Considering the theory underpinning her practice with people who use drugs or alcohol, Cameron (in press) states that personcentred theory admits no drive towards atrophy or selfdestruction but the effects of excessive use of an addictive substance can lead to the conclusion that the actualising tendency cannot be at work in someone so self-damaging. However, the opposite is true. Rogers (proposition XII, 1951: 507) discusses how some needs are denied symbolisation in awareness if incompatible with the self-concept. The next proposition (1951: 509) implies that sometimes we ®nd ourselves doing something we think we shouldn't, or can't, and then saying, and believing, that `it wasn't me', or `something took me over'. The `something' was the actualising tendency pressing to meet an organismic need. Alcohol and other mood-altering drugs facilitate this process.