Addictions / Unwanted Habits

‘We will not tell you that we can cure you, but we will tell you that if you truly want to self-heal you can and we can be there to help you see to it!’ 

Addiction Shrinks Life

Addiction Shrinks Life

The term ” addiction ” is used in many contexts to describe an obsession, compulsion, or excessive psychological dependence, such as:

  • drug addiction (e.g. alcoholism , illicit and prescription drugs),
  • video game addiction ,
  • on crime ,money  and/or  work ,
  • compulsive under-or-over eating,
  • problem gambling (including bingo and lottery tickets),
  • computer addiction (including on-line dating, blogging, etc),
  • pornography addiction , sex addictions, serial infidelity with or without sex


This is NOT to Suggest Moral Weakness 

Qualified Hypnotherapists can help clients resolve the underlying subconscious emotional reasons for the loss of control. Hypnotherapists are not licensed addiction counsellors.

What are Addictions and Dependencies?

Addictions at their very core are behaviours adopted to cope with one’s persistent negative emotions. It is to suggest the person is unable to cope with prolonged and severe emotional stress without an external aide of some type (drugs, gambling, sex, food, etc). If the person is feeling intense loneliness, disconnection with life and low self-worth he/she may use any number of substances or activities to dull the pain. If a person feels emotionally numb and lifeless, unable to enjoy the meaningful and normally fulfilling aspects of life due to trauma, abuse, neglect and so on when a child, they may compulsively engage in behaviour that excites and stimulates them. For instance, sexually addicted people do not have a sexual problem. They typically have a problem engaging in or maintaining intimate relationships. The person knows the highs from such behaviours are temporary and very damaging in many ways, but are unable to stop engaging in the behaviour.

LIcensed professionals would refer to an addiction as a chronic neuro-biologic disorder that has genetic, psychosocial, and environmental dimensions and is characterized by one of the following: the continued use of a substance or engagement in an activity despite its detrimental effects, impaired AND/OR total lack of control over the behaviour AND/OR preoccupation with the behaviour or substances. A hypnotherapist would regard the uncontrolled and unwanted behaviour as a coping mechanism for dealing with persistent negative emotions.

Addiction is often accompanied by the presence of deviant behaviours (for instance stealing money, forging prescriptions, lying, deceit, manipulation) that are used to obtain a substance or to facilitate the activity. The term addiction is often used to describe a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences to his or her individual health, mental state or social.


For instance, if you enjoy sex, it does not mean you’re addicted. If, however, your sexual activity hinders your relationships, keeps you from forming a long-term, honest, loving relationship, or compels you to be deceptive and chronically unfaithful despite wanting to stop, you are definitely addicted. Having an intense sexual appetite is not an addiction. If satisfying your sexual needs brings you and your partner closer together, then you’re not addicted. If you do not have a partner and your needs are met in a mutually satisfying liaison on an occasional basis you are not addicted. But if you have to lie and deceive several people in order to satisfy your appetite and can’t stop the behaviour even though it is dangerous and demeaning to yourself and others, you are addicted.If your sexual needs lead you to promiscuity, distant relationships, pedophilia, short-term flings, compulsive masturbation or a dependency on pornography to the point where you avoid sex with your partner, you’re out of control.

Sexually addictive behaviour is not a matter of how many times you have sex. If you have sex 5 times a day it does not mean you are addicted. If the relationship between you and your partner is meaningful and you both have the time, energy, and desire to have sex 5 times a day, you are engaging in enjoyable sex. On the other hand if safe sex is not available and you are craving sex to the point where you will have sex with a prostitute, despite the potentially horrific consequences (AIDs, STDs, getting caught by your partner, etc) and you cannot stop yourself, you are addicted to sex.

Essentially, if you do it and you want to stop but can’t, you are addicted or habituated to the substance or behaviour. It seems that sometimes there appears to be a very fine line between a habit and an addiction. It is not as important to categorize the problem as it is to determine if it has harmful consequences and whether the person suffering from the compulsion has control. If a person engages in compulsive behaviour which is not detrimental and/or which they can control, the behaviour is not addictive. 

Addictions and unwanted habits can be activity-related, involving, for example: sex, chronic infidelity with or without sex, sleep, exercise, or work.

