One client I worked with some years ago who had an alcohol addiction was and is a doctor, he came from a family of doctors. It had been his long held belief that his family was a family of eccentric geniuses.
It was only in sobriety that he realised that he cam from a family of alcoholics. Addiction frequently distorts your view of reality. He attended a drug and alcohol group I was running, attended AA regularly and did some individual work. With 12 months sobriety he was amazed that he had ever been that person. All his relationships had changed, including his relationships with himself.
Recovery from addiction is a long process, many want it to be instantaneous, however I have worked with many clients who go on to have a successful life after addiction. Most people want to deal with their addiction through controlled drinking and or drugging. This is possible with some but certainly not all. Visit my drug and alcohol counselling page for more information.
Where are you James*?
James is a young person I began seeing when he was 11 years old. James has Aspergers** and ADHD, he has been seeing various specialists most of his life. His parents were extremely frustrated with James’ behaviours. Lying and stealing from them constantly, James is the only child in the family. The most recent edict from the specialist was that James has Asperger’s and that he has it for life, and nothing can be done. That is true in as much there is no cure, however, life can become more tolerable for all concerned with some behaviour management.
Management so far had included medication from the treating specialists.
Parental management had been to remove more and more of his possessions as the behaviour had deteriorated. The parents were also feeling blamed by all and sundry for the behaviour of James.
Current management includes supporting the parents in this incredibly difficult quest by talking openly with the family about the difficulties and frustrations of dealing with the implications of Asperger’s, both for James and his parents, and the disappointments all 3 experience on a regular basis. My therapy of choice is solution focused therapy which involves working with the family to achieve small changes. Change happens in increments, not in huge steps as we would all prefer.
The behaviour management has changed considerably in the house, the relationships have improved, Asperger’s still has a marked presence but there seems to be more of a team approach rather than an antagonistic one. Blame is never appropriate when dealing with a disability, but change and responsibility for one’s own actions is essential if change is to take place. In my experience no one wants to feel out of control, whether we are talking about a young person or their parents. Structure and supports that help manage things in a different way can make a huge difference to daily living.
*James is not the client’s real name. This is a typical compilation of clients from my practice.
**There are many ways of spelling and mispelling Asperger’s, so you may see some variations of the spelling like Aspergers and Asbergers Syndrome.