Alcohol Counselling

Briony’s approach to alcohol issues, whether you are concerned about your own or another person’s use of alcohol, is non-judgemental, relaxed and compassionate.

Her view of alcohol use is that it can be behaviour like any other. Many people enjoy alcohol in moderation and it is a source of conviviality, enjoyment and a way to relax. It is only when alcohol is not used in moderation that it can become problematic.

Alcohol in Society

Alcohol is as much a part of the fabric of Australian society as football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden so goes the song! Australia is a country where every occasion – be it glad or sad – is celebrated or commiserated by alcohol use.

Many of us have our first drink when we are very young. We may drive past several alcohol outlets every time we leave the house. Our sporting events are often sponsored by alcohol companies, and our weddings and our wakes more often than not involve varying degrees of alcohol use.

“I used to love beer I couldn’t get enough of it. I used to say… put a jug of beer in front of me, one jug in my left hand and one in my right hand and throw another one over me!””

— Billy Connolly on why he gave up alcohol

What should you do when alcohol use becomes problematic?

Consult a specialist. Find out more about Briony’s qualifications and training here.

Briony Barton is a social worker with over twenty five years experience who has worked as a counsellor, family therapist, group leader and educator in the area of alcohol use. Briony has worked at  the Drug and Alcohol Services (SA); the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction and for ten years in her own private practice with people who are concerned about their own or friend or family member’s alcohol use.

A percentage of the population find that there are also negative aspects to alcohol use and these largely fall into three categories of problem use: intoxication, regular excessive use and dependence:

Intoxication

  • you hurt yourself,
  • it can be embarrassing,
  • you miss work more than once with a hangover,
  • you lose your driver’s licence, a partner, a mate, a wallet, a phone.

Regular excessive alcohol use

  • your health may be affected including memory, concentration, mood, weight and blood pressure;
  • there is a correlation between anxiety, depression and alcohol use;
  • your relationships may be affected by putting alcohol before your partner or children;
  • financial difficulties.

Dependence is a life that revolves around alcohol:

  • you may be very reluctant to attend any social function that does not involve alcohol;
  • alcohol becomes very important despite taking risks. You have been spoken to about inappropriate use of alcohol at work functions or your behaviour when caring for a child, but you convince yourself it will be okay;
  • some claim that it is hard to have a good time without alcohol and sometimes without a lot of alcohol.

What happens when you attend an appointment with Briony?

Briony believes it is respectful and helpful to get to know you as a person. We look for your strengths and what may underlie the alcohol use becoming problematic. Some people engage in excessive use of alcohol as the fondness for it results in more and more consumption until they develop a large tolerance and find it difficult to modify or cease their behaviour. Some people have issues with grief, anxiety, depression, relationships, worry about the future or troubling aspects in their past.

Briony will do a thorough assessment only of your use of alcohol and other substances over time.

She will then collaborate with you and together you will agree on the most appropriate evidence-based intervention available that is tailored to, and matching your specific needs.

Briony has worked with many, many families and friends. Often the parents or partners of problem drinkers may also need information, support and strategies for managing. Contact Briony to discuss your needs or make an appointment.