Get in touch by email:

Counselling, Integrative Therapy, Coaching, Wellbeing Courses & Workshops

Get in touch by email:

Addiction can be defined as a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behaviour or substance.

Over the years the word addiction is used more broadly to describe mood altering behaviours and activities. Some will differentiate the two by splitting them into two types of addiction.

The first one being Substance addictions which would include, alcoholism, drug abuse, and smoking.

The second one being Process addictions which include gambling, spending, shopping, eating and sexual activity.

Part of my work involves coaching individuals who struggle with an addictive nature and repeat bad habits…

The program I successfully use in my coaching sessions is called the Integrity Course, the course is delivered over 6 sessions and each session covers a key pillar on the integrity wheel (a tool I designed to monitor clients staring point and end result).

During each session I then hand pick topics and dovetail them with Coaching and NLP techniques that are tailored to meet each person’s main presenting issue in that area.

The goal of each session is to really tap into what the individual is struggling with and then encourage them to make the necessary changes. There is exploration and discussion on well researched topics; which references some great work of psychologists/professionals in each of the areas. There is also a strong underlying theme of raising value to health, self worth and adopting the right healthy habits to replace any current destructive ones.

I have delivered an introductory version of the program at Women’s prisons and continue to successfully deliver one to one sessions at probation centres.

Below are four stages to work through, they will be the vehicle for transporting you on the road to recovery!

Stage One: Admit to yourself you have a problem

The first stage in any type of recovery is to acknowledge that there is a problem in the first place. Admitting this to yourself is the first step and this will create an invisible platform to work from.

Once you have gotten to this stage the hard work begins…

Many people will struggle to move onto the next stage of the recovery.

Instead they end up stuck in-between addiction and recovery as they battle with strong emotions of guilt, acknowledgement and justification.

Guilt will often creep in after a period of weakness, this is often when acknowledgement of having an addiction comes through… this can be inspiring and a good time to take action.

The problem is the power of the addiction can become so intense, and this is when the justification sets in… If the person can’t get beyond this justification and they don’t have the right support in place, the vicious cycle starts again and the habit is repeated.

What can you do when you have decided enough is enough?

After you have admitted to yourself that your health is suffering and (or) you have a problem that has gotten out of hand, it is time for some serious tough love.

Whether you are a recreational drinker and feel that things are getting out of control or perhaps you have admitted to yourself that you have an addiction, the thing to acknowledge is that any prolonged use of alcohol and drugs will cause toxins to build up in your body!

Sooner or later it is time to face facts…

Continued use of the offending drugs and alcohol will negatively affect your health. Toxins, such as ethanol from alcohol, harm your bodily organs, tissues, and other systems, resulting in an array of diseases and other health problems.

Stage Two: Break the silence

Admitting to yourself you have a problem is tough but if you are going to progress through the next stage, you have to be prepared to take the next step and break your silence by telling someone else (or others) that you have a problem.

This may be incredibly difficult and many people really struggle with this part, after all who wants to feel like they are at the mercy of something more powerful than themselves and admit this to someone else.

It is not uncommon for people to keep their addiction a secret for months or even years. The danger in doing this is that not only does the sufferer battle with the addiction but they also suffer with much more emotional baggage as a result of the heavy burden of suffering in silence with no support.

Essentially you have to accept where you are and not be ashamed to admit you have made some bad choices that have got you where you are.

So although this step may be hard for you to, it will be vital to getting the support you need.

During this stage I recommend gathering a small list of contacts:

1. A local GP who is a specialist or has an interest in treating addiction or addiction related issues. At the very least find a doctor who you can open up to and one that will refer you onto the right specialist.

2. A friend or relative or someone you trust who does not currently have any addictions themselves

3. The next on your list should be a selection of local numbers, websites and addresses of help centres, support groups, detox centres and helpful information guides.

Keep all your contacts together and safe in a diary or a folder. Keep them somewhere easy to find!

If you have gotten to stage three you really do deserve to give yourself a huge hug and some praise… It is no easy feat being honest and opening up to others that you have a problem so well done for getting this far!

Stage Three – Know what triggers your weaknesses

When you know what your biggest triggers are for feeding your weakness, it will be easier for you to gain more power and control over it. Essentially you can turn to the right positive behaviours that will create a positive effect against it (I like to think of it as an antidote).

When coaching my clients, I highly recommend that they keep a journal or diary log.

Common triggers are:

Socialising with former associations who are still abusing their bodies, Increased stress levels, loneliness or boredom, self-pity (playing the victim role), exhaustion, over confidence, high expectations (trying to run before you can walk so to speak).

The integrity course explores principles and 6 key areas that provide help with all the above!

Stage Four – Know your why

Knowing your why means knowing your purpose for being on this planet, it means knowing who and what is most important to you in life. It is essential for getting through tough times, there is still a long road ahead and the road ahead will challenge you at times!

You will still have your up’s and downs, knowing your why will spur you on during the dark times. With the right mindset and with the help of mentors, rehab/groups, healthy hobbies, and the right resources it can be a very rewarding and interesting journey and one you can enjoy the ride along the way.

The next phase on your road to recovery involves changing your habits and doing things that will promote health and healing.

The 6 key areas of strength that the integrity course focuses on will help you to Find your why and provide you with some valuable tools to help improve your mental wellbeing and enable you to manage stress better, improve your body from the inside out and help you to build your confidence, and essentially improve your whole self-worth.

All this will bring a new sense of hope and the confidence to reach out to all the help that is available to you.

Please feel free to contact me (Melanie Rivera) for more information about how the Integrity Course can help with emotional issues, self-esteem and is also a great compliment to a detox programme*

A word of warning!…

*If you are struggling with a long term high level of addiction, always consult with a doctor before trying to detox on your own. If your addiction is severe, you will need medical help to begin the process. Serious long term addiction to class A drugs can cause life-threatening physiological changes to occur, if discontinuation is abrupt without the correct support in place.

Please visit the website below for further help and resources:

#lifestyle #personal-development #NLP #coaching #wellbeing #happiness

Melanie Rivera


Addiction can be defined as a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behaviour or substance. Over the years the word addiction is used more broadly to

Read More »