Mark Spalek is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner and Director of Positive Blossom Limited. He runs a busy practice in Leicester, Positive Suggestions Hypnotherapy, based in the UK and is registered with the General Hypnotherapy Register (validated by the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council). He is continually driving his therapeutic techniques forward through innovation, research and dedication.
One of the most common issues clients contact me with is to get help with binge drinking, which is no big surprise because, according to the World Health Organisation, the UK has some of the highest binge drinking statistics in the world. Indeed a recent report has placed the UK 13th in the world for heavy drinking – I must say that I was surprised when I read this.
There are several different methods and techniques that I have found useful in helping people overcome their binge drinking:
1. Anchoring Power and Control
It’s really important to refocus and experience moments in your life where you had power and control. The mind can be taught to make a link between this remembered memory of power and control and saying no to alcohol in future situations. Getting the client to experience these positive feelings can be enhanced through the use of hypnosis. Sometimes a client may not remember such a memory, in which case I help them imagine themselves as being in control of a situation and we work to heighten these experiences with hypnosis so that they can resist future urges to binge on alcohol.
2. Imagining A Self That No Longer Binges On Alcohol
Binge drinking is a negative habit that has been reinforced through repetition. By refocusing the mind and getting the client to experience themselves without the drinking habit they can begin to let go of the habit. This is done under hypnosis and can be remarkably powerful because of the empowering effects of being able to experience oneself in a positive way instead of feeling guilt or remorse, typical feelings experienced after a period of binge drinking.
3. Saying No! To Alcohol In Future Situations
Mental rehearsal techniques of resisting the need to binge drink under hypnosis can be highly effective in integrating the ability to say no in situations which could provoke heavy drinking, for example, at a party or social event.
It’s important to get the client to ‘see hear feel’ themselves in that situation not binge drinking – confidence that they can say no to alcohol is built up through the positive feelings and sensations that they experience while their mind and body are fully relaxed.
4. Dealing With Triggers In A More Positive Way
Binge drinking is often associated with potent emotions and feelings that seemingly control the drinker and add to the feeling of helplessness which leads to alcohol abuse. Yet hypnosis can provide an alternative means of facilitating different internal processes that can help get rid of the habit. Through hypnosis you can take control of your drinking and no longer be bullied by the habit.
For example, in a situation where a client binge drinks at home we get them to experience the emotions and feelings associated with their habit while the client is under hypnosis. Perhaps the client drinks to avoid dealing with a family issue? Perhaps the drinking is there because of loneliness or boredom?
Once the reasons for bingeing are apparent, sessions can focus on dealing with these issues in a healthy positive way that no longer involves drinking heavily. For example, joining social groups or doing a hobby to relieve loneliness and boredom.
5. Communicating With The Drinking Part
We are the sum of many different parts. For example, part of me wants to go to the gym while part of me wants to sit in front of the TV and eat ice cream. An important technique I often use with binge drinkers is to communicate directly to the part responsible for the bingeing and to get it to try healthy alternative ways of behaving instead, involving suggestion.
Remember that there is often a positive payback for any negative habit so by determining the positive intentions behind bingeing we can start to find new healthy ways of getting these benefits without drinking alcohol. Perhaps bingeing on alcohol makes you relax in social situations? In which case, I work on instilling confidence within a client as well as dealing with any social anxiety so that they can experience going to a party or a social event without the need to drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
If you have any questions regarding binge drinking or heavy drinking please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to help!
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