What is Addiction therapy?
Addiction therapy is the collective term for treatment of persons who suffer from substance abuse or behavioral addiction (internet, sex, porn, handheld, etc.).  Definition of substance addiction Following   the   classification   manual   ICD-10,   at   least   three   of   the   criteria   mentioned   below must apply: A    strong    desire    or    sense    of    compulsion    to    take    the    substance    (”Craving”, “psychological addiction”) Difficulties     in     controlling     substance-taking     behaviour     in     terms     of     its     onset, termination, or levels of use A   physiological   withdrawal   state   when   substance   use   has   ceased   or   been   reduced (withdrawal symptoms) Evidence   of   tolerance,   such   that   increased   doses   of   the   psychoactive   substances are required in order to achieve effects originally produced by lower doses Progressive   neglect   of   alternative   pleasures   or   interests   because   of   substance   use, increased   amount   of   time   necessary   to   obtain   the   substance   or   to   recover   from   its effects Persisting     with     substance     use     despite     clear     evidence     of     overtly     harmful consequences   (such   as   harm   to   the   liver,   job   loss,   health   problems,   relationship problems, loss of drivers license, etc.) Ingredients for a successful addiction therapy Most   important   is   your   own   motivation:   If   you   have   no   intention   of   changing   your   habits or   looking   at   it,   a   therapy   might   be   too   early.   Most   people   with   addictive   behaviors   only come   to   therapy   after   a   unpleasant   consequence   connected   to   their   addictive   behavior. That   is   normal.   Most   of   the   time,   the   environment   notices   first   that   a   certain   person   might struggle   with   addiction.   The   wife   might   set   a   deadline   for   her   drinking   husband   to   reduce his   drinking   amount,   or   an   employer   notices   the   deterioration   of   a   certain   employee’s performance.   Or   the   primary   care   physician   points   out   the   high   liver   values.   The   first   step of   the   affected   person   is   often   to   try   to   reduce   the   amount   of   the   substance   consumed. Oftentimes,   this   actually   works.   A   good   self   test   could   be   for   example   to   try   to   stop consumation   of   that   particular   substance   for   two   weeks.   If   that   works   out   well,   that   could be   a   sign   for   (a)   you   do   not   have   a   severe   addiction,   or   (b)   you   have   an   addiction   with   an episodic   consumation   pattern.   If   you   consume   large   amounts   of   alcohol   or   drugs   daily,   it is   not   recommended   to   stop   it   from   one   day   to   the   next.   If   a   simple   stop   or   reduction   of the substance amount is not successful, you might need to seek professional help. Additional    ‘ingredients’    for    a    successful    addiction    therapy    are    openness,    a    good, confidence-based     professional     relationship     to     the     therapist,     a     supportive     and understanding   environment,   a   well   structured   daily   routine   (f.ex.   work)   and   last   but   not least the will to tackle his or her issues and problem zones. What is the standard procedure in a addiction treatment? It   is   obvious   that   the   treatment   will   not   solely   focus   on   addiction   but   on   the   person   with all   of   its   facettes,   traits,   skills   and   experiences.   The   addictive   behaviour   oftentimes   is   just the   manifestation   or   a   symptom   of   a   deeper   laying   issue,   for   example   a   depression   or anxiety   disorder,   or   a   strategy   to   deal   with   stress.   That   is   the   reason   why   in   the   beginning of    a    treatment,    I    like    to    get    to    know    the    patient    with    all    his    or    her    strengths    and weaknesses,   and   to   get   a   rough   overview   over   the   life   span   (and   experienes   with   drugs). After   that,   the   progress   of   the   therapy   depends   on   the   patient’s   tempo   and   personal goals.   As   therapist   I   will   stand   by   supportively,   offer   information   or   feedback   about   how to possibly reach the desired goals. Here is a list of potential (consumation) goals: Definitive abstinence Limited abstinence controlled consum / consum reduction Own version of controlled consum (f.ex. no drinking  on weekdays, or: alcohol only during holidays, etc.) Stay abstinent / relapse prevention (for individuals who already are abstinent) Naturally,   it   is   of   great   importance   to   also   define   goals   beyond   the   addictive   behavior.   In order   to   find   out   which   topics   have   to   be   worked   on   in   therapy   to   support   abstinence,   the functions   of   the   substance   use   and   its   individual   appeal   has   to   be   examined.   If   a   person   is drinking    alcohol    in    order    to    feel    more    selfconfident    in    social    situations,    it    will    be necessairy     to     discuss     other     optios     to     strengthen     the     self     confidence     or     social competences.   As   soon   as   this   has   happened,   the   alcohol   will   loose   its   function   and   it   will be much easier to stop drinking. Mindfulness based relapse prevention for addictive behaviors Becoming   more   mindful   /   aware   of   your   momentary   state   can   help   stop   the   ‘autopilot’ that   often   underlays   addictive   behavior.   The   goal   is   to   achieve   more   awareness   in   your daily   life   and   learn   how   to   deal   with   unpleasant   emotions   differently   than   to   use   drugs. Meditation   and   mindfuless   exercises   will   help   you   bring   the   focus   of   your   attention   back to   yourself.   This   method   can   help   not   only   with   addiction   but   with   many   other   difficult situations or disorders. Literature recommendations for addiction therapy Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction Mindfulness-based relapse prevention  Guided mindfulness exercises with Jon Kabat-Zinn
Practice for psychotherapy & counseling Dr. Phil Stöckli, PhD

Psychotherapeutic practice

Dr. Phil Stöckli, ph.D.

Gemeindestrasse 26 | 8032 Zürich

Tel. 076 282 8885

Learn more about my specializations: Gestalt therapy Trauma therapy Addiction therapy Expat issues High sensitivity (HSP) EMDR NARM

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Psychotherapeutic practice

Dr. Phil Stöckli , ph.D.

