After more than 60 years of dealing with people who have been suffering from addictions, John Tully says: "Shame is the engine that drives all addictions."
However, when talking of solutions for drug users, an important element that needs to be added to the multi-pronged approach is understanding the psychology of shame.
Shame is a particularly intense, and often incapacitating, negative emotion involving feelings of inferiority, powerlessness and self-consciousness - along with the desire to conceal deficiencies.
Traditional psychoanalytic theory focuses directly or indirectly on the object of addiction - be it alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, work or relationships.
But healing comes when it is realised that it is not so much the object of addiction that is paramount but the process that permits the attachment to develop.
Shame-based syndromes are usually at the root of this process. They begin in childhood when "normal" development is interrupted and becomes twisted or pathological.
The trigger can be sexual or physical abuse or another broadscale trauma. But often it is more discreet. When a parent is detached, not providing assurance to the child that he or she is loved, respected, cared for and appreciated, the child may sense that they are not worthy or significant in the family - and therefore insignificant in the scheme of life. They may grow with the self-perception that they are damaged.
In the midst of disgrace or "toxic" shame, attention turns inward, generating the torment of self-consciousness. Thoughts of sudden, unexpected exposure coupled with blinding inner-scrutiny characterise it.
Whether all eyes are upon us or only our own, we feel deficient as individuals, diseased, defective, shy, embarrassed, alienated, isolated and deeply disturbed.
Disgrace shame requires healing. It is overcome only when the original unity within the self is restored. This is governed by our willingness to make confession of our shame and accept our need of a holistic experience of forgiveness that is rarely, if ever, gained in isolation from others. Some form of help or appropriate therapy is essential.
Once shame is confronted, both the abandonment of addiction and the road from chaos to serenity can be remarkably expedient.
This DVD is an amazing resource for counsellors and clients alike, as John Tully says,
'People are dying through lack of knowledge'.
60 years of experience packed into one DVD.
Now available free on YouTube
'A NEW FUTURE' DVD - by John Tully - Now Free On YouTube