Taking Control of Alcohol Use with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Men and women who have been battling problems with excessive alcohol drinking and cannot seem to stop may find a certain type of psychological therapy helpful. Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, has shown remarkable results for people who want to get control of their alcohol use. A centre for rehab in Portsmouth that provides this therapy can be of major benefit for those who are ready to quit. It helps them start the path to recovery and prevents relapse.
Some men and women have been drinking daily for a long time and have been unable to stop or moderate this behaviour. Others have experienced intermittent success with quitting or moderating but always return to their unhealthy drinking habits. These individuals decide to participate in rehab when they finally become frustrated or discouraged enough with the problems that alcohol abuse causes.
During CBT, rehab patients learn to identify triggers that entice them to consume intoxicating beverages. They learn how to manage temptations. This is crucial since relapsing is relatively common after people have stopped drinking for a while.
The therapist works with clients to identify aspects connected with the compulsion to drink. For instance, patients learn to identify irrational or destructive thoughts that lead to drinking. A person may have previously established parameters for moderate usage or abstention and repeatedly broken those goals. Understanding what makes drinking feel like such a positive experience allows the patient to dismantle those emotions and be more realistic about alcohol’s negative effects.
Developing a Plan
A plan is developed to address environments and situations that are triggers. Ideally, patients will avoid situations that have led to compulsive feelings in the past. This can be a challenge, though. For many people, regular everyday occurrences are triggers. Some individuals always stop at a favorite bar after work, for example. Drinking may be tied in with watching TV at night. A long-term habit can be definitively connected with a specific time of day, and a time of day cannot be avoided. Creating a plan for other activities is essential.
Preventing Craving and Relapse
Clients also learn how to identify the initial moment of craving and perform the actions necessary to prevent it from becoming overwhelming. Cognitive techniques help this individual work through cravings. Often, relapse occurs simply because of a stressful day. The person essentially decides that drinking is acceptable because of the negative incidents he or she has experienced.
Resisting peer pressure is essential if the person’s social life has revolved around alcohol. Sometimes this means minimizing contact with friends and relatives who encourage this person to keep drinking.
After the rehab program is complete, clients can continue scheduling appointments with the therapist as needed. For instance, if a person knows that a stressful time is approaching, therapy sessions strongly support the goal of abstention. Also, people in recovery may want to schedule an appointment before the type of event at which they would usually drink. It is unrealistic to avoid all important social events where alcohol is available.