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Individual and Family Therapy for Alcoholism

Many individuals with alcoholism also struggle with depression and anxiety disorders.  It is important that individuals in recovery continue to address these issues through individual and/or family therapy, in addition to attending support group meetings and meetings with their sponsors.  Talking to a psychotherapist is important to address the underlying emotional issues that make it difficult to maintain sobriety.

In the first year of recovery individuals struggle with high levels of stress and anxiety due to all the changes that are occurring simultaneously.  It is during the first year that many individuals that are not getting adequate support will experience a relapse.  Psychotherapy is important not only because it is an added support to you as you are in recovery, but it can help you work through the emotional and mental processes that may be adding to your stress level.   

In addition to helping you stay on the road to recovery, family therapy is necessary to help your family understand more about what you are experiencing and how they can help you.  By opening up doors of communication between family members, healing can begin, through understanding. Many family members do not understand what alcoholism is or how difficult it is to overcome.  Family therapy helps families understand how to join together and support one another.  Building and rebuilding relationships is an important part of the recovery process. 


Neurofeedback and Alpha-Stim are additional treatments that have been found to help with the recovery process.  More research is being conducted on the effectiveness of neurofeedback in the recovery process.

The research that has been done has indicated that the use of neurofeedback in addition to the other treatments is more effective at maintaining recovery during the first year after treatment. 

In the study by William C. Scott, et al.(2005),121 participants from a residential treatment program participated in a study to determine effectiveness of neurofeedback (EEG Biofeedback) in helping addicts finish treatment and maintain sobriety during the first year.  The results of the study indicated that individuals receiving neurofeedback stayed in treatment significantly longer than those not receiving treatment and 77% of the individuals that received neurofeedback remained sober during the first year compared to 44% of the individuals that did not receive neurofeedback. 

Alpha-stim or Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES)

CES is the application of low-level, pulse electrical currents applied to the head for psychological purposes.  It is FDA approved for the treatment of situation and chronic anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress-related and drug addiction disorders, as well as treating pain.  It is a simple treatment that can be used at any time. 

The client simply attaches clip-electrodes to the ears.  The reduction of anxiety usually occurs during the first treatment, but can also be seen hours later or even the next day. Cranial electrotherapy allows you to be alert yet in a relaxed state, or an alpha state. 

People have stated that they feel lighter, relaxed, and their minds are more alert.  This is the result of the production of alpha waves.  Different brain waves are associated with different mental states. Alpha waves are associated with the state of being alter and relaxed.  CES can be used in conjunction with medication. However it maybe necessary to reduce the dosage of the medication while using CES.  It is important to consult with your doctor before you reduce or stop your medication, any adjustment to medication needs to be done under the supervision of a doctor.

More information on Alcoholism

  • Alcoholism Overview
  • Is there a cure for alcoholism?
  • What are the signs of alcoholism?
  • Alcoholism Treatment Options
  • Alcoholism and Teenagers
    • Alcohol consumption during adolescence may cause permanent damage to the certain key areas of the brain. Read more about alcoholism in teenagers
  • Treatment Options for Alcoholism in Teenagers
  • Tips for Parents regarding Alcohol
    • Discuss the facts of alcohol and read about other tips for parents regarding alcoholism
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