Alcohol-Related Issues

Alcoholism affects millions of people worldwide. With almost 25 years of experience as a therapist, I can easily say that alcoholism has been the biggest problem and harm in the relationships I’ve worked with. It’s crucial for potential clients seeking therapy or their loved ones seeking therapy to understand the nature of alcoholism, its profound impact on various aspects of life, and the ways in which therapy can pave the path to recovery.

Understanding Alcoholism

Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, is characterized by an individual’s inability to control or stop their drinking despite its detrimental effects on their health and well-being. It transcends beyond occasional social drinking and becomes a compulsive need, leading to physical and psychological dependence. Being an alcoholic doesn’t have to mean a person drinks daily and lives on the streets as we often picture the stereotype. An alcoholic can be highly successful in their career, be prominent in their community, and drink sporadically.

The Negative Impact

Alcoholism usually has a negative impact on every facet of a person’s life. Physically, it takes a big toll on the body, but these manifestations may not become apparent until severe and when the person is a bit older. Common physical consequences of alcoholism include liver damage, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and neurological impairment.

Beyond the physical realm, the repercussions extend to relationships, where trust is eroded, priorities are misplaced, communication breaks down, and emotional connections fray. Often the partner or spouse of the alcoholic is engaged in a codependent relationship dynamic where he or she picks up the pieces left by the alcoholic, tries to “fix” the alcoholic, and consequently put their needs aside in hoping the alcoholic will change.

Employment and financial stability are eventually compromised as the individual moves deeper into their addiction. The negative impact reverberates across personal, social, and professional spheres, creating a complex web that’s difficult to untangle.

Therapeutic Approaches to Alcoholism

Therapy can serve as hope for individuals struggling with alcoholism. Various therapeutic approaches are tailored to address the multifaceted nature of alcohol use disorder. The following are some, but not all, of the therapeutic approaches I utilize when working with people struggling with alcoholism.

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps individuals identify and modify unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns associated with alcohol use.
  • Existential Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Reality Therapy can help empower individuals to find their intrinsic motivation to change, find deeper meaning and purpose to life, and commit to leading healthier lifestyle.
  • Mindfulness Based Therapies can help clients cope with depression and anxiety that are usually present when a person begins their journey of recovery and helps calm the central nervous system.
  • Couples therapy and Systemic Therapy are instrumental in rebuilding strained relationships and addressing any family of origin issues that may have played a part in the person’s desire to drink.

I also strongly suggest finding a supportive and comfortable AA group to attend and obtaining a sponsor. I have consistently seen the best outcome arise from the combination of therapy and Alcoholics Anonymous. It provides a community based support system, a lineage of success, and tried and true path.

How Therapy Can Help

In therapy, individuals can explore the root causes of their alcoholism, uncovering underlying issues that may have contributed to their dependence on alcohol. Therapy provides a safe space for self-reflection, allowing individuals to confront and process emotions that may have influenced using alcohol as a coping mechanism. Additionally, I work collaboratively with clients to develop coping strategies and relapse prevention techniques, empowering them to navigate life’s challenges without resorting to alcohol.

Therapy also plays a pivotal role in addressing coexisting issues that often accompany alcoholism. Anxiety, depression, and trauma can intertwine with alcohol use disorder, exacerbating the complexity of the situation. By addressing underlying symptoms and experiences, counseling can help individuals build a solid foundation for sustainable recovery.

Recovery is certainly not easy, but it’s very possible. With the right support and therapeutic interventions, anyone can embark on a journey of recovery. Good therapy offers a personalized and holistic approach to address the physical, emotional, and social dimensions of alcoholism. By seeking help, individuals take the first step towards reclaiming their lives, rebuilding relationships, and embracing a future free from the chains of alcoholism.

Get Started Today

I offer individual counseling, couples therapy and premarital counseling. The issues I work with are diverse and range from problems arising from sudden circumstantial changes to long standing and complex struggles. My approach to counseling is varied since individual needs and circumstances inform the methods I use. I don’t approach any two people the same and personalize my methods for each situation and client. Click the button below to book a session and we can begin your journey to rediscovery.

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