Alcohol Abuse

Effective counsellors for mild to moderate alcohol use

Did you know alcohol is the most commonly treated drug in Australia? 1 in 6 people consume alcohol that places them at a lifetime risk of an alcohol related disease or injury and1 in 5 (22%) Australians aged 14 and over reported being a victim of an alcohol-related incident in 2016. The statistics show that in Australia we have a strong drinking culture which can impact your health, safety and behaviour.

Many people may not even realise that they are unable to stop at just one or two occasional drinks. Drinking can cause complications to your health and relationships and looking for support is the right thing to do.

For many people, alcohol is a coping mechanism when experiencing life stresses such as a difficult situation at work or home. People turn to alcohol for many different reasons including difficulty in relationships or coping with anxiety and depression.

What is Alcohol Dependence?

Regular use of alcohol can result in alcohol dependence. You will feel a strong desire to drink and you can often find it hard to limit how much you consume. Drinking also becomes a priority over important commitments and can have a significant impact on your physical and mental health, as well as your relationships.

Alcohol Abuse Assessment

We can help you with an assessment of your alcohol use levels.

What is the difference between Alcohol Dependence and Alcohol abuse?

A person with alcohol abuse continues to drink despite the social, interpersonal and legal problems that result from their alcohol use. The level of drinking is harmful and causes physical and mental damage. Someone with alcohol abuse can be helped by intervention including education about the effects of binge drinking and alcohol poisoning. The continual abuse of alcohol and disregarding the warming signs, can lead to alcohol dependence. This is when you become physically and mentally addicted to alcohol. Someone who is alcohol dependent will generally require outside help to stop, including detoxification, medical treatment, professional rehab and counselling.

Am I an Alcohol Abuser?

According to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV, you are an alcohol abuser if you continue to drink despite recurrent social, interpersonal, and legal problems as a result of your alcohol use. Harmful use will causeyou physical or mental damage. If you are diagnosed with alcohol abuse you can typically receive help through intervention and education related to binge drinking and alcohol poisoning.

Am I an Alcohol Dependent?

If you are alcohol-dependent, you meet all of the criteria of alcohol abuse mentioned above, but you will also exhibit some or all of the following:
  • Instead of consuming a variety of drinks you will choose one specific brand or type of alcoholic beverage.
  • You only go to social events or places that will include drinking.
  • You only socialise with others who drink.
  • You have a higher tolerance to alcohol. You need to drink more to get the desired feeling you are looking for from your alcohol consumption.
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms even after a short period of time not drinking.
  • You drink to avoid withdrawal symptoms or a hangover.
  • You have a craving for alcohol.
  • You feel a compulsion to drink regularly.
  • You are not able to abstain from drinking after deciding to quit.
Professional help is normally required to assist you if you become alcohol dependent. This will include detoxification, medical treatment, professional rehab or alcohol abuse counselling including group support networks.

What is controlled drinking?

Controlled drinking is only suitable if you have low levels of dependence. If you have high levels of dependence to alcohol, it is recommended you avoid alcohol completely. Controlled drinking should only be trialled after a period of no drinking for at least 3-6 months.

How does Alcohol Abuse Counselling Help You Break the Habit?

The first step is realising you have a dependence to alcohol. The next step is deciding you want to stop the habit and seek professional help. Regaining control is a big step but a vital one to ensure you look after your physical and mental health. If you want to learn how to stop after 2-3 drinks then an alcohol abuse counselling session is right for you.

Alcohol Abuse Counselling can help you with:
  • Evaluating the habit
  • Understanding the forces that drive your dependence
  • Controlling your drinking habit
  • Managing situations that maintain your alcohol dependence
  • Ending addictive patterns and behaviours
  • Dealing with underlying issues such as depression, anxiety or even trauma

How Can A resolution Applecross Help with Alcohol Abuse?

