Providing alcohol counselling in Edinburgh and online, and I support my clients in their recovery to achieve their goals and explore the root cause of their alcohol use.

Alcohol Counselling in Edinburgh and Online

I provide alcohol counselling in Edinburgh and online, and I support my clients in their recovery to achieve their goals and explore the root cause of their alcohol use.

This time of year can be joyful for many people, and for others, it can be a struggle. If you’re noticing that your alcohol use is causing problems or beginning to cause problems in your life then it can be even more difficult. Reaching out for support is not always easy, and often feelings of guilt, shame and denial can get in the way. As a result, we can feel stuck and that things will never change.

This is an exercise that I use in alcohol counselling sessions and in individual workshops. It’s a simple exercise that involves focusing on our internal, rather than the external world. The more often we do it, the more we can get to know and understand ourselves.

Five minutes out of our day is all it takes to really think about and feel (that’s the important bit) how we’re doing.

I don’t know about you, but when I start to feel myself taking on too much and getting busier and busier I know I’m distracting myself from what I’m really feeling, and it’s time to check in with myself.

Find a comfortable, quiet spot and think about the following five areas of your life. It can be useful to keep a journal and make a few notes. Starting with, how am I ….

Thinking – this is about noticing changes in your thought patterns.

  • Thinking – It can be helpful to tune into your self-talk, the voice in your head. What is it telling you? We can often get stuck in a downward spiral of negative thoughts and, as a result, discount the positive ones. Mind-reading is common and it occurs because we think we “know” what other people “must” think about us. Something else to look out for is the pressure we put on ourselves with thoughts such as “I should be happy” or I should be able to cope”. Our thoughts influence the way we feel. It can be helpful to ask yourself “is this thought helping me?” and “do I have evidence that this thought is true?”.

Feeling – sometimes we don’t know how we’re feeling or we can’t verbalise the emotion we feel.

  • Feeling – Tuning into ourselves can help us to become aware of and recognise feeling and emotion. Scanning your body can help with this and, additionally, support relaxation. Are you holding any tension in a particular part of your body? Is there pain? Is there a sense of restlessness or nervous energy, for example? More about body scans and breathing in my next blog! It’s feelings that influence the way we behave, not our thoughts.

Behaving  – we act on the way we feel, which is why it’s important to become aware of feelings and emotion.

  • Behaving  – What do you notice about the way you’re acting?  Things to look out for here are withdrawing and isolating from others, drinking on your own or earlier in the day.

Physically – this is really about self-care.

  • Physically – Think about nutrition, exercise and sleep. How are you treating your mind and your body? Are there any signs or signals that your body is communicating to you that you might be discounting or minimising?

Spiritually – it’s often overlooked but it’s an important part of our lives, especially in recovery.

  • Spiritually – This means different things to all of us. It can be about finding meaning and purpose in life, and a connection to something bigger than ourselves. I think of it as nourishing my soul and often a walk in a forest or along a beach with my dog brings about a sense of inner peace.

Each of these areas is interconnected. Neglecting one can have an effect on the others.  Alcohol, or any other substance or behaviour, can provide a temporary pleasure or relief from the challenge of looking inward.

If you’re struggling with your alcohol use, remember, you’re not alone. Alcohol counselling can support you to uncover the purpose of alcohol in your life and your relationship with it.

I offer one to one counselling sessions for problematic drug and alcohol use and sexually compulsive behaviour, including pornography use.

I also run one to one workshops on anxiety, recovery and relapse prevention. Please get in touch for further details on alcohol counselling.

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Addiction Professionals

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