Addiction, Treatment and Recovery

When undertaking the work of treating addiction, it is wise and good practice to take a broad and open minded approach. Addiction or substance dependency knows no bounds of who or whom it can affect - a very complex area of human life, the effective treatment of addictive behaviour is sensitive to many areas of consideration and needs to be closely focused on the very fine details of a persons life to be understood and treated effectively. Attention to detail and a broad understanding of addictive theory is crucial in providing adequate treatment and support to individuals who are ready to take responsibility for change in their lives.

"I had been struggling with food addiction for several years, I had seen multiple counsellors and doctors during that time and never made progress. My time with Ed has been totally different to previous experiences. With an approach that allowed me to understand the root of my problem and highlighted exactly what steps I needed to take before it all began to fall in place. I now have found  a totally different perspective around myself, through food and within myself. Ed has a great mix of a friendly and professional attitude that makes opening up and being honest much easier to do. I am so thankful for the lessons Ed has taught me and I could not recommend him enough."


Approaches to the treatment and understanding of addictive behavior have changed dramatically over the last few decades. Addiction is now less frequently  understood as a disease, but is more commonly being understood and generally accepted to have a multitude of contributing factors. In terms of treatment, it therefore stands that an effective approach should reflect this. 


Addiction and substance dependency are not solely personal conditions, they are also contributed to by such things as; social environments, personal history, trauma, cultural norms and learned behavior. Addiction can also be seen as a malady of the spirit, where drugs or alcohol are utilised as methods of trying to escape from reality, from the pressures of life, or from events which have historically left their burden on someone. 

It is crucially important in the treatment of substance misuse to provide a consistency and thoroughness of care. A lack of this thoroughness can be a significant problem in seeking effective treatment and often will lead to failed attempts and an exacerbated sense of failure or resignation to a chronic condition of compulsive behavior. One of the main problems is a 'one size fits all' approach, which may work for a small number of people, but such an impersonal method leaves most very unfulfilled. 


Both private residential facilities and statutory services often take a broad brush approach, using old models of addiction theory like '12 steps', but fail to address very personal issues within each user that can lie completely unaddressed and rely on a dogma of belief to curtail cravings.

Many people fail in such systems as they are singular and inflexible in their approach and are not designed for the complexities of each and every person. This leaves many people in a condition of never having had their condition treated and considered as a multi faceted psycho-social malady that requires complex techniques, tools, healing, planning, practice and a trained guide to walk through it with.

"I found Edward a great help when I was dealing with depression and anxiety, and a crisis brought to the surface by alcohol. He helped me to find my way again without being in any way judgemental or prescriptive. I particularly liked the fact that his sessions were relaxed  - for someone who finds it hard to talk about personal matters, I found myself able to talk openly and without fear, even when I was at my most anxious.  His therapeutic technique was effective for me, both when I started and was in need of urgent help, as well as later on when things had settled down. I never felt talked down to, and his therapy was gentle and intuitive. I also appreciated that Edward was flexible in terms of sessions - I was able to take breaks, and to fit  around my work and home commitments. I am grateful to Edward and I  recommend his approach to therapy wholeheartedly."




A New Approach To Addiction Problems

Over the last few years we have developed an intensive accelerated method of tackling many types of addictive behavior in a rapid and targeted manner.

A one to one intensive therapeutic program allows us to concentrate thousands of hours of clinical practice with complex addictive conditions into highly individualised goal and task based hourly sessions. Each session is calibrated toward an end goal and is part of an unfolding progressive method to break down and replace malignant and destructive behavior. 

In the program we focus on and train the individual to master such areas as: 


  • Harm reduction 

  • Impulse identification

  • Developing resilience

  • Trauma resolution

  • Identifying triggers

  • Recognising the inner addictive voice

  • Importance relationships 

  • Life balance 

  • Life development

  • Self awareness  

  • Self compassion 

  • Impulse control

  • Mental clarity

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Retraining dopamine/reward pathways 

  • Creating new healthy behavior seeking 

  • Understanding and using mental and emotional states 

  • Goal setting and life advancement

  • Realising ambitions and quality of life

  • Personal and spiritual growth


The working philosophy and method  focuses on carefully dismantling the patterned habit base upon which addictive behavior and choices have become established and replacing them with healthy worldly orientated healthy behavior. This is not a simple behavior replacement, but a carefully detailed way to re balance and prioritise through stimulation of the dopaminergic learning system, the emotions and the imagination through qualified and testable methods to reset and awaken the innate qualities of the human body for survival, development and problem solving. This is how and what the brain is designed to do and needs to be reactivated and taught as a method of self management and growth. Tapping into the innate human strengths, biological and psychological systems in an organised manner will deliver deep and long lasting personal change. Knowing how to do this is learned from years of working with complex substance abuse, depth psychology and personal change across a broad spectrum of conditions.  How to effectively integrate these multiple strands on a person to person basis is what makes this possible.

The program runs along blocks of six week sessions and is designed to allow people to carry on with their day to day lives including work, but to access and work through an incentivised and intensive deeply transformational psychological treatment.

Six week blocks allow for an ongoing structural review at each incremental phase and forward planning to be made for the next unfolding stage. Within this, the weekly sessions will deliver recognisable change and learning points from the very beginning. 

This gives individuals control over their care and they become a part of their own process of change and development which is monitored, incentivised and progressively built upon week to week, session to session.


The program is a 'root and branch' approach to tackling years/decades of habituated behavior, focused on changing the person in a dramatic way whilst attenuating the compulsive behavior. It is highly charged with exciting new ways of looking at lifestyle choices around addiction and energised by creative thinking, planning and practical methods that are grounded in day to day challenges.  The goal of the program is to give control back to the individual and facilitate them during the course of treatment to recognise the capacity for and achieve a rich, balanced and fulfilling life.


Read a case example from a completed six week program here.



Addiction is a treatable condition. If you are suffering from or want any further information on any of the issues discussed, please get in touch to make an appointment for a discussion. For help with addiction in Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Durham or Harrogate.

Edward Alexander Conn





Tel: 07830 444 920

Peel Psychological Consultancy,

106 High St, Newcastle upon Tyne,


Monday -  Friday     10.00am - 08.00pm


Call for an appointment

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Durham Therapy Centre,

The Lodge at Miners Hall, Durham,



123 Hambledon Road,