Blogs Reports

Getting into Therapy as a Recovering Alcoholic 

Reported by Andrea

Published on Monday, October 2nd, 2023

Healthcare Access Mental Health
Blogs Reports

Getting into Therapy as a Recovering Alcoholic 

Written by Andrea

Published on Monday, October 2nd, 2023

Healthcare Access

Mental Health


I’m Andrea Gilbert, a recovering alcoholic for over 7 years. 

In this article I will be discussing how I got into CBT sessions while doing my recovery and how this has made a difference in my life moving forwards. I chose to do AA and counselling together because I was desperate to turn my life around. 

I decided to stop drinking alcohol on 21st January 2016 because I was not enjoying it anymore. I was not motivated to do anything or see anyone who cared about me. I was also on medication for depression which was making me feel 10 times worse. 

I knew I needed support and the medication was just making me worse. 

I was gaining weight at an alarming rate, so I took myself off the medication and I made a decision to go to my GP who referred me to Talking Wandsworth. It only took under 3 weeks to have my first appointment, which was a telephone call to work out the counselling I would be receiving. 

After the phone call I received an email from Talk Wandsworth who told me I would be having CBT therapy. 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a type of talking therapy. It is a common treatment for a range of mental health problems. CBT teaches you coping skills for dealing with different problems. It focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and actions.” Mind 2023. 

Before my first session with my CBT therapist, I had to complete a questionnaire, to see how my mental health was impacted from the scores. In my first session, we went through the scores. I was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression in my second session. 

According to my therapist, I had been through all the 12 Steps of PTSD and I was like an elephant getting bigger and bigger through moving on in life and not dealing with issues that impacted me – like losing my home – which I accept was my fault. 

I ended up doing 12 sessions of CBT and it has changed my life for the better. For me, talking about my issues and not sitting there overthinking about it has helped a lot. 

I understand therapy isn’t for everyone and getting it can be an issue depending on where you live but I believe mental health needs to be funded so more people can get the support they need.

Written by Andrea

I am a freelance journalist interested in empowering vulnerable communities to have their stories heard

Read all of Andrea's articles


Healthcare Access Mental Health

5 thoughts on “Getting into Therapy as a Recovering Alcoholic 

  1. Great article, Grace. Thanks for your bravery & openness in telling your story! I’m sure it will help many others..

  2. Well done Andrea, beautifully written and thank you for bravely sharing your lived experiences with the world, through your journey you will
    Help inspire others. Congratulations and well done for all you hard work, on what must have been a difficult journey.

  3. Hey. l love this piece. I had a similar experience with CBT. It really changed my life. But it was a lot more difficult for me to access it as i was in active addiction at the time. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. This is such a powerful and well-written article. Thank you for sharing your story. I couldn’t agree more: we desperately need meaningful, long-term investment in quality mental health services.

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