In the countries of Europe or America, there are group therapy sessions under the banner of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to deal with the problem of alcoholism. However, in India and especially in the city of Kolkata, there aren’t many such groups that will help you come out of the problem of alcoholism. This has a lot to do with the taboo surrounding the problem of drinking. Most alcoholics are unwilling to acknowledge that they have a problem and they need help. This is the biggest hurdle in dealing with the problem.
Many alcoholics do not think that they qualify as one. They live in a state of denial and get defensive, even abusive and violent, if they are pressed on this issue to seek help. What makes the problem more complicated is that when they are not under the influence of alcohol, they lead respectable, social lives. It is only when they hit the bottle that they turn into a completely different person, ignoring the interests of family, friends and their professional lives.
The job of a psychologist dealing with an alcoholic is tough because the ego and morale of the person concerned cannot be hurt. If they feel threatened or humiliated, the treatment will not go a long way. Additionally, abstaining from alcohol after prolonged addiction can lead to tremendous stress on the body, sometimes leading to seizures. So a psychologist has to be ready for such situations and discuss medications beforehand.
A major reason for alcoholism is relapsing into the habit even after kicking the bottle. Alcoholics require constant motivation so that they are encouraged to keep abstaining, despite the temptations.
Friends and family members of alcoholics have to play a strong role in their treatment. Without their support, the affected person cannot go the whole way. The worth of the person concerned needs to be emphasized regularly so that they know that their efforts in fighting alcoholism are being met with appreciation. That will motivate them further. A psychologist will have to take their family into confidence when required.
In terms of psychological counselling alone, both group and individual therapies are effective, depending upon the individual in question. However, it is wrong to think that only will power will help fight alcoholism. Alcoholics require professional psychological counselling as well.