Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am very sorry to know about this challenging situation.
Addictions do truly deeply impact a person's life, and all those around him-her.
There are two resources I always suggest people to consider, when having a hard time coping with a loved one suffering of addictions.
These are professional psychotherapy/counseling and to look for a support group like CODA, which would complement the work and benefits individual counseling-psychotherapy sessions offer.
How does someone go about trying to select a Psychologist or Therapist. If you google or look in your area there are lots of individuals or businesses. As I know you know it is hard to open up and talk to someone. Hence, the reason i am reaching out initially in an anonymous manner on this site.
Stress is a natural part of life, but when we do not know how to effectively cope with it, like when having an adult suffering of addiction, then it becomes distress, or destructive stress, deeply undermining our mood, functioning and general well-being, and when this happen, we should always consider getting necessary professional psychological support, the same way we need to look for a physician with expertise in the specific are of concern, when we have a physical - medical problem.
This is a tough process without doubt, mostly because you would find many people who are not good professionals, because of lack of personal maturity, so necessary for this job, lack of competence, ethics, experience and even stable mental health.
Ok. I have a family M.D. but haven't discussed these problems specifically with him. However, is also my child's M.D. and knows about these issues. Maybe i should ask him to suggest a pschologist in our area. But i didn't know if there was a certainly type of therapy or a specific trait that i should be looking for.
This is why I always suggest people to first establish phone contact with several professionals in order to get a first impression f their competence and integrity, availability and experience. From there you would choose at least 2 or 3 to interview face-to-face, for you to select the ones that actually seems to be a good match, taking into account professionalism, personalities compatibility and what they offer. Regularly people are invited to ask PCP - primary care physicians for such referrals, which would be limited to how good professionals they know in the field. Regardless of who refer you, please take the time and caution to assess the professional soundness of the "expert" in front of you.
You need to look for a professional; psychotherapist, whether they happen to be counseling psychologists (PsyD), LMFT -licensed marriage and family therapists, or other mental; health professionals with good expertise in psychotherapy, specifically around addictions, relationships and codependency issues.
My first inclination would have been to simply walk in and start describing my concerns and problems. But based on your response, it seems I should initially begin my search and approach to this new resource much like a business decision which is interview and assess the potential candidates to determine the best fit both from a professional and a personal interactive perspective. I will admit this is probably not what i would have done if i hadn't asked my initial question here of you. I very much appreciate your guidance on my situation. Is there anything additional i should consider before we end this conversation?
There are multiple approaches in psychology and psychotherapy, and you could find professionals who do only provide support through their psychological perspective, like for example, psychoanalysts or those focused mostly on behavior modification. My suggestion is for you to look for a professional with an "integral" and eclectic approach, who has expertise in diverse approaches, who could adjust therapy - support to your needs and expectations, instead of trying to adjust you to their personal-professional biases.
Great advice. I will do some research and prepare myself to be better equiped for initial face to face interviews.
As you suggested before, psychotherapy and counseling are experiences that truly challenge most of us, since they require total openness, honesty and trust, real vulnerability when developing a therapeutic relationship, thus they require people to be very careful not making assumptions, but carefully evaluating how competent, integral and trustworthy the professional appears to be. You would be honest and direct describing your concerns, core needs and expectations, in order to see, from the professional's response, how empathetic, caring, insightful and proactive he-she seems to be.
Perfect, always remember that you deserve good support, and if the professional does not show the capacity, education, maturity and assertiveness to work supporting you in your own process, then you would discuss your concerns to see if they could make necessary changes and adjustments, but if unable to help you, then you'd better look for a more competent professional match.
Thank you for your trust. Hope you well.
All the best to you as well and Thank You!!
You're very welcome. Thanks.