Need Suggestions, Words of Wisdom, etc.

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Need Suggestions, Words of Wisdom, etc.

Post by mj2 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:33 am

Not sure how many of you read my other post, I asked an awful lot of questions and got some pretty great feedback. Now I'm asking for a different kind of help. I am a counseling student and I am preparing to start my practicum-meaning I will be in the field counseling people. You should know, I'm terrified-really. It is very scary to be the person responsible for helping someone get sober, maintain their sobriety, or helping a family member understand addiction or cope with loss due to addiction. Intimidating actually. I have been on the other side of the couch, so to speak which gives me a personal connection. My husband has been sober now for 5 years. That being said, my specific counseling interests are with helping the military population deal with addiction and PTSD. From my very limited experience the two seem to go hand in hand.

Since my experience is so limited, I was hoping to get guidance from some of you. If you have any words of wisdom, suggestions, helpful hints-anything along those lines that you could give me as I begin to work with the military population affected by addiction and PTSD I would really appreciate it. If you've been in counseling and there was something you wished the counselor hadn't done or had done you'd be willing to share, that would be great. Experience and time are the greatest teachers, unfortunately I'm not going to have either on my side when I start counseling in the field-which is why I am reaching out to you guys. Maybe if I am able to draw on someone else's experiences I will be able to help someone else with their own journey.

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Re: Need Suggestions, Words of Wisdom, etc.

Post by PaigeB » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:26 pm

It is very scary to be the person responsible for helping someone get sober, maintain their sobriety, or helping a family member understand addiction or cope with loss due to addiction. Intimidating actually.
As an alcoholic and a mother/sister/aunt etc., of alcoholics, I can say helping family is worse than useless. Where I would talk to a an alcoholic (not family) and that is my purpose and my gift, I cannot talk to my family. And I don't have enough Alanon experience to do anymore than tell them to go to a meeting ~ like I tell my alkie family. Go to a meeting and get a sponsor. But I was retired from the legal progressions by the time I got sober.

This is an inner-journey. We are far too invested in family to be helpful and I just make myself sick trying. In fact, I have never been so thirsty as when I skipped my Fri. AA meeting and went to an Alanon meeting for about 6 weeks! I thought if I can blame my family being drunks for my own insanity, maybe I can go drink right? HAhaha NOT. Helping family just has a way of getting things all mixed up. Same with any other cause. We have traditions that bind us from crossing alcoholism and any other cause or illness like depression or treatment centers. We just have opinions and suggestions for alcoholism. Each One is responsible for their own journey.

As you move forward as a professional, it may be suggested to have some AA and Alanon literature and meeting schedules on hand and encourage folks to get some help from them, while you focus on your area of counseling, lest things get mixed up. Then again, family was my only opportunity to get mixed up, not my profession.

I feel I have already said too much. I hope that others some along to add their experiences as well.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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Re: Need Suggestions, Words of Wisdom, etc.

Post by Spirit Flower » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:56 pm

Read the book How Emotions are Made, and you'll realize what you learned in college is next to useless.
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Re: Need Suggestions, Words of Wisdom, etc.

Post by Brock » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:36 pm

It is very scary to be the person responsible for helping someone get sober...
It is indeed, and AA members who have done the steps and recovered are encouraged to help others as well. But throughout the literature we see where we must not get too emotionally involved in this. It is easy if someone fails to stay sober to think you have failed as well, and the statistics for recovery from alcoholism show many failures. Very often and in my case as well, years after certain people tried to help, I saw the wisdom in their words, so keep in mind that where you might feel you failed, your work may well bear fruit down the line.

It is a noble profession on which you are embarking, AA has guided me to a lovely spirituality, one in which I found a God who smiles on people like yourself.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Re: Need Suggestions, Words of Wisdom, etc.

Post by Cristy99 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:31 pm

Hi MJ!!

I think you will be wonderful!! I know there is infinite information out there!! It is all so interesting to me!! I don't pretend I know anything about counseling at all, but I have been through my fair share.

I remember when I started sponsoring newly sober alcoholics. I was scared to death!! "What if I totally screw them up?!?!" But much to my surprise, when I was able to listen objectively to their struggles one by one, I was able to gently guide them and tell them things about successes I have had in similar situations....give suggestions. And when I don't have an answer for them I am honest about that and try to help them find answers they need.

I feel that the fact that your clients will just have someone to listen will help immensely. =biggrin There is always the "how does that make you feel??" Route. Lol!!! My counselor is about to start something with me called Lifespan Integration Neuroplasticity. She will be doing this for me in order for me to deal with childhood trauma. She said this is very successfully used with PTSD as well. I am very excited about this!!! One thing I love so much about my counselor is that her very presence is sooooo calming. When I walk into her office I sigh in relief. It's a safe place, a calm place. A place for me to share and feel how I feel without any judgement or repercussions. I swear it would be totally worth my money if I only went in to sit in silence with her because I feel so safe and calm.

In school they teach us the basics. We learn so much more after we graduate in any field!! Time and experience will provide maturity and more confidence I think. I hope you have some mentors to whom you can turn for help. Just remember: we all start somewhere. No one in any profession knows everything fresh out of school!! You are in such a great field!! I wish you the best!!!
"Talk doesn't cook rice."
~ Chinese proverb

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Re: Need Suggestions, Words of Wisdom, etc.

Post by Benbrown59 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:16 pm

Great talk

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