behaviours and choices.

Some thoughts to ponder when reaching the point of looking for help:

  1. you will naturally be using the substance to soothe a part of you that needs kindness and love. Possibly both of which you are unable to give yourself, which can translate into an inability to care for yourself.
  2. the substance abuse creates a perfect strategy always available to prevent you from dealing with the core issues in your life and making the necessary choices to adapt and change for the better.
  3. There are constant excuses being used to avoid taking responsibility for your actions and choices
  4. You will often sabotage any form of positive relationship and supplement it once again with the use of substances when things go wrong.
  5. There has to be a desire to change and be dedicated to your growth and have a willingness to look at the core pains you carry.
  6. There has to be a dedication and persistence in finding the root and core issue that is holding you in the repetitive cycle

At Harley Street Psychology™, our psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors and psychiatrists work with the full range of addictions, addictive behaviours and thinking.

It takes 21 days biologically to create a new habit, and it takes 90 days of consistency to break a bad habit. This is a rule of thumb largely dependant on your ability to replace bad behaviours and thinking patterns consistently with new and more effective healthy ones. We will assess all the causes and negative thinking and behaving patterns contributing to the addiction. With this added insight and a bespoke plan will allow you once again a sense of freedom to break away from the hold that the addiction has on your life. Each session will focus on helping you gain the crucial self-understanding necessary to disarm the core need for the addiction. You will in essence recalibrate the way you relate to the addiction and the readjust the thinking patterns that keep you tied into the current negative belief system you have.

Accessing Addiction Counselling, Psychotherapy and Psychiatry Services at HarleyStreet Psychology™, London

Harley Street Psychology has an extensive network of therapists and inclusive of Specialist Psychiatrists offering addiction treatment.

Call us on 0207 060 5257 for a free consultation so we can acquire a better understanding of how we can help you overcome your struggle with addiction.

Further reading on addiction counselling:

  • Internet Addiction: Laura Perdrew
  • Addiction the brain disease: Dale Carison
  • The Porn Addiction Cure:Paul Stephenson
  • Rewired a new approach to addiction: Erica Spiegelman

Content is copyright of Harley  Street Psychology™

Anxiety Counselling and Psychotherapy in London

Feeling Anxious, Panicky, Fearful or Tense?

Anxiety is more commonly characterised by increased nervousness and feelings of emotional discomfort throughout the body. What may occur at varied times is the inclusion of bodily sweats, increased heart rate, sweaty palms, a sense of loosing consciousness, a sense of dread, worry about consequences and the future, muscle spasms, hyperventilation, forgetfulness and sheer panic.

We have been taught that anxiety is a “fight” or “flight” response, which we associate with something dangerous in our immediate environment which prompts us to either face up to the situation and “fight” or run away “flight”. This is the general attitude towards explaining anxiety. In not so many words, this is not a good enough explanation in how to understand this bodily and mental occurrence which has such great potential to disarm us and make us panic.

Over the years here at Harley Street Psychology we have noticed that will all the clients that present with anxiety, there is a common characteristic which is seldom addressed by many other professionals. This phenomena is the actual reason why anxiety presents itself and takes such a hold on our thinking and bodies.

If you could picture anxiety representing an emotional cap within our bodies. Underneath this anxiety cap is a whole myriad of unprocessed emotions which we avoid.

We choose to avoid emotions because, emotional pain appears to be more unbearable than physical pain which makes us need anxiety even more than our desire for its removal.

We found that there was an unconscious decision made within the body that it would be safer and somewhat easier to deal with one main emotion (anxiety)at a time instead of a whole range of varied emotions equal in intensity. The body and mind collaborate and arrive at a decision  that prompts us to focus primarily on the anxiety.  This response is quite remarkable because the focus on anxiety comes with the knowledge that we will not die from anxiety or a panic attack–even though during a panic attack it may feel like we are having a heart attack.

