e live in a society in which our access to sources of stimulation and pleasure is virtually unlimited. This sounds good, except that the search for stimulation and pleasure can interfere with the demands of daily life. The term addiction is used when a something is consumed (eaten, drunk or smoked) as the primary source of satisfaction; the term compulsivity is used when an activity (shopping, having sex, gambling) is excessively used this way.
The most compassionate and effective psychotherapeutic model regards addictions and compulsions as coping strategies gone awry: an individual's attempts to solve emotional difficulties that have become problematic themselves. Exploring the process of emotional regulation which they serve enables one to re-discover the key element of choice and to meet the underlying needs in more productive ways. Thus one can not only become sober or clean through recovery but grow into a more fully-realised human being.