“Not all addictions are rooted in abuse or trauma, but I do believe they can all be traced to painful experience. A hurt is at the centre of all addictive behaviours. It is present in the gambler, the Internet addict, the compulsive shopper and the workaholic. The wound may not be as deep and the ache not as excruciating, and it may even be entirely hidden—but it’s there. As we’ll see, the effects of early stress or adverse experiences directly shape both the psychology and the neurobiology of addiction in the brain.”
Gabor Maté – In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
Our experience at this service strongly supports Gabor’s perception. Indeed, we believe painful experience lies at the heart of all behaviour that is harmful to self or other. The task of therapy (and indeed of life, in the writer’s view) is to meet this in a helpful way – which requires relational presence and the core conditions, offered to self, offered to other, and precludes the indulgence of judgement, blame and punishment, which tend to stifle or prevent healing and growth, layering harm on harm.
Here’s the book link:-
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter
Counselling Exeter since 1994