Forty-eight early-stage problem drinkers were recruited through a newspaper announcement and randomly assigned to one of four outpatient treatment groups: (1) Bibliotherapy- Behavioral Self-Control Training (BSCT), (2) BSCT-therapist directed, (3) Training in Coping Skills and (4) a combination of BSCT and Coping Skill Training. The weekly alcohol consumption in all groups decreased significantly from intake to 3, 6 and 12 month follow-up. There were no significant differences among the groups. At the same time the number of life problems decreased significantly. The majority of the clients reduced their alcohol consumption during the assessment period, before treatment started. The absence of a non-treatment control group means that we cannot be sure about the reasons for this early change. Theoretical implications of these results are discussed.