The control / release cycle is talked about in John Bradshaw’s excellent book ‘Healing The Shame That Binds You’.

The control / release cycle is this: a period of rigid control and boundaries around an area of your life – stringent dieting and exercise for example, followed by a period of release – when you fall into a ‘binge’ pattern: eat all of the foods you forbade yourself in the ‘control’ period and avoid the gym like the plague!

The control / release cycle means you either have total control ‘compulsivity’ or you have no control ‘addiction’, they are interconnected and set each other up as the more intensely you control, the more you require the balance of release and the more you self destructively release (undoing all your hard work) the more intensely you require control and so on.

If there are feelings of low self-esteem, shame and self-punishment from childhood underneath the control / release cycle it seems to intensify both sides of the tension: extreme control followed by extreme release.

We can see this dynamic in any kinds of addiction. I have seen this dynamic, to lesser or greater extent, present in clients I have worked with, who have struggled with weight loss, food addiction and eating disorder issues for many years before coming to the clinic.  I’ll often work with sugar addicts who bounce ferociously between juice cleanses and the biscuit tin!

If you recognise the above and are exhausted by the yo-yoing in your habits and life, get in contact with us now for a chat on how we can help you to resolve what’s driving this and enable you to find a more peaceful way forward.

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About Zoë Clews

Zoë Clews is the founder of Zoë Clews & Associates and is one of the most successful and sought-after hypnotherapists working in the UK today. She has spent the last 17 years providing exclusive, highly-effective hypnotherapy treatment to a clientele that includes figures in the public eye, high net worth individuals and professionals at the top of their careers. An expert in all forms of hypnotherapy treatment, Zoë is a specialist in issues relating to anxiety, trauma, self-esteem and confidence. She works with nine Associates who are experts in their own fields and handpicked for their experience and track records of success, providing treatment for an extensive range of conditions that include addiction, weight loss, eating disorders, relationships, love and sex, children’s issues, fertility problems, phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and sleep issues.  She takes inspiration from her own emotional journey and works with both individuals and blue-chip corporates who want to provide mindfulness support for their people either on a regular or occasional basis, or as part of an employee benefit scheme.