The Feeling-State Theory of Addiction states that addictions are caused by the fixated memory called a feeling-state (FS). The FS is created when a positive event is so intense that the memory of that event becomes fixated in the mind. Composed of the memory of the sensations, emotions, thoughts, and behavior of that event, the addiction is the result of the urges and cravings to do that behavior whenever the FS is triggered.
For example, a social gambler won a large hand playing poker. The experience of winning was so intense for him that the FS was created consisting of the feeling of excitement and the thought “I am a winner.” From that point on, he became a compulsive gambler. Even though he lost over $1,000,000 over 10 years, the fixated memory, the FS, did not change. He kept chasing that feeling of being a winner even though he had lost so much money.
The major difference between behavioral addictions such as a gambling compulsion and substance addictions is that psychoactive drugs can create their own FS. For example, cocaine can produce an intense feeling of euphoria. The feeling of euphoria can be so strong that a FS is immediately created.
The Feeling-State Addiction Protocol, (FSAP) eliminates addictions by eliminating the FS. Once the FS is gone, there is nothing left to cause the urges and cravings of the addiction. Compulsive gamblers can gamble again, compulsive shoppers can shop, and sex addicts can have sex without triggering the previous addictive behavior. However, since psychoactive substances can create an immediate FS, abstaining from the substance is necessary in order to make sure the FS is not recreated. Since the urges and cravings to use the substance are no longer present, this is not difficult.
What does this mean for you?
Once the FS is eliminated, the previously addictive behavior does not need to be managed or controlled. You will not have the urges and cravings, irritability and frustration, that have likely been part of your previous attempts to quit. It just doesn't’t bother you anymore.
Sometimes when I quit doing one addictive behavior, I would just start doing another. Is this any different?
Yes, it’s different. If you just stop doing an addictive behavior without eliminating the underlying FS, you haven’t resolved the cause of the addiction. So another behavior becomes attached to the FS. Eliminating the FS means that you will not just switch addictive behaviors.
How many sessions will it take?
Most addictions are eliminated within 5-6 sessions. More or less sessions will be required depending on the number of FSs associated with the addictive behavior.
Once the addictive behavior is eliminated, do I need any further therapy?
Feeling-states are often created because there is an intense psychological need for that feeling. Resolving these predisposing emotional problems can prevent problems further down the road.
~ Developer and Author: Dr. Robert Miller
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