Rother House Medical Centre
Alcester Road
Stratford upon Avon
CV37 6PP

Heath Lodge Clinic
1357 Warwick Road
West Midlands
B93 9LW

Mobile: 07836 261661


Chris Sharpe is also an associate of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa

Twin Rivers in South Africa


Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Blog Articles by Chris Sharpe

The Dry Drunk SyndromeThe Dry Drunk Syndrome

The expression, dry drunk is an ambiguous term used by 12-step fellowships to describe someone who no longer drinks but continues to behave in a dysfunctional way. In other words; a dry drunk is someone who has given up alcohol or drugs, but as yet has failed to make any significant emotional or behavioural changes and is stuck in the initial stages of relapse.

Sober but Stuck - The Dry Drunk Syndrome >>


The Emotional HangoverThe Emotional Hangover

A recovering alcoholic places himself at great risk when he gets involved in a heavy drinking environment. He is in constant danger of experiencing a painful, emotional process. For your own sake, nurture you’re sobriety. Hangovers, emotional or otherwise are an unnecessary price to pay for not being prepared.

The Emotional Hangover >>


Are Addicts Born DoubtersDoubt: Being Special and Different

Deep down inside, most addicts are born doubters; not only do they doubt their capability to achieve, they also doubt their value and their ability to love or be loved, to the point where they become so damaged that when they are offered restitution, they deny and push the opportunity away.

Are Addicts Born Doubters? >>


A Controversy of God and SpiritualityA Controversy of God

I’m never sure what indicators or statistics any of us use to measure success in recovery. What I do know is that the fall off rate in Alcoholics Anonymous in the first three years is abysmal. As a regular member of this otherwise, steadfast support group I can only put this unfortunate fact down to a misunderstanding of what I, all too often, hear called, “The God thing.”

A Controversy of God >>


Family Members and Addiction RecoveryFamily Members and Addiction Recovery

Family members will have covered debts, lied for the addict and spent fruitless hours attempting to counsel their loved one, while pretending to outsiders that everything was normal. After the recovering addicts successful discharge, the family member will learn that this sort of defensive thinking is not helpful but will also find it difficult to stop. It will have become obsessive.

Family Members and Addiction Recovery >>


Behind the MaskBehind the Mask

We commonly call the false self a mask, which if you prefer, can be described as protective veil we wear, a defence against external influences, or that which is defined in the dictionary as an object normally worn typically for protection or disguise

Behind the Mask >>


The Fatigue of ResentmentThe Fatigue of Resentment

In her book Wishful Drinking, the actress Carrie Fisher used the saying, “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

What I think is meant by this often used quotation is that in resenting someone who is most likely unaware of your feelings, you are actually only harming yourself.

The Fatigue of Resentment >>


A Consideration of RelapseA Consideration of Relapse

It can be said that successful recovery from addiction means finding the willingness to do what someone else tells us to do. In early recovery this is may seem difficult, if not impossible.

Why? Because the active addict has survived on a feeling of omnipotence, he has become master of his own nonsensical universe to the point where no one can tell him what to do.

A Consideration of Relapse >>


The Complications of Shame and GuiltThe Confusing Emotions of Addiction

When working with the confusing emotions of addiction, I often witness a distinct correlation yet paradoxically an inconsistency between guilt and shame.

This I feel is a confusion that is sometimes missed or misunderstood by the inexperienced or newly recovering addict, therefore worth taking a look at.

The Complications of Shame and Guilt >>


A Brief Look At Internet Addiction by Chris SharpeA Brief Look At Internet Addiction:

The internet can provide temporary feelings of power, control or intimacy. It may even validate the user by artificially increasing self-worth

Equally, in turn it can depress through guilt, shame, feelings of failure as well as creating emotions such as anger and frustration, all of which become too difficult to manage

Internet Addiction >>


The Recovery Process by Chris SharpeThe Recovery Process:

If you take time to read the first step of the Alcoholics Anonymous recovery programme you can’t help but notice that it mentions the word, powerless. For me as an Addiction Therapist, this is a word which simply equates to a loss of or lack of self-control. The very nature of drugs and alcohol or indeed most behavioural addictions is that they supply the user with a source of instant gratification.

This can be borne out by the late Carrie Fisher, who when relating to drug addiction in her confessional novel, ‘Postcards from the Edge,’ wrote, “The trouble with immediate gratification is that it’s not quick enough.” Therefore let us ask, if this suggests that with the recovery process we can also expect a quick fix

The Recovery Process >>


Breaking the Loop by Chris SharpeBreaking the Loop:

I was listening to a lady speak in a meeting recently and she very neatly defined addiction as, “The use of any mind altering substance or behaviour that relieves intolerable realism.” In his book about sex addiction amongst gay men, Robert Weiss suggests that, “…the addict will engage in addictive behaviour to distract himself from what feels like an uncontrollable internal experience.”

So I thought it might be a worthwhile exercise to briefly examine what intolerable realism or an uncontrollable internal experience might be.

Breaking the Loop >>


Chris Sharpe Individual and Family Counselling TherapistWellbeing:

There is little doubt in my mind that the commonly used term, ‘Spirituality or Spiritual Programme’ can be extremely off-putting when delivered to the recovering addict early on in the context of his or her therapy programme, yet if time is taken to define and tailor it correctly, spirituality can and should become the mainstay of any continued, quality, recovery plan.

I once asked a long term recovering alcoholic what his definition of spirituality was. Without pause or hesitation he replied, ‘Spirituality is the continuous feeling of wellbeing brought about by right and honest living.’

Wellbeing >>


Chris Sharpe Individual and Family Counselling TherapistEmotional Management:

My counselling experience tells me that the active alcoholic or addict may face many seemingly unmanageable emotional problems while drinking or using. Therefore, it is no surprise when I add, that many of the addicted clients I see, use alcohol or drugs primarily to manage or numb these uncomfortable or painful emotions, many of which are caused by difficult relationship issues...

Emotional Management >>


Chris Sharpe Individual and Family Counselling TherapistSelf-Awareness:

The eclectic practice of addiction counselling whether carried out with individuals or within a group context, should bring with it many important phases of the recovery process. These will include empathy and the development of trust. Counselling is also a way of supporting the development of goals and linking them to action. Identifying and maintaining the need for change is also a priority, this can be facilitated primarily by promoting self-awareness...

In his list of Therapeutic Principles, Irvin Yallom stated that; “… self-understanding refers to the achievement of greater levels of insight into the genesis of one's problems and the unconscious motivations that underlie one's behaviour.”

Self-Awareness >>