Addiction theory distinguishes between two types of addiction: Process addiction and substance addiction. Process addiction is a behavioral addiction or compulsive action that stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain, encouraging us to repeat the behavior until we require more of the same to elicit the same level of response. Some examples are sex, spending, gambling, technology/internet, eating, etc. Substance addiction refers to the compulsive use of drugs and alcohol.
Yoga Psychotherapy views addiction as a spectrum, not all-or-nothing. Many people struggle with some kind of compulsive behavior to manage the stress, tension and superficiality of modern life, even if its not harmful to their overall quality of life. Some addictions can even overlay otherwise healthy behaviors like exercise, healthy eating and yoga. At the source of addiction is the desire to mask loneliness and pain.
Yoga Psychotherapy does not believe that addiction is only a disease. Yes, for some there is genetic predisposition to addiction, but typically addiction is a result of many compounding factors, including: social, environmental, psychological, physiological and genetic.
Depending on the severity, addiction treatment should be multifaceted - the more support the better. Yoga Psychotherapy and Ayurveda can facilitate addiction healing by assisting the client to:
acknowledge addictive behaviors and understand why they occur.
process and integrate the core issues that led to the addiction.
cultivate a healthy lifestyle and undermine the addiction.
tolerate difficult thoughts, emotions and memories and resource the client with tools to manage their pain.
breathing, meditation and other yogic practices that show promise in creating new behavioral patterns and healthy changes in the brain.
Yoga Psychotherapy deeply believes that many addictions can heal with the right support and commitment.