Addiction is characterised by a compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences. People can develop addictions in many areas of life, but some more common addictions include: alcohol, drugs, nicotine, social media & technology, gambling, sex, self-harm, foods, exercise.
This a huge topic and I’ll only write a few lines about it here. Working with addiction is a highly individual process as a large number of individual psychosocial and biological factors come into play. Therapy is likely to include elements of CBT to develop more helpful thoughts to assist in controlling the impulse to engage in your habit. People often use “people, places, and things” to change the way they feel, and addictions often begin as a strategy to cope with difficult life situations and feelings. Because of this it’s likely your therapy would include a deeper exploration of your life, with focus given especially to your feelings and raising awareness of any internal-conflicts that drive you towards addictive behaviours.
I would recommend group therapy or twelve-step programmes too. It can help to have the stability of a programme to follow in recovery, and I very often hear how important these programmes have been for people as they start a new life free from active addiction.
The emotional and financial toll for addicted individuals and their families can be catastrophic. It’s important to get the help you need and if you are struggling with an addiction and reading this then please just take action and reach out to someone.