Unconscious Motivators of Addiction

March 11, 2010

Addictions come in various shapes and sizes, which may be well removed from the stereotypical Addictions such as Drugs, Smoking or Alcohol.

People can become Addicted to anything if the behaviour seems to fulfil some kind of purpose.

It’s interesting when you consider that an addictive behaviour probably started out as some kind of solution to a problem.

Think for a minute about a person who uses alcohol to calm nerves when socialising. The drink serves a purpose, and may work very well for a period of time.

Over time however, getting drunk to calm nerves may pose its own problems such as loss of memory, poor affect on finances, getting too drunk and making a fool of ones self etc.

The negative affects of the Addictive behaviour can start to outweigh the Solution it originally was intended to be, and can become a bigger problem than the original one.

An example of this can be seen in Eating Disorders where the behaviours give a sense of control perhaps, make someone feel numb from difficult emotions among a series of other things.

However, the Eating Disorder can start to take over a person’s life to the point where the initial problem has started to be outweighed by the Solution to the problem!

As the behaviour now only seems to have quite a negative affect in people’s lives, they are less inclined to look at these initial set of associations.

It is important to note, however, that the purpose of our behaviours often becomes an unconscious set of associations. People seem to have a tendency to associate towards the the Addictive behaviour pleasantly when thinking about engaging in the behaviour. Perhaps with similar associations when the behaviour started, and it seemed to work.

After we suffer the consequences of our choices, we remember why we wanted to stop, and find it difficult to comprehend our earlier compulsion to engage in these destructive behaviours.

If you’ve had any experience of this you may recall a time when you were left wondering why you are still repeating he same old behaviour despite a deep desire to change them.

This can lead to self defeating thoughts of failure, lowered self esteem and lack of belief that that change is possible.

Easy examples of this process can be seen in the smoker who knows that those cigarettes have a one in two chance of killing them, they desperately want to stop, but they don’t because the cigarettes still have some kind of positive association. That positive association may be personal enjoyment, relaxation time, stress relief, moments of reflection etc.

If you forget a minute about the actual cigarettes for a moment and ask yourself whether you’d be willing to give up personal enjoyment, relaxation time, stress relief, moments of reflection then you’d probably say no, right?

Due to the fact these unconscious associations are not brought into conscious awareness to be critically evaluated, these kinds of associations to perceived losses create a strong motivating factor to continue the behaviour.

If you’ve ever suffered from any kind of Addiction you will have probably thought “I’d like to stop doing this” but found that despite your positive intentions you found yourself repeating that same old behaviour.

As you start to firstly become aware of these positive associations, then change them, you can find that breaking free of Addictive behaviour is easy, due to the fact that the motivating factors that led you to do it have become neutralised.

If you would like to overcome an Addiction or Compulsive behaviours then please feel free to call me on 07949 989986 and arrange a consultation.


How can Hypnotherapy cure so many different issues?

November 11, 2009

When you look upon all the different issues Hypnotherapy claims to support people in overcoming, one may ask just how Hypnotherapy can help so many diverse ailments.
I will answer this by breaking down the components of Hypnosis to give you a greater understanding of what it is and how it works.

The Element of Trance

Hypnosis is a word that describes being induced by another into a trance. Despite people’s common belief that a trance is something a Hypnotist does by ‘waving a watch’ and having people ‘in their control’, the truth is that trance is an everyday phenomena. It happens when you watch T.V., when you daydream, and no doubt it will happen as you read this article.
Whenever you focus your attention, soon enough you’ll drift into a trance.
Hypnosis is so good with many issues because so many issues have an element of trance that perpetuates them, and it just makes sense to use a trance to transform negative trance like behaviours.

Take anger for example.

The focus of attention is all around the emotion, and whatever it is that one might be angry about. When in this single minded anger focus people may feel less pain, have a sense of dissociation, may experience negative hallucinations, ideomotor activity often occurs, and people act instinctively with an altered focus, which are all signs of trance.

Addictions are another example.

Commonly with an addiction, people have the desire to stop whatever behaviour that is causing them problems. Despite wanting to give up or reduce the addictive behaviour they might naturally, without having consciously thought about it find themselves having raided the fridge, walked down a dealers road and scored or sat on the internet for five hours before ‘waking’ out of their trance addiction to feel perhaps ashamed and disheartened.

Strong emotions are trance inducing and negative feelings lead to negative trance states which in turn lead to negative behaviour patterns. We use trance to simply reverse the process so that we can focus upon positive trance inducing emotions, which can create positive natural behaviours.

