From Melbourne Party Girl to Alcohol Reduction Expert.
(It's amazing what can happen when you give up drinking!)
By Georgia Foster
Georgia Foster, is a clinical hypnotherapist and Voice Dialogue trainer. She is known as the 'Alcohol Reduction' Expert in the UK and Australia. Georgia has written many books and developed a number of on-line self help programs about self esteem, anxiety, emotional overeating and drinking.
Georgia has been featured regularly in the media such as Good Housekeeping, Psychologies Magazine, The Times Newspaper, The Morning Show and more about her unique and highly successful approach and is a regular speaker on the power of the mind.
Georgia lives in Melbourne, Australia with her partner Ian and their triplet boys Ollie, Finn and Hugh
Georgia’s Drinking story
Living in Melbourne, in my early 20’s I was a serious party girl who had a lot of friends, which on the surface seemed like a great life and to a certain extent it was.
However, under the happy go lucky façade was a very anxious person!
I drank because I thought I wasn’t funny enough or sexy enough without alcohol in my bloodstream! I assumed everyone was smarter than me. I believed drinking would make me more intelligent.
Then one day, I woke up with another shocking hangover, facing another day feeling awful about myself but with a bit of a difference…
Avoiding Shiraz moments were important.....
I felt this overwhelming desire to actually
take some time out of my party lifestyle and
find out who I was, which I knew I wouldn’t
find at the end of a bottle of Shiraz!
I went to the travel agent and asked
her if there was anywhere in
Australia I could go on my own to discover
‘who I was!’
So, a day later, I was on a plane from Melbourne to
Coolangatta to a ‘boot camp’ for the mind.
It doesn’t exist now but one of the most glaring memories of those two weeks was sitting in a room every morning with strangers who were telling their stories of drug addiction, gambling, overeating, anxiety, cheating… You name it!
Self-esteem is key
I noticed that even though we all had very different issues, the common theme was that we didn’t like ourselves very much!
Everyone had very low self-esteem, and this confused me because I thought everyone was smarter, slimmer and happier in their lives than me!
I arrived back in Melbourne, not knowing the answers to any of my questions but I had this incredible burning desire to figure out why this was such a common problem.
The book that changed my life!
Soon after, I was sitting with my parent's in their house and I stumbled across a book called Embracing Ourselves. It was a Jungian psychology book based on the theory that we are made up of different personality traits, some of which can hinder our sense of self-worth.
I couldn’t put the book down. It was like I was reading about myself!
With each page turn I kept nodding ‘Yep, this is how I talk to myself!’
In the book it discussed The Inner Critic which is the voice within that sabotages any hopes or dreams.
I suddenly realised that my Inner Critic was running my emotional life!
It was a light bulb moment that changed the course of my life personally and professionally.
My journey training to be a therapist
Six months later, I was on a plane to California to study with the authors of this book.
I lived on a campus with counsellor’s, psychologists and healers, all who like me felt they had found a method to help others improve their self-worth.
One of the key points the teachers explained to us was that the Inner Critic goes away when people drink alcohol. Now this made so much sense to me and it made me realise I had been drinking all these years to run away from this demonic voice!
Not only did I discover my Inner Critic, but I also discovered I had a strong ‘Pleaser’ personality that was always worried about what people thought of me.
This part runs itself ragged looking after everybody else to the detriment of their own self-worth.
The Pleaser is the part that attracts bullies and highly critical people because they believe ‘they are always at fault!’
I seriously resonated with this part because I could see I drank and partied to please others, not necessarily to please myself!
The most startling personality trait was the Perfectionist. This part is highly driven and has grand expectations of themselves. They are the ‘All or nothing drinker!’ They are great at alcohol-free days but cannot stop at just a few drinks.
London became my drink less training ground
After completing this training, I took myself off to London, UK to work for 6 months with my backpack on looking for an adventure.
I found a job working at Investment Bank as a PA, during one lunch break I read an article in one of the daily newspapers about a woman who had quit smoking through the power of hypnosis.
This was my second light bulb moment. It was like someone had someone had literally hit me over the head with a frying pan and this pushed into a whole new direction in my life.
Eighteen months later, I qualified with distinction at The London College of Clinical Hypnosis and went onto become one of their senior lecturers for many years.
During this time, I was building my client base, treating people for smoking, weight issues and anxieties.
Some people don’t want to quit
However, the one subject that kept coming up was about alcohol. I had one client who wanted me to help her drink less. She knew she needed to reduce her wine consumption but didn’t want to quit completely.
I was nervous to see if the combination of my psychology training in the Inner Critic, along with the hypnosis would work and it did brilliantly well!
This client kindly offered to be featured in a newspaper, and the word started spreading about my approach, which then led to a book called The Drink Less Mind and an on-line program called 7 Days To Drink Less.
Moving forward 22 years, I now reside back in Melbourne with my partner Ian and our triplet boys where we run our self-help business, specialising in alcohol reduction.
I know for a lot of people quitting alcohol is their only option, but for many there is a middle ground of drinking that can be achieved using my approach.
Discovering how to ‘manage the Inner Critic, rather than it managing you’ is key when it comes to drinking less.
Please find more details at www.georgiafoster.com.