Ambivalence can be defined as having mixed or opposite feelings. This internal conflict is evident in people addicted to alcohol or other drugs in that they vacillate between sensing a need for treatment and feeling like they can handle it alone. Ambivalence refers to having mixed feelings or contradictory thoughts about something. In the context of rehabs and addiction treatment, ambivalence often arises when individuals are not sure if they want to change their addictive behaviour or continue with their current lifestyle.

In the addiction recovery community, ambivalence is recognised as a common and normal part of the recovery process. It is completely normal to feel conflicted about giving up substances or behaviors that have provided comfort or escape. You may have a desire to change your life for the better but also feel fearful or uncertain about what lies ahead.

Causes of Ambivalence in Addiction

Ambivalence towards change, especially in the context of addiction, stems from the fear of losing the pleasure and enjoyment associated with drug use. This state is reinforced by both the drug’s primary effects and social factors that make use enjoyable, despite potential consequences. Early abstinence further fuels ambivalence through physiological cravings caused by the brain’s adjustment to the absence of drugs, leading to discomfort and a desire to use again to feel normal.

Addressing this ambivalence is fundamental for motivating individuals to move towards action and change. Traditional strategies for increasing motivation involved education, confrontation or punishment, while newer methods focus on motivational interviewing and enhancement techniques. These aim to reduce resistance by helping individuals weigh the pros and cons of their behaviour, facilitating a shift from ambivalence to action through value clarification and self-reflection.

Acknowledging and addressing ambivalence is key in addiction treatment. Recognising that these conflicting feelings are normal helps you understand that you are not alone in your struggle. Many people experience ambivalence and it does not mean you are weak or lacking willpower.

Therapists and counsellors in rehabs often work with individuals to explore the underlying reasons for ambivalence and help them gain a clearer understanding of their motivations. They guide you in recognising the negative consequences of addiction while identifying the potential benefits of recovery. By exploring both sides of the ambivalence, you can make a more informed decision about pursuing a healthier and happier life.

Over the years, the addiction recovery community has recognised the significance of ambivalence in the recovery process. Treatment programs have incorporated strategies and techniques to address and overcome this ambivalence, enhance motivation and create long-term recovery.

    Addiction & Mental Health

    Treatment Services

    View More

    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

    Scroll to top
    Call Us Now