2020- 06- 02 I.A.M. Urge-Surfing: Surfing the feeling of craving

Tuesday Integrative Addiction Management Evenings

Urge surfing

Hans thinks that in these COVID-driven days people should get some extra help.
So every Tuesday @ 19:00 (Amsterdam Time) Hans presents snippets from Interactive Addiction Management. And this week we will be diving into the surfing of craving: urge-surfing (in Dutch “Trek surfen”).

What is craving
One of the key aspects of addiction is almost always “craving”. That is a -sometimes strong- feeling, motivating us to use the drug that you are addicted to.
That can be alcohol, that can be cocaïne, amfetamines, sometimes even cannabis. The feeling can be biological: people ‘feel it physical rather than emotional. It can be more a sign of dependence and the the ‘feeling’ is more like a persisting thought and has a more emotional aspect to it.
Non-addicted people find it kind of hard to understand and I can only compare it with other cravings, like the craving for chocolate or chips. You do know you’d better not, but the feelings seem so… well … good!
It feels positive and good to eat that chocolate chip cookie that you said you were not going to eat anymore. It actually hardly feels like an action to eat it. What’s more, it feels like an ‘action’ if you don’t. It does not ask for willpower to get up and get to that jar of cookies… it takes willpower to remain seated!
….will you believe that after writing this piece I couldn’t resist one of those LU Time Out Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Biological feelings like craving are not that easy to cope. If you only resist those feelings, try to not feel them, try to ignore or if you are only trying to think of anything else, those feelings actually tend to actually grow. Just like an itch. If you try not to scratch that itch, itching only seems to get worse. That is why the feelings-surfing is developed. A technique out of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) also used in addiction.
It is sometimes a bit hard to understand but my clients always tell me that I do do a good job, so this seems like a good subject for a second  “Tuesday Integrative Addiction Management Evening.

If you obey all the rules,
You’ll miss all the fun.

Katharine Hepburn

Hans West is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting:
I.A.M. Zoom

See you there?


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