All About Compulsions and How to Overcome them with Psychological Therapy & Counselling


What are Compulsions?

Compulsions are behaviours that you peform on the spur of the moment to satisfy a perceived need.

Another way of thinking about compulsions is acting on impulse without paying due care and attention to the possible consequences.

Compulsive behaviours are a form of instant gratification, a way that you can feel good right now without having to wait.

If you are unable to control your urges then you may act compulsively.

Another key feature of compulsions is that you will often feel guilty afterwards followed by berating yourself for doing it.

Compulsions can be characterised by:

  • The perception of a need.
  • Acting to fulfill that need.
  • Feeling good whilst carrying out the compulsion.
  • Feelings of guilt or regret after the immediate satisfaction has subsided.

In this sense, compulsions are the inability to manage your impulses.


Common Compulsions

Any behaviour that you find pleasurable can become a compulsion and not all compulsive behaviours become problematic.

However, there are some activities than can easily become much bigger problems, including:

  • Drinking excessively.
  • Buying things you don’t really need.
  • Over-eating
  • Smoking.
  • Excessive gambling.
  • Indulging in risky sexual activities.
  • Drug use and abuse.

This list is not exhaustive and in fact any behaviour can end up becoming a compulsion.

gambling compulsions

The Problem with Compulsions

Compulsions can range from simple everyday behaviours such as shopping to more reckless activities such as drug use.

They become problematic when they are performed excessively and if left uncontrolled, can cause real damage to people’s lives.

  • Compulsive shopping may land you in serious debt.
  • Eating compulsively can lead to obesity and other health problems.
  • Using alcohol excessively can lead to a range of problems.
  • Compulsive gambling can result in financial and relational problems.

As is often the case, the urges that you are trying to satisfy through your compulsions may be related to earlier traumas or unmet needs and are rarely resolved through these behaviours.

In this sense, compulsions can be thought of as maladaptive coping strategies that can end up causing more problems than they ever solve!

Compulsions sufferer in therapy session

Therapy & Counselling for Compulsions

We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for compulsions and compulsive behaviours.

Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:

  • How long you have had the problem.
  • Your personal preferences.
  • How your problem is affecting you today.

You can read more about the different types of therapy for compulsions on the following links:

Although all therapies use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.

Research suggests that this therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.

The behaviour change framework

The Behaviour Change Framework

All of our counselling sessions and programmes for compulsions use the Behaviour Change Framework (BCF).

This scientifically proven protocol defines the stages of behaviour change that you need to go through in order to achieve long lasting and sustainable change.

The framework provides a roadmap that indicates if more change is required before entering the next phase of mental health therapy.

In this way, we are able to ensure that you get the best possible level of support in overcoming your mental health problems as well preventing early termination of therapy.

You can read more about the Science of Change here.

Free initial consultations for compulsions

Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.

If you’d like to find out more about overcoming compulsions or recovering from any of your mental health problems then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular issues and the different types of mental health counselling we offer without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.


Applied Psychology Solutions

If you’d like to learn how to beat compulsions but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences with the CORE Programme.

If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.

Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?

Then why not see if you can solve your own problems using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.


Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before doing everything they can to overcome their problems.

Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.

How About Hypnotherapy?

There are numerous ways to overcome and cope with mental health problems and Hypnotherapy is an increasingly popular approach.

If you’d like to find out more about Hypnotherapy for Compulsions then click here to visit our sister website Wolverhampton Hypnotherapy.

Counselling Locations

We offer counselling for compulsions for people living in:

  • Wombourne
  • Wolverhampton
  • West Midlands
  • Shropshire
  • South Staffordshire
  • Telford
  • Shrewsbury

You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.