Hypnosis For Addictions

 

WHAT IS AN ADDICTION

There are two types of addictions, process addictions and substance addiction.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A “PROCESS ADDICTION” AND A “SUBSTANCE” ADDICTION?

It is now widely accepted that there are genetic factors involved with addiction – which is not to say that environmental and emotional/situational issues and “triggers” are not in the picture at all – in fact, most commonly, aspects of both genetics and environment are involved. The brain of the addictive personality has issues with processing dopamine and other endorphins (feel-good hormones and chemicals that the body creates) which is, in fact, the commonality of all addictive behaviour – whether the individual is caught up in a “Process” or “Substance” addiction. In a process addiction, the addict tries repeatedly (and unsuccessfully) to stimulate a chemical release that will re-create the endorphin rush associated with an initial pleasurable activity, and that obsessive desire begins to dominate all aspects of the individual’s life. One endorphin release will never be enough – the inciting behaviours must be repeated perpetually, ad infinitum. The same holds true for substance addictions – but instead of stimulating a systemic endorphin release through a “behaviour”, the substance addict is compelled to invigorate the circuit of dopamine delivery to the brain through the ingestion of narcotics.

HOW DOES HYPNOTHERAPY WORK IN THE TREATMENT OF ADDICTIONS?

As with any Hypnotherapeutic process, success will embody a combination of cognitive awareness, mindfulness and self-reflection as well as skillfully applied advanced hypnosis and neural linguistic programming techniques that will not only break the neurological, mind/body “circuit” of the addiction, but will imbed into the unconscious mind, new, positive behaviours that will eclipse/short-circuit the former addictive behaviours. The most current information in the treatment of addiction is that Hypnotherapy is not only a profound and powerful therapy, but also has a significantly higher success rate than that of most “Addiction Rehab” programmes.

TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION

Throughout the years we have seen an explosion in technology that goes far beyond what we could have ever imagined was possible. The intention behind this technology was meant to make our lives easier, save us time and be more efficient. But what happens when the very thing that is meant to help us, takes over our lives?

WHAT IS TECH ADDICTION?

Addiction to Technology is a contemporary twist on a whole series of addictive behaviours, known as “Process Addictions”, as they do not involve the ingestion of substances external to the human body. Gambling, On-Line or electronic Gaming, Sex Addiction, Infatuation Addiction, Shopping, Eating Disorders such as Bulimia and Anorexia, engaging in dangerous, adrenaline-based behaviours and many other negative activities fall into this category. As a society, we now have the need to be “constantly connected”, and the blurred lines of “work hours” and “personal time” have led to un-realistic expectations of instant gratification.

Our bodies and our brains are being harmed by habitual/addictive behaviours that (as with any addiction) promise short-term satisfaction while doing long-term damage. Tech addiction is now such a serious problem in our global society, that the issue was recently featured on the cover of TIME MAGAZINE. Our beliefs and behaviours are now being shaped by the seemingly limitless new world that we’ve entered – and this strong, destructive dependence that billions of people are now experiencing is directly responsible for causing fatal car accidents, parental negligence, destruction of personal relationships, erosion of physical health, obstruction of intimacy, interference with the executive functions of the brain (e.g. self-control, logic, decision-making), destruction of healthy sleep patterns and stimulating/inciting other psychological issues such as depression and anxiety.

ARE YOU A “TECH ADDICT”?

In the 1930’s – at the very dawn of addiction treatment – Dr. Robert Seliger of John’s Hopkins University developed a simple questionnaire, designed to determine if an individual had crossed the line from in-control social alcoholic consumption into the newly-recognised “disease” of alcoholism. These “Twenty Questions” have long been used as an initial diagnostic tool, not only by Alcoholics Anonymous (and their various specialized branches, including “Alanon”), but by medical addiction treatment centres throughout the world. This insightful list of behaviours, feelings and ways of thinking has been cleverly adapted by Dr. Stephanie Brown, PhD. and The Bloom Centre for Hypnotherapy in order to determine a possible dependence or addiction to technology, or at the very least, obsessive thought and lack of control with regard to the frenzied world of electronically-driven behaviours, feelings and beliefs that we experience in contemporary society.

 

20 QUESTIONS that determine if you are you a Tech Addict?

YOUR BEHAVIOUR:

  • Do you want to turn off your technology (phone, pad, computer, gaming system), but find that you cannot? Have you lost control?
  • Do you keep adding “technologies”, but never take any away?
  • Are you “working” or “playing” on your electronic platforms, for longer and longer periods of time, but never seem to “finish” either your work, or your play?
  • Do you treat other problems, such as sleep issues, anxiety or depression?
  • Do you act first and think later?
  • Do you reach for your phone or other device first thing in the morning?

YOUR FEELINGS:

  • Do you feel internal pressure to live fast and act fast, which becomes a craving to “connect” more rapidly?
  • Do you feel empty if you are not constantly in “action”, engaging through your technology?
  • Do you feel nervous without your tech gear in hand or pocket?
  • Do you feel the beep of your phone (or other tech) is a comfort that gives you a shot of adrenaline?
  • Do you feel that you “belong” when you are rushing, stressed and in a state of “action” on your technology?

YOUR BELIEFS:

  • Do you believe that you have no limits, and are entitled to live without limits?
  • Do you believe that you should think, feel, react and behave instantly?
  • Do you believe that you will fall behind if you slow down?
  • Do you believe that success equals fast and faster, and slowing down is failing?
  • Do you believe that you should only feel good, should only feel “high” and that other feelings are a sign of failure?
  • Do you believe that stress associated with constant use of technology is the price of success, and that chaos is normal?
  • Do you believe that the “new intimacy” is through technology, and less time for “off-line” relationships is the price of success?
  • Do you believe “instant action” (which is part and parcel of contemporary tech use) is a virtue, and you can overcome anything with enough willpower?
  • Do you believe all change must be big, in order to matter?

These questions may be uncomfortable, but if the individual answers “yes” to even some of them, Tech Addiction may be a problem, and it may be time to begin to make the changes through skilled Hypnotherapy that will release these negative repetitive behaviours, and move the individual into a much more satisfying and full life experience. Tech Addiction – or any addiction (whether a “process” addiction or “substance” addiction) can be treated effectively with Hypnotherapy – but the addiction must first be recognized, and the individual must have the desire and courage to make the necessary changes.

HOW DOES HYPNOTHERAPY WORK IN THE TREATMENT OF ADDICTIONS?

After answering the “Twenty Questions”, and finding cause for concern, the client, with the help of our skilled hypnotherapists (who are trained and certified in numerous modalities of addiction treatment) will help the client (through self-awareness) to identify the behaviours, feelings and thinking that have led to the process-driven Tech Addiction, and also to identify new, positive behaviours, feelings and thinking that will literally replace and eclipse those old ideas – which is at the core of achieving recovery.

As with any Hypnotherapeutic process, success will embody a combination of cognitive awareness, mindfulness and self-reflection as well as skillfully applied advanced hypnosis and neural linguistic programming techniques that will not only break the neurological, mind/body “circuit” of the addiction, but will imbed into the unconscious mind, new, positive behaviours that will eclipse/short-circuit the former addictive behaviours. The most current information in the treatment of addiction is that Hypnotherapy is not only a profound and powerful therapy, but also has a significantly higher success rate than that of most “Addiction Rehab” programmes.