Psychotherapy for alcohol addiction

Psychotherapy methods

Alcoholism is a disease affecting dozens of thousands of families in all regions of Ukraine. It is formed at two main levels: psychological and physical. Do not think that the alcoholic craving for alcohol is only a metabolic disorder that provokes the desire to drink alcohol. Psychological addiction develops much faster than physical one: a person takes alcohol as a tool that allows him to quickly relax and feel comfortable – this makes him feel uncomfortable, if he does not take the required dose in a certain setting, for example, when meeting with friends.

Considering that the psychological component is predominant in the development of alcoholism, special attention should be paid to the psychology of the patient, who must realize the problem and strive with all his might to get rid of it. Psychotherapy for alcoholism is the key to successful treatment.

Psychotherapy methods

There are several psychotherapy methods that are most effective in treating alcohol addiction. They all use the same principles of psychotherapy. The main methods are:

  • The Dovzhenko method is a very popular and effective method of prohibitive therapy in the treatment of alcoholism. Often used when working with patients who are immune to hypnosis. It consists in the formation of sharply negative emotions towards alcohol;
  • Individual and group psychotherapy sessions are an integral part of alcohol addiction treatment. During the sessions, a patient communicates with companions in misfortune, gets into the atmosphere of trust to each other. The doctor plays the role of a leader who builds the right relationships between patients. Patients provide each other with priceless support, allowing them to feel in the circle of like-minded people, the patient’s psychological state is also normalized;

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    • Hypnosis is a very popular and effective method that involves putting a patient into a hypnotic sleep. During sleep, a patient stops thinking critically, which allows him/her to understand the cause and danger of alcoholism. Also, in a dream, a doctor forms patient’s critical attitude towards alcohol;
    • Emotional and stress therapy is a method which is based on working with a patient’s true emotions. This session may not always be pleasant to an addict, because he/she experiences all kinds of feelings: positive, negative, and also experiencing. All these emotions allow him to understand what kind of suffering his addiction inflicts on his relatives and friends;
    • Rational psychotherapy – aimed at working with a patient’s rational thinking. Psychotherapy allows him to conduct a deep analysis of his own behavior, understand himself/herself and draw conclusions from his/her own actions. As a result, a person learns to monitor his/her emotions and actions, to understand which of them prompt to drink alcohol in order to successfully block them.
    • Autogenic training is a new method. When consulting a psychotherapist, a patient dives into a state of relaxation, independently inspires those feelings that allow him/her to come to a complete recovery from addiction.

    The choice of the optimal course of psychotherapy sessions is determined only by an attending physician, based on the data of the anamnesis, initial examination and diagnostic examination.

    Indications for treatment of alcoholism with psychotherapy methods

    The main factor and the main indication for the treatment of addiction by methods of psychotherapy is the patient’s psychological addiction to the use of alcoholic beverages.

    Its presence can be manifested by a whole complex of distinct and weakly expressed signs, as well as symptomatic manifestations, including: pathological craving for alcoholic beverages, the presence of excuses for one’s actions, loss of control over the volume of intoxicating drinks used, a decrease or loss of the vomiting reflex, an increase in the body’s tolerance, the presence of a hangover, as well as the occurrence of memory lapses.

    Basic principles of psychotherapy for alcoholism

    Taking into account the specific features of the development and course of alcoholism in men and women, the basic principles of psychotherapy in the treatment of alcohol dependence have been formed. They consist in the fact that this disease is systemic, therefore it requires an integrated approach.

    The process of psychological influence should be directed to all directions without exception. At the stage of treatment, there are no main and secondary tasks, specialists should not single out the main and secondary systemic target symptoms. The treatment regimen is always designed individually, but the principle remains the same.

    Tasks of psychotherapy in addiction treatment

    Psychotherapy in the treatment of alcoholism should ensure the implementation of a number of clear tasks that directly affect the effectiveness of the final result. The list of the main tasks of psychotherapy includes:

    • Elimination of psychological craving for drinking alcoholic beverages;
    • Stopping thoughts and actions that are nudging to use, replacing them with positive thoughts / actions about returning to a normal, wholesome life;
    • Activation of a person’s natural desires, elimination of the imaginary sensations of alcoholic euphoria;
    • Ensuring the fastest and most comfortable transition from alcoholism to a sober and healthy life;
    • Elimination of pathways that can lead a patient back to abuse in the future.
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    Duration of treatment – how much does psychotherapy take?

    Psychotherapy is a complex and long process, reminiscent of a clockwork, where every, even the smallest element is important, aimed at returning a patient to normal life. When appointing sessions and determining the approximate timing of treatment, the patient receives a consultation with a narcologist, and it is also necessary to provide primary treatment. It begins with a clearance of hard drinking at home or within the walls of a drug treatment center.

    Practice shows that psychotherapy takes at least four months. It can also include coding for alcoholism: medicinal and hypnotic. The most popular is the sewing or injection of special drugs into addicts’ body.

    What is it worth paying attention to when choosing a method of psychotherapy for treatment of alcohol addiction?

    The process of choosing the optimal method of psychotherapy is quite complex and must include a number of factors. Therefore, it is determined only by an attending physician, after anamnesis and examination data. When consulting a narcologist, the latter tells in detail about the chosen method and upcoming actions.

    The specialist pays attention to such factors:

    • Personal characteristics of a particular patient (behavioral characteristics, character, etc.);
    • Features of symptomatic manifestations of addiction. The predominance of some symptoms over others;
    • Personal self-identification of the psychotherapist performing the treatment.

    Psychotherapy session: how it goes?

    During a psychotherapy session, a doctor determines the root cause of the development of the disease, and also determines the mechanisms that provoked the craving for alcohol. The patient is programmed (according to the selected method) to quit the addiction.

    An important part of the psychotherapy session is to create a tangible fear of drinking – the best way is injection. This method can significantly reduce the likelihood of a breakdown during the rehabilitation and post-rehabilitation periods.

    During psychotherapy sessions, complex moral support of a patient is provided, allowing him/her to adapt to a new way of life, where there is joy and happiness, but there is no place for strong drinks.

    Course of psychotherapy sessions in Kyiv

    Are you or your beloved one having alcohol abuse problems? Do not hesitate – seek help from the specialized drug treatment center «MEDLUX»! Our doctors have many years of experience working with alcoholics of any complexity. You can come to the clinic yourself or house-call a narcologist in Kyiv.

    In the process of treating alcoholism with psychotherapy, doctors use the most modern and effective methods to achieve a stable positive result in the shortest possible time.

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