After completing detox treatment, drinkers have only crossed the first hurdle in the recovery process. Detox treatment helps to break the body’s physical dependency on alcohol. At this point, drinkers must start the process of breaking the mind’s dependency on alcohol’s effects in their lives.
Alcohol addiction counseling picks up where detox treatment leaves off by enabling recovering alcoholics to follow through on the desire to live an alcohol-free life. Alcohol addiction counseling enables those in recovery to take back their thoughts, emotions and ultimately their lifestyles from alcohol’s control.
The addiction “mindset” can persist long after a person stops drinking. This mindset will ultimately dictate how a person lives his or her life on a day-to-day basis. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol addiction develops into its own lifestyle that drives a person’s behaviors and interactions with others.
Alcohol addiction counseling makes it possible for recovering alcoholics to develop new habits and routines that work to support a life of sobriety as opposed to the destructive behaviors that drive alcohol addiction.
Developing Healthy Thinking Patterns
Much like any other form of talk therapy, alcohol addiction counseling works directly with a person’s thought patterns in an attempt to help the mind heal from addiction’s effects. Thoughts, ideas and emotions ultimately drive a person’s behaviors and outlook on life.
Negative thought patterns can quickly snowball into the types of emotions that drive drinking behaviors. Through counseling, recovering alcoholics can develop positive, productive ways of thinking that make it easier to maintain sobriety.
Addiction’s hold on a person’s life can leave him or her vulnerable to “drinking triggers” after years of sober living. Triggers can take the form of people, places, things or even emotions that remind recovering alcoholics of days gone by.
Alcohol addiction counseling helps a person to identify triggers and understand how they can set the urge to drink in motion. This knowledge alone can help drinkers avoid and/or prevent relapse episodes from happening.
Developing Coping Strategies
Stress and difficult emotions can go a long way towards increasing a person’s cravings for alcohol no matter how long he or she has remained sober. Alcohol addiction counseling helps a person learn to manage daily life stressors in healthy ways by providing needed tools for making it through the tough times.
Coping strategies may entail everyday habits designed to relieve stress on an ongoing basis. Coping strategies may involve reaching out for support from others when life gets overwhelming.
Motivation for Recovery
The decision to get help for an alcohol problem is often wrought with indecision and ambivalence. Under these conditions, it can be difficult to generate the degree of motivation needed to overcome challenges in recovery.
Alcohol addiction counseling acts as a motivating source of support and guidance in a person’s life. By celebrating the successes and working through the rough patches, recovering alcoholics become motivated to get well and stay well for the long term.