Core-Beliefs in Addiction

Core Beliefs

Below is a list of common negative core beliefs, tick the ones you can identify with.


Addict’s beliefs

  • I can’t live without it — Getting high is my most important need
  • I am weak — I must avoid pain at all costs
  • I need it — It helps me — There’s something wrong with me
  • I don’t have any choice — I can’t say no
  • I will never get better – Addiction is a chronic disease



  • I can’t trust anyone – People are untrustworthy
  • I have to be alert for danger at all times — The world is an unsafe place
  • I am afraid — I should not be afraid
  • Bad things I have done are unforgivable — People don’t trust me
  • No one will protect me — Others will always let me down



  • I am Helpless – My unhappiness is caused by things outside my control
  • I need to be in control — My life is out of control
  • I am a victim – no one cares about me — life isn’t fair
  • I can’t change – I am trapped
  • I can’t cope — Life is full of stress and overload


Low self esteem

  • I am disrespected
  • I have nothing to offer – others won’t like me
  • I am inadequate, ineffective, and incompetent



  • I am unwanted
  • I don’t fit in
  • I am all alone – No one cares about me


Not good enough

  • I am unlovable, and worthless – I don’t like myself
  • I am stupid – I must never get anything wrong
  • I am guilty, it’s always my fault —
  • I’m unimportant………. if I don’t get my way
  • I’m weak or a loser………. If I don’t defend myself



  • I am a fraud — If you really knew me you wouldn’t like me
  • I am confused – I don’t know who I really am
  • I am lost – There is something wrong with me/the world
  • I am a loser
  • I am unattractive – I don’t like how I look
  • Past events have ruined my chance to be happy


People pleasing

  • I must please people in order for them to like me
  • Arguing is wrong — People should always get along
  • I’ll never live up to my parents expectations – I must have their approval


Thoughts of entitlement

  • Things must be the way I want them – Life should be fair
  • I should always get what I want — The world owes me a living
  • I should be able to release all my anger


Generalizations and distortions

  • My needs are not going to be met if I have to depend on others
  • People are evil, greedy, out to get me
  • I won’t succeed so why bother trying



  • I must be perfect – If things don’t go perfectly it’s a disaster
  • I have to have all the answers – Things are either right or wrong
  • I’m better than others — My way is the best
  • Every problem should have an ideal solution

Published by Dylan Kerr BA ACAT FDAP DipHE MBABCP

Mr Dylan Kerr Addictions Counselor Bachelors in Clinical Counseling (Hons) Advanced Certified Addictions Therapist Member of the British Association for Behaviour and Cognitive Psychotherapist Member of the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Practitioners HeDip Health-care HeDip Psychology of Addiction Dip Counselling Diploma in Arts Therapy Diploma in Transactional Analysis CSAT III Dylan Kerr is a Certified Substance Abuse Therapist who is qualified in Counseling, Psychology of addiction from Leeds University and Healthcare from Birmingham City University. Dylan Kerr has been a senior Therapist at the River Rehab, Lead Therapist at Lanna Rehab in Chiang Mai and Head Counselor of Hope Rehab in Siracha. As well as working in Thailand for 7 years, Dylan has also been the on-tour counsellor for the the Rock band ‘The Libertines’. Dylan is now resident counsellor at an Asian rehab. Dylan has experience of working within the music industry supporting acts in therapeutic needs. As well as working around the world Dylan has over 13 years experience delivering substance use disorder treatment at various agencies around the UK. He is skilled in motivational interviewing, CBT, RET and guidance around 12 step philosophies. Dylan has worked with a broad client base and establish the rapport needed to effect change and sustainable progression. Dylan wishes to start this blog to help educate people on his observations within this field and debate the nature of work in the addictions field.

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