Addiction Counselling - Treatment & Therapy

We all enjoy certain things that we love to do. It could be eating something, engaging in some activity or doing any other act. However, if these pleasures take control over us and start consuming our life, it could start having negative consequences. In such cases, these activities can become an addiction. So what is an addiction and what do you need to know about it? Let’s take a look down below.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a common problem that goes around the world. Around 1 in 3 people are addicted to something. In simple terms, you can define addiction as a brain disorder in which you crave something obsessively despite its negative consequences.

However, if you find yourself engaging in a negative behaviour to such an extent that it starts interfering with your life, it can be termed as an addiction. People that experience addictions are also prone to cycles of relapse and remission. They simply do not have control over their actions and they can take things to a point where they can be harmful to them.

How to find an Addiction Therapist

If you are looking to find the perfect Addiction therapist it is crucial to make sure that they have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience. At Expat Therapy 4U we only accept therapists who have full professional proficiency in English and are highly experienced in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The clinicians we approve share our values and commitment to provide high quality therapy to the expatriate community in the private sector across Europe and online worldwide. We strongly believe that therapy changes lives, and being accredited ensures all our therapists are qualified to a high standard. You can find an Addiction therapist who is insured to practice and accredited with a recognised membership body online here.

What are some symptoms of Addiction?

Simply liking something and repeating it over and over does not count as addiction. Addictions occur when you develop a dependency on something. Your brain cannot feel at ease if it is not provided what you are addicted to.

Some common examples of addiction include gambling, drugs, alcohol or nicotine consumption. But it does not end here. You can be addicted to anything.

Here are some factors that can help you identify behaviour as an addiction.

  • An inability to stop performing the behaviour.
  • Use and abuse of substances despite the negative consequences.
  • Using your addiction as a coping mechanism to deal with some problems. Such as excessively using the internet to neglect the painful aspects of your life.
  • Being obsessed with something to an extreme extent.
  • You often take risks to obtain the substance or perform the activity that you are addicted to. Such as taking illicit drugs despite health circumstances, spending large amounts of money, engaging in fast or dangerous driving etc.
  • Sacrificing social or other important activities for that addiction.
  • Doing your best to maintain a good supply of the substance you are addicted to.
  • Excessive consumption or abuse of the substance.
  • Appetite changes withdrawal symptoms and a change in appearance because of that behaviour.

What causes Addictions?

There may be many reasons why a person could get addicted to something. Addictions may start because of voluntary action at first, but there are many factors that can count. Here are some of them down below.

  • Family history contributes to around 50 per cent of addictions. Genetics can play a great role in the development of an addiction. If you have parents that smoked, chances are you will smoke too. The same can be said about other addictions.
  • Addictions are also caused due to poor coping skills. To find an escape from your life’s problems, you may resort to some drug or activity that distracts you or helps you feel at ease. This inability to cope healthily with stress in life also contributes to becoming an addict.
  • Negative thinking such as an all-or-nothing approach to life can lead to addictions. This happens when you think that your life is either going perfectly or horribly. So, you may use some substance to escape, feel better or reward yourself.
  • Around 15 to 30 per cent of people that suffer from anxiety or depression may also have an addiction. People with a dual diagnosis may often use drugs or compulsive behaviours to escape from their feelings of anxiety and depression.

Best recommended treatments for Addictions

The good news is that drug treatment services are always available and most of the addictions are treatable to a great extent. Depending on your personal circumstances, your treatment may involve the following strategies.

Talking therapies

Talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help you to a great extent. You discuss your addictions with a licensed therapist who then helps you identify the root causes of your problems. You will see how your thoughts and feelings affect your behaviours and most importantly, how you can learn new strategies to cope with your addictions.

Treatment with medications

If you are addicted to some drug such as heroin or opioids, chances are your problem is more than just a behavioural issue. You may feel withdrawal symptoms or other implications if you stop taking the drugs. So, to effectively counter this you may be given other drugs such as Methadone to wear off the withdrawal symptoms so you can easily leave the addiction.


Detoxification is often the first step for recovering from addictions. This purges the body of addicting chemicals thus allowing the patients to stabilize their body to enter a treatment program. During this process, the patient either stops their addiction completely (called cold turkey) or slowly weans off their substance abuse by reducing their dosages (called tapering).

Self-help groups

People who have been in the same circumstances often find it better to share their experiences and get support from each other. Support groups accompanied by therapists can be a great way to give you perspective and help overcome your addictions.

Reducing harm

Harm reduction is a public strategy that is developed for treating people for whom abstinence is not feasible. It works by helping people find a positive change in their lives without moral judgements or discrimination. Harm reduction includes a variety of health services and practices that can help prevent and reverse the negative consequences of your addictions.

Find an Addiction Therapist through the Expat Therapy 4U platform

If not monitored, addictions can seriously damage your life. If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot control your behaviour, then you should seek support immediately. Consult your peers, doctors or other health officials to start seeking help so you can start living a healthy and better life.

Further Readings on Addiction




About Expat Therapy 4U

Expat Therapy 4U is the result of 5 years’ experience running The International Psychology Clinic, the first private therapy service based in London specialized in multilingual and multicultural therapy.

The platform is run by Dr Martina Paglia. Dr Martina is a leading dual qualified Clinical and Counselling psychologist who helps patients by providing bespoke psychological services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy in London and online worldwide.

Our network comprises highly qualified and experienced private therapists who have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of expats worldwide. All members of our community are highly experienced working in cross-cultural environments.

We are passionate about delivering first-class patient-centred, safe and effective care. If you would like to work with a warm, inclusive, caring and professional English-speaking therapist in Europe or online worldwide you have come to the right place.

If you are looking for the perfect expat Therapist in Europe or online worldwide, our team is dedicated to help you find your best match. We offer a client guarantee where clients can re-book with a different therapist if they are not satisfied with their first therapy session.

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