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Exploring The Different Types of Therapy for Alcohol Addiction

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Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV.

Exploring The Different Types of Therapy for Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a widespread issue that affects individuals and families across the world. Alcohol consumption is widely accepted in the UK - however, alcohol abuse and addiction can have huge impacts on your physical and mental health.

Alcoholism can be difficult to overcome without addiction treatment. Therapy can be effective in treating alcohol addiction, and dealing with the psychological and social aspects of addiction. Therapy follows detoxification, which addresses physical alcohol dependence.

Therapy is generally completed after the withdrawal symptoms have peaked, and you have successfully detoxed from alcohol.

But what are the main types of therapy for alcohol addiction? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this blog post. Read on for some of the key types of therapy used to treat alcohol addiction, from CBT to online support.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy, often referred to as CBT, is a widely used approach in treating alcohol addiction. It is one of the most commonly used types of treatment for alcohol addiction.

Behavioural treatments and talking therapies are used to treat a wide range of mental health issues. This therapy focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviours related to drinking.

CBT can help you recognise triggers that lead to alcohol use and develop healthier coping strategies. These strategies can also be used to prevent and manage relapse.

During CBT sessions, you will work closely with a therapist to challenge irrational beliefs and learn new skills to manage cravings for alcohol, as well as stress. CBT can help you to gain control over your substance abuse and develop lasting recovery.

Although CBT is available on the NHS, you could be waiting for months to be seen by a specialist. Private rehab options may be the best option if you’re looking for quick addiction treatment.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

Dialectical behavioural therapy was originally developed for borderline personality disorder/ BPD. However, it has proven beneficial for individuals with alcohol addiction.

This type of therapy is also used to treat depression and anxiety disorders, teaching critical behavioural skills.

DBT combines elements of cognitive-behavioural therapy with mindfulness techniques. It helps you to regulate your emotions and cope with distressing situations without turning to alcohol.

DBT teaches mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance skills. These skills enable you to manage cravings and avoid relapse while improving your overall emotional well-being.

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy isn’t primarily used to treat addiction. However, it is often used to treat dual diagnosis. This is when you have an addiction that cooccurs with a mental illness.

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is generally used to treat mood disorders - for example, anxiety disorders or depression. It takes an evidence-based approach, and can help you to:

  • Change the way you communicate with yourself and others
  • Understand the importance of being sober
  • Understand the real-life effects of alcohol abuse and addiction

Group Therapy

Group therapy is a common form of rehab treatment across countless rehab clinics in the UK. This type of therapy can connect you with other individuals who are facing similar challenges with addiction, whether it be mild alcohol misuse or severe addiction.

Group therapy sessions provide a supportive environment where participants can share their experiences, encourage each other, and learn from one another. This supports the Social Learning Theory - the idea that people learn behaviours from other people.

Group therapy can help you to realise you are not alone in your struggles. It can provide opportunities for peer accountability and social connection, which are beneficial for long-term recovery.

Family Therapy

Alcohol addiction rarely just impacts the person with the addiction - it can impact the entire family unit.

Family therapy can be a great way to repair the family unit. During family therapy, your parents, brothers, sisters, or grandparents may participate. It provides a safe space to discuss the impact addiction has had on both a family level and an individual level.

During family therapy, everyone affected by addiction can openly discuss their feelings and concerns in a supportive environment.

Family therapy can help repair damaged relationships and create a more conducive atmosphere for your recovery.

Ultimately, family therapy can repair communication issues, address interpersonal dynamics, and ensure people in the family feel heard and acknowledged.

One-to-One Counselling

Family therapy and group therapy aren’t for everybody - some people prefer to receive treatment on a more personal level.

Almost all rehab clinics offer individual counselling sessions with a trained therapist or counsellor. These one-on-one sessions allow for a more personalised approach to address your unique needs and the underlying causes of your addiction.

In individual counselling, you may delve into your personal history, trauma, and triggers for alcohol use.

Ultimately, this can teach you more about yourself and your addiction - and help to create a tailored treatment plan.

Holistic Therapies

Holistic therapies are becoming increasingly popular. This type of therapy focuses on healing the whole person.

It is a person-centred approach that addresses the addiction and the underlying physical, emotional and even spiritual aspects.

Some types of holistic therapy may include yoga, meditation and mindfulness, acupuncture, art therapy and many more.

These approaches aim to promote overall well-being, reduce stress, and provide healthy alternatives to cope with life's challenges, ultimately aiding in recovery from alcohol addiction.

Online Therapy

Online therapy is a convenient option when you’re in recovery - it’s something you can undergo from the comfort of your own home. During online therapy, you will talk to a therapist or counsellor over video calls, messages, or phone calls, eliminating the need for in-person visits.

This approach provides privacy and flexibility, making it easier for you to seek support. During online sessions, therapists will offer guidance, coping strategies, and tools to manage cravings, triggers, and emotional issues tied to alcohol use.

They also help clients set goals for recovery and provide ongoing support. Ultimately, online therapy can be a lifeline if you are unable to attend in-person sessions. Explore the best online therapy options today with Help4Addiction.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) involves the use of medications in combination with counselling and therapy. Alcohol detox medicines like naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram can help reduce alcohol cravings, prevent relapse, and mitigate withdrawal symptoms.

MAT is often used in combination with other therapies to provide a comprehensive approach to alcohol addiction treatment. It's particularly effective for individuals with severe alcohol use disorders.

What About Support Groups for Alcohol Addiction?

Many people find support groups helpful when recovering from alcohol addiction. There are a range of support groups for recovering alcoholics in the UK - one of the key groups being Alcoholics Anonymous/ AA.

This 12-step facilitation approach follows a structured format. AA is often guided by a facilitator or a set of principles like the 12-step programme.

These meetings can provide you with practical strategies for overcoming cravings and triggers, as well as tips for maintaining sobriety.

Participating in an alcohol addiction support group can boost your self-esteem and motivation while holding yourself and other members accountable for their actions. The knowledge that others are rooting for your success can be a tremendous source of strength.

In general, support groups for alcohol addiction are safe and welcoming spaces where individuals struggling with alcohol use can find help and understanding.

These groups bring together people facing similar challenges, creating a sense of belonging and shared experience. These groups can also make recovery much less lonely.

Begin Alcohol Rehab Today With Help4Addiction

At Help4Addiction, we can connect you with the best rehab clinic for you. Chat with us today to discuss your preferences and requirements, and we can provide you with a list of some of the most suitable treatment providers near you.

Whether you’re looking for private residential rehab options, you want to undergo rehab on an outpatient basis, or you’re looking for a luxury rehab clinic with scenic views, we’re here to help you stop drinking alcohol for good. Contact us today for advice and support in finding the right alcohol treatment for you.

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