Alcohol Rehabilitation Counselling

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Call our local number 01603 513 091
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Alcohol rehabilitation counselling is a component of a holistic alcohol addiction treatment programme.

Rehabilitation counselling focuses on a person’s conscious and unconscious thoughts, emotions, and behaviour. [1]

Drug addiction counsellors help individuals with alcohol usage disorder understand the underlying causes of their drinking disorder and teach them coping skills to manage the various stressors without resorting to drinking alcohol. 

Alcohol rehab counselling options are: 

  • Psychotherapy 
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) 
  • Motivational Interviewing 
  • 12-Step Facilitation 
  • Yoga and Meditation 
  • Art and Music Therapy


Psychotherapy is a general alcohol addiction treatment plan used to describe the process of reversing psychological disorders using psychological techniques. Depending on the therapist, a broad range of strategies can be used to tackle general or specific illnesses.

The exact method used in each situation depends on a wide range of factors, including the training and background of the trained therapists, the patient’s preferences and the exact nature of the problem.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This alcohol rehab counseling option can quickly identify and cope with user-specific challenges. It often requires fewer sessions and the therapy is done in a structured way.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is useful in addressing emotional challenges emanating from symptoms of mental illnesses. When prescription drugs aren’t a good option, CBT becomes particularly useful in coping with stressful life situations and identify ways to manage emotions.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

One of the most effective alcohol addiction treatment programmes that provide users with skillful ways to manage emotions and decrease conflict is encapsulated in DBT. It particularly focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas – mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal efficacy and distress tolerance.

Initially, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy was one of the treatment options to reverse borderline personality disorder. However, research has shown that is can be successful in treating alcoholism, bipolar disorder, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivation counselling is an alcohol addiction treatment plan that helps people resolve insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change behaviour.

It is often used to address alcohol addiction and help people change behaviours that prevent them from making better decisions. Ideally, motivation interviewing works well for people who are unmotivated or unprepared for change.

12-Step Facilitation

Twelve-Step Facilitation treatments are a set of semi-structured therapies created to help people stop alcohol addiction by linking them and encouraging their active participation in community-based active groups.

12-Step Facilitation programmes have primarily focused on linking drug users to Alcoholics Anonymous support groups, though other mutual-help organizations like narcotics anonymous may be used for non-alcoholic drug addiction.

Regardless of the therapy, the comprehensive treatment plan of The 12-Step Facilitation Programme is geared towards achieving long-term sustainable recovery from substance use disorder.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga is a widely-accepted spiritual discipline that adopts breathing control, and simple meditation for health and relaxation.

The practices of Yoga and meditation are beneficial to promoting alcohol addiction therapy. In the same way various programmes like Alcohol Anonymous work, Yoga and Meditation acknowledge that alcohol addiction is a disease that affects the body.

To achieve long-lasting recovery, Yoga and Meditation incorporate a support system that promotes self-acceptance through mind-body awareness.

Art and Music Therapy

Music and Art Therapy are increasingly proving to be a therapy for people who have faced physical and psychological trauma.

Studies have shown that it can alleviate pain, manage stress, promote wellness, enhance memory and give people a way to express feelings.

There’s a lot of research that links the relationship between Music and Art Therapy and alcohol addiction treatment. Given the stigma associated with therapy, Music and Art Therapy present a normalized way to recognize internal triggers to alcohol addiction then reverse the same.

Rehabilitation counselling is incorporated in an outpatient rehab treatment plan or residential rehab. 

Drug addiction treatment can be individual, as a group session, or a combination of both. The frequency of counselling meetings varies, depending on the patient. 

Rehabilitation counselling is incorporated in an outpatient rehab treatment plan or residential rehab.  

Counselling can be individual, as a group session, or a combination of both. The frequency of counselling meetings varies, depending on the patient.  

alcohol rehab counselling

What Is Alcohol Counselling?

Alcohol counselling is behaviour therapy that involves continuing talk sessions between the individual seeking alcohol rehab and the counsellor. [3]

The primary purpose of counselling is to address the deeply embedded insecurities of the person to achieve a full recovery and prevent a relapse.

An essential component of the rehab programme, counselling recognises that alcohol and drug use disorder is caused by[4] 

  • Stress 
  • Low self-esteem 
  • False perceptions 
  • Including underlying issues such as anxiety and depression.  

Counselling encourages people to talk about their thoughts and explore their feelings in the safety of a confidential and non-judgmental environment. 

