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Systemic Solutions for Addictions
End Self-Destruction © Martyn Carruthers

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Many people use drugs as a substitute for change.
Self-medication with alcohol, cigarettes, anti-depressants or junk food to manage emotions is easier than solving relationship problems, but this can lead to unhealthy habits and addictions.

Are You in a Relationship with an Addict?

Addictions bring short-term relief and long-term nightmares. Although some addictions are common and the consequences well known; many intelligent and knowledgeable people become addicts. If internet obsessions and other compulsions are included with addiction, few people seem to be free.

Addictions fulfill a goal of “I do not want to be me!” - we call this identity loss. Many people want to dissociate or not-feel their negative emotions. We help people change the emotions and relationships that motivate addictive behavior. But the longer you leave it - the harder it gets.

I’ve done every drug you could name and probably more. I was doing them together,
just to get away from myself. But the highs never last.
Nothing changed except always worse. London

Drugs are not demons, drug addicts are not defective and most drug dealers work for pharmaceutical companies. Millions of people are addicts - not only to heroin, morphine, amphetamines, tranquilizers and cocaine, but also to alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, sugar, masturbation, work, theft, gambling, internet, sex ... and even to love.

Addicts and addictions are both common. Here are some pictures of an addict ... could you or someone you love follow this highway to hell?

Eight years of cocaine addiction - age 29 to 37.
The inner nightmare is even worse
[ From BBC News ]

The consequences of addiction include brain damage, broken families and profound suffering. Yet, if you ask an addict, “Why do you to do this?" their answers seem incomplete. “I drink to forget what happened”. “I smoke to avoid being fat”. “Gambling is in my blood”. And of course ... “I can stop whenever I want”.

Relationships with Addicts

Your relationships with an addict includes your relationship with their addiction - and with their consequences. Relationships with addicts usually require that you participate in their addictions in ways that you probably won't like.

Falling in love can feel wonderful; while falling out of love can bring suffering. Our brains change when we are in love, in similar ways to some mental illnesses or addictive drugs. Some people become addicted to sex or love, and falling out of love is similar to withdrawal symptoms! Some addictions keep families together.

"After I quit crystal meth, my mother killed herself.
She wrote that she did not feel needed once I was clean.
I can honestly say that I knew something terrible would happen".

It is pointless to hate or blame addicts, substances or behaviors, or even those people who provide addictive opportunities. We help motivated people solve the emotional and relationship entanglements that underlie most addictions.

Online Counseling and Coaching

We help people change the emotional consequences of their memories. We can help you solve relationship problems, manage guilt, and live with integrity. Do you want to end fixations, trauma or mentor damage?

People with alcohol or drug addictions can also contact a drug treatment hotline for referrals to drug rehabs, recovery programs and sober living environments.

You gave me endless compassion and no sympathy. You helped me find my passion ... that I had almost forgotten that I had. You were very tender and very tough as you helped me get the monkey off my back. Boston

Addiction: Benefits & Characteristics

Although chemical dependency may result from experiments with addictive substances, few experiments seem to result in addiction. People who become addicts want:

  • to feel connected to people who are addicts
  • dissociated people can experience pleasure
  • to avoid boredom, pain or negative emotions
  • to maintain a dependent or codependent relationship
  • to fulfill the desires of a deity, ancestor or family member

Addictive relationships are in another category and often indicate unconscious fixationstransferences and searches for Soulmates We often help people manage and change addictive relationships.

My addiction was a monster, always watching and always waiting. It followed me everywhere.
If I had one moment of weakness or despair or panic, it would catch and devour me again.
I thought I could never, ever be free of its hunger ... you helped me tame it.

Overwhelming Emotions

If you suffer negative emotions or self-talk, including guilt, boredom, frustration & self-hatred, then a substance or activity that reduces your difficult emotions (or unpleasant inner dialog), even for a short time, may become addictive.

Systemic coaching solutions for addicts & addictions

While numbing the senses can bring short term relief, if this relief becomes habitual, the consequences may be worse than feeling bad. Motivated people usually gain long term relief by resolving emotional and relationship issues.

Before & after - addict pictures from BBC News

We help people build emotional intelligence and emotional maturity. We coach people to accept their feelings and emotions, pleasant and unpleasant, as feedback about life. In this way most people can manage their emotions.

Many popular therapies and New Age techniques encourage people to dissociate their emotions. The relief of dissociating (not feeling) unpleasant feelings may bring relief , but dissociation can lead to further identity loss.


Many people want to forget bad memories. It could be the shock of a war, the horror of being an unwanted child, or anxiety after being abused. If people want to forget parts of their lives - identity loss can be a short-term blessing but a long-term curse.

When I smoked crack, I forgot my sadness! After I sorted out my relationships,
cocaine seemed less interesting. During our sessions, my addiction became more
and more like a bad dream - and is now like an old nightmare.

I gambled because my mother did - I had no control - I thought it was genetic.
Gambling helped me feel close to my mother. You helped me be with my
mother as her daughter without having to gamble or to be upset by it.

We assist people in their recovery. We help people manage difficult emotions
and solve relationship problems. Contact us to make better choices.

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1997-2018
All rights reserved

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
please mention or

For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


Soulwork systemic coaching in England, Wales & Scotland

Soulwork systemic coaching in Croatia & Serbia

Soulwork systemic coaching in Poland



Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email