If you feel you have borderline Alcohol Abuse then you have come to the right place. A resolution Applecross provides a confidential service in a private practice setting. If you know within yourself you might have a problem or your loved ones have suggested that you might have borderline abuse with alcohol, then we can help you to work it out and reach your goals.

In addition, we also find that cognitive behavioural couple therapy is highly beneficial in situations where drinking can be the cause of a lot of arguments in your relationships. Improving your mental and physical health as well as your relationships can support you towards living a normal life without the dependence to alcohol.

If you feel this is the right time for you to make the change. Contact us and make a time to see one of experienced Psychologists who specialises in Borderline Alcohol Abuse.

Alcohol Abuse Counselling Team

Natalie Marques
Registered Psychologist

Natalie has significant experience with mild and moderate addictions including alcohol working at a drug rehabilitation centre for several years. Natalie uses an individualised combination of therapies suited to each client with an aim to get to the underlying causes to create lasting changes. To help people through this she uses a EMDR, person-centred, CBT and motivational interviewing style therapies.

Unami Magwenzi
Clinical Psychologist

Experience working with people with alcohol use issues in government and private practice.  Unami’s approaches include motivational interviewing which aims to strengthen the client’s motivation and commitment to change.  Usually alcohol misuse is comorbid with other mental health issues and hence alcohol abuse is treated within a biopsychosocial model considering other factors at play in the persons’ life.

Heidi Smith
Principal Psychologist

Heidi is passionate about helping people with mild to moderate alcohol use issues, particularly those who need to move on from ‘wine o’clock’ or the ‘hard earned thirst’. The key to success in this type of therapy is goal setting and planning and pacing the sessions to help you stay focused with your goals.


Our appointments are either 50 mins or 80 minutes of face-to-face time (i.e., time you meet with your psychologist). The remainder of the session is to make notes and prepare for your next session, this ensures that our sessions start on the hour or half hour. Initial individual appointments are 50 mins and couple or family appointments are generally 80 minutes.

Everyone’s journey is different however, it generally takes about 3 sessions to establish your concerns, discuss a bit of the history of the problem and agree on how you and your therapist will work together and what you will work on. Cognitive-behavioural therapy for alcohol use is short-term, typically lasting 10 to 20 sessions. If you would like to look at understanding deeper underlying causes for alcohol use this will require further sessions. After weekly and fortnightly sessions we encourage you to spread the remainder of the sessions across the year to help you stay focused on your goals around alcohol cessation/reduction. Managing an addiction is a life long commitment.

In the beginning you will need see your therapist weekly to establish your therapy and build some traction. This takes a minimum of 3 sessions we recommend you book these in on your first appointment. After this, therapy needs to be paced according to your issues, the therapy style your therapist is using and even your financial considerations. Some people come fortnightly, others monthly.
Once you book an appointment its yours. We encourage you to keep your appointments to avoid delays in booking new ones and to speak with our team members about discontinuing therapy. If there is no way you can make it please call reception to reschedule.

If there is no way you can make a skype session and you need to change or cancel an appointment, please provide at least 48 hours notice otherwise there are cancellation fees.

All of our team members are registered psychologists so you are able to claim Medicare or Private Health Fund rebates (you can only claim one or the other per session). Medicare provides a rebate of either $84.80 or $124.50 back per session for up to 10 sessions per calendar year provided you have a Mental Health Plan drafted by your GP and a referral letter to any psychologist. After the initial 6 sessions you need to return to your GP for a review to access the final 4 for the calendar year. Private health rebates are available provided you have cover for psychology.

We offer appointments between the hours of 9 am and 7pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday. Individual psychologist availability varies, please contact reception for more information.

Our couch, Your private space

Our private and warmly appointed rooms in Applecross provide the perfect space for you to begin your journey of self-development and start taking control of leading a more fulfilling life. We are located near Applecross Village with a private rear entry, upstairs at the back of the building.

Get In Touch

We will get back to via phone or email the same day during business hours!

To Make an Appointment Phone Today 08 6555 7786