In current psychology, addiction is understood to be a self-defeating reaction to unresolved negative emotions in our psyche producing inner conflict. When a craving strikes, we are often reacting to a sense of inner helplessness. Will this intense desire for self-defeat prevail? Do I even have a chance to successfully resist, knowing my history of being overwhelmed and consumed by cravings?
Examples of common inner conflict include dichotomies like:
- Wanting to feel loved when stuck in self-rejection.
- Seeking success when burdened by fears of being seen in a negative light.
- Hungering for praise and respect when caught up in self-criticism and self-doubt.
- Pursuing stable relationships when psychologically attached to betrayal and unworthiness.
- Striving to self-regulate when undermined by unresolved helplessness and passivity.
In other words, ones perceptions from childhood can cause deep negative emotions (including the inclination to feel deprived, refused, helpless, controlled, rejected, betrayed, abandoned, and criticized) are often left unresolved and produce inner conflict which then lead to suffering, self-defeat, and undesirable behaviors like gambling addiction. Therapy at our gambling addiction treatment centers can help the client see into their innermost psyche and overcome the disruptive influences of inner conflict, and thereby enhance their capacity for self-regulation, lasting change, and holistic healing.
To benefit from this type of deep psychological therapy, an addict has to first identify his or her unresolved emotions and their need of support in doing so. To many, even this prospect is overwhelming and produces intense fear, which is why compulsive gambling treatment in a center with professionals to help facilitate is key to recovery. Every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and in gambling addiction therapy it is often this first step that is the most difficult.
As a witness to an addict’s life, it is important to know the person is likely struggling with unconscious feelings of being deprived, refused, controlled, helpless, rejected, betrayed, abandoned, criticized, and hated – even when they are not actually being refused, controlled, betrayed, etc. This individual is mechanically determined to experience and interpret his or her life through the filter of their unresolved, negative emotions. It might even be safe to say that addicts have a deeper hidden addiction to the impulses of negative emotion left unresolved in the psyche – exactly the reason that our compulsive gambling treatment focuses on the root of the problem and not the problem (behavior) itself.