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Unread 04-15-2006, 06:12 PM   #1
sarah
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Default Should you stay with the same counselor long term?

When I met my first addiction counselor I was at my lowest point. First impressions must account for something even with experienced counselors. As the next couple of months went by, with the help of the counselor and my treatment I got back to normal. For me drugs were a brief detour in my life and now that I was back to normal I felt much better. It might be just my imagination but I felt my counselor saw me as that person who first entered treatment and all of my improvement, was a direct result of the counseling, instead of a return to normal. I think my counselor felt I had tendency to revert back to that low state, since she saw that as my normal” when in reality my normal” was drug free and the drug use was only a temporary deviation. It’s hard to put my finger on it but a slight condescending tone and the focus on consequences of drug use, makes me think she saw my normal state as the one she met that first day of treatment, and that really wasn’t who I am.

I decided to get a new counselor whose first impression of me was more accurate, who understood that my drug use was only a temporary detour. That worked wonderfully, I was able to focus on my current issues and felt I had the respect of my counselor who seemed to know and understand me better. I have since ended counseling, but if I have the need in the future I will have no problem seeking it again.

I don’t know if my reasoning was correct, but if anyone finds they are hitting-the-wall with counseling, it may not be the counseling, but the match between you and your counselor mat no longer be the best match. Please don’t give up on counseling, but try to find another counselor that better understands and respects you.

Sarah
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Unread 04-15-2006, 08:22 PM   #2
Brett
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Very well said!!

Brett
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Unread 04-16-2006, 02:29 PM   #3
CK1976
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Some addiction counselors think it’s their job to convince us we should not do drugs. As soon as I run into one with this philosophy I leave. Not that I think I should do drugs but that I’m insulted and it shows a lack of understanding the disease if they think we just don’t understand that drugs are bad. Counseling should be about how eliminate the need to escape or self medicate. I already know drugs are bad and not the answer.
chris
 
Unread 04-17-2006, 03:36 AM   #4
OxyFreak
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As an addiction counselor and tharapist, I can tell you that are still MANY counselors out there who still "don't get it." They continue to practice a draconian, out-dated, XStep-based form of counseling that obviously does not work for many, if not most, especially those who are opiate dependent. You are correct in finding one who is a good fit for what YOU want to change in your life, not what the counselor wants you to change. It is YOUR life, YOUR recovery, and most of all, YOUR money. You deserve to get the counseing that works for you. Not some old fashioned, confrontational, uneducated and uninformed counselor who basically has the attitude "my way or the highway." We have come a long way in addictions in the past few years. There are many counselors who choose not to understand that and see the evidence and the research that is in front of them, if they are even aware that it exists! I'm sorry to be so 'vocal' about this but I think it is a disgrace to the field that I love so much. So, for what its worth...keep in mind that we are all not like that. Heck...I referred a kid the other day to a Sub doc and methadone clinic (he chose the methadone because of no insurance) and told him he'd be better off than coming to our agency. Anyway....thats how I feel.
Randy
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Unread 04-17-2006, 03:39 AM   #5
OxyFreak
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By the way............I DO know how to spell THERAPIST.....LOL.
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Unread 04-17-2006, 04:04 AM   #6
PaulyK
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The most important thing about the relationship between this type of a conselor and other types of conselors is the almost universal need for the client to have trust in the conselor. Client/ Conselor relationships can get thru a lot of strange turns but without that trust it is impossible to even start the "work". So in your case sarah, when you felt a " condescending" tone, it was over. Think about it, how could you sit down and start to investigate very personal parts of your life with someone who you think is looking down there nose at you. I couldn't do it!

That is strange though. That kind of thing usually jumps off first session. If a person is sensitive to that kind of attitude, it usually will surface right away. I had that happen once with a shrink , but with that one it was my issue not his: I didn't like to hear the truth ,LOL... Can you imagine that, a nice guy like me didn't want to hear the truth: denial!!!
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Unread 04-17-2006, 04:42 PM   #7
sarah
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Youre right PaulyK, thinking back it did come out in the beginning, but at the time I think I just felt like I was s***, so it didn’t come across as objectionable. But then as time went on and I got back to normal I started to realize that she was still treating me the same. Then once I discovered she had the same old 12step philosophy once an addict, always an addict” I saw I had hit the ceiling with improving with this counselor. How could I improve if I will always be an addict”..what a terrible degrading word. I was addicted, I’m not an addict.
Sarah
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Unread 04-17-2006, 08:07 PM   #8
Robyn
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Well, next week I have an appointment for a third attempt at therapy. My first therapist I met on day 4 on Suboxone. It was 90 meetings in 90 days and my way or the highway. The highway won when my doctor saw all of my stress was over my therapist.

Four months later I made an appointment with another therapist. I had researched it a bit more and knew I wanted someone in cognitive behavior therapy. When I talked to her on the phone, I asked her what discipline she used and I was told analytical. She was very friendly and told me to consider my first appointment as an interview to see if I liked her. I liked that approach. However, when I got there, I learned she used a Jungian method (digging into your past) and told me she would like to use "family of origin." Well, I am convinced my past behavior has nothing to do with my present day thinking. I never returned to her.

Next week I have an appointment with my third (and final) attempt at this game. She came recommended by a friend I trust, so I am going in blind. Her specialty is addiction. We'll see.

Robyn
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Unread 04-18-2006, 03:14 AM   #9
PaulyK
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Good luck Robyn, Sometimes it takes many tries before the marble falls into the right hole. I believe that if you need to get professional help, it will be sent your way. The catch is for us to be ready to receive the help when it comes and who it comes from. I'm a bit of a fatalist when it comes to my philosophy regarding humankind. However, on the other side, I have learned to respect those things that I cannot understand; obviously they are much greater or have evolved from places I do not know about. That means there is the capability to learn something if I stay humble and approach it honestly. My problem is that I can become easily discouraged because that something which I don't understand, often scares me.
Keep on looking for your answers whatever they may be.
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Unread 04-18-2006, 08:47 AM   #10
Robyn
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Pauly, thanks for the kind words...I think you are right, we will find our way out one way or another. I have been dealing with some fairly large issues in my addiction, but can say I have never been so filled with optimism for my future. I can say (at least up to now) using has not even been a thought, much less a consideration. I will take progress any way I can take it. Robyn
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Unread 04-18-2006, 10:20 AM   #11
Mary
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Robyn, Sending beams that this is a good one for you! -Mary
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Unread 04-18-2006, 04:05 PM   #12
heidi
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Robyn -
i have to laugh, because "family of origin" is right where i bailed on my last therapist. when she actually started drawing a tree while asking me for my brothers' names (who I hardly ever talk to), that was the beginning of the end...
peace,
heidi
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Unread 04-18-2006, 08:08 PM   #13
gldnglobe
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For me it was all self esteem. Once I felt better about myself and learned I WASN’T switching one addiction for another, I no longer felt like a loser. Just that change allowed me to get my s*** together and do what I needed to kick it. Once I found the right counselor it only took two weeks before I was in control again and making progress.
GG
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