Through these dialogues, the alcohol counselor guides the individual in identifying situations that trigger the cravings for alcohol and teaches them non-toxic coping skills to control the desire or fall into a relapse. 

Individual or Group Therapy in Alcohol Counselling

Alcohol counselling is a form of talk therapy between a one-on-one session, individual counselling session, or a group of people with an alcohol problem and a counsellor. [5] 

While individual and group therapy are both effective, the choice will depend on the following factors:

  • Personal preference of the individual

Some people are reluctant to share intimate details of their experiences in a group. In contrast, others prefer to be in a group for the kinship derived from similar backgrounds.

  • Need

Individual counselling is ideal for people who are in a state of active crisis or have suicidal tendencies. To join group therapy, an individual must be at an acceptable level of functioning.

  • Cost 

Individual sessions with an alcohol counselor cost more than group counselling. 

The two types of counselling, individual and group, have their benefits and drawbacks. 

Knowing what they are will help determine which one to choose.  

Advantages of Individual Counselling

  • Confidentiality is easier to maintain.  
  • Some people open up more quickly in a private dialogue with a counsellor.  
  • There is more time for a thorough discussion and understanding of the individual’s beliefs and views.  
  • The approach to the individual’s recovery is focused on their unique circumstances. 
  • Private counselling can be paced to fit the needs of the individual.  
  • The individual can choose a schedule without having to consider other people 
  • The therapeutic alliance between the individual and the counsellor demands less effort to build.  
  • The intimate nature of individual counselling may uncover co-morbid disorders that contribute to the alcohol abuse. 
  • The person in counselling does not have to listen to the experiences of others that may not be relevant to their case. 

Disadvantages of Individual Counselling  

  • Individual counselling is generally more expensive than group counselling. 
  • A person who needs to be pushed and motivated cannot find the support that being in a group provides and may discontinue therapy. 
  • Individual counselling prevents the person from listening to the success stories of others that may serve as an encouragement to continue. 

Advantages of Group Counselling 

  • The mutual support that people in alcohol rehab group counselling give and receive plays an essential role in successful treatment. 
  • Group counselling allows for sharing of stories, giving participants various perspectives. 
  • Communication skills, maintaining harmonious relationships, and being able to accept criticism are developed in regular meetings. 
  • In group alcohol counselling, the members who have succeeded in maintaining healthy behaviours can be role models for others who are still struggling with their rehab. 
  • Group therapy is generally less expensive than one on one counselling. 

Disadvantages of Group Counselling  

  • Group Counselling is not focused on any one individual as it is in individual therapy. 
  • Although the privacy of information is presumed, the risk of a breach of confidentiality is more significant in a group. 
  • The relationship between patient and counsellor is not as intense in group sessions. 
  • Group counselling sessions are set at specific days and times. A member cannot reset a meeting to fit in their schedules. 
  • In larger groups, subgroups may form, and personality clashes may occur.

What Does an Alcohol Counsellor Do?

An alcohol counsellor guides people with alcohol use disorder in their thought and feeling processes. The alcohol counsellor empowers patients to identify unsafe situations and triggers that make them vulnerable to relapse. [7]

Alcohol rehab counsellors provide professional alcohol consumption advice by asking each person what results they expect from the rehab treatment. 

A counsellor will begin the first session by talking about the counselling process and how it may develop. 

Whether it’s with one person or a group, a counsellor provides immediate confidential help and non-judgmental environment for them to open up about their drinking history, family relationships, lifestyles, and their expectations from the rehab programme.  

An alcohol counsellor will guide and support their clients on the way to sobriety and avoiding a relapse. 

They will motivate the individual to persevere in the rehab process and educate them on conquering their cravings.

A counsellor for alcohol rehab will develop a systematic treatment process considering each person’s unique circumstances to achieve recovery.

Post recovery, a counsellor will work with the individual to develop a comprehensive relapse prevention programme that will include the following: 

  1. A list of previous relapses and their surrounding circumstances 
  2. Warning signs of a relapse and effective ways to manage them 
  3. A complete list of trusted family members, friends and substance abuse workers that can act as a support system 
  4. An emergency plan in case of a relapse 

Alcohol rehab counsellors acknowledge that the individual is ultimately responsible for their recovery. 

The counsellor’s role is to help the person identify their unhealthy thinking processes and behavior, overcome them, and lead the individual to recovery by building their strength and self-confidence to control their lives. 

