Alcohol use difficulties generally involve repeated patterns of excessive alcohol consumption that lead to impairments in the ability to carry out daily activities, and disturbed cognitive function when intoxicated. Alcohol use can have various effects on your emotions, including the alleviation of anxiety and, at times, a deterioration in mood.
Prolonged intense alcohol use may also lead to various health problems including cancer, liver disease and heart disease.
Some of the symptoms of alcohol use difficulties or alcohol dependence include:
- Requiring greater amounts of alcohol to get to the same level of intoxication.
- Inability to reduce the amount of alcohol you’re consuming.
- Cravings and urges to consume alcohol.
- Decreasing ability to fulfil responsibilities at work or at home.
- Continuing to drink heavily despite the negative impact on relationships.
- Reduced involvement in previously important or meaningful activities.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Continued use of high levels of alcohol of either a consistent or sporadic (i.e. binge drinking) nature puts individuals at a higher risk of accidents, suicide and violent behaviour.
Binge drinking is incredibly common in Australia and seems at times linked to our laid back, light hearted and sports-loving culture. Despite a society that encourages so-called ‘recreational drinking’, alcohol-related disorders and associated consequences are rampant and potentially fatal. Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to brain and liver damage, and recent research has suggested alcohol is as big a risk factor for cancer (breast, bowel, head, neck and throat) as tobacco. Chronic alcohol abuse can also contribute to mental health problems and destroy intimate and social relationships.
Alcohol is a toxic drug which can increase the risk of cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, dementia and dependence (NHMRC 2010 [accessed January 7th, 2021]). There are a lot of different reasons for binge drinking and alcohol use disorder. Many people drink to numb intense underlying feelings that are intolerable and/or poorly understood, such as depression, sadness, fear, guilt, anxiety, feeling inadequate, poor self-esteem and loneliness.
Addictions are commonly seen in people who have had difficult, abusive or neglectful experiences with parents or significant others in childhood or adolescence, who then enter adulthood ill-equipped to deal with the daily demands of work, relating to a partner and raising children. Drinking is a band-aid solution, and the alcohol really serves as a poison. It actually digs you into a deeper hole, emotionally and socially — and often financially. It can deceive you into thinking it’s the answer to your problems when it could be making them worse. Stop the problem before it gets worse.
Individuals using high levels of alcohol often require an inpatient admission to safely withdraw from the substance. You should always speak to your doctor, psychologist or other mental health clinician to seek advice about how to safely cease alcohol use.
Once you have withdrawn from alcohol, a combination of medication and therapy is often implemented. Therapy may include motivational interviewing, which explores and enhances reasons for change, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), which explores how thought processes impact feelings and actions, including substance use behaviours. Research has also shown that long-term maintenance of sobriety or reduced alcohol use is enhanced by psychodynamic psychotherapy.
The trained clinicians at Bayside Psychotherapy will endeavour to help you address the thoughts and feelings you tried to suppress with alcohol.
Call us on (03) 9557 9113 or use our contact form to make a confidential appointment.
The methods and options used by our therapists are flexible. You can meet with a therapist at our Highett clinic, or in the comfort of your own home via online counselling using Zoom, Skype or similar. You can also download our self-hypnosis recording for binge drinking you can use on your own to complement your therapy. Taking the first step to get help with alcohol-related addictions takes real courage.
Don’t let uncontrollable drinking continue to rule your life and put it in jeopardy. Let’s work together to help you overcome excessive drinking and put you back in control of your life.
When it comes to binge drinking help, hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy may help people who binge drink achieve greater self awareness and inner control. With a willingness to work through issues with their therapist, heavy drinkers can learn strategies to feel better within themselves and less controlled by the urge to drink (or drink excessively).
In addition, it sometimes helps to find an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, which are confidential meetings providing additional help and support. Many individuals find the combination of alcohol group support and individual counselling works well.
How long will treatment take?
After a few treatment sessions, we can discuss progress and either continue down the original path or alter treatment based on your needs. Everyone is different. Treatment and progress will depend on what underlying issues are driving the drinking problem, and how willing you are to address important issues. The recommendations of our therapists may include regular sessions for long-term results.
After you have things under control, we can decide to space out the frequency of your sessions until you are ready to discontinue them. Your level of commitment to changing drinking habits in the long term is one of the most major factors in treatment duration. We are committed to you for as long as it takes.
Note: This information is informative only and is not to be used for diagnosis or substitution of appropriate assessment and/or treatment by a registered practitioner. Information on this page and our entire site should not be construed as implying that our therapists are specialists in treating any particular condition. While some of our therapists may have experience working with people suffering from a specific condition, not all of our therapists do. We do not guarantee any particular level of performance, cure or management of symptoms. Each case is unique and responds differently to treatment, and collaboration between client and therapist is crucial. Always seek appropriate assessment from a qualified professional such as a GP, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist or social worker before seeking treatment, and especially if you are acutely distressed.
Reception phone hours
8:30am – 5:30am
Monday – Friday
(closed on public holidays)
Choose your own date and time for an online session
- Monday 8:00am to 8:00pm
- Tuesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Wednesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Thursday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Friday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Saturday 8:00am to 6:00pm