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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience:  Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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I think I encountered a sadistic personality as a sponsor in

Customer Question

I think I encountered a sadistic personality as a sponsor in AA. At first, the woman was empathic to me in the AA gourp but when one on one, she name-called, yelled at me, very hostile, riduculed me . Is this sadism? No conflict had preceded.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr. L :

I am so sorry this has happened to you. The behavior of your sponsor is certainly questionable. You do not deserve to be treated so rudely and negatively. That she acts one way in the group and another privately is a serious issue.

Dr. L :

It doesn't matter that there was no conflict...her behavior is inappropriate and intolerable.

Dr. L :

I urge you to end your relationship with her and seek a new sponsor. The reason you have a sponsor is to support your sobriety. This relationship is not offering you the kind of support you need and are entitled to.

Dr. L :

I see you are offline. I will be notified when you come online. I await your reply so that we can chat.

Dr. L :

Thank you.

Dr. L :

http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf

Dr. L :

The following is an approved publication of AA about sponsorship.

Customer:

I couldn't open the link to the aa info; thanks though for that info. Could you maybe try sending it again?

Customer:

Am I billed if I ask another question? I wanted to tell you some of the name-calling and my responses. I suppose I was shocked b/c I felt aa was supposed to be a supportive, yet honest relationship regarding addictions, but not a berating stream of my flaws. Also, what surprised me the most was when I walked in the room to meet the sponsor one on one, we were ironically, at a church Sunday school room. She cussed and immediately called me "Sissy Drunk Gal" as a greeting. I said, "I don't like that term, please call me by my name." It was downhill from there.....

Dr. L :

Yes. I will send the link again. Sorry about that.

Dr. L :

Her "welcome" was inappropriate and very hurtful. I am glad you stood up for yourself. Please consider ending the relationship. You do not deserve to be treated so terribly.

Dr. L :

I will get the link for you...

Dr. L :

www.aa.org

Dr. L :

Please go to this site and then look at the list on the left hand side of the page for the pamphlet on Sponsorship.

Customer:

I did terminate this sponsor s/ee relationship. As a psychologist, could you provide some insight as to what would cause a person to be so empathic, affirming initially? Then, two days later be so emotionally abusive? I had told her in the meeting (aa) I had just lost a good job due to alcoholism, and struggled w/ depression. She seemed so understanding but once alone in that room w/ her I felt I was with a viper. I left shaking. I left and immediately went to another meeting group of aa that night. Now, I'm fearful of getting another sponsor. Do you think working aa steps w/ a counselor would be a better idea than just someone in an aa group?

Customer:

thx for the link; i'll look at this for sure.

Dr. L :

Or...go under the tab at the top of the page that says: AA literature. Search the literature until you find the one on sponsorship.

Dr. L :

Please remember that this person may not be as healthy as she seems on the outside. She may be able to function okay in a group setting, but then just let loose when she is in one-on-one situations. Being in AA isn't an endorsement for healthy, appropriate living...correct?

Dr. L :

I am glad you have ended the relationship.

Dr. L :

An option would be to work with a counselor who has a specialty in chemical dependency....the relationship is not going to be exactly the same as a sponsor...but it would offer you the support and understanding you need to work your sobriety.

Customer:

I don't know how much I can ask/write for the fee. If this is paid for, I have 2 more questions: Do you know the credentials a chem dependency counselor should have? Do you think or know if it really is imperative to "get a sponsor in aa"? (They told us in treatment that I was at that we had to have an aa sponsor or relaspe chances were sky high. I've been sober 8 mos. w/o much aa attendance but certainly do not want to begin drinking ever again..

Dr. L :

Let me do a bit of research on the chemical dependency credentials. In part that will depend on what state you live in...so please provide that information.

Customer:

Thx--I'm in Oklahoma and near Oklahoma City, OK

Dr. L :

The "rule" about a sponsor is to ensure that you are not doing the program all on your own. If you chose to rely on a trained chemical dependency counselor...this is another option for you.

Dr. L :

Okay...give me a few minutes here to check the credentials in your state...

Dr. L :

http://www.okdrugcounselors.org/

Dr. L :

The above is the licensing board for chemical dependency counselors in your state.

Dr. L :

There is also a search function so that you can check someone's credentials.

Dr. L :

http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_results.php?sid=1360465601.4569_10033&city=Oklahoma+City&state=OK&spec=248&lmore=1

Dr. L :

The above will help you find a chemical dependency counselor in Oklahoma City.

Customer:

Thanks. I'll check this out for sure. And, I think I should expect to run across unhealthy people in aa since all of us are there due to an addiction/disease and I should be more cautious, as I would be in the workplace, about whom I discuss issues that are revealing and make me vunerable. Perhaps I was naive to think anyone who took an interest in "helping me" would behave like an advocate of sorts. I would never be so transparent with colleagues when I was working.Likwise, I should be more "on guard" at aa. Thanks. I feel like I've learned, via this chat session from my "aa mistake"-- I think I will continue with the aa meeting attendance and seek to work steps w/ a addictions counselor.

Customer:

I feel clarification now. I'm rating you "excellent." Thanks again.

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience: Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
Dr. L and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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