How do I help somebody who is living with an addiction? Part II

how-to-help-somebody-with-an-addiction_-eleoscounselling-blog

As mentioned in our last article thinking. again, of how one views addictions can, indeed help the person you love and want to help. Thinking of addiction as a compulsive behaviour rather than a disease or a character flaw can reap benefits when trying to help somebody with an addiction. An addict is not blind, a significant amount of the time they feel ashamed and guilty of what they’ve put their loved ones through. Someone with an addiction will convincingly tell you they are trying to stop or will never drink or do their addictive behaviour again, but will often do their behaviour nevertheless. On the surface, this looks like an outright lie, but at the heart of it, they are trying to stop. Often, the drive to relieve psychological pain it too much great; thinking of addiction as just a bad habit is a wrong assumption.

Another assumption often made, by people trying to help an addict or someone with a compulsive behaviour that if they try hard enough, they can fix the person with the addiction. Often this will cause the addict to lie about their addiction all the more, this lying is a source of shame, causing more psychological pain pushing them more and more into that addictive behaviour.

Something to  bear in mind, for anybody helping somebody with an addiction, is that guilt and shame are powerful drivers for addictive behaviour. Furthermore, if the addict, is lying that does not mean that they no longer love you or respect you. Fundamentally lying is a part of addiction. Often, addictions are driven by a powerful and necessary drive to fight against a sense of helplessness.

A way of understanding this is to imagine a person trapped in the cave, and battling out of the cave with a broken wrist. This is not self-destructive is just a sense of overwhelming powerlessness and the need to battle, that helplessness.

This article originally appeared in counselling directory

 

Maybe it’s time to live life like every day was our last?

eleoscounselling_making each day count

Life with purpose.

Undoubtedly, Prof Stephen Hawking has one of the most brilliant minds. He has often been compared to Albert Einstein. Unfortunately, Prof Hawkins has a degenerative disease called motor neuron disease, which is left him virtually paralysed, his famous talking computer has become his voice, and is now instantly recognisable because he is now unable to speak. Fortunately, technology has given Prof Hawkins a way of communicating his brilliant thoughts to the world. Nevertheless, before he became ill, he described his life as pointless, that’s right! Before he became ill, Prof Hawkins, one of the most brilliant minds, to have lived, called his life pointless.

It has been well documented that he drank too much and did very little work, but on discovering that he had perhaps a few years to live Prof Hawkins suddenly became focused, his life suddenly had a meaning.

The meaning of life?

Victor Frankel a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps and eminent psychotherapist, in his book man’s search for meaning says this “for the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day-to-day and from hour to-hour what matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning for a person’s life in a given moment”.

One can often lose touch with what life actually is. If we lived each day as if it was our last, the simplest things would have more meaning. We often overlook the most important things in life in pursuit of personal goals such as money in the bank, a bigger house, bigger car, and a glittering career.

 

If we were to live as each day was our last, the laughter of the child, a beautiful sunset, the company and love of friends and family or just walk in the woods, would have so much more meaning. It is often said, that the most miserable people in the world those who believe that they have an entitlement; that life owes them something. On close observation, a person like this never seems to be happy, because they never believe they are getting what they deserve.

 

The Dalai lama in his book the Art of Happiness makes an interesting comment saying that the “true antidote for greed is contentment”.

 Making each day count.

As we come to the close of the year, maybe it’s time to consider what things are precious to us, it is often at New Year that we re-evaluate our lives, and make resolutions for the New Year, perhaps one of those could be making each day count?

 

What is the real price of therapy?

eleos counselling_the real cost of therapyHave you ever wondered about the real cost, of therapy? Or rather how much does it cost if you have a problem and don’t come to therapy, or support your employee in accessing therapy? A recent report by the mental health foundation; the U.K.’s leading charity working with the needs of people with mental health problems, shine some light on this question.

Often as therapists, we are told that we cost too much, with the average price, locally in my area of £50 for a 50 minute session, one would feel quite justified in thinking that that is a reasonable hourly rate, considering the type of training, therapist undergoes, as well as supervision, continuing professional development (CPD and maintaining an ethical and competent practice; all of which are mandatory requirements for psychotherapist /counsellors.

How much does not come to therapy cost the UK?

 

So how much does it cost the UK in a whole not to come to therapy? According to the mental health foundation 3 in every 10 employees, will have a mental health problem, in any one year.  According to the office of national statistics the average small company employs around 250 people. So that is 75 employees each year, in an average small company, with a mental health problem. It’s hard to work out how much productivity is lost, but having 75 of your employees suffering with a mental health problem each year is staggering.

The real cost of mental health!

 

According to the mental health foundation report, stress-related sickness accounts for £4 billion worth of lost revenue, for UK Inc. Of course is hard to really quantify this as many people suffer in silence. Having a mental health problem is not like having a broken leg, there are no visible signs, but there are definitely effects.

If we look at work-related stress, this is more common than one would think, with a recent survey carried out, canvassing 270 company line managers in which 88% of them claim to have moderate or high levels of stress in their work, and with 39% of those surveyed claiming to have an increasing level of stress over the past year. Although stress is a necessary part of everyday life. Without a doubt, some level of stress is good, for us as humans. Moreover, on the other hand, excess stress can be the principal cause of many other health problems, apart from the obvious effects such as, impaired judgement, lack of decision-making and exhaustion, stress can be the start of other health problems, such as depression.

