In an every increasing busy world, full of excessive demands and less time to complete them, it is understandable that there is a strong urge to escape. Healthy forms of self-nurture, which also bring some form of escape from demands, include; listening to music, reading, sports, shopping (balanced!) and enjoying a glass of wine in the company of friends and family.
In times of pressure or if there is a history of alcohol abuse within a family or group of friends, alcohol as a form of escape can become the problem itself. When alcohol becomes a source of escape for an unfulfilled life it also carries the potential to become addictive.
Misusing alcohol may include:
Binge drinking – increasing volumes of drink over a short period of time, e.g. excessive drink in an evening or weekend
Addictive drinking – having an ever-increasing compulsive urge to consume more alcohol.
Both affect relationships and can impact negatively on professional roles as well as physical and psychological health. In general, binge drinkers and alcoholics believe that they can control their drinking amounts but usually can’t. It can also lead to or deepen feelings of depression, shame and anxiety.
Alcohol misuse is defined as a type of drinking that has resulted in one or more of the following occurring in the past 12 months:
- Continued drinking despite those close to individual, expressing concern about drinking. Drinking contributing to relationship problems
- Failing to fulfill expected responsibilities relating to work, college or home
- Driving whilst under the influence of alcohol
- Having recurring problems because of alcohol e.g being arrested or being verbally or physically abusive whilst drunk
Online CBT & Mindfulness Counselling is suitable for people who wish to establish and maintain healthier, social and personal drinking patterns.
- Online Counselling is not suitable for individuals in active alcohol addiction. It is recommended that you make an appointment with your GP if you think you may have an alcohol addiction. You could also source an alcohol addiction treatment programme or AA support group in your area
- CBT works with the client to identify ‘risky situations’ and how to manage them
- Integrates Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction to manage and overcome stress and recognize unhelpful reactions to stress
- Establish therapeutic goals relating to alcohol. Cost/benefit analysis to continuing behaviours
- Establishes ways to observe the urge to drink more and establish healthier thinking patterns to support therapeutic goals. Rather than, “I deserve this as I’ve worked hard” (entitlement thinking), replacing it with, “I deserve to take care of myself because I’ve worked hard and will feel better if I do not self-sabotage myself”
- Replacing faulty thinking patterns with more self-supportive thinking with thought records
- Identifying triggers for distress and establishing coping skills
- Build on benefits achieved from moderate drinking
- Overcoming other emotional and psychological issues such as depression, anger management/resentment (past and present), social anxiety to support a reduction in self-defeating behaviours
- Increasing self-confidence and self nurturing behaviours