Perhaps you are aware that at times you are drinking too much but do not want to give up alcohol. You have heard that some people who have had problems with alcohol are able to learn how to successfully moderate. You may have even tried several attempts to control your own drinking, but so far it hasn’t worked.
You May be Like Many Problem Drinkers who Feel Stuck
You are not alone. Millions of others are in your boat, at times preoccupied about drinking, yet stuck in a drinking pattern that they are unable to change. For many it is because they have not yet sought or found the help they need. For others it is because they keep hoping that something will spontaneously change so that they can manage the drinking in a way that is more satisfactory. Still others have gone to self-help websites, or read self-help books about moderation management hoping that that would work. Others have tried periodic attempts at abstinence that ultimately did not seem to be the answer.
If you are reading this, chances are you are in one of the categories described above and are looking for a systematic approach that may make it possible for you to effectively manage your drinking without totally removing alcohol from your life.
Moderation Training (MT) May Be the Answer for You
This approach, guided by a coach who is well trained in helping people succeed with it, generally takes several sessions over a period of at least 2 to 3 months. It begins with a careful history of your current and past drinking habits, accompanied by alcohol assessment questionnaires that will address emotional and physiological consequences of your drinking. Along with this, you may be given reading material and a detailed description of what this approach will involve.
Details of Moderation Training
What will be described is a systematic intensive training with clear guidelines that you develop with your moderation coach for acceptable, non-problem drinking. This will include specification of situations likely to lead to problem drinking, and cultivation of new ways of coping with these situations. There will also be ongoing guidance until your goals with regard to drinking are reached. Finally, there will be training to support maintenance of your goals after your treatment ends.
Common questions about the approach will be addressed, as well as questions related to your unique situation. Often a significant other may be invited to a subsequent session to hear about the approach and raise any concerns or questions, with the aim of ultimately enlisting his or her support. He or she may also be coached about specific ways of being supportive, and about behaviors that tend to be the most helpful as well as those to be avoided.
My clients often find this handout helpful to share with partners.
Other Relevant Articles
- Exploring Alternative Options for Treating Problem Drinkers
- How Naltrexone Helps Curb Urges to Drink
- Assessing a Drinking Problem
- How to Support a Loved One who is Addressing a Drinking Problem
Dr. Vannicelli is an internationally recognized author and lecturer who has written two highly acclaimed books and many articles along with scores of workshops and lectures about her work with those with alcohol problems.
© 2018 Marsha Vannicelli