Alcoholism is a term which literally means an addiction to ethanol or alcohol. It is an obsessive compulsive disorder where a person consumes alcoholic beverages in excess.
The first and the foremost step for getting cured of alcoholism is the self-acceptance of the problem by the alcoholics. These people are prone to convince themselves that they are not suffering from any such problem or they stay in denial stage. It is possible that such addicts run away by forming different kind of excuses or even by saying that they will do all that takes then can to fight this condition. Some of the phrases they might say are:
- Drinking before 10 in the morning isn’t counted in any case
- There are others in the bar drinking just as much as I do
- Addiction can be anything. In my case it’s alcohol
- Since there isn’t any chance of getting better, I will drink again
- I can always give up tomorrow if I don’t stop now
- The other might get sick, but I will never get sick due to my strong immunity
That’s how an alcoholic justifies his/her actions. But these also inflict the same amount of damage on him and are equally unhealthy for the person.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment of alcoholism dealing with the thinking pattern and the related behavior of the alcoholics. It attacks the psychological ties of the alcoholics to the alcohol and therefore tries to slowly de-addict the person. The understanding and finding the solution of the alcoholics, the causes to their drinking habits form the main constituents of this kind of therapy. The addicts slowly learn the motivational factor to de-addiction and therefore, they can counter their problems more easily without looking forward to alcohol. There are book counseling sessions and professionals who can help the required in these cases.
What to look for in a counselor/psychotherapist?
There are no laws on how a counselor can be. But the counselors have themselves a required level of training to work in the environment of alcohol addiction. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has put together some clinical guidelines which mention a bit of the necessities of a psychological treatment, meditational treatment, treatment with medication and the required services for an alcohol addiction.
Some recommendations for the alcoholics by NICE are as follows:
- Planned withdrawal, thus helping the people to stop drinking safely
- Treatment psychologically with medicines, thus helping the addicts to stay alcohol free of reduced drinking to a much less harmful level.
Even mild alcohol dependence is needed psychological treatment. This should specially focus on the problem with alcohol, its effects on the thought process, relationships and general behavior. If the psychological treatment fails, medication might be administered at the same time.
For the youngsters and the children suffering with this problem, NICE recommends a psychological treatment called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which subsequently helps stoppage of drinking and staying alcohol free and healthy in the future.
Please refer the full NICE guidelines for more and further information.