Presenting problem: Problem Drinking
Treatment modality: BWRT®
Number of sessions: 6
B is a successful businessman in his early 50’s who is suffering under the weight of work-related stress and self-medicating with alcohol as a coping strategy.
During our consultation he says he cannot continue with the way things are. He is relieved that a recent medical check-up gave him a clean bill of health but realises that, if he doesn’t gain control over his drinking now, he is heading for trouble in the future – not least because it’s causing major problems in his marriage.
When we meet for the first time, B tells me about the great love and respect he has for his father, who died some years ago. It soon becomes clear he has never truly come to terms with his loss; as he talks, B’s eyes swell with tears and his Adam’s apple bobs up and down in his throat, as he tries to swallow his sorrow.
This unexpected surge of grief takes him by surprise and I explain that, to get the absolute best out of therapy, we really ought to resolve it, first. I reassure B that he won’t ever have to tell me what he is thinking and guide him through the process.
Immediately afterwards, B says he feels lighter and brighter, as though a huge weight has been lifted. We spend the remaining time talking about his father and he smiles as he reminisces, without any hint of tears or hurried swallowing.
Because there is currently little he can do to reduce the work stress he is under, without giving up his business entirely, in the next session I help him find a different response to the stressors. He chooses a more pragmatic attitude of ‘what will be, will be’ to help him through this rocky patch, which clears the way for us to tackle his problematic drinking.
Fully committed to achieving his goals, B’s progress through the four-stage programme is remarkable. Each session he arrives looking fitter and healthier than the last, and always leaves with a spring in his step. Along the way, he joins a gym, takes up a new hobby with his wife, and gives up going to the pub straight after work every day.
By the time we arrive at our last session, B reports he is sleeping better and no longer wakes in the morning feeling guilty, now that he isn’t getting into drunken arguments with his wife the night before. He is full of enthusiasm as he tells me about his plans to set up a coaching club for young people, in the sport at which he used to be a champion, in the hours he used to spend in the pub.
Standing proudly as he thanks me, B walks out of my consulting room and doesn’t look back.
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