Substance & Process Addiction


The Addictive Personality is an aspect of ourselves that demands constant attention.

It is a slippery disease and can manifest in many different ways, from drug and alcohol addictions, also known as “substance addictions” through to food, sex, pornography and gambling, all of which are known as “process addictions”.

Click on this link to go to a series of PDFs with definitions and questions to help you find out if you are an addict.

Taking on recovery in terms of substance abuse can help enormously with process addiction, but the nature of the illness also means that “recovery” can lead the unwary, those still looking for a “high” or to mask their feelings, into deeper waters, more tricky and isolating behaviours with even more intense shame cycles and negative hormone rushes and highs that can feel stronger, at times, than the highs gained through substance abuse.

Owning up to process addictions can seem like admitting the ultimate defeat, but it is essential to take on this aspect of the self if behaviours are leading you into the dark abyss. Owning up to pornography addiction can be part of the next recovery curve for you and there is a way out. There is help available.

We know that the addictive nature can be mastered but never made to disappear. As recovering addicts we are intrinsically powerful, creative, imaginative individuals with a strong will. We have been through extraordinary extremes of experience that will never allow us to settle into “normal” but that if we can come to terms with and understand how to manage the strengths, weaknesses and cravings that we have, the tendency to shun responsibility and the yearning to leave the Now, we can live in peace with ourselves.

I specialise in working with recovery issues including fear, anger, depression, balancing hormones, ceremony, sex & intimacy sober, money & gambling, creativity, and the mind. I am comfortable working with all the various forms of addiction, cross-addiction and with shame and intensity issues.I also work with those wishing to change habits, give up addictions and find a way through the endless need to “act out” and the drama of switching addictions. Intensity and the unfamiliarity of emotions come into the work in this regard, helping you to become comfortable with being present in your feelings.

I am Carolyn Cowan, a Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist who is also a sex addiction therapist and a member of COSRT & ATSAC.

You can make appointments to see me in Belgravia, central or south London. I can also work via Skype or FaceTime.

To discuss therapy options, clarify questions or to make an appointment I can be contacted by email at or by phone on 0208 6513233

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