Many people experience the symptoms of addiction for years without being aware that they have a serious problem, at some point however they may ask themselves, “Do I have an addiction?”
Are you drinking too much, gambling excessively or engaging in repeated patterns of destructive behavior?
Getting an addiction diagnosis can be a turning point for making positive changes in your life and within the lives of those closest to you.
Having initially trained and worked as a relationship counsellor I became aware of my limitations when clients presented with addiction issues. I had completed a diploma in addiction studies however I discovered that the academic course was of little use when it came to any practical application. I undertook further training at The White Oaks Rehabilitation Centre at Muff in Co Donegal in 2002. It was during this period that I gained invaluable experience as an addiction counsellor allowing me to further develop and incorporate this learning into my counselling practice.
It is a widely held view among professionals that all presenting issues within counselling will not be addressed until the addictive behaviour is dealt with.
My approach to the work which is based upon a 12 step programme is to offer an assessment at this initial stage which is essential to indicating where the client is within this progressive illness.
In order to obtain an accurate reading, a family member or loved one (who is aware of the addictive behaviour) is requested to attend that initial meeting. The assessment undertaken is similar to that conducted at addiction treatment centres. The end score will determine if the client is in a crucial stage or within a chronic stage of progression and if continuing counselling will be of any benefit.
On occasion if the decline into addiction is severe, residential treatment will be recommended and no further counselling will be offered.
For clients who have entered residential treatment and who wish to engage in relapse prevention counselling, this work can be undertaken with provision for family and couple counselling sessions to establish a recovery programme to monitor progress. It is during this phase that other aspects of life and relationships which have been damaged can now be healed and restored.
Assessment appointments can be arranged at locations in Derry and Donegal.