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made by the emergency room personnel, Albert was sent for mandatory
alcohol counseling.
Albert is now in treatment and is a reluctant client. He discounts his
drinking problem, claiming that he drinks no more than his friends.
Were it not for the accident, he argues, he would not be in counseling
since he was not having any serious problems in his life. That isn't alto-
gether true, however, given an evaluation by his work supervisor indicat-
ing, just the day before the accident, that Albert was in serious jeopardy
of being terminated at work.
After months of treatment where Albert would often sit in silence
and stare at the therapist, he has begun to talk about his feelings. He
feels strong when he drinks, he told the therapist, and loves the peaceful
feeling that comes over him as he gets drunk. He romanticizes his
drinking and can hardly wait to have his first drink of the day.
Sometimes he drinks when he wakes up and often drinks rather than
eat. He is aware that this cycle of drinking to feel better about himself
can only lead to serious life problems, but doesn't think he is capable of
Albert's therapist asked him to do an Internet search to find the best
approach to help Albert with his drinking problem. It seemed like a silly
request to Albert since the therapist was supposed to be the expert, but
Albert was intrigued and did as he was asked. When he met next with
the therapist, Albert had printed out a number of articles suggesting ways
of coping with young adult alcoholism that seemed reasonable to him
and to the therapist. From the work of Kuperman et al. (2001) , they
agreed that Albert had a number of problems that should be dealt with,
including problems at work, with friends, and with his alcohol abuse.
They decided that a cognitive-behavioral approach would work best,
with homework assignments and cognitive restructuring as an additional
aspect of the treatment. Albert was intrigued with an article he found on
the strengths approach and showed the therapist an article by Moxley and
Olivia (2001) that they both found quite useful. Another article by
Humphreys (1998) convinced them that a self-help group for young
adult abusers might also be helpful.
Albert has been in treatment for over a year. He is applying himself at
work. His drinking has modified itself somewhat. Although he still drinks
too much at times, he won't drive when he is drinking or engage in
risky behavior. He feels much less angry and has developed new friend-
ships with peers who don't drink or use drugs. The changes seem very
substantial, but it's too early to know if the alcoholism is likely to
become problematic when he deals with additional life stressors. Albert
is unsure and says that, “Yes, it's all helping me but my head isn't always
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