Counselling for Self-destructive Behaviour

There are many ways people hold themselves back. Self-destructive behaviour can take many forms.

Though it may seem counter-productive that anyone would hinder or sabotage their own goals, happiness or well-being, the truth is that many people live with underlying psychological forces that do just that. We are all products of our life experiences and sometimes those experiences create forces within us that hold us back. In some cases, these forces can be very self-destructive.

Addiction is one example of behaviour that is well-known for damaging people’s lives and addiction takes many forms. There are many different types of addictions and different severities of addictive behaviour. But not all self-destructive behaviour falls under the umbrella of addiction. Many types of recurring patterns of behaviour often lead to negative or destructive consequences.

Common self-destructive behaviours include:

  • drug or alcohol misuse
  • risky or unprotected sex
  • uncontrolled gambling
  • overuse of porn
  • chronic procrastination
  • over-eating
  • over-spending/going into debt
  • avoiding responsibility
  • ending/destroying of personal relationships
  • maintaining a ‘head in the sand’ approach to problems
  • poor performance at work
  • having affairs/pushing boundaries in relationships

We can all be self-destructive at times

There are many reasons people can act in self-destructive ways at times. Emotional pain, unresolved difficult past experiences, problematic parental relationships and previous experiences of trauma can all lead to self-destructive behaviours. These behaviours can become habits that are difficult to break.

Self-destructive behaviour can sometimes originate in self-coping strategies that no longer work. Self-coping mechanisms that have worked in the past may have got out of control and now do more harm than good. It’s sometimes hard to recognise when a coping mechanism has gone past its expiry date and is no longer helping.

Often, we may recognise self-destructive behaviour patterns but still feel unable to change or prevent these behaviours. We may feel powerless or even hopeless in the face of such powerful psychological forces.

Getting beyond self-destructive behaviour is possible.

Understanding self-destructive behaviour is the first step towards getting it under control

There are many reasons why people develop self-sabotaging behaviour and each person’s circumstances will be unique to them. Therapy for self-destructive behaviour seeks to understand the underlying causes of the problematic behaviour. The history, patterns and triggers of the self-destructive behaviour will be considered. It can also be useful to understand the purpose of negative behaviour patterns: Why am I doing this to myself? What part of me am I trying to destroy? Why does this behaviour feel outside of my control?

We have seem many clients with all types of self-destructive behaviour. If you would like to make a first appointment to speak with a therapist about any worrying behaviour, please contact us. 

Learn how to be constructive in your life, and reduce self-destructive behaviour.

Does talking help?

With text messages, online networking and email so easy, talking to another person may seem old-fashioned. These days, communication is abbreviated and electronic. A quick text message or a short email is usually enough to get our message across. But humans have been talking to each…

Read more

Facing sexual issues

Sexual issues are common. Sex taps into many different parts of us: the emotional, the physical, the psychological and even the spiritual. The opportunity for something to go wrong in our sexual wiring is great. Most people will experience some kind of sexual dysfunction at some point in…

Read more

Individual counselling

Our personal counselling services take place in a supportive, non-judgemental atmosphere.

Read more

Couples counselling

Couples counselling provides space for couples to discuss problems in their relationship and find resolution.

Read more

Our therapists in London

Our therapists bring a wealth of experience and training to the therapy services we provide.

Read more

Counselling, psychotherapy, couples counselling in London since 2006

Client Reviews

One Therapy London

Ameet Magan

Ameet is from London and holds an MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy He has more than a decade’s experience of working in a one-to-one capacity with clients He has also trained in groupwork and has worked since 2016 as a group psychotherapist and clinical practitioner with the NHS in East London Ameet is a warm, grounded and reflective person He works with compassion...

Kensington

Therapist Amrita Athwal
Amrita Athwal

Amrita works with adults in an integrative way, drawing on various therapeutic approaches tailored to meet the needs of each client She provides a safe space to help clients better understand themselves She offers short term and long term therapy Amrita has experience of working with clients on issues such as trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, relationship...

Bloomsbury

Therapist Annie Curran-White
Annie Curran-White

With a Masters degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, Annie offers both short and long term, open-ended therapy to individuals Her experience includes depression, stress and anxiety, bereavement, loss, personal development and trauma Annie has additional, specialist training working with survivors of rape, and adult and childhood sexual...

Soho

Therapist Antonella Bonetti
Antonella Bonetti

Antonella is a psychodynamic therapist offering short- and long-term therapy to adults She also sees couples facing issues within their relationship Since obtaining her Master’s degree in Psychodynamic Therapy & Counselling, Antonella has worked in different organisational settings (charities, NHS and university counselling services) helping people from diverse...

Bloomsbury

Kensington

Therapist Ava Kinsey
Ava Kinsey

Ava is a qualified psychodynamic psychotherapist and counsellor She works with the NHS both as an adult psychotherapist at a complex trauma unit, and as a perinatal psychotherapist working with mothers and their infants and toddlers Before that, she worked as a psychotherapist in secondary care at the NHS, treating clients who experienced early relational/sexual trauma or...

Bloomsbury

Therapist Barbara Beyaz
Barbara Beyaz

Barbara brings a warm, non-judgmental, and accepting attitude to her work with clients As an integrative Psychotherapist, she draws from a range of theoretical perspectives which allows her to tailor therapy to the needs of the client Barbara thinks that healing and individual growth happen when difficulties in living are explored with empathy, and the client's unique...

Fitzrovia

Therapist Barbara Perini
Barbara Perini

Barbara is an accredited member of BACP, holding an MSc in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and adhering to the BACP ethical framework Her approach is open-ended, offering both short-term and long-term therapy Barbara has also trained in Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT), a short-term (16 sessions), semi-structured individual therapy developed for mood...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Ben Brackenbury
Ben Brackenbury

Ben believes that at times we all struggle with the challenges life has to offer and therapy provides a safe, confidential, non-judgemental space to explore this Ben works with individuals to make sense of who they are and how they respond to the world today, and to explore new ways of being Ben is also sensitive to how difficult it might be for a client to talk to a...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Ben Marks
Ben Marks

Ben is an experienced psychotherapist who has helped many people through difficult times in their lives He works with clients with a wide range of personal issues around depression, anxiety, bereavement, trauma, abuse, loneliness, stresses within the workplace, low self esteem, relationship and sexual problems including performance anxiety, erectile dysfunction and...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Catherine Hammett
Catherine Hammett

Catherine offers a safe, confidential space for clients bringing a wide range of issues to therapy  These include anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship difficulties, anger and work-related stress  Catherine also supports clients experiencing depression, bereavement and life transitions  Among her specialist interests are post-traumatic growth and working with adult...

Oxford Circus