Counselling for Unhelpful Behaviours

We describe an unhelpful behaviour as an uncontrollable urge to engage in a behaviour that is either physically, emotionally, socially and/or financially harmful. These can include substance misuse (e.g. alcohol and drugs), gambling, sex, pornography, food, self harm, exercise, shopping, playing videos.

Not sure where to start?

Who Can This Type of Counselling Help?

Do you miss time from work because of your behaviour?
Is your behaviour having a negative impact on your family and relationships?
Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of your behaviour?
Does your behaviour help you to escape from worries and problems?
Does your behaviour make you feel better in the short term and worse in the longer term?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these above question it is possible that you are suffering from an addiction and would benefit from our counselling services.

Mark, Online Counselling

How Does the Treatment?

Step 1

In your first couple of sessions your Therapist will ask you questions to enable them to understand why your symptoms have developed and what approach will bring you the quickest and most enduring relief.

Step 2

The second step is to identify the problem that you are using the behaviour to escape from and finding another way of managing it that isn’t harmful.

Step 3

If the behaviour isn’t something that can be eliminated completely (e.g. food, shopping, exercise) your Therapist will then help you to find a way of engaging in the behaviour in a way that is under your control and doesn’t lead to physical or emotional harm.

Step 4

Finally, your Therapist will teach you how to boost your confidence and self-esteem and eliminate self-criticism and self-doubt which will protect you from slipping back into unhelpful patterns of behaviours in the future.


Prices can be found on our Fees page. If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to call 0203 504 9300 or fill out a contact form.


All of our Therapists offer Unhelpful Behaviour counselling.

How Do Unhelpful Behaviours Develop?

Whilst engaging in the (unhelpful) behaviour, the sufferer is anaesthetised to emotional pain/distress (the ‘fix’). The behaviour becomes a way (short term) of coping with intolerable distress and discomfort usually caused by self-criticism, self-doubt and low self-esteem. When the sufferer stops the behaviour the relief (the ‘high’) quickly dissipates and their distress returns. In the absence of alternatives, the sufferer will need to once again engage in the behaviour to cope with their distress and a cycle of addiction will develop.

More Reading On This Subject

Should you wish to find out more about Unhelpful Behaviours then you can check out our unhelpful behaviours related blog articles here.

For more information related specifically to alcohol abuse or gambling addiction please visit our dedicated pages:
Counselling for Alcohol Problems
Counselling for Gambling Problems

Contact us to see how we can help: