Mindfulness and Drinking: Can you Ride Out the Urge?

Mindfulness-based approaches in therapy work to help clients notice but not suppress or judge or distract from particular urges that may be getting in the way of their quality of life.  This can be particularly helpful for clients who want to reduce alcohol consumption for instance or better manage their emotional reactivity that gets in the way of their relationships with others.

A small study referred to in this article about Mindfulness and alcohol use, supports that notion.  It states “During the mindfulness training [in the study], people were told to pay attention to cravings instead of suppressing them. They were told that by noticing bodily sensations, they could tolerate them as temporary events without needing to act on them”.  The idea is that as people become more aware of what they are experiencing in certain moments, they can take some time to get off automatic pilot and respond with some thought instead of reacting to a particular situation or what the DBT therapy model might refer to as the “Wise Mind“.

Indeed the Mindfulness notion of noticing, labeling — but not judging those feelings, cravings, urges — can be expanded to managing unhelpful emotions and feelings in other areas of our lives.

To book a consultation or first session, please contact me at cortney@ontariotherapist.com