Mr. Jed is a heavy drinker or at least he is dependent on alcohol relative to the symptoms he displays. The client’s behavioral characteristics that qualify as symptoms for alcohol dependence include neglect for other important social activities, excessive consumption of alcohol, impaired control over the drinking behavior, persistent usage despite knowledge of the negative effects, and the acts of spending large amounts of time drinking with friends (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, n.d., para. 1-7). However, the client seems to be in the contemplation stage of change considering that he is willing to consider the likelihood that he is losing control over his drinking behavior, and hence there is hope for change. Unfortunately, the client seems to be riding on the fence, and therefore, there is no commitment to the change process.
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Moreover, considering that the client had already attended some alcohol management lessons in the past, he is interested in learning more about the symptoms of alcoholism and the availability of treatment options. Most importantly, Jed admits that his problem of consuming excessive amounts of alcohol is causing problems in his family especially with his wife who seems to avoid him whenever he is drunk. Regrettably, the underlying negative effects of his behavior are not sufficient enough to allow him to make an informed decision about quitting drinking because there is the fear that he may lose the respect his friends and co-workers have for him. On the other hand, the client fears that he may not withstand the alcohol withdrawal symptoms because he feels suffocated and jumpy whenever he misses the bottle (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, n.d., para.1-7). These indicators among others such as the disconnected family ties between the client and other family members may influence the success of the client’s therapy.
Considering the client’s stage of change as highlighted in the foregoing discussions, there is the need for the treatment professional to help Mr. Jed in terms of making a risk-reward analysis relative to his alcohol drinking problem. Being the first goal in treatment, the client should be engaged in considering the advantages and disadvantages of his drinking behavior on one hand, and the pros and cons of changing the behavior on the other hand (Mayo Clinic, 2011, para. 1-3). Overall, the client should find a common ground between the two sides. Additionally, the client should look at the previous attempts made toward behavioral change to stamp out the sources of failure, which will then be used to inform the current change process. Subsequently, the treatment professional should seek to encourage the client to have confidence in his ability to achieve change. Moreover, the treatment professional should aid the client in identifying various ways to overcome the underlying barriers to change.
After overcoming the barriers to change and achieving confidence in his ability to change, the client would have moved to the ‘action’ stage of change whereby with the help of the loved ones especially his immediate family, the client should attempt to make small changes while gathering more information regarding the change and recovery processes. Here, the objective should entail limiting the amount of alcohol consumed daily, which will be achieved through seeking help from the existing community self-help groups, his treating physician, friends, and counselors. Subsequently, the client would do better by having his goals and action plan written down and checked accordingly after they have been attained or otherwise. Overall, giving up alcohol will be the ultimate goal of the treatment program, and thus, all the other goals should be made in such a way that they all lead to the final goal. Most importantly, the treatment goals should belong to the client in question who should make the first step toward change, and hence the significance of other players including the family members and friends would be creating a favorable environment and helping the client to achieve behavioral change (Mayo Clinic, 2011, para. 4-7).
Mayo Clinic. (2011). Alcoholism: Treatment and Drugs. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Web.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (n.d.). Case examples. Web.