Why Individual Counseling Is So Important When Recovering From Alcoholism

Recovering from alcoholism is a challenging and very personal journey. Some people choose to embark on this journey alone, while others do so with the help of group therapy and 12-step programs. Regardless of which approach you choose, it's also helpful to see a therapist or counselor individually during this challenging time. Here's why.

A therapist listens without asking anything of you.

Support groups can be great. You get to talk about your problems while others listen, and then you reciprocate and listen while they talk about their problems. Sometimes, however, attending support groups can start to feel like a bit of a burden since you're expected to listen and help others. When you meet with a therapist individually, on the other hand, it's all about you. You get to talk, and the therapist will listen — you don't have to share the spotlight with anyone else or make time for them. This can help you to feel more valued and important.

Your therapist can prescribe an individualized approach.

The tips and tactics learned in 12-step programs do work well for a lot of people, but since they're designed to work for everyone, they tend to be quite general. When you work with a therapist individually, they can recommend more personalized tactics based on your own unique life circumstances. For example, if you live next door to a bar and find it tempting to walk in there late at night, your therapist may recommend strategies to help you avoid drinking in that unique situation.

Your therapist can help identify underlying conditions that contribute to your alcoholism. 

For many people, alcoholism is a symptom of a bigger underlying problem, such as depression or anxiety. Support groups are not designed or qualified to deal with these bigger underlying problems. But your therapist can help identify and manage them. Doing so will reduce your chances of a relapse since you will have better dealt with the troubles that could trigger a relapse.

Your therapist can help you design individual goals.

Most people who get sober do so for a reason. They want to improve their job prospects, improve their health, or heal relationships with family members. It's tough to define these individual goals in a group setting, but your therapist can help you individually identify your own unique goals and reasons for quitting. Keeping these goals in mind will help you power through the tougher cravings.

For more information, contact local alcohol rehab counseling professionals.