Skip to main content

I don’t want to count my drinks… An alternative approach to setting “count goals” as part of an alcohol reduction plan.

20 Oct. 2021

Behaviour change research strongly indicates that to successfully change habits we need to ensure that the behavioural goal is broken into realistic and manageable components. In relation to reducing alcohol consumption we often set ourselves goals to reduce the number of drinks on a daily or weekly basis. This inevitably means that we are counting our drinks in order to assess whether we have achieved our goal. Therefore, the primary goal is to achieve a certain number of drinks.  However, it is possible that count goals may negatively impact treatment adherence, data quality, and clinical outcomes and this is particularly relevant for digital interventions where the focus is often on counting particular behaviours (i.e., number of alcoholic drinks). I would like to propose an alternative approach to setting alcohol reduction goals  – the Chronos Method. This method directly sets limits on the frequency of a problem behaviour without the need to count, thereby circumventing the typical drawbacks of setting a count goal. The Chronos Method limits the time period in which a problem behaviour can occur, affording a functional synergism with digital platforms that can be programmed to cue goals and interventions at specific times and in daily life.

Associate Professor Petra Staiger is a Senior Academic and Psychologist within the School of Psychology at Deakin University and Deputy Director of the Centre for Drug Use, Addictive and Anti-social behaviour (CEDAAR). Her expertise is primarily in the treatment of addiction. Her work consists of a mix of: a) theoretical/experimental work which informs our understanding of the mechanisms underlying substance disorders (a focus on impulse control and emotion regulation); b)  conducting clinical trials; c) conducting translational research by working directly with services to implement and evaluate best practise approaches. She has written over 100 publications and presented at a range of national and international conferences.

Date: Wednesday 20th October 2021
Venue: Online
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm AEST
Cost: Free - Talking Point is a free seminar series but registrations are essential
Register: Click here to register
There is no cost to attend but registrations are essential