Are You in the Grasp of Alcohol Abuse?

  • Do you wish you could enjoy a glass of wine, a beer, or a cocktail, and not over-do it?
  • Have your attempts at cutting down on alcohol been unsuccessful?
  • Has alcohol use led to embarrassment or consequences at home, at work, or with friends?
  • Do you drink to manage boredom, stress, or emotional discomfort?
  • Do you wish you could drink socially without also feeling compelled to drink alone at home?
  • Do you have a strong desire for alcohol that interferes with your efforts to manage your use?
  • Do those close to you express concern about your excessive drinking or say you’re a heavy drinker?
  • Do you wish you could free yourself from the struggle with alcohol, understand its effects on you, and make choices that allow you to be at peace?

Awareness is the first step in healing.
~ Dean Ornish

Problematic alcohol use is often embarrassing, discouraging, and concerning. You may think you’re weak or not trying hard enough when your best efforts at control lead to inconsistent results. When you drink, you may be unable to predict whether you’ll drink more than you intended or for a longer period of time than you planned.

young woman sitting in front of sangriaPerhaps you have a high tolerance and are unaware that puts you at risk for alcoholism. It may be that you find yourself unable to remember what happened while under the influence. Perhaps you’ve given up recreational or social activities due to alcohol use. If you’re a heavy drinker, you may grapple with questions about how much alcohol is too much. Maybe you want to continue to drink, even though you might privately wonder if you’re alcoholic.

Family members, friends, or co-workers may be angry and judgmental about your drinking. You may be defensive when someone suggests you’re drinking too much alcohol. After all, you’re taking care of your family, work is going well, you have a full social life, and you’re meeting life’s obligations. How can you have an alcohol abuse problem?

Struggles With Alcohol Are Very Common

According to JAMA Psychiatry, nearly 30 percent of American adults will experience an alcohol use disorder at some point in their lifetime. If alcohol consumption has caused problems in your life, and you continue to drink, you are not alone.

Today, the majority of adults struggling with alcohol use are highly functional. The typical “alcoholic” is no longer the guy on skid-row or the barstool in a smoke-filled, dimly-lit bar. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse affect those from all walks of life and educational backgrounds, including high-functioning professionals; corporate executives; laborers; artists; mothers; single, married, and divorced men and women; young adults; and the elderly.

Alcohol abuse can cause career, social, and family problems that are not an obvious result of alcohol use. The good news is that with the help of a therapist experienced in treating alcohol abuse, you can let go the fight, decide how—or if—alcohol fits in your life, and experience greater ease and peace.

Alcohol Counseling Can Help You Find Recovery and Balance

Effective therapy for problematic alcohol use requires working with a therapist who truly understands alcohol struggles and who is educated, skilled, and experienced in the specialized area of recovery from substance abuse and addictions. I have 26 years of experience in private practice, outpatient, residential, and inpatient treatment. I developed an intensive outpatient program for a community mental health facility and have provided continuing education for colleagues. As we work together, I will put my experience to work, helping you find healing.

climber summiting snowy peakMy approach is individualized, nonjudgmental, and collaborative; you’re an active participant. After obtaining a history of your alcohol use, your concerns about it, consequences you’ve experienced, and your goals for healthy use or sobriety in the future, we develop a plan of action. Your personalized program will include clearly defined steps to enable us to track progress. Your plan is flexible; as we work together, we will adjust as needed.

During alcohol counseling, you’ll receive straightforward, educational information so you can understand the science of substance abuse and addiction. The educational information and skills you learn will facilitate greater self-acceptance and motivation, allowing you to continue to grow and pursue your goals.

You will learn alternative, non-alcohol methods for stress-reduction, recreation, and problem-solving. If needed, you’ll learn relationship and communication skills, and we’ll address any co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression.

I provide evidence-based methods for effective recovery, combining the best available research with clinical expertise and your personal characteristics and unique needs. Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative treatment approach that includes non-judgmental acceptance of your struggle. I help draw out your ideas, instead of telling you what to do, and support your desire to change so you can be empowered.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is another effective therapy method. Depending on your needs, we may utilize a risk-reduction (modification) or abstinence approach. If you desire, the philosophy of a 12-step program can be integrated into your personalized program. 12-step program involvement is a personal choice and not a requirement.

You don’t have to live with the shame and embarrassment of problematic alcohol use. Armed with knowledge, and a plan of action, you can let go the burden and re-engage in a fulfilling life.

You might be wondering…

Do I have to stop drinking if I try alcohol counseling?

man resisting shot of alcoholNo; abstinence is not required in order to work with me. My individualized approach enables you to address your alcohol struggles even if you want to continue to drink. We may use a harm-reduction method that involves the use of strategies to reduce the risk of alcohol-related consequences.

Abstinence from alcohol is recommended in some, but not all, cases. After gathering a thorough history, I will let you know the recommendation for you based on available research. If abstinence is recommended, but you want to continue to drink, I will work with you to meet your goals for alcohol use.

I’ve been to a treatment program, and I’m still having problems with alcohol.

There are many factors that can contribute to your ongoing struggle with alcohol, including lifestyle, stressors, motivation, and personality. Individual therapy allows us to focus in-depth on your specific situation to identify what’s interfering with your success at this time.

Do I have to go to AA?

Involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous is not a requirement. However, if you desire to integrate a 12-step program with your therapy, I am very familiar with AA and will support your recovery program. Additionally, there are other free support groups in the area and online support groups that may enhance your recovery experience.

Let Go of Shame

If you’re interested in alcohol counseling in Park City, UT, please call (435) 901-3218 to schedule an appointment. I am happy to discuss any questions you have about my practice or how therapy can address your needs.