What is addiction counselling.

Are approach to addiction counselling is that we focus on your recovery while still offering a traditional counselling approach. This recovery approach will provide information on the problem, cravings, coping strategies, self-care, detox referral process, external support (AA, NA, CA), and systemic family concerns.

We offer both long- and short-term intervention counselling to help you overcome your addiction and lead a productive life. All therapeutic interventions can help you to reduce or completely stop your use. In addition, you can deal with the harm that the addiction has caused and discover why the use started.

We employ a range of evidenced-based counselling models and skills to help you. These may include exploring and enhancing motivation for change, CBT strategies, various creative approaches, and solution-focused brief therapy strategies. In your initial assessment, we will discuss which strategies will be used, and we will review our plan every six weeks


Areas frequently discussed

  • Understanding your triggers
  • Coping without substance strategies
  • Using family members to support you
  • Your relationship with a substance
  • Your environment and fellow users
  • Withdrawals and comedowns
  • Blocks to recovery
  • Crime and addiction
  • Mental Health
  • Harm reduction approach
  • Added support/AA, CA, NA
  • Risk and safeguarding


We allow up to an hour for assessments to take place, during which time we discuss your individual needs. We may also assess your willingness and commitment to achieving your goals, and we will explore any blocks to therapy, as well as any denial or resistance you may have in this assessment process.

We believe this is an important part of the process and that you will leave the assessment knowing whether this is the right time for you. You may have had family and friends begging you to address your addiction, but it is down to you to want to change your life and address any unwanted behaviours.

By spending an hour with us, you may also change any ambivalence you have about the lifestyle you are leading. If you recognise yourself by after reading the section below, it may be worth taking a little time to reflect on your current situation.

Spotting the signs of an addiction

There are many signs of an addiction. While these may vary depending on the substance or activity, every addiction has the capacity to greatly impact self-esteem and confidence, inducing troublesome feelings such as shame, guilt, or a sense of hopelessness and failure. Everyone is different, and some people may be better at hiding their addiction, or they may not be aware it has become a problem, but certain behavior changes can indicate a problem.

  • withdrawing from social activities or neglecting relationships
  • borrowing money or selling possessions in order to fund their addiction
  • attempting to hide or lie about the habit
  • exhibiting frequent mood swings
  • missing work, school or social events
  • losing interest in activities or hobbies they previously enjoyed
  • becoming nervous and paranoid amongst friends

However, with addictions being so varied - from gambling to drug abuse - signs of an addiction can be more or less obvious in people.

How Substance Abuse Impacts Relationships

The elements of a successful relationship include:

  • Absence of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, aggression and violence
  • Fun and rewarding shared time
  • Both parties should feel good about themselves
  • An ability to compromise, understand and trust each other
  • Thriving in times of togetherness and individuality


When substance abuse enters the mix, it puts a strain on the relationship, and all the fundamentals are cast aside. Your relationship with an addict will be jeopardized because s/he becomes preoccupied with acquiring the next dose and experiencing the euphoria of the related ‘high’, which may feel better than any component of the relationship. They may lie and become violent, aggressive, hurtful, and/or absent. The joys of the relationship that brought you together are harder to find with each day that passes.

Substances such as alcohol, steroids, cocaine, ecstasy, and methamphetamine are known to cause violence, anger, and irritability. Living with an addict puts you at risk of physical and psychological torture.

Warning Signs of Substance Abuse in Domestic Violence

When domestic abuse begins, it is sometimes difficult to determine if you’re headed down a turbulent or deadly road. Indicators of domestic abuse include:

  • Your partner doesn’t like your friends or is jealous of the time you spend without him or her, and gradually urges you to sever ties with friends and loved ones, until they’re the only person in your life
  • Making you feel bad or embarrassing you in front of others
  • Threatening to take the children from you for being a bad parent
  • Threatening to kill (or actually killing) your pets
  • Controlling your finances to the point where you have to consult him/her to make a purchase
  • Stopping you from engaging in outside activities, such as work or school
  • Not allowing you to make even the simplest of decisions, including those relating to sleeping or eating
  • Damaging personal items that are important to you


Gambling addiction can often be easily overlooked as a result of misconceptions of what it actually involves.

A particular misconception is the view that people can only become addicted to a substance and not an activity. A person who is addicted to gambling will not experience the side effects linked to taking a substance, and thus they are not always seen as true addicts. In reality, however, when people gamble they experience the same chemical changes in the brain that occur when certain drugs are taken.

  • Are you spending more time and money on gambling than you can afford?

  • Are you finding it hard to manage or stop your gambling?

  • Are you increasingly taking larger risks to satisfy your urge to gamble?

  • Are you losing interest in usual activities and hobbies?

  • Is gambling constantly on your mind?

  • Do you gamble until all of your money is gone?

  • Are you feeling constantly anxious, irritable, guilty or depressed?

  • Do you feel the need to be secretive and lie about your gambling?

  • Do you gamble even when you don't have the money?

  • Have family and friends expressed their concerns?

Children of Substance-Misusing Parents

Children of all ages suffer when a parent has a problem with drugs or alcohol. Although a parent might be present in a physical sense, it may seem to the child that their parent is not available emotionally. This can create feelings like confusion, worry, anger, shame or self-blame. The impact of parental substance misuse on the lives of their children can be devastating, leading to long-term issues that can severely harm children, their development, and their prospects for a happy, healthy future.

A parent’s problem with drugs or alcohol can be a complicated issue, leading to money problems, family arguments, domestic violence, and a breakdown of communication. Family life can become chaotic and unpredictable. For many children, there is the potential for serious welfare risks.

Family Work

The aim of our family work is primarily conflict resolution. Tensions between parents and children can negatively impact the health and happiness of the entire family.

Family work allows both parents and children the opportunity to be heard in a safe and controlled environment – a chance to listen respectfully and patiently to each other. This can be extremely beneficial to family dynamics These tensions can stem from many different issues, such as a child who appears to be using drugs, or a child who is in an unhealthy relationship.

By using a solution-focused approach, we aim to improve relationships within the family by confronting issues rather than avoiding them.

  • The importance of boundries

  • Defusing lively arguments

  • Understanding addiction

  • Systemic family dynamics

  • Shame and Stigma

Young People

We really do understand that in this current climate young people face many challenges. We understand that because of competing demands, including education and employment, a young person may need flexibility.  Ideally, we work with young person on a weekly basis, but if this is not possible, fortnightly sessions are sometimes an option, depending on the needs of the client.

We may liaise with parents both during the assessment stage with the young person, and later by telephone as it suits the family needs.  Before any service begins we will explain in detail to both parties our confidentiality policy, and the possible situations in which we may need to break confidentiality.



We are very passionate about allowing a young person to be heard and to develop confidence, resilience, self-esteem, and a sense of self-worth. In the feedback we have received, our clients have shared that their experience with us has led to them to feel mentally strong, and to develop strong personal boundaries in all relationships.  They learned to become assertive, and have felt empowered to converse with people in a positive way, and to develop good mental health for a brighter future.Please click her to self refer

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