Alcohol addiction treatment takes many forms but the foundation is typically counseling. Treatment programs provide patients with various forms of counseling in an effort to meet the unique needs of each individual patient. The most common counseling options include:
- family counseling
- individual counseling
- group counseling
Alcohol addiction is recognized as a disease of the family that affects each part of the family system in a different (yet equally negative) way. Family counseling programs use various techniques to provide psychological support and care for the family members and loved ones of those addicted to alcohol. Most treatment programs at least offer the chance for families and loved ones to get help when they have a member of their family in treatment for alcohol addiction. Children are allowed to take part in the counseling and sessions may even be designed to include games or similar child’s play in order to promote healing, especially for younger children who may not quite understand the alcoholism as well.
For the addict, individual counseling is a safety zone that provides them with a place where they can talk about their addiction, family problems, personal problems or other situations that they may not wish to share in a group setting. The counseling will take place in an office with a counselor who is not biased and will not place judgment on the addict. This makes the environment feel safe and encourages talking.
It’s important that, if you go into individual counseling, you be open and honest with your counselor. Answer any questions to the best of your ability and do not lie. You can feel comfortable with the counselor and should not have any fear of openly talking with him or her as you are protected under the patient rights.
Most treatment programs use group counseling to provide effective peer support for those in addiction treatment. During group counseling sessions, addicts come together under the direction or guidance of a counselor who will aid the group in discussion. Most of the time, the group will begin with a prayer or opening story and will then lead to discussion between peers.
You are expected to participate in the group by at least listening and, when appropriate, interacting and answering questions or providing statements that are clean, honest and acceptable. Group members are not to point fingers or place blame nor are they permitted to make rude comments or negative comments to others. The group setting should feel safe and inviting.