Life-Transforming? Or just All Talk?
These days, it seems you can get counselling for anything, doesn’t it? Even hamster counselling is available for those with a rodent struggling with ‘issues’! But seriously; the scope and wide availability of counselling is almost impossible to quantify. And what a far cry all this is from previous eras when people kept their problems to themselves, maintaining a stiff upper lip, suffering in silence (Which is never a good idea.)
Who needs counselling most?
The two most common troubles that people seek counselling for in the UK are depressive illness and relationship problems. Coming a close third is counselling for alcoholism. But does it work? Can it really be life-transforming? Can talking with a trained professional for an hour a week about alcoholism really lead to kicking the booze?
Let’s find out
Jemima in London: I was foolish enough to pay up-front someone who claimed to be a fully qualified and vastly experienced counsellor a small fortune for a series or alcoholism counselling sessions, only to then discover that he was a charlatan. He was a reformed alcoholic, but that alone didn’t mean he was qualified to counsel anyone. At times it was me who was counselling him! I feel such a fool. My advice to anyone seeking alcoholism counselling is to go to their GP or to contact Rehab Treatment UK, who’ll be able to advise.
Sebastian in Somerset: Counselling was one of the modules built into my specifically-tailored treatment programme at Rehab here in Somerset*. The Clinic was regulated by the Care Quality Commission, so I knew I was in capable hands. I mean, you hear some horror stories about functioning alcoholics who opt for alcoholism counselling offered by private individuals in the Friday Ad! I’m so glad I didn’t make that mistake. Now I don’t drink at all.”
Note: There are private Rehab Clinics located in Surrey, Hampshire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Scotland, and at other locations across the UK.
Rowena in Buckinghamshire: Contrary to popular belief, there really is no such thing as one-size-fits-all alcoholism counselling. What’s more, counsellors are not there to provide all the answers. My counsellor listened carefully, considered what I said to her, and let me in my own time express my feelings about my addiction. And most importantly, she never judged me, which was such a relief. I’m proud to say that I haven’t had a drink in three years.
Finally, having the gift of the gab is not a requisite
It can be misconception that beating alcoholism can be dependant upon the alcoholic being able to clearly describe their addiction’s impact on their life. Trained alcoholism counsellors do not expect patients to be able to explain what they are going through in a highly detailed way: how their lives are dominated by drink; their addiction’s impact on family, friends and work colleagues; how they want to change… Sometimes, it can just feel incredibly hard to put all that into words, can’t it?