Brief motivational techniques and alcohol misuse

Some evidence – there is enough evidence to indicate that this can be a helpful treatment option.

Brief motivational interventions can be delivered in different ways and are often part of another treatment. For example, if you have an injury related to alcohol misuse and need to go to A & E then you might be offered a short counselling session lasting 5-10 minutes. This would look at:

  • the risks related to how you drink alcohol
  • advice about reducing or stopping drinking alcohol
  • the help that’s available to help you stop drinking alcohol
  • any emotional issues related your drinking

Brief motivational interventions might also be delivered over one or two longer sessions and help you to think through the possible benefits and concerns to do with stopping drinking alcohol.

You should not be offered a brief motivational intervention as a standalone treatment for alcohol misuse. Instead, this type of treatment should be part of your initial assessment or part of other treatments (such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or family based treatments).

Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set optional analytics to help us improve it. We won’t set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We’d like to set non-essential cookies, such as Google Analytics, to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our Cookies page. If you are 16 or under, please ask a parent or carer for consent before accepting.