Gemeindestr. 26 | 8032 Zürich

Tel. 076 282 8885

Practice for Psychotherapy Dr. Phil Stöckli, PhD
What is Addiction therapy?
Addiction therapy is the collective term for treatment of persons who suffer from substance abuse or behavioral addiction (internet, sex, porn, handheld, etc.).  Definition of substance addiction Following    the    classification    manual    ICD-10,    at least   three   of   the   criteria   mentioned   below   must apply: A   strong   desire   or   sense   of   compulsion   to take   the   substance   (”Craving”,   “psychological addiction”) Difficulties     in     controlling     substance-taking behaviour   in   terms   of   its   onset,   termination, or levels of use A      physiological      withdrawal      state      when substance   use   has   ceased   or   been   reduced (withdrawal symptoms) Evidence    of    tolerance,    such    that    increased doses    of    the    psychoactive    substances    are required   in   order   to   achieve   effects   originally produced by lower doses Progressive   neglect   of   alternative   pleasures or     interests     because     of     substance     use, increased     amount     of     time     necessary     to obtain   the   substance   or   to   recover   from   its effects Persisting   with   substance   use   despite   clear evidence    of    overtly    harmful    consequences (such   as   harm   to   the   liver,   job   loss,   health problems,     relationship     problems,     loss     of drivers license, etc.) Ingredients for a successful addiction therapy Most    important    is    your    own    motivation:    If    you have    no    intention    of    changing    your    habits    or looking   at   it,   a   therapy   might   be   too   early.   Most people    with    addictive    behaviors    only    come    to therapy       after       a       unpleasant       consequence connected    to    their    addictive    behavior.    That    is normal.     Most     of     the     time,     the     environment notices   first   that   a   certain   person   might   struggle with   addiction.   The   wife   might   set   a   deadline   for her    drinking    husband    to    reduce    his    drinking amount,   or   an   employer   notices   the   deterioration of    a    certain    employee’s    performance.    Or    the primary   care   physician   points   out   the   high   liver values.    The    first    step    of    the    affected    person    is often     to     try     to     reduce     the     amount     of     the substance    consumed.    Oftentimes,    this    actually works.   A   good   self   test   could   be   for   example   to try     to     stop     consumation     of     that     particular substance   for   two   weeks.   If   that   works   out   well, that   could   be   a   sign   for   (a)   you   do   not   have   a severe    addiction,    or    (b)    you    have    an    addiction with    an    episodic    consumation    pattern.    If    you consume   large   amounts   of   alcohol   or   drugs   daily, it   is   not   recommended   to   stop   it   from   one   day   to the    next.    If    a    simple    stop    or    reduction    of    the substance    amount    is    not    successful,    you    might need to seek professional help. Additional   ‘ingredients’   for   a   successful   addiction therapy   are   openness,   a   good,   confidence-based professional     relationship     to     the     therapist,     a supportive    and    understanding    environment,    a well   structured   daily   routine   (f.ex.   work)   and   last but   not   least   the   will   to   tackle   his   or   her   issues and problem zones. What is the standard procedure in a addiction treatment? It    is    obvious    that    the    treatment    will    not    solely focus   on   addiction   but   on   the   person   with   all   of its    facettes,    traits,    skills    and    experiences.    The addictive      behaviour      oftentimes      is      just      the manifestation   or   a   symptom   of   a   deeper   laying issue,     for     example     a     depression     or     anxiety disorder,   or   a   strategy   to   deal   with   stress.   That   is the   reason   why   in   the   beginning   of   a   treatment,   I like   to   get   to   know   the   patient   with   all   his   or   her strengths    and    weaknesses,    and    to    get    a    rough overview   over   the   life   span   (and   experienes   with drugs).    After    that,    the    progress    of    the    therapy depends    on    the    patient’s    tempo    and    personal goals.    As    therapist    I    will    stand    by    supportively, offer    information    or    feedback    about    how    to possibly   reach   the   desired   goals.   Here   is   a   list   of potential (consumation) goals: Definitive abstinence Limited abstinence controlled consum / consum reduction Own version of controlled consum (f.ex. no drinking  on weekdays, or: alcohol only during holidays, etc.) Stay abstinent / relapse prevention (for individuals who already are abstinent) Naturally,   it   is   of   great   importance   to   also   define goals   beyond   the   addictive   behavior.   In   order   to find   out   which   topics   have   to   be   worked   on   in therapy   to   support   abstinence,   the   functions   of the   substance   use   and   its   individual   appeal   has   to be   examined.   If   a   person   is   drinking   alcohol   in order     to     feel     more     selfconfident     in     social situations,   it   will   be   necessairy   to   discuss   other optios   to   strengthen   the   self   confidence   or   social competences.   As   soon   as   this   has   happened,   the alcohol   will   loose   its   function   and   it   will   be   much easier to stop drinking. Mindfulness based relapse prevention for addictive behaviors Becoming     more     mindful     /     aware     of     your momentary   state   can   help   stop   the   ‘autopilot’   that often   underlays   addictive   behavior.   The   goal   is   to achieve    more    awareness    in    your    daily    life    and learn    how    to    deal    with    unpleasant    emotions differently    than    to    use    drugs.    Meditation    and mindfuless   exercises   will   help   you   bring   the   focus of   your   attention   back   to   yourself.   This   method can   help   not   only   with   addiction   but   with   many other difficult situations or disorders. Links & literature for addiction therapy Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction Mindfulness-based relapse prevention  Guided mindfulness exercises with Jon Kabat-Zinn
Learn more about my specializations: Gestalt Therapy Trauma therapy Addiction therapy Expat issues High sensitivity (HSP) EMDR NARM