|Narcissistic Clients Diets Clinical Mastery William Doherty Couples Ethics Mary Jo Barrett Mindfulness Alan Sroufe Attachment Theory Linda Bacon Etienne Wenger Men in Therapy The Future of Psychotherapy Community of Excellence Gender Issues Trauma Mind/Body Wendy Behary Great Attachment Debate Couples Therapy Anxiety Attachment Challenging Cases Brain Science CE Comments David Schnarch Future of Psychotherapy Symposium 2012 Clinical Excellence|
|In Consultation Mar/Apr - Page 4|
I suspect it's impossible to integrate AA into our clinical practice and not see some direct impact of the program on our clinical work and personal lives. A client recovering from an opiate addiction wrote me that her sobriety felt like being kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Rather than approach her with bromides ("You'll feel better soon," "You'll enjoy your children more"), I accepted and validated her pain and loss, recognizing that learning to tolerate discomfort is a key lesson in recovery.
I've internalized many of the concepts of acceptance and tolerance that I've been encouraging in my clients. I'm better able to tolerate the discomfort of dealing with difficult clients in ambiguous situations. I'm learning to "accept life on life's terms," as the AA saying has it, and this lesson has helped me, both personally and professionally.
Mark Schenker, Ph.D., is supervising psychologist at the Caron Treatment Center and author of A Clinician's Guide to Twelve-Step Recovery. Contact: email@example.com. Letters to the Editor about this department may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.