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ALCOHOLISM TREATMENT TECHNIQUES AND APPROACHES: FEEDBACK

Sunday, January 16, 2011 10:23

In assisting the alcoholic to “see” what is going on, the counselor’s observation skills pay off. The alcoholic has a notoriously warped perception of reality. The ability of the counselor to “merely” provide accurate feedback to the client, giving specific descriptions of behavior, of what the client is doing, is very valuable. The alcoholic has lost the ability for self-assessment. It is quite likely that any feedback from family members has also been warped and laced with threats, so that it is useless to the alcoholic. In the counseling situation, it may go like this: “Well, you say things are going fine. Yet, as I look at you, I see you fidgeting in your chair, your voice is quivering, and your eyes are cast down toward the floor. For me, that doesn’t go along with someone who’s feeling fine.” Period. The counselor simply reports the observations. There is no deep interpretation. There is no attempt to ferret out hidden unconscious dynamics. The client is not labeled a liar. Your willingness and ability to simply describe what you see is a potent therapeutic weapon. The alcoholic can begin to learn how he does come across, how others see him. Thus, your use of observation serves to educate the client about himself
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