What is Alcohol Counselling?

Alcohol counselling aims to tackle the emotional causes of alcoholism. Addiction is classified as a ‘disease of the brain’ and alcohol counselling is thus an essential element of addiction recovery. Alcohol counselling sessions will be supervised by a counsellor. This person will provide the essential support and guidance that’s needed to achieve and then sustain your recovery.

Alcohol counselling is available via both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment clinics. Many inpatient rehabs will offer alcohol counselling both during residential treatment and then as a form of follow up treatment once you return home. Follow up treatment is also known as aftercare.

We feel that it’s key to receive alcohol counselling once you have left a rehab clinic. Alcohol counselling in the form of aftercare help you sustain your recovery for the long term. We also recommend that you combine outpatient alcohol counselling with support groups offered via Alcoholics Anonymous and SMART Recovery.

Alcohol counselling also helps you identify and control addiction triggers. Controlling triggers helps you to avoid relapse and thus sustain your recovery for a longer and happier life.

The role of an alcohol counsellor

It’s difficult to define the exact duties conducted by an alcohol counsellor because all treatment programmes are bespoke to your needs. Generally, an alcohol counsellor will meet with you to provide the following:

  • Listening to your issues and helping you identify why you are abusing alcohol
  • Help to develop a structured recovery process that’s personalised to your needs
  • Uncover emotional triggers that are causing your alcoholism
  • Educate you on techniques that help sustain your recovery
  • Assess your progress in following this agreed process
  • Offer you encouragement and motivation to help you succeed in your recovery

You will undertake many meetings with an alcohol counsellor during your early recovery. The number of meetings that take place will be tapered down over weeks and months as you become more confident in your recovery.

How to select an alcohol counsellor based on your needs

Selecting the right alcohol counsellor helps you to get your recovery off to the best possible start. It’s important to select a counsellor that specialises in treating alcoholism. Many counsellors may mention they treat addiction, but we recommend that you seek out a counsellor that specialises in alcoholism as his or her primary offering.

It’s also important to consider whether you hold a preference as to the counsellor’s gender. If you are a woman who has been abused by men, it may be a good idea to seek out the services of a female alcohol counsellor. Remember, a counsellor will discuss your most intermate experiences, and so it’s important that you feel as comfortable as possible during this process.

Before you contact a counsellor, it’s important to check this person holds the correct qualifications. You can conduct a search on the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Practitioners’ (FDAP) website for this purpose.

Before you engage a counsellor’s services, we recommend that you query which types of counselling treatments he or she advocates. Common evidence-based treatments include cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy and psychotherapy.

What types of therapies are used by alcohol counsellors?

Today there exist many diverse types of therapies for treating alcoholism. Each alcohol counsellor will tend to favour certain therapies over others. Again, it’s important to discuss prospective counsellors’ approach before you engage their services.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

One of the most common forms of addiction therapies is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT seeks to eliminate destructive thought patterns and help you realise that your emotions are linked to your thoughts. CBT helps to alter your thoughts so that negative emotions are not allowed to arise in the first place. CBT takes time to implement, and patience in the process is key.

Holistic Therapies

Holistic therapies have gain popularity amongst alcohol counsellors over the last decade. Holistic therapies help promote a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Some common forms of holistic therapies include mindfulness, reflexology, acupuncture and yoga. It is thought that living a healthier and balanced life is conducive to addiction recovery. We would generally agree with this line of reasoning.

Dual-diagnosis therapy

Dual-diagnosis therapy aims to treat mental illnesses that commonly co-occur with alcoholism. These illnesses commonly include anxiety, depression and post-traumatic-stress-disorder. People affected with alcoholism are known to abuse alcohol as a means of self-medicating the symptoms of mental health problems.

How might I benefit from alcohol counselling?

It’s true that alcohol counselling has many benefits for people looking to embrace their recovery. The primary benefit of alcohol counselling is that you will develop a toolset that will better prepare you for life’s twists and turns. Whilst you have become accustomed to relying on alcohol to solve all your problems, alcohol counselling will give you the power to internally navigate negative emotions so that your automatic response to stress is no longer merely about reaching for the bottle.

During the course of alcohol counselling sessions, you will set up several goals that help to support your recovery. One of these goals will be to control the urge to drink alcohol. You will also be given a sober date, and you will actively work to sustain your recovery from one sober date to another.

An alcohol counsellor will help you identify each of your addiction triggers. These triggers exist to encourage the urge to drink alcohol. Identifying addiction triggers will give you the option to react to ensure you do not relapse.

Finding an alcohol counsellor near me

To locate an alcohol counsellor in your local area, contact Rehab 4 Alcoholism today on 0800 111 4108. We maintain a large database of alcohol counsellors across the UK, and we are able to advise on the most suitable alcohol counsellor in your local area.

We recommend that you read through the above questions and answers carefully. If you require further information, contact our advisors today and for free on 0800 111 4108.  Alternatively, you may also contact us through this website and a member of our team will respond shortly.