Substance use can lead to an array of psychological and physical health concerns. In 2019 it was found 40% of Australians aged over 14 had used illicit substances during their life. While cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance, a large survey revealed ongoing concerns about the impact of crystal methamphetamine in the Australian community.

Substance use disorders often involve harm not only to the individual but to their family and their ability to engage in life in a meaningful way. They often lead to changes in social functioning, thinking processes and behaviours and when they develop into an addiction there may be changes to the underlying brain structure as a result.

However, with support, determination and commitment, it is sometimes possible to break free from the cycle of addiction. These are some of the substance use disorders clinicians at Bayside Psychotherapy work with:

Feeling hurt, confused, or out of control? Has addiction taken over your life? Addictions, and the behaviours they cause and encourage, are diverse in nature and severity. They also do not occur in isolation. Addictions often have a negative impact on health, emotional well-being, concentration, and, most importantly, on the relationships with those we love.

Cannabis Addiction
Cocaine Addiction
Gambling Addiction
Internet Addiction
Pornography Addiction
Cigarette Addiction
Binge Drinking

Call us on (03) 9557 9113 or use our contact form to enquire. Or, if you are ready to have your first confidential appointment you can also book using our booking form for online appointments. Or, if you prefer, you can book for an in-clinic session.

Some people use Hypnosis Downloads as they may complement their therapy sessions.


Frequently Asked Questions

An addiction is a compulsive need for something and an inability to control its use despite adverse consequences. If you have an addiction, you cannot stop using or partaking in that activity, even though you want to.

The term addiction not only refers to the reliance on a substance such as cocaine or cannabis, it sometimes involves the inability to stop certain activities such as eating, gambling, and even using the internet. 

Many people don't realise that an addiction can be just as dangerous as a physical disease. Some studies show that the effects of chronic substance abuse can alter brain chemistry beyond repair, permanently damaging certain areas in the brain. 

It might sound strange to think that a substance-based addiction such as alcoholism can be compared to an infectious disease, but it's been proven that people with addictive tendencies have shown the same symptoms of conditions like brain damage. It may not be the drug itself causing the actual damage, but more so the process of withdrawing from said substances.

If you or someone If you or someone you know has an addiction, then get in touch with us today. Your call is completely confidential.

The usual signs of addiction that are most common are lack of control or inability to stay away from a substance or behaviour, less involvement in activities and pastimes, like abandoning commitments or ignoring relationships. Others include ignoring risk factors even though you know there are detrimental consequences. You may also find that you suffer from withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to stop. These may present themselves as physical withdrawal symptoms or mental ones such as depression and anxiety. 

If you have more than two of these symptoms, there's a good chance that you're addicted. Don't worry, there's the potential to get help!

Our team of experienced counsellors take an approach that focuses on you as an individual, and one which aims to help you to discover the factors underlying your addiction. We offer you a safe, supportive and non-judgmental environment for you to process and explore your inner world.

During your first session, you’ll be able to discuss your concerns, ask questions and decide if your therapist is right for you. The initial consultation may also provide your therapist with valuable insights into the issues involved in your addiction and what you’d like to achieve. In some cases, substance use difficulties may be managed by changing habitual thoughts and responses (for example, in the way of meditation); thereby potentially resolving the underlying causes of the behaviour naturally.

Each therapist at Bayside Psychotherapy can draw upon several counselling or hypnotherapy treatment approaches. Depending on your circumstances, your therapist might include one or a combination of humanistic person-centred therapies such as Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation exercises, existential therapy, psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, dream work, NLP, hypnotherapy treatment and other similar techniques.

Find out if we can potentially help you to control your addiction and regain your life. Call us on (03) 9557 9113 to book your confidential online or face-to-face appointment.

Note: This information is informative only and is not to be used for diagnosis or substitution of appropriate assessment and/or treatment by a registered practitioner. Information on this page and our entire site should not be construed as implying that our therapists are specialists in treating any condition whatsoever. While some of our therapists may have experience working with people suffering from a specific condition, not all of our therapists do. We do not guarantee any particular level of performance, cure or management of symptoms. Each case is unique and responds differently with collaboration between client and therapist being crucial. Always seek an appropriate assessment from a qualified professional such as a GP, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist or social worker especially if you are acutely distressed.


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Therapists who do online

  • Adam Szmerling
  • Carolina Selvarajoo
  • Humaira Ansari
  • Kelli Tranter
  • Lawrence Akers
  • Natalie Szmerling
  • Georgina Delamain

Therapists who do in-clinic

  • Adam Szmerling
  • Natalie Szmerling
  • Georgina Delamain