Addictions and unwanted habits such as smoking, drug abuse, pornography, infidelity or alcoholism must be stopped completely to be overcome.  Other addictions and unwanted habits should be controlled rather than stopped. For instance, overeating is handled by controlling one’s eating – not by starvation. One does not truly overcome a sexual addiction by resorting to celibacy. Sexual addiction or compulsive sexual activity is overcome by dealing with the underlying problems that lead to addictive sexual behaviour, thus enabling the client to have an enjoyable rather than an addictive sex life.

You can tell if your behaviour is out of control by observing if you can keep it from becoming damaging. Eating is not harmful and should be enjoyable. But if you cannot stop eating before it becomes a negative force in your life, then you are clearly addicted to food. Smoking and gambling are other examples…they may start off as a ‘once in a while’ sort of behaviour, but if it gets to the point where you are unable to stop smoking or gambling and it is having damaging health and financial effects on you, you are out of control.


Successfully ending the compulsion or addiction to anything, including sex and food, requires an understanding of what the person seeks at the very deepest levels within them when they engage in uncontrolled behaviours. Again neutralizing the subconscious ‘driver’ of the habit/addiction is pivotal to permanently ending unwwanted behaviour of every stripe.

Before one can be successful in permanently ending any unwanted behavour the following must happen:

  • The client must admit they are addicted or habituated ie. they must own the problem and take full responsibility…no blame or rationalization! This does not mean they must stand on a stage and tell the world; it means they have to be able to fully accept within themselves the fact of the matter.
  • The client must genuinely want to stop the behaviour. Many clients fail because they are trying to quit for many reasons other then they genuinely want to for themselves. Many clients relapse because they were in treatment to please wives and families, satisfy court orders, keep their jobs, etc. These are not reasons compelling enough to produce change.
  • The client must be absolutely honest with their therapist. There must be complete disclosure as to the frequency, triggers and depth of the problem. If you have been a long-term substance abuser, it is imperative that you are able to abstain long enough to ensure you can fully participate in the consultation and program sessions.  If this is not the case you may have to consider a detoxification program in order to become sober enough to undergo the sessions.
  • All addiction and habit cessation programs require life-style changes to promote abstinence, and on-going support. If you are not prepared to make life-style changes, you are not prepared to quit the habit/addiction. Again, it is a question of truthfulness about what you really want.

The client must be fully willing to self-heal from emotional wounds that keep them coping with unmet emotional needs – usually resulting from childhood trauma. Self-healing requires professionally guided self-exploration of the issue at the subconscious level where all real change is rooted. Hypnotherapy offers safe subconscious self-healing. If the client is looking for someone else to make it happen, it won’t! 

We re-iterate that if you have been a long-term substance abuser and are unable to get sober at any time, or at least long enough to fully participate in your treatment, detoxification is necessary and must be undertaken in a controlled environment by medical professionals trained and prepared to help you with the physical ravages of withdrawal. Detoxification can be dangerous and risky and must be assessed by a licensed health care professional.


Because of the absence of any firm, objective evidence supporting its sometimes overstated claims, NLP seems to have enjoyed little, if any, support from the scientific community.  It seems to have made only limited impact on mainstream psychotherapy and counseling. It has had an influence in management training models, life coaching and self-help industries, but it is not clear if the influence is positive, helpful or long-lasting. NLP has more recently been included in research on potentially discredited interventions (Norcross et al 2006) and has been rated by experts and practitioners as one of a “top ten most discredited” interventions for substance abuse treatment (Norcross et al 2008).  There is no short-cut, quick-fix treatment for addictions…only root-cause resolution will do!


At GracePlace Wellness™ we view each individual as a unique human being with a unique journey in life. We help assess individual issues with deep respect, sensitivity, honesty and caring. A person so suffering is NOT weak, immoral or flawed. They simply have a high mountain to climb and if they are ready to make the change, Grace Hypnotherapy can help facilitate it. We are prepared to help you dissolve your emotional issues, to work with your physician to ensure a safe and effective detoxification to get sobriety if necessary and to provide habit and addiction relapse prevention support regardless the issue. If you are fully committed to yourself and fully prepared to do the work, we are always ready to help. Remember that there are no short cuts with habits and addictions and no one can do the work for you.  If you are fully willing and your follow our guidance, Grace Hypnotherapy will help you become free of your issues.

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