Individual therapy to enhance self-control and reduce alcohol consumption
This is an outpatient, cognitive-behavioral therapeutic program that lasts about four months and requires one or two visits per week. The client should expect to perform certain tasks independently outside the therapeutic setting.
Non-abstinent approaches to the treatment of alcohol addiction have emerged in the 1970s in America and have spread in Western Europe in the 1990s due to the work of the German addictologist and professor of psychology Joachim Koerkel. These approaches currently form an integral part in therapeutic care in the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, and other European countries, and their effectiveness has been proven by a number of studies.
Prof. Dr. Joachim Koerkel who has had many years of practical experience in the treatment of addiction, stresses on the importance of human rights and dignity and the client-therapist collaboration during the course of treatment.
The main advantage of this therapeutic approach is, for clients, the gradual increase in self-confidence in dealing with the addictive substance. Clients also learn to deal more effectively with a possible “slip” by not viewing it as disastrous or leading to increased dependence.
One of the most common myths and mistakes about Controlled Consumption is the belief that this therapy is merely provision of support in the course of alcohol reduction. At the outset of treatment clients often say “I have tried to limit my consumption on my own and I was not able to…” Controlled Consumption therapy is an intense cognitive-behavioral program that focuses mainly on identifying and solving internal triggers that lead to the abuse of alcohol, on discovering and developing an internal motivation to change, and ultimately on the gradual increase of self-control over the addictive substance. The fact that clients reduce consumption and break out of the vicious circle of prior habits is more of a natural consequence of this internal change, which becomes the cornerstone of a new approach toward the self and addictive substances and a permanent part of one’s personality.
The program requires a close collaboration within the treatment setting and certain tasks to be performed at home. A frequent “homework” is to think about or observe certain topics. Controlled consumption therapy is only suitable for certain types of addiction disorders. Prior to joining the program, a diagnosis should be performed and a medical examination is recommended (in case any health problems have already been caused due to increased alcohol consumption, it is advised to start an immediate abstinence therapy).
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