Shopping Addiction Counseling. Counseling looks at the specific problem of shopping addiction and creates an action plan to stop the behavior. Targeted counseling for this problem seeks to change the negative behaviors and at the same time heal the underlying feelings, but there is less emphasis on exploring the emotional significance of compulsive behaviors than traditional individual psychotherapy. Counselors who work with shopaholics often refer clients to traditional psychotherapists when the severity of the emotional problems involved exceeds the counselor’s expertise. For certain clients, a combination of counseling, psychotherapy, and/or an anonymous debtor union goes several steps further than using either of these methods alone.
A Practical Program to Stop Self-Deafating Financial Habits So You Can Reclaim Life on Life. A major premise of counseling for shopaholics is the idea that insight alone cannot stop the behavior. All stages of the shopping Counselling for Addiction cycle (triggers, emotions, dysfunctional thoughts, behaviors, consequences of behaviors, and implications of shopping addiction) should be identified.
Clients need to learn how to work with each phase of the cycle so they can have more control over their problems. In this sense, counseling for shopaholics is similar to alcohol and drug abuse counseling. But recovering from shopping addiction is different and in some ways more complicated. Abstinence from alcohol and drugs is the treatment goal, but it is impossible to refrain from buying and using money.
Counseling for shopaholics begins to cover the full range of problems. It helps clients answer questions like:
When did shopping addiction start?
What form does it take? Do you shop on the Internet, in catalogs, on TV, or in stores? Do you do it even on holidays? When to buy a gift? In the “Collection” service?
What emotions underlie shopping addiction? (Boring? Loneliness? Anger? Anxiety?)
Is it a means of self-soothing?
Are you doing it to boost your self-esteem or to feel more socially desirable?
Do you go shopping to rejuvenate because of an inner sense of death?
Is it a response to changes in other addictive behaviors?
The possibilities are endless because each person’s story is different. However, the central question and the question that the shopping addiction counselor is uniquely positioned to address are always the same. What can I do to end my shopping addiction? The goal of the counseling process is to break the cycle of shopping addiction and create a viable financial structure that improves, rather than diminishes, the client’s quality of life.
This requires dealing with underlying emotional turmoil from a historical and present perspective. There are many stages in recovery from shopping addiction, and counseling should be done in stages. Acknowledging where you are is key to recovery. Shopaholics should take a long, hard look at their current situation before any change takes place. Like all addictions, denial is almost endemic.