What therapists don’t know

What therapists don’t know

Sometimes therapists will call me.
They know my story. They know I want to help other families.

But often I am appalled at how little some therapists know about families suffering with addiction, and how uninformed some are about groups like AA and Al-Anon

Maybe they skip the chapter on addiction during their training. Perhaps it’s only for those who specialize.

Regardless, why wouldn’t every therapy program introduce its students to the benefits of support groups like AA and Al-Anon?

Shame surrounds addiction. But so does ignorance – even among professionals.

Recently a therapist called me about his patient. The grandmother was distraught about her grandson. Near graduation from college, the young man had been using drugs for years.

The grandmother needed help dealing with the effects of her grandson’s addiction.
I suggested she try Al-Anon. Her therapist quickly corrected me: “No, she’s not the parent.”

Al Anon isn’t just for parents, I explained. It is for anyone who has a friend or loved one in addiction. He responded: “But she’s not a group-type person. I doubt she would go.”

When Jacob was at his worst, I would never have tried Al Anon until a learned and thoughtful therapist suggested it. Even then, I hesitated.

But when the misery wouldn’t abate, when watching the clock at 3 a.m. and wondering where my son was, when shunning relatives and friends who tried to help became too overwhelming, I went to a first meeting. And I’ve never stopped.

Al-Anon says you come to it when you are ready.

And whenever this grandmother is, it will be there for her.

4 Replies to “What therapists don’t know”

  1. Sometimes professionals have difficulty dealing with common sense. Instead of being proactive they only do reactive which can be too late. Keep up your wonderful work.

    1. Wendell, thank you. Appreciate that explanation. And thank you so much for the encouragement, too.