Anxiety Counselling and CBT – The Harley Street Psychology™ Method

It is essential to remember that the core function of anxiety is to make us stop anything we are doing which may be causing the anxiety to occur. If we see that the anxiety is actually protecting us from any external pain its obvious that it is quite a useful bodily response.

The problem comes in when we have become so reliant on this anxious response used to protect us from the “dangers” of the world and then realise that this dependency is preventing us from living.

It is important to remind you here that anxiety is not an innate experience/emotion. Instead if we look at the source of anxiety being fear, we only have two innate fears in this world: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises–all the rest are learnt behaviours.

With this in mind think about how you have conditioned yourself to believe the anxiety and when you go to the source of the anxiety, all you are is AFRAID. Afraid to live. Afraid to experience. Afraid to fail. Afraid to make mistakes. Afraid to be embarrassed. Afraid to get close to people. Afraid to be hurt. AFRAID AFRAID AFRAID.

This only touches the surface of what is behind the anxiety but yet it is to highlight that if you can relate to any of the descriptions discussed then it is vital that you seek the appropriate help. Anxiety is one of the core difficulties that we work with at Harley Street Psychology and if there is any form of fear in your life then you are obviously not living your life to the extent you could be!

Erase Your Anxiety Today. Don’t Wait a Second Longer!!

Our anxiety counsellors at Harley Street Psychology are all equipped extraordinary training in being able to treat anxiety problems of varied presentations.

The services we offer at Harley Street Psychology London include psychotherapy and counselling for anxiety, CBT-based anxiety therapy and anxiety management programmes.

Give us a call today on 0207 060 5257 to erase you anxiety for good.

Further Reading on Anxiety Management and Counselling

  • The complete CBT guide for anxiety: Lee Brosan
  • The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: John Forsyth
  • The Mindful Way through Anxiety: Susan Orsillo

Content is copyright of Harley Street Psychology™

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy London

CBT or cognitive behaviour therapy in London continues to be one of the most effective approaches available in the therapeutic arena when dealing with issues around stagnant thinking patterns and behaviours that are in no way beneficial to your day to day functioning. The process of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy focuses on assisting the individual, group or family in understanding their thinking patterns which keep them stuck in their struggle. It assists the individual in finding alternate modes of thinking to replace previous ones so that they may live a richer and more fulfilled life.

CBT

The type of Cognitive behaviour therapy in London offed by the practitioners at Harley Street Psychology follows a unique structure of assisting the individual in reconditioning their thinking patterns into ones that are not only effective, but essentially move away from the stagnation previously experienced towards the creation of new modes of living and finding meaning in their day to day lives.

The intention is not simply to change the manner in which a person thinks and behaves but to provide a bespoke therapeutic endeavour which focuses on tailoring a programme that is unique and comprehensive for the individual that takes part in the cognitive behaviour therapy programme in London. This is essential when embarking on any Cognitive Behaviour Therapy programme!

Although your behaviours and thinking are challenged in CBT, what we do at Harley Street Psychology is focus on creating a sound therapeutic relationship initially where all your barriers are broken down and you can learn to be as transparent and authentic not only with yourself, but also with another human being. What this does is break the common pattern of thinking “I am not good enough”, the constant fear of being judged, actual fear itself and any other repetitive and very critical ways that we can be with ourselves. Essential to the type of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy we offer is moving you away from depressed feelings which are associated with you living too much of your life in the past, and keeping you from living too much in the future where there is a greater chance of experiencing varied bouts of anxiety—instead a primary purpose is to learn how to be mindful in living in the here and now and learn how to appreciate that this is where life is happening.

As you can see at Harley Street Psychology, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in London takes a completely different stance in just simply tackling your thinking and behaviour. It is a dedicated and focused programme that requires constant contact and engagement from you where you eventually reach a point of becoming your own therapist-one in which knows how to address any future difficulty you may encounter. We have tailored the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy programme in such a manner that when you engage completely in what we require you to do, you will experience much difference in how your life once was.

 

CBT cycle

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