E is for Encourage change. Anyone changing any behaviour needs encouragement and affirmation. Drinkers are no different in that respect. Giving encouragement also helps you to feel part of that change, that it is a team thing, rather than something that s/he is struggling with alone.
OK, we can just hear that protests, but they are still drinking, so what’s to encourage!? Over the last few decades we have come to regard change as all or nothing, especially in drinking. The disease model of alcoholism tends to promote that attitude.
If we adopt that criteria for change – drinking vs not drinking – then many will be disappointed as it does not always happen like that. Sometimes changes can be small, like drinking less or less often or respecting a boundary that you have agreed, or agreeing to look for .help.
Recognising these small changes and affirming them can help to produce more and bigger changes. It can also help you by increasing your sense of hope.