Therapy, challenges to therapy, human connection and vulnerability.
Identifying, naming problems, and changing is universally difficult. Addictions counseling can be taken as a microcosm of the healing relationship. The addictions counselors on our team may agree, the process by which substance use becomes a problem is often insidious. Problems rarely announce themselves. Sometimes there is a problem with naming a problem (e.g. “admitting you have a problem is the first step”). This can be the case for individuals, families, larger social systems. This sounds like “I didn’t know it was that bad until (fill in the blank)” or “at least (the identified client) still has a job,” etc. Typical of the change process, especially in the substance use recovery community, is omission, minimization, blaming, “I’ll deal with the problem tomorrow,” and “Other people have it much worse than me.” And, of course this is the case. Change, whether it’s addiction, working through grief, adding a healthy habit, is incredibly hard.