All About Alcohol Addiction and How to Overcome it with Psychological Therapy & Counselling


What is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction is having a destructive relationship with alcohol and feeling incapable of stopping due to the addictive nature of the alcohol (a property of alcohol).

When addiction is defined in this way it argues that you have no option other than to keep drinking because the chemical nature of the addictive substance takes precedence over your will.

However, if alcohol does indeed contain these so-called chemical hooks, then why doesn’t everybody who drinks alcohol end up addicted?

Whilst we regard alcohol addiction as a form of unhelpful (and potentially damaging) behaviour, the biomedical models of mental illness classify addiction as an illness or a disease, although this is a highly contested view.

This process of categorising human emotions and behaviours in medical rather than behavioural terms is known as medicalisation.


Using Alcohol to Cope

Drinking alcohol in itself is NOT particularly harmful as long as you consume it in moderation and NOT as a way of coping with your problems.

Unfortunately, using alcohol as a method of relieving stress after a long day at work seems to have become normalised as an acceptable way of dealing with difficult or heavy workloads.

In this sense, you may be using alcohol as a coping strategy in preference to other more adaptive approaches and this is where alcohol abuse can occur.

Given the culturally wide acceptance of drinking alcohol, you may find it difficult to distinguish between social drinking and problem drinking.

Whereas some people can consume large amounts of alcohol and seem relatively unaffected, for others it can cause significant problems.


Symptoms & Signs of Alcohol Addiction

  • Repeatedly neglecting your responsibilities at home, work, or school because of your drinking, for example, performing poorly at work, neglecting your kids or ignoring your commitments because you’re hung over.
  • Using alcohol in situations where it’s physically dangerous, such as drinking and driving, operating machinery while intoxicated or mixing alcohol with prescription medication.
  • Experiencing repeated legal problems on account of your drinking, for example, getting arrested for driving under the influence or for being drunk and disorderly.
  • Continuing to drink even though your alcohol abuse is causing problems in your relationships.
  • Self-deception and trying to kid yourself that your drinking is NOT a problem.

If you’re experiencing any of these things, of if you’re worried that you might be developing an alcohol addiction, then it may be time to talk.

Alcohol Addiction Influencing Factors in Childhood

Possible Causes of Alcohol Addiction

There may be any number of causes for your alcohol addiction, although having a parent who is or was a drinker can significantly increase the likelihood that you will develop a problem.

Please note that this increased likelihood is (from a psychological perspective) driven by social influences rather than any claimed genetic factors.

You may drink as a way of coping with difficult feelings, known as self-medicating.

Unfortunately, drinking is a poor coping method as it almost always becomes a bigger problem than the problem it is supposed to solve!

You may also turn to alcohol when you have had some kind of trauma that has not been resolved, either recently or somewhere in your past.

There is also the problem of cultural alcohol use.

Many people who work in very high pressure environments find that colleagues often hit the pub after a particularly stressful day.

In this way, drinking can often appear to be a socially acceptable way of de-stressing and for many people it never turns into a problem, but for some, it can be the slippery slope to ruin.

alcohol addiction sufferer in therapy session

Therapy & Counselling for Alcohol Addiction

We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for alcohol addiction and drink-related problems.

Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:

  • How long you have had the problem.
  • Your personal preferences.
  • How your problem is affecting you today.

You can read more about the different types of therapy for anxiety on the following links:

Although all therapies use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.

Research suggests that this therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.


Could Reality Therapy Be Right For You?

Reality Therapy is an approach which argues that your Alcohol Addiction is a product of the way that you think internally and not the result of any kind of external influence such as the ‘chemical hook’ model.

It also argues that any past experiences which you may believe are the cause of your problem, are no longer influential because those situations are no longer happening and therefore do not exist.

By teaching you how to take responsibility for the way that you feel, Reality Therapy can help you to stop creating the anxiety and stress associated with your drinking triggers as well as significantly improve the sense of control you have over the trajectory of your life going forward.

Free initial consultations for alcohol addiction

Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.

If you’d like to find out more about overcoming alcohol addiction or recovering from any of your mental health problems then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular issues and the different types of mental health counselling we offer without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.


Applied Psychology Solutions

If you’d like to learn how to overcome your Alcohol Addiction problems but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences with the CORE Programme.

If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.

Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?

Then why not see if you can solve your alcohol addiction problems using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.


Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before doing everything they can to overcome their problems.

Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.

How About Hypnotherapy?

There are numerous ways to overcome and cope with mental health problems and Hypnotherapy is an increasingly popular approach.

If you’d like to find out more about Hypnotherapy for Alcohol Abuse then click here to visit our sister website Wolverhampton Hypnotherapy.

Counselling Locations

We offer counselling for alcohol addiction problems for people living in:

  • Wombourne
  • Wolverhampton
  • West Midlands
  • Shropshire
  • South Staffordshire
  • Telford
  • Shrewsbury

You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.