The Tiny Guide To Alcohol Addiction Counseling
Counseling an alcoholic requires us to necessarily apply the general principles to the specific problems. The first step in counseling is to build a good relationship with the client.
Listening is the most important technical tool which allows me to sense how the alcoholic feels about himself, others, and his problem.
It makes me understand his hopes, fears, and pain. Listening and responding with warm understanding serves to establish the first strands of the interpersonal bridge called "rapport" between me & the client.
As a counselor I should be able to stay on the alcoholic’s emotional wavelength, to strengthen the relationship and win his confidence.
The actual first interview may require more time than would be true in some other counseling. One must move slowly and work carefully in building the relationship.
There are various ways of staying close to the alcoholic’s ego. Not threatening him with a barrage of questions but rather responding to his painful feelings in an emphatic, as accepting way has an ego-supportive effect.
It is very important to remember that an alcoholic comes to me (counselor), because he wants desperately to unburden himself. So when the alcoholic pours out his painful feelings, three helpful things occur.
First, emotional unburdening takes place. This has value in itself, lightening his guilt load enough to free some of his previously paralyzed energies for use in coping.
Second, as I listen and resonate, the bond of rapport grows stronger.
Third, by avoiding getting in the way of the verbal-emotional flow, I acquire much of the relevant information which I need in order to understand the client’s problem. What I don’t obtain spontaneously, I can get by direct questions.
During the first contact with an alcoholic, it is essential to find out to what extent he is open to help and what kind of help he desires. In order to discover the nature of the alcoholic’s motivation, questions such as these arise in my mind.
What does he see as his problem? ( is drinking his problem or a solution).
Does he see it as a cause of his other problems or simply a way of gaining relief from them?
Does he feel that he needs help from others? (From me)
If so, what kind of help does he want? (Does he want someone to pacify his wife, intervene with his boss, help him learn to drink in moderation, or help him quit his drinking problem in whatever way is required?).
Why did he come for help now? ( If he had the problem for several years).
Was he threatened or dragged into coming by his spouse?
Is there some special crisis that puts him under acute pressure at the moment?
Is his primary motivation for coming external pressure or internal pressure?
Getting answers to these questions helps me gain a picture of the alcoholic’s reason for coming and the help he expects.
As a counselor I should encourage the alcoholic to talk about his drinking:-
When he drinks?
With whom he drinks?
How he feels?
What happens when he drinks?
Early in counseling, the alcoholic is usually defensive. He will not give any accurate or would rather give incomplete picture of both his drinking pattern and his feelings about drinking.
Here I should see that I don’t put too much pressure on him. There after, he may gradually reveal more of the truth as the relationship grows stronger.
There are numerous ways to treat an alcohol addiction. Alcohol rehab and counseling are two of the most common. Both have proven to be effective and can be offered separately or in concert.
There are three types of alcoholism counseling
Individual Counseling: In this sessions the addict will meet me (counselor) alone. This gives greater deal of privacy and thus, the addict opens up. In this type the client meets me on a regular basis as part of treatment.
These private, one-on-one sessions are designed to explore the root causes behind the individual’s addiction to alcohol. As I learn more about the “triggers” in the individual’s life that brings out this behavior, I will be able to develop life-strategies designed to help the recovering alcoholic lead a sober life.
Group Counseling: As the name tells us, this will involve the entire group. Individuals may initially find this setting to be intimidating. It can difficult to open up and reveal what a person may consider to be embarrassing information to people who are strangers.
But as time goes, people become more honest and transparent, group counseling turns out to be very effective and helpful for those willing to make an honest effort to get something out of it.
As a counselor I am involved with several men and women enrolled in the treatment program. During these sessions, individuals go around the room and talk about their experiences with drugs and alcohol.
This shared experience helps individuals understand that they are not alone in their struggles – and that there are people willing to be a support structure for them in their ongoing fight against alcohol addiction.
Family Counseling: To help family members heal relationship that were damaged as a result of alcoholism, there is family counseling.
The alcoholic is not the only one to suffer, often, the individual’s family bears the brunt of alcoholism just as much as the problem drinker.
The family counseling sessions are a chance for the loved ones of the recovering addict to get some things off of their chest.
An open honest talk about the problems brings closure to the present situation and allows them to start a new chapter in the family’s life.
Each of these counseling methods helps the individual overcome their psychological addiction to alcohol – and provides a number of life-skills needed to maintain sobriety in the weeks, months and years following treatment.
Life Enrichment. Personality Development. Etc.
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