The key to getting the most out of alcohol rehab is to be as honest as possible during therapy and other activities where you need to open up about yourself. Here are five ways in which people can behave dishonestly while attending this type of programme:

1. Exaggerating

The most common motive for exaggeration is the desire to impress other people or to at least be more entertaining. Decorating the truth with a few embellishments can seem pretty harmless, but it means you are not being fully open about your life. The fact that people have this need to exaggerate also suggests that they need to work on their self-esteem. Catastrophizing (making mountains out of molehills) is also a type of attention-seeking behaviour.

2. Minimising

Minimising is one of the most common types of dishonesty that people caught up in addiction will exhibit, and it is a type of denial. It involves trying to play down the significance of bad decisions or actions. One technique that people use when minimalizing is to turn everything into a joke.

3. Lying by Omission

If people are too selective about the things they reveal about themselves, it can mean that they provide an inaccurate description. It involves only talking about the things that show them in a good light and ignoring all the bad stuff. Lying by omission can be just as dishonest as telling an outright lie because the intention is to deceive.

4. Denying

Denial is a type of defence mechanism that people use to protect their own ego. It can be a particularly dangerous type of dishonest because the person often isn’t even aware that they are doing it. One reason for why people caught up in addiction engage in this behaviour is cognitive dissonance. On one level, they know that what they are doing is wrong, but they also have a strong desire to continue with the alcohol abuse – the cognitive dissonance is resolved by denying the dangers and blaming the negative effects of addiction on other factors (e.g. ‘I lost my job because the boss hated me’).

5. Rationalising

Rationalising is an attempt to justify irrational behaviour. Humans have a need to view themselves as behaving in a logical way, and they can use all types of fallacious reasoning to make this appear to be the case – for example, people can claim they need to drink in order to be creative.