Help and Support for Families of Problem Drinkers

The Bottled-up Approach

.The Bottled-Up approach comes from a melding of experience and research and a decade of providing help and support for families of problem drinkers.

It is a very pragmatic and practical approach that aims to empower you and put you back in control of your own life.

The Bottled-Up approach has 6 main goals.  We hope that, since you are on this website, you share these goals.

The goals are:-

  • to maintain safety – we believe that your safety and survival is of paramount importance.
  • to preserve your relationship – to provide you with tools to that may save your relationship *
  • to reduce problems – we assume that you want to reduce the problems associated with alcohol.
  • to inform/educate/support families of problem drinkers – we assume you are looking for information and support to address your problems.
  • to empower – we will show you how to have some control over your life and to live a more fulfilled life.
  • to promote dialogue – we provide a means of communicating with your drinker in a productive way (we have a unique Intervention for this purpose).

* If as we proceed maintaining the relationship feels more and more difficult, don’t despair.  If you do leave the relationship eventually, having worked through this process will help you to move on with your life at a later point knowing that you really have done what you could.

The Tools

To do this we have put together a process we call HOPE, a tool called SHARE and a suggested attitude called LOVE.


LOVE is a very realistic approach to living with a problem drinker with the main goal of keeping a relationship alive.  It is designed to minimise the negative feelings that are often prevalent in relationships with a drinker.  This has a short term goal of preventing you feeling the guilt that comes with the negative feelings.  However, it also has a longer term goal of keeping a relationship alive if your drinker recovers in the future.

LOVE is a way of acting and feeling towards your drinker.  As an attitude it is not an easy one to adopt but it is a very powerful tool that incorporates the psychological principles that motivate and drive change (You can find out more about how alcoholics change here).  In the members’ section of the website we go into detail how to use it (and the other tools) effectively.   For the moment it stands for:-

Leave him/her to sort out their own issues

Optimise your time with him/her when they are sober

Value the person that you love(d)

Encourage and praise any attempts at positive change


HOPE is the engine that drives the Bottled-up approach.  It is a process that allows you to take control of your life, to examine the problems in detail and to apply measures to minimise the damage.  As before we will explain HOPE in detail and walk you through step by step in the members’ area.  HOPE stands for:-

Assess the Harm

Survey the Options

Promote change

Evaluate progress


SHARE is the tool that you will use to create these changes.  It represents a way of looking at your life and especially the effect of alcohol on it.  It provides you with the priority list for change and a method of evaluating whether your efforts are having the effect that you hoped for.  As with the other tools, we will look at SHARE in some detail in the members’ area.  For the moment SHARE stands for :-






In Summary

Bottled-up was created to provide help and support to the families of problem drinkers.  As an approach it has six main aims, discussed above.  It suggests that these aims are best achieved by adopting a particular pragmatic attitude – LOVE and by engaging in a process – HOPE that utilises an unique assessment tool – SHARE.

It may seem confusing at the moment, especially on the first read.  However in the members’ area of Bottled-up we take you by the hand and guide you through it.  Living with a drinker is confusing enough, without us making it more so.  But, as you already know – there are no easy answers!  If there were you would not need us.

Are you ready to change your situation?

Do you want to feel empowered in your life?

Join Bottled Up for Families and let us help you through an approach that has transformed many lives.