Accessing the Unconscious for a Change

The unconscious mind is a metaphorical pattern matching instrument of creation that can be accessed through relaxation, story telling and guided visualisation.

There are so many factors that we simply don’t know that we don’t know, and given that your conscious mind can hold a maximum of nine bits of information at any given time whereas your unconscious is processing roughly two million, it simply makes sense to access your mammoth warehouse of skills, resources and problem solving abilities.

It really pays to use your unconscious mind, because that’s where changes happen anyway.
So when you find that you are feeling and acting in new ways in certain situations without even having to consciously think about it, you’re using your unconscious mind for a change.

Process vs Content

Many counsellors focus purely on the content of a problem, perhaps endlessly listening to how the problem is presenting in your life with the hope that this will simply create change. Of course, sometimes it does, and being heard is an important aspect of any therapy, yet it is only part of a solution.

Hypnotherapists commonly know that a problem is held up by a series of different internal processes i.e. I think this, I hear myself say that, I see myself doing something, that provokes an emotional response, then I engage in an unwanted behaviour.

As you start to change some of these processes, you start to find that altered things begin to happen.

To put it another way, if on the way home you took just one road that headed in a completely different direction you would not end up in the same place.

Due to the fact that all and any problems have a process, you can use a simple set of techniques to make a profound difference with any issue from Eating Disorders to Sports Performance.

Safe and Secure

Unlike traditional therapy, where people have to rehash old memories, bringing them painfully to the surface, you can use Hypnosis to put the past in the past, and deal with uncomfortable emotions by using comfortable techniques.

It seems absurd that people think that the way to get over trauma is to constantly talk about it rather than exploring what life is like without it.

Hypnosis is a very relaxing and soothing way to find yourself able to deal with even the most traumatic memories and events in a way that you comfortably reprocess and dissociate the most emotional provoking experiences.

This makes Hypnosis excellent for overcoming issues related to previous Sexual Abuse, Phobia’s, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Attacks.

If you would like help to overcome these, or any other issues then feel free to email me for information on info@possie.co.uk or call me on 07949 989986 to book a free 30 minute consultation.

The Motorcycle Diary – A sense of Belonging

October 24, 2009

Having recently purchased a 125cc commuter bike, I have noticed a strange phenomenon occurring. All of a sudden, I want leather motorcycle clothes, and dramatic looking rubber boots that fit over a tight pair of protective waterproof trousers.

The funny thing is that I have never found the motorcycle gear attractive in any sense and have had an aversion towards that kind of look and all the things it meant me.

One such image I have is a bunch of men standing around a bike in their leathers, discussing the intricacies of precision power inlet valves who are all intrinsically a bunch of children playing power games with big boy’s toys.

Am I being drawn into this I ask myself? Will that be me? Am I just a motorbike wannabe?

Well reluctantly and honestly, I think I am in a way, but the real question for me is why I am attracted to this now, having had such clearly judgmental views of the motorcycle elite.I get on my bike with my tattered body armour jacket that I bought for three pounds at a car boot sale, and I’m happy that I’ve even got a body armour jacket. I begin to fit in and get a sense of status but as a 125cc rider I am all too aware that there will be judgements about me too.

You may well know this camaraderie between certain vehicle drivers, maybe if you have an old Mini, a Beetle, possibly a Morris Minor or Land Rover. Well this is certainly the case of the motorcycle rider with the nod of acknowledgement, a shared knowing and collective experience. I started off thinking that I’ll refrain from nodding my head to anyone as I did not want to face the rejection and humiliation if my clothes weren’t good enough or my engine was not worthy of their appreciation. In a self fulfilling prophecy kind of way, it seemed that no-one nodded me either.But today was different. I looked at a couple of riders square in the eyes, not looking for anything in particular, nor fearing rejection and they nodded.A warm feeling washed over me, a sense of approval and bonding. I came to realise that this is what I have really been wanting.

It’s not really about looking cool because I generally don’t think bike gear looks cool, it’s the belonging.

This sense of belonging, the need for attention and status are all, in my view, necessary, valid and positive aspect of the human psyche that leads us towards emotional stability and good mental health. The need for attention and status only seem to present a problem when those needs are not being met.

Now I think of myself as being quite self assured and in my power, although I can see my vulnerability and personal drive to claim that assurance from others. At the same time I think we as humans are social creatures and that it’s not surprising that we have drivers which call us into action to connect, network, belong and survive, even if those drivers act through our insecurities.

As I see with many of my clients, insecurities can motivate us towards change.

If you are interested in finding out more about your emotional needs such as belonging, status, attention and much more go to: