Alcohol abuse counseling can be useful in some situations, but you have to be careful that you are not using it as a screen for not taking real action. Let’s take a look at how some people have used alcohol counseling effectively, and also at how it can be misused under certain circumstances.
First of all, if someone is abusing alcohol and needs to get their problem under control, then alcohol or drug abuse counseling may be the right route for them to go. It is possible that some people are simply abusing alcohol but are not really addicted to it in any way, and thus they do not really have a serious problem. It is possible that they could just see a counselor, talk about their drinking for a few sessions, and make a simple decision to drink less. If they can do this easily and follow through with their decision without any problems, then this is probably just a case of a genuine “drinking problem,” nothing too serious. There is a definite difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
In many cases, however, the person in question is abusing alcohol because they are seriously addicted to it. No one is born drinking a half gallon of vodka per day, and some people are invariably going to be “on the road to alcoholism” at some point in their lives. They may be in a pattern of heavy abuse and are slowly spiraling toward full blown alcoholism. There is certainly nothing wrong with seeking out counseling for alcohol abuse at this point, so long as you keep in mind a few things:
* Counseling should produce swift results. If you are seeing a counselor about a drinking problem, do not rationalize that it will take several weeks to see any improvements. This is likely a smoke screen so that you can continue to abuse alcohol. Many people who see a therapist or a counselor on a regular basis are using it as just such a smoke screen. It is a false front to everyone else, and to themselves, that they are “doing something about their problem.” In fact, they may actually have no real intention of stopping, and likely need holistic alcohol treatment in a rehab facility.
* A competent alcohol counselor will direct a person to rehab if they need serious help. So if you think you have a problem, get in to see a therapist, and be honest with them. If they think you are seriously addicted, then they will recommend that you take it to the next level.