Alcoholic Spouse

Parent Q&A

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  • I am looking for recent therapist recommendations to help me deal with my high-functioning alcoholic husband. I prefer a female therapist experienced with addiction issues. In-person (Berkeley/Oakland) is preferred, but I will consider Zoom. I have been enabling his behavior way too long. I've finally reached my breaking point. I need support while I navigate how to best express my dissatisfaction with our marriage and to confront him about getting help with detox/rehab (and his possible refusal and denial.) I am ready to kick him out if things don't change, but I want to keep things positive and be supportive as much as possible for the sake of our (mostly) grown children. He is not physically abusive, but he is prone to intense mood swings, so I really need to handle this properly. Thanks. 

    Sherna Perez, LCSW has lots of experience in this sphere. She has been very helpful for me (she is compassionate, available, strong, and supportive), and she does see clients in person in Oakland. Good luck!…

    Kathy Brady at kbrady [at]  I highly recommend her, and she's well qualified to address your particular set of challenges.  HUGS.  She's been on Zoom since the pandemic, but in the Before Times she had offices in both Berkeley and Oakland.

    And run, don't walk, to a Zoom AlAnon meeting!

    AlAnon- the cheapest, most effective therapy available anywhere, anytime needed in person or Zoom.

    Check out Emily Chong at 

    She sees clients in person in Elmwood, Berkeley and also online.
    I've been working with her for years and she helped me immensely with a similar situation with my partner who has substance abuse disorder. 

    Good luck!!

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Husband doesn't want to go to AA, wants a therapist

Jan 2006

I am looking for a recommendation for a female therapist who can help my husband work through emotions resulting from attempting to quit drinking. He doesn't want to go to Alcoholics Anonymous, but is willing to go to a therapist. When he tries to quit drinking he feels bored and like life is kind of pointless - he's very uncomfortable talking about this stuff. It's like pulling teeth to get him to talk to me about it at all, so I need someone who he'll feel safe enough to open up with - we want a female who is also committed to him making progress and not just going to automatically look to prescription drugs to alter the emotions. It would also be nice to have someone who will support our marriage working well also (so possibly someone who might be willing to eventually include me in some sessions to help with the way this stuff impacts our marriage.) anon I'm sorry to hear that you are married to an alcoholic. The good news is that there is help out there for YOU ... Because you did not cause it, you can't cure it and you will not be able to control it for him .. all you can do is help yourself and your children by going to Alanon meetings.

Here's the link to find a meeting:

There's also a great online support group, called Room 3 is where families and friends of alcoholics meet.

It's not easy, but you can learn to have hope and happiness. Good luck to you.

By the way, we all start out looking for help for the alcoholic. We end up realizing that the only person we have control over is ourselves... My heart goes out to you.

Couples therapist experienced with alcoholism

Feb 2004

I'm looking for a couples therapist with expertise around alcohol issues (agreements/contracts, boundaries, ACA pieces). I've checked the archives and haven't seen anything specific to this. Thank you. anon

I highly recommend Kirsten Beuthin, MFT. She specializes in working with alcohol and substance abuse problems, as well as ACA issues. Her number is 652-0990. anon