An addiction is a compulsive, repeated behavior characterized by a complete loss of control and an overwhelming desire to act regardless of harmful consequences that may take place. Addictions take on many forms. Virtually any kind of behavior has the potential to be an unhealthy addiction. However, there are some well-recognized types of addictions that make up the bulk of addictions counseling- drug and alcohol (substance addiction), gambling, sexual addictions, and gaming / internet addictions.
Addictions can allow people a temporary escape from their problems. They are often associated with activities that initially bring pleasure and release from everyday life and pressures
Counseling, also called “talk therapy,” is among the most important ingredients in addiction treatment. A counselor can help an addict to start to understand their emotional needs and face the realities of life with more hope of addressing the underlying problems attached to their addiction. The techniques focus on helping drug and alcohol users change the way they live their lives (their behavior) so they can successfully stop alcohol and drug use and develop healthy, productive lives.
Counselors and therapists teach their addicted patients about addiction, encourage them to make changes in their lives, praise them when they make progress and support them when they run into problems.
The addiction counselor tries to provide the patient with concrete, behavioral options to facilitate recovery. Such options include avoiding those things that trigger drug use, attending self-help groups, and leaving or changing situations or relationships that contribute to the addiction. Addiction counseling works by first helping the patient recognize the existence of a problem and the associated irrational thinking. Next, the patient is encouraged to achieve and maintain abstinence and then to develop the necessary psychosocial skills and spiritual development to continue in recovery as a lifelong process.