Bristol Counselling and Psychotherapy offers counselling to those suffering from Addiction.

We offer both online and face-to-face sessions to suit your schedule.

  • Have you tried to stop using substances or alcohol before but not been successful?
  • Have you ever said, “I’m never doing that again”, but been unable to keep promises made to yourself or others?
  • Can you stop for short periods but keep returning to old ways?
  • Are you confused about why you find it so difficult to give up drink or drugs and keep going back to them despite the negative consequences they cause in your life?
  • Do you hide the reality of your use from those closest to you?
  • Have relationships with family members, friends or loved ones become strained as result of your behaviour and relationship to drink and/or drugs?
  • Do you turn to drugs and/or alcohol often to cope with your emotions, life’s challenges, or difficult memories of the past?
  • Have you recently relapsed or continue to relapse and don’t understand why?
  • Perhaps you are concerned about a family member or friends’ relationship to substances or alcohol, but have no idea what to do to help them?

If any of this sounds familiar, then seeing a specialist addictions counsellor can help. Addictions counselling with Bristol Counselling and Psychotherapy focuses on supporting you to come to understand either your own or another’s relationship with drugs or alcohol.

It may be that you have known about a problem for some time. You might have been told to get help. Or not know what to do about a loved one. Or a doctor has advised you to stop for health reasons, but you cannot.

Whatever your reasons for coming to counselling, we will guide you through the process of acceptance and understanding necessary to make effective and lasting change. We will explore root causes that influence the desire to use in the first place. As well as work towards forming effective coping strategies to support desired goals for recovery.

What Causes Addiction?

No one thing causes addiction, rather it is a complicated mix of factors that combine to cause a person to turn to drink or drugs in the first place.

In fact, there is evidence that the following can all contribute to a person becoming addicted:

  • Relationships
  • Environment
  • Social groups
  • Personal trauma
  • Genetics
  • Personal circumstance
  • Physical factors.

However, there is one specific factor that leads to addiction. There is not a specific trauma or experience that someone will go through that will automatically cause addiction. Addiction develops over time through a complex series of events and factors, and will tend to move through four stages: use, misuse, abuse, and dependency.

The first thing is to understand Addiction is complex and it is not anyone’s fault. What causes addiction for one person will be subtly different from what causes it for someone else. Consequences and issues can turn up at any time, and there is nothing wrong with seeking help about your experience with drink or drugs.

What Addiction Counselling Will Look Like

You and your counsellor will discuss the right direction therapy should take for you. You will discuss your goals, whether it is to stop entirely, or to learn to have a more manageable relationship with drink or drugs. Dependent on your goals you will then set about agreeing the kind of therapy approach that is best suited to you.

Therapies That Can Be Drawn on During Your Addiction Counselling Sessions:

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive Therapy is a talking and action therapy that supports a person to identify and manage their problems by changing the way they think and behave. It is an action-oriented, psychosocial therapy that identifies and addresses faulty thinking patterns influencing negative emotions and behaviours. It is widely recognised as an effective therapy for problematic alcohol and drug use.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a directive, client-centred counselling style for eliciting behaviour change by helping explore and resolve both reasons to change, and reasons to stay the same. Through this process, a person can identify what motivates them to drink or use drugs, while helping them to recognise what is necessary to change. Motivational Interviewing is focused, and goal directed. Every goal is chosen by you as you move through the process of learning to nurture motivation and belief in yourself to change.

Relapse Prevention Therapy

Relapse Prevention Therapy is a structured approach that helps you work through a combination of experiences that are involved with substance and alcohol abuse. Such as, cravings management, triggers, high risk situations and more. In doing so you will be supported to build effective coping strategies that foster a belief in oneself to maintain the desired level of recovery. It focuses on scenarios which may lead to relapse, as well as supporting people in direct aftermath of alcohol and drug relapse. Relapse prevention is primarily focused on building confidence in your ability to manage temptation and maintain recovery.


Psychoeducation is a therapeutic intervention that teaches information which supports a better understanding of psychological, behavioural, and social problems associated with problematic drink and drug use.

Addictions we work with

  • Alcohol
  • Illicit drugs
  • Prescription or over the counter medications
  • Gambling