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Spending addiction Counselling

People who suffer from a spending addiction have an obsession with shopping and buying that often has negative consequences. While it is common for all people to splurge on the occasional item, even if it’s out of budget, the spending addict will not be able to stop themselves from spending regardless of the consequences.

Often people with an addiction feel as if they are alone in their struggles; you are not alone. A large percentage of people in the UK suffer from a spending addiction. While the reasons for the addiction vary wildly, help is available for them all. There are a large amount of those people in recovery.

A spending addiction counsellor or psychotherapist can help the sufferer learn about the thoughts, habits and feelings that trigger the shopping behaviour, so that it can be managed better.

Spending Addiction Characteristics

The journey to recovery begins with a single step.  With the support of a counsellor, support group, and/or loved ones, the spending addict can learn to take back control of their spending. The first step is to identify the problem.

Spending addicts often:

  • Buy things they don’t have the money for just because they want them
  • After deducting your rent/mortgage, spend more than a third of their income on credit card bills
  • Think about what they buy with extra money instead of saving it
  • Have a difficult time saving money
  • Buy more of their favourite things even when they don’t need them
  • Use shopping to lift their spirits or to reward themselves
  • Pay only the minimum balance on your credit card
  • Feel angry, upset or deprived when they have to stop themselves from spending money

If you read these characteristics and think “that sounds like me”, or “I know someone like that”, then it may be time to seek professional help. Even if you think thats me, but ‘i’ll sort this out alone’ ..denial is a powerful part of the problem.

Treatments for Spending Addiction

There are many treatment options available for people who struggle with a spending addiction. These treatment options can be used together or in isolation. The most important part of all of them however, is that sufferers find a good support system.

Spending addicts can use psychotherapy and/or spending addiction counselling in order to both explore and address the symptom: compulsive spending, as well as the thoughts and feelings that coincide. Another useful tool can be attending a mutual aid group like spenders anonymous or shoppers anonymous. The support of family, friends, and their church (if they have one or seek one out) can also be a huge support in their journey towards recovery, as can spiritual guidance.

How Can Counselling Help with Spending Addiction?

The counsellors or psychotherapist’s role is to provide a supportive, safe and confidential environment for the sufferer to explore their thoughts, feelings and triggers. The counsellor will:

  • Help the sufferer to learn their own personal truth as it relates to their lives and their addiction
  • Gently challenge the sufferers way of thinking in a non-judgemental way that allows them to grow safely
  • Help the sufferer learn new and healthier coping strategies
  • Help the sufferer to restructure their spending habits
  • Help the sufferer to live a healthier and happier life