How to Talk so Someone With Addiction Will Listen (clinicians)
Useful stories and common sense answers to your questions about challenging cases and clinical issues from Scott McMillin, co-author of “Don’t Help: A Positive Guide to Working With the Alcoholic,” “The Healing Bond: Treating Addictions in Groups,” and five other popular addiction books.
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Some members are talkative enough, but others participate minimally and a couple are openly hostile and challenging.
My outpatients get discouraged very easily. They may actually be doing pretty well for somebody new to recovery, but they don’t seem to realize it.
Use examples. It’s hard for an alcoholic to grasp the idea that he or she can’t go back to drinking at some future point – after a year of abstinence, for instance. But the old saw that a pickle can’t go back to being a cucumber – that people seem to understand.
The family had good representation from important people in the alcoholic’s life, and there was professional help, but that’s not leverage.
I wasn’t trained in how to incorporate material about faith and God into counseling. Most of my graduate school education was on traditional social work practice.
The goal of treatment is to maximize chances for a successful outcome. But ultimately, to drink or not to drink remains the alcoholic’s choice.