Addictions & Focusing

  • Are you tired of repeating behaviours that are not good for you?
  • Are you fed up with trying so hard, only to find yourself back there again?
  • Do you feel hopeless about ever finding a way out?
  • Would you like to stop judging and beating yourself up and start living the life you want?

Any repetitive behaviour can have a negative impact on our lives:
obsessively watching TV, checking Facebook, playing computer games, shopping, smoking, drinking, using sex, gambling, taking drugs . . .

Sometimes our repetitive behaviours are highly visible, damaging and can even lead to death. At other times we appear ‘fine’ to the outside world but suffer in silence, our behaviour carefully hidden from even those closest to us, sometimes for years or even our whole life.

It is a commonly held belief that any addiction can be overcome with enough willpower.  Willpower alone can bring short-term results but often we find ourselves ‘failing again’.  We can become trapped in an endless, painful and exhausting cycle of succeeding and failing.

We can try to forcible control our behaviours by denying our feelings and exiling parts of ourselves, but this takes a lot of energy – and it is rarely sustainable. We can feel exhausted, depressed, drained and as if we’re not fully alive.

Are you tired of beating yourself up?

Maybe it’s time to start listening to the ‘good’ reasons underlying your painful patterns.  Hard as it might be to believe, the parts driving your ‘addictive’ behaviours are trying to look after you.  They are attempting to care for, what deep-down, matters to you, even if their actions might be killing you.

For example, drinking might be a way you can feel more confident or relaxed, having sex with strangers a way to feel you matter, over spending on nice things a way to feel valuable, drug taking a way to feel more alive . . .

Focusing can support these parts to feel safe enough to tell you how it is for them and what they are longing for . . . trying to protect. Focusing is not about trying to ‘fix’ you, change you or force you to be a certain way.  Focusing is about allowing space for the whole of you to be heard and felt so all the precious life qualities your ‘behaviours’/’addictions’ are trying to meet can be lived in new, nourishing and life serving ways.

Focusing is not a quick fix.  It is about compassionately listening and going at a pace that is manageable.  It is a journey that can lead to sustained changes and growth, not just in the areas of your ‘behaviours’/’addictions’, but your whole life.

‘Every bad feeling is potential towards a more right way of being if you give it space to move toward its rightness.’ – E.Gendlin PhD (Founder of Focusing)