Choosing to stop using alcohol in unhealthy ways

Many people use alcohol to help deal with stress or difficulties in their lives or to numb the pain they are experiencing. It can be an effective way of feeling better or at least getting some relief. However, once drinking becomes routine, it is quite easy to drink more each time and end up with a dependency. And then you are no longer in control of how much you are drinking. You may feel the need, or others may be advising you, to cut down. That's the difficult part. If this is a challenge too far, then try psychotherapy with me. Here is a summary of my work with one client, who I will call "Monty" (removing or changing any identifying details for the sake of confidentiality).

Monty was forced to stop drinking when he was rushed to hospital with an alcohol-related illness. He came to me for help after his discharge in order to stay off the booze. In exploring his drinking habits with me, he realised that he had started to rely on whisky in order to deal with the sudden death of his father by suicide. I allowed him to express the grief and complex feelings he had been holding in the background and in psychotherapy sessions with me he found he could accept his feelings and think about his father without experiencing the overwhelming sense of sadness and anger. Monty learned healthier ways of soothing himself and now is content to just have a couple of beers when out with his mates or an occasional glass of wine with a meal. He is back in control of his drinking and feeling good about that.

Some people who have alcohol issues feel the need to give up drinking completely and others, like Monty, just want to get back in control. Whichever goal is right for you, I can help you to achieve it.

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© Gill Sweeting