Stress And Alcohol Misuse

Published: April 27th, 2022

Since Covid-19, there has been a reported increase in the need for support and clinical counseling for individuals using alcohol to cope with stress. Research shows that women are more likely than men to drink in response to stress. To address this need, Alpha Element Institute adapted the Alpha Element framework and method of stress management and self-coaching for clients who want to proactively manage stress and reduce their alcohol consumption. In the clinical setting, the Alpha Element method and framework is applied as a tool in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).

The Alpha Element method is built on a framework of patterns in behavior and communication. The framework includes the concept of four Vitality Types which is a new construct in the field of social science and human development. A core tenet of the Alpha Element method to stress management and alcohol moderation is that managing our relationship with self and others is key to managing our relationship with alcohol. Research documents the interconnected nature of alcohol misuse and mental health.

Case studies about the Alpha Element method of alcohol moderation management completed between June 2020 and July 2021 show that all participants developed and applied strategies to manage stress and moderate their alcohol intake, disrupt triggers and overcome barriers by implementing new daily routines. Below is an overview of our findings:

New self-awareness. All participants gained new awareness about patterns in their behavior and communication. This awareness supported them in their efforts to overcome triggers and implement new daily routines.

Shifts in thinking. All participants experienced a shift in thinking about how they come across in interaction with others. This awareness curbed tendencies to feel misunderstood and to personalize and internalize other people’s behavior and communication style.

Improved interpersonal communication skills. By recognizing patterns in behavior and communication style in others, participants reported that they were able to redirect triggers and go-to reactive behavior.

Enhanced self-understanding. By applying the Vitality Type categories, participants were able to change their narrative; the stories they were telling themselves about themselves and others.

Personalized self-coaching strategies. Participants were able to use the Vitality Types categories as tools to tailor self-coaching strategies to meet their individual needs.

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