Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Jenny Rees Davies MBACP (Snr Accred), UKRC, Post Grad Dip Couns
9th July, 2009
The thought of actually stopping drinking can be quite daunting, but is not necessarily the only course of action.
Most people are aware of the abstinence-based model where problem drinking is classed as a disease and abstinence the only solution; the disease, called ‘alcoholism’ means the ‘alcoholic’ can never drink again.
If a person has become physically dependent on alcohol (around 80 – 120 units of alcohol a week), of course it is advisable to aim for a period of abstinence. However, an alternative approach for people who might want change without necessarily giving up altogether is to reduce or control their drinking - the controlled drinking model.
The controlled drinking model dismantles the conventional view of alcoholism and accepts that anyone can develop a drinking problem. If the process of cutting down proves difficult, counselling can help by getting the client to identify the triggers to their drinking; to manage their stress better, and to explore other changes they might make in their lives to help them reduce their alcohol intake.
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