Addictions And Obsessions

Below, you will find the process an educational psychologist used to unpick their own addiction (tobacco).  Construct theory was used, which is a very powerful technique for unravelling how we as humans work and think.  Please feel free to use this technique with a friend or colleague, or alone if you wish. 

1.  Imagine someone like you, but without the addiction or obsession.

2.  Write down three things that describe the person above. Mine are: pure, sensible, dull (these are emergent constructs).

3.  For each of the three descriptors, think of a word that describes a person that is not like that.  So someone who is not pure - human/fallible; someone who is not sensible - fun; someone who is not dull - good company.                         

4.  You now have three core constructs that are supporting the continuance of the addiction.

emergent construct 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Contrast construct
Pure     O           X   human/fallible
sensible   O       X         fun
dull     O     X         good company

Now rate yourself using the table above for how you are at the moment.  Use an X symbol. 

Think of a time when you didn't have the addiction, (you may be going back sometime) and rate yourself on the table using an O symbol.

5.  You need to unpick what was happening for you in the time before you were not addicted.  What was going on in your life generally before addiction.  Work, family, intellectual stimulation, social life, relationships, interests, lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise?