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Overview

There are various treatment approaches that can help a person with alcohol addiction, such as –

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This type of psychotherapy focuses on identifying negative thoughts and behaviours and replacing them with positive ones. It focuses more on constructive action rather than diagnosis in the form of challenging unhealthy beliefs, role playing to enhance social interactions, confronting fears, thinking of strategies to stop alcohol use, etc. CBT can start to show its effectiveness in as less as 5 sessions.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). DBT has been shown to be effective for people with alcohol addiction. DBT focuses on teaching people to live in the present instead of focusing on the past, practice honest communication, and manage distress and emotions. The method tries to synthesize change and acceptance of the past in order to create a better life.

Motivational Interviewing (MI). MI is a treatment approach, often incorporated with other therapies, that helps overcome ambivalence to change, set goals for self-improvement, and stick to making the changes. Thus, it can be used to help a person with alcohol addiction stay committed to quitting alcohol.

The 12-Step Program. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a 12-step program specifically for those with alcohol addiction, which acts as a good conjunct in addition to individual therapy for an alcohol addict. It provides mutual support, feeling of importance and connection with others, and involves keeping each other accountable to remain sober. It has been shown effective in helping people achieve long term sobriety.

Other methods. Yoga and meditation can aid recovery as they can help manage cravings and stay focused during the recovery phase. Art and music therapy can also help recovery as it can help people feel relaxed, express themselves, and also alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression – which are two mental health conditions that people with alcoholism often struggle with.
EXPERT TALKS

Addiction Psychiatry: What is it and how can it help you?

PATIENTS RECOVERY STORIES

Living with Addictions and Overcoming Them: Survivor Stories

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How effective is Psychotherapy for Alcohol Addiction?

Psychotherapy is an effective tool for combating alcohol addiction as it helps those with alcoholism craft ways to avoid alcohol use, improve their distress tolerance and emotional regulation, and help them deal with other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression which may be contributing to their alcohol use.

What are the benefits of Psychotherapy for Alcohol Addiction?

Psychotherapy helps a person with alcohol addiction –

  • Learn to manage their triggers to avoid alcohol use,
  • Learn healthy ways to cope with their emotional distress other than using alcohol,
  • Improve social interactions with others that aids the recovery process,
  • Learn what methods work that helps sustain long term abstinence,
  • Stay focused on recovery.

How many numbers of sessions are required?

It differs from person-to-person as each individual is unique and have different factors contributing to their alcohol addiction.