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Breaking Negative Addictions and Habits

Negative addictions and habits are some of the many issues that our holistic team of psychotherapists work with here at The Holding Space. To find out more about how therapy can help break negative addictions and habits, read below!

Image by Kenny Eliason
Image by Kitera Dent

What are Negative Addictions

and Habits?


Addictions and habits, though similar, are different. Both involve repeated behaviors, can have negative consequences, and can be difficult to break once formed. However, habits usually remain (relatively) consistent over time, whereas addictions get progressively more harmful and out of our control. Let’s use drinking wine as a simplified example: say, you start drinking a glass of wine after work for a few days. If you were to continue drinking a glass of wine after work every day, this would be a habit. If, over time, you were to begin drinking two or three glasses a day, or your wine drinking began to cause issues in your life, but you continued it, this

would be an addiction. While drinking more than a bottle of wine each week may not be the best for your health, the potential consequences of this habit are, in general, less harmful than what an addiction can do to your overall functioning and wellbeing. Along those lines, breaking

addictions is typically more difficult than breaking habits, as addictions can lead to psychological, physiological, and behavioral changes, whereas habits typically involve the latter.

Because addictions often begin as habits, though, it is ultimately just as valuable to break negative habits as it is to break addictions.

What do Negative Addictions

and Habits Look Like?


There are innumerable behaviors that can become negative addictions and habits, from seemingly harmless ones like drinking coffee or exercising, to more risky ones like gambling or substance use. Despite this, there is some consistency in how to determine what is a habit vs. an addiction. Probably the most impactful difference is that with addictions, there is the feeling of being out of control of the behavior and/or an inability to stop it. What does this look like? You may feel compelled to do the behavior, even at inappropriate times, or you may become uncomfortable/upset with yourself or others if you’re not able to do it. You may feel like you need to do more and more of the behavior to be satisfied, or you may spend more and more time doing or thinking about the behavior. You may continue doing the behavior despite negative consequences to yourself or others, or you may feel the need to hide the behavior. If you start to notice these feelings, and particularly if they become a pattern, you may want to consider seeking therapy for breaking negative addictions and habits!

What does Treatment for Negative Addictions and Habits Look Like?


While negative addictions and habits can develop for various reasons, they often have roots in our early family dynamics or history. For example, we may have been literally taught the behaviors that later become habits or addictions by our parents/caregivers, or we saw them modeled by these people. Alternatively, we may have started the behaviors as a way to soothe or protect ourselves following a trauma, or as a way to help ourselves function in a damaging or uncomfortable environment. Based on this knowledge, therapy for breaking negative addictions and habits often aims to identify, understand, and heal the underlying issues from our past that lead to present day addictive or self-sabotaging behaviors.

Here at The Holding Space, we help you identify the negative addictions and habits that are specific to you, and we offer an individualized, holistic approach to address them. This starts with welcoming our clients into a warm and accepting environment, which we believe is necessary for creating the trust and safety needed for any therapeutic work. Once these minimum requirements for the therapeutic relationship have been established, your therapist will work with you to explore how your negative addictions/habits developed and are maintained, how they impact(ed) your physical and mental health and wellbeing, and how they can be altered to better serve yourself going forward. Your therapist may integrate different treatment modalities into this exploration, with the goals of creating more empathy and understanding for yourself and shifting away from your old, harmful behavior patterns into new, healthy ones.

Image by Clay Banks

Who does Negative Addictions and Habits Treatment Work for?


If you recognize the patterns and feelings described above, or are concerned they might develop, therapy for breaking negative addictions and habits could be appropriate for you.

Common negative addictions and habits that we work with include:

 Alcohol use

 Drug use

 Overworking

 Perfectionism

 Emotional spending

 Emotional eating

 Restrictive eating

 Binge eating

 Compensatory eating behaviors

 Negative self-talk

To find out if The Holding Space might be a fit for you and your unique needs, contact us for a

consultation today!


Start Treatment at The Holding Space in Los Angeles, CA Today!

Take control of your negative addictions and habits and reclaim your life. Our dedicated team of therapists are here to support you and your journey. Don't let these addictions or habits hold you back any longer. To see if the The Holding Space might be a fit for you and your unique needs, follow the steps below:

  1. Reach out to schedule a free consultation. 

  2. Speak with an experienced therapist.

  3. Begin finding calm in your life. 

Other Therapy Services Offered at the Holding Space in Los Angeles, CA

Our licensed and professional therapists have extensive experience in helping clients with negative addictions and habits. We provide depth therapy in Los Angeles, CA, and other forms of therapy to help people effectively manage their lives. We also specialize in other therapy services including Depression treatment, Therapy for Anxiety, Couples Therapy, Art Therapy, and Brainspotting. Contact us today to learn more about our Los Angeles-based practice.

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