Alcohol abuse is by far one of the biggest habits that clients come to see me about. To stop drinking, we need to determine the underlying cause.

But it’s just a habit

Well yes, but habits start somewhere, and the very reason that you started is still there, on the unconscious level, perpetuating your drinking. We need to update the unconscious mind about that habit. We need to reframe the reason why you started drinking in the first place. So, if you started drinking at 16 as a way of being social with the gang, as a way of fitting in, that’s what we work on. We effectively break the inner belief that you need to drink in order to feel accepted.

Say you started drinking as a social thing to do, like many teens do, but now its more of a ‘go-to’ every time you get stressed at work or at home. Then the plan has changed. The association is now twofold, and we need to address both of those.

But it’s so relaxing

The idea of alcohol as a relaxation device is, as you know, fraught with contradiction. Sure, it’s great to get a little dizzy in response to having the weight of the world on your shoulders. But get too dizzy and before you know it, your marriage breaks down. Your kids don’t look at you the same way. Your work is suffering. You are throwing hundreds of dollars down the gurgler every week. Your memory is not so great. Your stomach and liver are trying to tell you something, with a painful screech. And the list goes on.

Why stop drinking?

By all means, go right ahead. Don’t stop drinking! If it is not a problem for you, then it’s not a problem. I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’m here to help you get what you want. I once had a client who drank excessively – half a bottle of whisky per day, and half a case of beer. He liked to mix it up a little. I could not help him.

The reason is that he did not have a problem. He was healthy, according to his doctor, in fact in excellent shape. he was wealthy, so he did not care bout the expense. He did not suffer physically, mood wise of cognitively from the alcohol, so he was wanting to improve his performance. This man was like Hercules. It was his doctor who suggested he might cut down a little, because of his duty of care. That is not a good enough reason. This man had no problems with it. Unusual, yes, but that’s what happened. Essentially, the stakes were not high enough for him to cut down. He did not have anything to lose by continuing on.

To stop drinking, you need to fess up to the consequences that most people face, (excluding this Hercules character). I mean you really need to take note. You need to feel the pain of alcoholic dependency, subconsciously. It becomes very clear then that it is about choice. Do I want to lose my family, my job, my money, my health, or do I want to build my life and feel good?

To stop drinking, these consequences need to be made clear, as well as the alternative – that is, not drinking. Because you also need to be able to see and feel and experience what that would be like – your life as a non-drinker. You need to be able to sense your good health, how great it is to be free of worry, to have saved money or spent it on more worthwhile things, to have your family around you, to be a good role model to your kids, to have more time to do other things, because getting drunk is time consuming. Hypnotherapy can really help with getting these messages through.

I have assisted many clients to stop drinking, once they have understood their true motive for it, and they have understood the consequences. Around half of the time, they stop drinking when I target their anxiety, rather than their alcohol consumption. In those cases, anxiety has been the crux of the issue. Motive is everything.

But it’s fun!

When someone tells me this is why they cannot stop, especially when they are in their 40’s or older, I think, hmmm, do you suffer from depression? Most of the time the answer is yes. There are lots of ways of having fun that don’t involve drugs or alcohol. If someone has trouble feeling ‘up’ without a drink, there is usually something else going on.

So if you are ready to stop drinking, and you have a few good reasons to do so, we can help. Horizons Clinical Hypnotherapy Sunshine Coast