Alcohol Abuse Counseling
Is Alcohol Negatively Impacting Your Life?
Do you use alcohol to cope with stress, avoid certain feelings or simply check out or reward yourself at the end of the day? Has your partner, other family members, friends or even colleagues expressed concern over how much or often you drink? Perhaps binge drinking, drinking more than you anticipated and/or hangovers are impacting your job performance, causing you to miss important events and creating tension in your close relationships. It might be that excessive drinking has created financial, legal or health problems, and you know that you need to stop—or at least cut down on—drinking, but struggle to do so. Do broken commitments or bad decisions made under the influence cause you regret, guilt and shame? Do you wish you could feel confident in and comfortable with your relationship with alcohol and stop it from having adverse impacts on your life?
If what started as casual use has become a regular habit or ritual, you may be wondering if you have a drinking problem. Or, you may believe that you have your drinking under control, but your partner or close family members insist that you’re drinking too much. Maybe you’re experiencing tension, added stress and conflict at home, and you’ve begun hiding or lying about the amount you drink. It might be that questions about your personal or professional worth, changes in your relationships, intimacy issues with your spouse or financial concerns are adding to feelings of stress and uncertainty, and you turn to alcohol to relax, feel energized or numb out. Does it lighten your mood? Does it help you sleep? Maybe it’s taking more and more drinks for you to feel a buzz. Or perhaps you’ve promised yourself and/or others that you’ll cut back, but two drinks have turned into much more on too many occasions. It might even be that you’re drinking until either the alcohol is gone or you pass out, causing you to wake up foggy, trying to piece together the events of the previous night. Regardless of your drinking patterns, is it becoming increasingly obvious that your alcohol use is negatively impacting your life, and likely in more ways than one?
Alcohol Use, Abuse And Addiction Is Extremely Common In Our Culture
If you’re concerned that you or a loved one is drinking too much, you are not alone. Alcohol use is ubiquitous in our culture, and statistics show that 30 percent of American men and women will be treated for some form of alcohol dependence in their lifetimes, with millions more with alcohol issues never receiving alcohol treatment. It can be hard for people to admit that they have a problem, especially when alcohol is widely attainable and its use is socially accepted, or even expected. Furthermore, no one likes to feel uncomfortable, and drinking alcohol makes socializing a little easier, increases confidence, numbs distress and can help us to feel more energized and interesting. For many, it provides a break from the stresses of everyday life.
The problem, however, is that for many people, normal use can quickly turn into abuse and even addiction. What was once a couple of drinks just once or twice a week to take the edge off may now be many more than a few drinks most, if not all, nights of the week. The alcohol use that once helped you relax and forget about the stresses in your life may now be not only aggravating issues, but also creating more stress and problems with career, relationship, finances, etc.
The good news is that we’re all here to learn lessons. If the same issues are coming up over and over, you’re being given a clear message that something in your life needs to change. And, that change might begin by looking at how much or how often you drink. A skilled, experienced and understanding alcohol counselor can help you figure out why you’re drinking, understand and cope with stress triggers and start making the changes needed to help you live the life you want.
Alcohol Abuse Counseling Can Provide You With Support, Guidance And An Empowered Path Forward
Change begins with and comes from you. If you’re willing to self-explore and are motivated to affect change in your life, alcohol counseling can be extremely effective. With the help of an experienced, licensed therapist who will listen without judgment, you can get to the underbelly of your use or abuse, create manageable goals and start affecting meaningful change in your life.
In confidential, safe alcohol counseling sessions, we’ll begin by looking at the presenting problem—what exactly brings you into therapy. This could be anything from drinking one day after years of sobriety, legal and/or financial concerns or a partner’s threat to leave you if you don’t seek help. It may also be that the presenting problem isn’t solely about alcohol, which may be the case if you’re drinking to manage symptoms of trauma, anxiety or depression. Once we’re clear on the presenting problem, we’ll collaboratively explore the triggers, root causes, unresolved trauma, family of origin issues and environmental factors that may be contributing to your overuse. We can also discuss what you’ve tried thus far to mitigate how much or often you drink, building on strengths and creating a plan that helps you reach your goals.
Throughout our work together, we’ll move at a pace that feels comfortable for you, and I will not press you to delve into certain feelings or past issues until you are ready, if at all. However, if you want to explore your past, this is safe space for you to do so and find relief. The strategies we develop and the structure of our sessions are driven 100 percent by you, and it’s my role to help you figure out where you want to be, set manageable goals, track progress, tweak strategies and celebrate successes.
No matter how alcohol is impacting your life right now and whether you want to cut back or cut out drinking completely, it is possible to gain the insight and tools needed to affect positive change in your life. I believe that there is a solution to every problem, and that when we shift how we look at a situation, the situation inevitably changes. I’ve been helping people take proactive steps to gain control over their alcohol use and overall lives for over a decade and know both personally and professionally how challenging dealing with alcohol and substance abuse issues can be. However, I also know that what you think about and put your energy toward is what you manifest. It is possible to create your own story about where you want to go and take actionable steps to get there.
You still may have questions or concerns about alcohol abuse treatment…
I don’t want to go into past issues and trauma.
While your life experiences inform where and who you are today, there is no need for us to delve into past trauma until you’re ready to, if ever at all. Sessions with me are your time. We go where you want to go, explore what you want to explore and move at a pace that feels comfortable to you. If the past is off the table, we can still focus on specific problems in your life today and come up with goals and strategies that can help you embark on an empowered path into the future.
I’m only doing alcohol abuse counseling because I’m being forced to.
If that’s what it is, that’s what it is. And whether a partner, family member or a court is mandating that you do therapy, the experience will be what you make of it. I firmly believe that regardless of what gets you here, there is always something to be learned in therapy. This is your time, and we can talk about and work through anything that is coming up for you, be it relationship, financial, career or other stress related issues. Our sessions are confidential. And, you may even find yourself surprised by how much you get out of and enjoy sessions. I’ve had clients decide to continue engaging in therapy even after they no longer feel forced to.
I’ve been to AA meetings and really dislike them. Do you use a 12-step format?
12-step programs, while helpful for some, are definitely not for everyone. While AA meetings are group based and peer supported, therapy is different in that it is one-on-one and geared specifically to what you need. I take a positive, therapeutic approach to alcohol counseling. It’s my job to offer guidance and support and not tell you what to do or how to do it. That’s up to you. But, I will be here to help you learn and grow from mistakes, celebrate successes and track progress as you move toward your version of success.
Be The Change You Wish To See In Your World
If you’re struggling with alcohol issues and seeking therapy in Mattituck, NY or the surrounding area, I invite you to call my office at 613-714-2634 for a free consultation. I’m happy to discuss your specific situation and decide if we’d be a good fit, as well as answer any questions you have about alcohol abuse counseling, problem drinking and my practice.