When someone is struggling with alcohol dependency it is difficult to remember how they ended up like that. At some point along the way, the level of alcohol consumption crossed over into dangerous territory—often increasing due to an underlying emotional issue that the alcohol is used to self-medicate. Before long, chemical dependency has developed.
The road to alcoholism is complex with many different factors that may have contributed to the addiction. Getting to the root cause of the problem is what counseling for alcoholics is all about. That journey into self-discovery and painful memories must be made if an authentic recovery from the disease of alcoholism is to be achieved.
Causal Factors Discovered Through Counseling for Alcoholics
Many factors can play a role in the development of alcohol dependency. The more risk factors that are present at a young age, the more likely the individual will become alcoholic. Counseling
for alcoholics focuses on discovering the causal factors of the disease so that treatment can be tailored appropriately for the best chance of a lasting recovery.
Those in treatment for alcohol addiction will participate in both individual therapy
sessions and group counseling. Psychotherapists use this guided talk therapy to prompt the client to delve into past life experiences, traumatic events, issues of neglect or abuse, or loss of a loved one to uncover deep-seated pain that may be a contributing factor. The therapist may also identify a con-occurring mental health disorder that may have triggered the alcohol dependency. In fact, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, someone with alcohol dependence is 3.6
times more likely to also suffer from a mood disorder, such as anxiety or depression, as a person without alcohol dependence.
Risk Factors Associated with Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a chronic disease that results from the psychological and physical dependence on alcohol. There are many risk factors, both genetic and environmental, associated with alcohol dependency, and they can become combined in a variety of ways making it difficult to point to a specific cause for the disease. These risk factors include:
Family history of alcoholism increases the likelihood of becoming alcoholic as well. This is due to a potential genetic predisposition to alcoholism, or because of the prevalence of alcohol abuse within the family that can influence behavior.
Mental health conditions
Alcohol is often misused as a panacea for mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. The alcohol initially offers a respite from experiencing the stress or sorrow associated with these mental health disorders, and may lead to alcohol addiction.
Drinking at a young age
The earlier a person begins to drink alcohol, the higher the chance is that they develop a problem with alcohol later in life. Introducing alcohol at an early age allows tolerance to build up sooner in life.
Many people turn to alcohol to relieve feelings of chronic stress in their lives. A highly stressful occupation, such as a first responder, a doctor, nurse, or attorney, for example, is often accompanied with unrelenting pressure and emotional stress.
A qualified therapist can help identify the role that these potential factors, along with other underlying issues such as traumatic, may have played through the use of skilled counseling for alcoholics. The therapist can then use this information to design an effective treatment services
and therapeutic treatment planning so that the disease can be managed and recovery can be achieved. Counseling sessions can teach relaxation techniques, coping skills, and how to replace irrational thought and behavior responses to triggers and stressors with new, healthy ones.