On Alcohol Addiction: The Imaginal and the Real

In this paper I discuss the nature of alcoholism taking both an imaginal and realistic perspective. I argue that the therapist needs to be alert to the possibility that the client’s behavioural symptoms are related to alcoholism, and to intervene when judged necessary. For an alcoholic, only when the drinking has stopped can genuine psychological work begin. I also acknowledge the value of Alcoholics Anonymous, with its ethically oriented twelve step program and the twelve traditions, and provision of community.