Alcohol rehab counsellors may be in physical health care or social work and have taken further rehabilitation counselling studies, specializing in alcohol rehab. 

Rehab counselling may be a certified course, a master’s degree, or a doctorate. 

Their training includes exposure and dealing with people with substance use disorders.

Types of Professionals Involved in Care 

Provider Type 

Degrees & Credentials 

Treatment Type 

Primary Care Provider 

M.D., D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine), additionally you may see a Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant 

Medications, Brief Behavioural Treatment, Referral to Specialist 


M.D., D.O. 

Medications, Behavioural Treatment 


Ph.D., Psy.D., M.A. 

Behavioural Treatment 

Social Worker 

M.S.W. (Master of Social Work), L.C.S.W. (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) 

Behavioural Treatment 

Alcohol Counsellor 

Certificate in Drugs and Alcohol Counselling (GCU accredited) 

Behavioural Treatment 

Benefits of Alcohol Counselling

The benefits of alcohol counselling are that it helps a person achieve their recovery goals faster and more safely.  A recovered person will have a vastly improved quality of life and develop healthy relationships based on trust and respect.

Here are some of the benefits that alcohol counselling gives: 

Awareness of your strengths, weaknesses, and thought processes. 

Upon completion of your alcohol counseling programme, you would probably experience signs of withdrawal. In some cases, these symptoms turn to be exacerbated by basic weaknesses in health and thought process.

A comprehensive alcohol treatment programme will seek to provide continuous assessment in your though process to identify your weaknesses and stop the thought process that leads to alcohol usage.

You gain a set of life skills for when you are faced with problems and obstacles. 

From the onset of recovery, you will have a new thought process that helps you learn something new.

Conquering alcohol addiction gives you an ability to stay calm, particularly in a room setting. In your progression in individual meetings and group meetings, you will take great action in solving problems.

The end result is a lot prominent arrangement and outlook in solving alcohol problems.

You can conquer the negative thoughts that trigger the cravings for alcohol. 

One of the pessimistic reliance on liquor use is eliminated. It is prescribed as one of the preliminary segments in your alcohol treatment programme that enhances your liquor detoxification.

Holistic alcohol treatment encapsulates conquering negative thoughts that trigger and fuel negative thoughts.

Residential alcohol rehab programmes, like Abbeycare's, attempt to make interactions exclusive and holistic to be conceivable in comprehensive treatment for negative thoughts.

You develop empathy, and you are better able to understand other people. 

Liquor addiction destroys individual psyche, body and thought process. Remedial methods can deal with recuperation that give enthusiastic recovery coupled with empathy.

One of the main components of alcohol treatment is the fellowship created between alcohol counselors and fellow recovering addicts. The profound development that follows mending improves mending that helps you better understand other people.

Having a system of people who understand your recovery process makes you appreciate love, hope, friendship and support for other people.

Counselling teaches you to set goals and milestones to maintaining sobriety. 

It is not uncommon to feel the urge to head to the liquor store whenever you feel like giving up.

The challenge to resist the temptation gives you an environment to improve psychological and social functioning that enables you to set and maintain goals.

You regain friends, become productive, and achieve a purpose in your alcohol-free life.

Continued support even after leaving the rehab enables you establish fruitful relationships. The goal of the rehabilitation is to get on to full abstinence and recovery in the long-term.

Multiple accompanying benefits will help you gain friends, achieve quantifiable goals as you learn how to feel good in achieving other accomplishments.

benefits of alcohol counselling

Alcohol rehabilitation counselling is available in drug abuse and alcohol rehab facilities for outpatient and residential rehab.

Your facility of choice depends on available family therapy options, long-term relevance and how well it suits your location.

Visit or call the rehab treatment facility of your choice for more information about alcohol counselling.

If you think now is the time for you to seek help for your alcohol addiction, look up alcohol rehabs in Cardiff to enrol in a suitable facility. Admitting that something is wrong with your usage of alcohol is the first step in recovery. And the truth is that you are not alone; many people also check in at a rehab facility when they feel help is needed. In rehab, you will benefit from extended care depending on your unique needs.

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About the author

Laura Morris

Laura Morris is an experienced clinical practitioner and CQC Registered Manager with over twenty years experience, over ten of which have been as an Independent Nurse Prescriber.

She has held a number of senior leadership roles in the substance use and mental health sector in the NHS, the prison service and in leading social enterprises in the field.

Last Updated: October 31, 2023