So how does this all relate to therapy, if companies, line managers, and employees were more enlightened into the benefits of the talking therapy generally, this could save companies a great deal of money. One only has to look at the figures above to see this has validity, supporting someone with the cost of therapy, furthermore, this can send a big message to employees, inasmuch as they are would be supported through mental illness, and thus be ready to talk about this more openly, if they feel they can come forward and asked for help, reducing the stigma of mental health.

Simply being heard, by a non-judgemental, compassionate, professionally trained therapist can help people quickly recover from mental health problems.

The real financial cost to therapy?

 

Anecdotal evidence would say that most people generally need roughly 6 to 12 sessions before they feel as if they’re able to cope with the problem, whether that be stress, marital or relational breakup or a recent bereavement or loss.

Simply doing the maths, on average, 12 sessions will cost £600. The loss in productivity, for small companies, for a person who has a mental health problem alone must be double this, if the person with a mental health problem is making mistakes, and having to be carried by other members of his or her team, this could have a knock-on effect, in morale of others around the person with the mental health problem.

In an ideal world companies would have an “on call a professional counsellor/psychotherapist” who would look after the mental health of the workforce.

 

Just doing the maths for an average company of 250 people, 75 of which have a mental health problem, offering them psychotherapy/ counselling for 12 sessions a year would cost on average £45,000

Time to rethink?

Maybe it’s time to rethink our attitudes towards psychotherapy,/counselling?

 

 

 

Is it time for a radical rethink, on NHS psychological treatments, waiting Lists?

depression_eleiocounsellingThis morning’s radio fours woman’s hour interviewed the health minister regarding waiting lists for psychological treatments, on the NHS. The Minister promised an improvement, should the current government be re-elected. The Minister responded to claims that there is no choice in psychological treatments and that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT ) is often offered as the only treatment.

The Minister promised that other treatments such as psychodynamic, person centered, and solution focused therapy would be offered as a choice should the present government be re-elected.

Unfortunately, people are generally waiting up to 12 weeks to see the therapist, and then offered anything from 2 to 6 sessions. Research has shown, that it takes up to 4 sessions for a client/patient  to build up a good enough relationship with the therapist.

A spokesman for the Tavistock Institute in London quoted as saying that it takes up to 12 to 20 sessions for a potential client have good enough therapy.

The longer people wait for therapy more risk they are, often people will find a private therapist, which can see them right away. Of course, with private therapy, there’s no limit to the amount of sessions, one can have, if one can afford it.

May be if the NHS were to outsource psychological treatments to the private sector and individual therapists, in private practice, using the vast amount of experienced therapists in private practice, perhaps even local health providers could pay for a proportion of the treatment? Also, the patient or client is able to make an informed choice as to what type of therapy, he or she  has. A point raised in the programme is that, currently, only 10% of therapy is offered on the IAPT scheme are non-CBT.

 

At Eleos counselling, we offer a reduced rate counselling. The clients who are on family tax credit, income support can access psychological treatments at a reduced rate We feel, that this is the way of plugging the gap between the private sector and the therapies that are available, under the NHS scheme. One of the ethos  of Eleos counselling is to offer affordable therapy for anyone who needs it.

 

ELEOS COUNSELLING WEB SITE LINK 

Internet Addiction

eleoscounselling,internet_addictionCan somebody be addicted to the Internet?

Being online has become part of everyday life, for lots of households in the UK. Most people are able to control the time they spend in cyberspace, others can become pre-occupied with the Internet and are unable to control the time they spend online,  which can certainly lead to problems for some people. Like any form of repeated behaviour, such as gambling, exercise, and shopping, the Internet can become addictive.  The brain can become the psychologically addicted, or neuroadapted. Effectively, the brain becomes wired to accept a certain kind of stimulus and when it doesn’t receive that stimulus it goes looking for it. For some, escaping into cyberspace, when life becomes too difficult for them, or they have to deal with difficult situations or emotions has become a way of life. Below are some of the symptoms which can be, warning signs that a person has become cyber dependent.  Excessive time online, can also be a coping strategy to deal with life’s difficulties, if this is a sole coping strategy it can leave one feeling isolated and alone. Furthermore, contribute to a dependency on its use.

Warning signs of Internet addiction

  • Finding yourself losing track of time whilst online
  • Experiencing mixed emotions which may include a sense of well-being or guilt/ whilst online.
  • Favouring online activities to spending time with your family and friends
  • Unsuccessfully attempting to curtail your online use.
  • Feeling irritable and depressed when you are away from your computer all the time spent has been interrupted.
  • Using your computer to deal with negative feelings such as sadness, anger, guilt and shame.

Excessive time online can cause physical discomfort and pain, mainly because you are sitting among place for a great deal of time. There are some of the physical difficulties, one can have from excessive Internet use.

  • Pains or numbness in your hands that can spread to the wrists, elbows and shoulders. This can be the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Pains in your back or neck
  • Irritable or dry eyes or eyestrain
  • Severe headaches
  • Disturbed sleep

Recognising you or someone close to you has a problem

The first and most important step in treating any form of dependency, including Internet addiction, is recognising that there is a problem. It is normal for an individual to deny they have a dependency, but if the cost of online use outweighs any benefit. There is a need for some form of treatment.

 

Eleos counselling has many years helping people overcome addictions. If you would like to know more you can click on the link below and it will take you to a more comprehensive page on addictions.

www.Eleossounselling.com