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Sam Agnew

Sam Agnew

Psychotherapist /Life Coach
Given Sessions:over 2500hours
Working with:Individuals,Couples,&Teen
Area:LGBTQIA+,ADHD,PTSD,CPTSD, Anxiety,Dyslexia,Dyspraxia,Dyscalculia
Alcoholism therapy, also called alcohol addiction therapy, refers to a form of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals who are struggling with alcohol addiction. Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, despite the negative consequences.
The goal of alcoholism therapy is to help individuals understand and cope with their addiction, and to develop the skills and strategies needed to achieve and maintain sobriety. This can include addressing underlying issues that may have contributed to the addiction, such as emotional or psychological problems, and developing healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress and other triggers.
It's important to note that alcoholism is a chronic disease that requires professional treatment, and that therapy can be an important component of a comprehensive treatment plan. It can help individuals to address the underlying issues, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and achieve and maintain sobriety.



Alcoholism is a widespread issue that affects individuals and families worldwide. Understanding its implications, signs, and seeking assistance is crucial for addressing this complex problem. In this blog post, we'll delve into what alcoholism entails, its signs, effects on mental health, causes, and how counselling and organisations like TimeToBetter can provide support.

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a chronic disease characterised by the compulsive consumption of alcohol despite negative consequences. It involves a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol, leading to an inability to control drinking habits. Seeking help with alcohol dependence, assistance to stop drinking alcohol, and support for individuals saying "help me stop drinking alcohol" are crucial steps towards recovery from this debilitating condition.

What is Alcohol Misuse?

Alcohol misuse encompasses a spectrum of behaviours related to the excessive and harmful consumption of alcohol, often leading to negative consequences for both the individual and those around them.

AUD manifests as a progressive illness, gradually intensifying as individuals find themselves increasingly unable to moderate their drinking habits. Initially, alcohol misuse may start innocently enough, perhaps as casual or social drinking, but over time, it escalates into a destructive cycle where alcohol takes precedence over all other aspects of life. Individuals struggling with AUD may prioritise obtaining and consuming alcohol over fulfilling responsibilities at work, home, or in relationships, leading to severe physical, emotional, and social repercussions.

This loss of control over alcohol consumption often results in profound physical health problems, including liver disease, cardiovascular issues, and neurological damage, as well as psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. Recognizing the signs of alcohol misuse and seeking help early on is crucial in preventing the progression of AUD and mitigating its detrimental effects on overall well-being.

Signs of Alcohol Misuse
  • Increased tolerance to alcohol
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
  • Neglecting responsibilities in favour of drinking
  • Failed attempts to cut down or control alcohol consumption
  • Continued drinking despite knowing its detrimental effects

Recognizing Signs of Alcohol Misuse: Identifying signs of alcohol misuse is essential for early intervention. Symptoms include secretive drinking, loss of control over drinking habits, increased tolerance, neglect of responsibilities, and denial of the problem. If you find yourself or a loved one exhibiting these signs, seeking help is imperative.

What Effect Does Alcohol Have on Our Mental Health?

The relationship between alcohol and mental health is complex. While some may turn to alcohol to alleviate symptoms of anxiety or depression temporarily, excessive consumption can exacerbate these conditions and lead to others, such as dementia, hallucinations, behaviour problems and mood swings. It can also contribute to depression, trauma, anxiety, insomnia, and even psychosis. Long-term alcohol abuse can also impair cognitive function and memory.

How Does Alcohol Addiction Develop?

Alcohol addiction develops gradually, often starting with casual or social drinking that escalates over time. Genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and mental health issues can all contribute to its development. Psychological dependence on alcohol can occur due to its temporary mood-enhancing effects, leading to a cycle of cravings and compulsive drinking.

As individuals continue to consume alcohol, their tolerance increases, necessitating higher consumption to achieve the desired effects. Over time, this can lead to physical dependence, where the body adapts to the presence of alcohol and experiences withdrawal symptoms when alcohol consumption is reduced or stopped. The combination of physiological changes and psychological factors perpetuates the cycle of addiction, making it challenging to break free without proper support and intervention.

What are Causes of Alcoholism?

The causes of alcoholism are multifaceted and can vary from person to person. While there is no singular cause, several factors contribute to the development of alcoholism:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Environmental influences, such as family history and peer pressure
  • Mental health disorders, like depression or anxiety
  • Traumatic experiences or stress
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Traumatic Experiences
Therapy for Alcoholism

Therapy serves as a cornerstone in the journey towards overcoming alcoholism, offering a structured and supportive environment for individuals to address their addiction and regain control of their lives.

In therapy sessions tailored for alcoholism, individuals receive personalised support, guidance, and evidence-based strategies to navigate the challenges of recovery, including help for alcohol abuse, assistance with alcohol dependence, help to stop drinking alcohol, and help quitting alcohol.

Therapists help uncover triggers, past traumas, and patterns of behaviour that fuel addiction, while equipping individuals with practical skills and techniques to cope with cravings, navigate triggers, and handle difficult situations without resorting to alcohol. Through approaches like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing, individuals learn to challenge distorted thought patterns, enhance motivation for change, and develop personalised relapse prevention plans.

Therapy provides a non-judgemental and supportive environment where individuals can openly discuss their struggles, setbacks, and victories, reinforcing their commitment to change and fostering empowerment on the path towards lasting recovery.

Additionally, therapy can address underlying issues such as emotional abuse ,loneliness , eating disorder, low self-esteem, self harm, and anger management, offering holistic support for individuals seeking to overcome alcoholism. Help for families of alcoholics can also benefit from therapy, receiving guidance and support to navigate the complexities of living with a loved one struggling with addiction and accessing help for alcoholics' family members.

How Can Counseling Help with Alcoholism?

Counselling offers crucial support for individuals grappling with alcoholism, providing personalised guidance and tools to navigate the challenges of recovery. Therapists work collaboratively with individuals to explore the underlying issues contributing to their alcohol misuse, such as past trauma or unresolved emotions, and develop effective coping strategies. Through techniques like cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness, individuals learn to manage cravings, cope with triggers, and navigate difficult situations without turning to alcohol. Counselling also addresses co-occurring mental health disorders, sets achievable recovery goals, and focuses on preventing relapse. By providing a safe and supportive environment for self-exploration and growth, counselling empowers individuals to break free from alcohol dependence and build a fulfilling life in recovery.

Getting Help from TimeToBetter

TimeToBetter is an organisation dedicated to supporting individuals struggling with alcoholism and other substance use disorders. Through counselling, support groups, and educational resources, TimeToBetter assists individuals in their journey towards recovery. They provide a safe and understanding environment for individuals to seek help for alcoholism and connect with others facing similar challenges.

In conclusion, alcoholism is a complex issue with far-reaching consequences. Recognizing the signs, understanding alcoholism and its effects on mental health, and seeking help are essential steps in addressing alcohol addiction. Through counselling and organisations like TimeToBetter, individuals can find the support they need to overcome alcoholism and lead fulfilling lives in recovery.