1. How long will it take my addiction to go away after I begin treatment? There is no set number of sessions to eliminate an addiction. People usually find that there is a signifiant drop in the frequency of their behavior within a few sessions. The total number of sessions depends on the number of feeling-states and whether the person has other resources available to obtain the needed feelings. Additional sessions may be necessary to work through underlying issues.
2. Will I ever be able to shop, gamble, or whatever my addictive behavior is like a normal person after treatment? For behavioral addictions, the surprising answer is yes. Unlike treatments that attempt to control behavior, the FS treatment actually resolves the fixation that is causing the addiction. Therefore, once the addiction has been broken, normal behavior can return. For substance addictions, the answer is more complicated. Because psychoactive substances can create feeling-states, using the substances again may create another addiction.
3. What is the difference between an addiction and a compulsion? Nothing. They are just different ways of describing the same behavior.
4. Why do I have an addiction or compulsion? An addiction can be created when an intense experience creates a fixated memory. For example, a gambler might have a big win that creates an intense emotional arousal. Once this event is fixated in the mind, the fixation takes on a life of its own. From that point on, the addiction has a life of its own.
5. Will anything else change after my treatment? Exactly how your behavior will change is unpredictable except for no feeling urges or cravings to do the previously compulsive behavior. Once the addiction is eliminated, a person's behavior is then governed by the more rational aspects of the mind. A person with a gambling compulsion may continue to gamble but do it less often and with more actual skill and enjoyment. A person with a shopping compulsion may still shop but only when they really need to. People usually find that they have more time and money to do other things that they like to do.
6. Will I need to take any drugs or medications in order for the treatment to work? No. This treatment only uses psychological techniques.
7. What if I am already taking prescription medication for some other pre-existing condition? There is no one answer to this question, since it depends on the type of medication you taking. This concern should be raised during the first session.
8. My father/mother gambles beyond what is entertaining or fun. Could I have inherited my gambling compulsion from my parents? While there is no evidence that gambling addictions are inherited, there may be a physical vulnerability that makes it more like that an addiction could be formed.
9. Will anyone find out that I am receiving this treatment? No. You are protected by the laws and ethics governing the practice of psychology. There are limitations to confidentially such s child and elder abuse. If you are using insurance, the insurance will be aware of the diagnosis.
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