First counseling session

Well I decided to go talk to a counselor and get advice/input/tools/help/etc about laying off the sauce. After all sobriety is not just about quitting the alcohol right? So I am thinking this counseling session did not go very well at all. Her first question after reading the intake was why are you here, counseling or medication, I am not sure how you ended up with me? I said well you are who I was schedule with so I don’t know the answer to that question but to answer you other question I am here for support in quitting drinking. She went down this laundry list of questions that I am sure she has to ask and I was answering them all best I could, which were mainly no, no no, no, no, no and she was just looking at me with deer in the headlights face. I don’t have anxiety (except when its beer thirty… time to drink). She kept on and on and on and on as if she was looking for something to slap on me with a label if that makes sense. Then she asked me if I was drunk and that’s when the little Texas girl came out and I may have been a tad overractive but it really pissed me off because I have not had a drink a week and I am pretty flipping happy about that. Sooooo I went off and was like listen, I don’t think you have to have a rock bottom to want help, you don’t have to be a brown bag under the bridge boozer to want help, your life doesn’t have to all jacked up to want help. I have made HUGE strides in dealing with drinking and letting go of toxic people and habits over this past year. I’ve gone from drinking 15+ beer a day to 4. I’ve lost 35 pounds, I run, I exercise, I watch what I put in my mouth, I make time for myself now, I meditate and I am really fucking trying here. My life is going pretty good right now which is why I thought it would be the perfect time to try and go totally alcohol free. Why I drink now is not why I was drinking 10 years ago. Kids are all grown and out of the house and doing good, marriage is good, job is good, its all coming full circle (except the booze) This lady was like well does anything bother you at all? Do you have any friends? Who do you talk to? Do you realize you have facial ticks? It seems like you have a personality disorder. So at this point I am ready to just walk out before I really go bless your heart on her but I tell her yes I do have friends some of which I have had to back away from because they have a lot of drama and that causes me stress which makes me want to drink. She says well arn’t you a good friend. SO now I am like WTF and I just shut up. She said she wanted to put me on something for the cravings I get in the evenings and that she would schedule me with a different counselor.

Yall come on, please tell me it’s not suppose to be like this. I was ready to run to the closest bar after this shit show but I didn’t. I did however cave at beer thirty and had 3 rum and cokes. I am dissapointed in myself that I let her have that effect on me because I have tried really hard this past year to not let the negative in.



Nope, it really should not be like that. I am not a fully qualified counsellor, although I am training (just finished the level 2 year) and I can see that. The counsellor should be helping you understand why you drink and helping you with that, not sticking you on Acamprosate or Naltrexone or Nalmafene. Anyone can do that, if they are qualified to prescribe.
The best thing she did probably was to refer you to someone else. It is a fact that about a quarter of people are actually made worse by their counsellor. :crazy_face:

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I agree with you. Therapy is NOT supposed to be that way. Medication is something that the patient brings up unless the counselor thinks it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. Otherwise, medication is a last resort. What she did to you was BS.
But, that is also how counseling sometimes goes. Counseling is a lot like dating in that you have try more than one to find the right person. Your first counselor probably isn’t the one for you, judging by THAT conversation. Therapy is a scary thing, and this particular therapist justvwasnt right for you. And it was you first consultation and she tried to diagnose and prescribe? That is NOT what therapists are supposed to do.


Welcome and I think she is not a substance abuse counselor, likey she is more used to doing therapy. And, do you feel you have an element of control over your alcohol intake… Do you? How easy would it be to just go back to 15 beers? If you truly want to go to no alcohol intake what’s stopping you? You’re in the right place being here, I think. Could use a different counselor though.

I’m not saying the counselor was right. But you have to think,this person doesn’t know anything about you, doesn’t know why you’re here. So yes she is going to have to hit you with every Q’s there is and figure you out, and see what you need help with. To me it sounds like you had anxiety the whole time and we’re worried about being slapped with a label. Worried about being called a alcoholic, you might over been all over the place with your responses because you were nervous, which can make someone ask are you drunk. When I get nervous I studder, I lose my place I forget what I was saying. When I walked in with my first counselor the situation was pretty much the same as you, they have to look at you like a deer in headlights so they can understand you, they are paying attention to you. She was like so why are you here what’s up, I thought she was spoce to already know. I hated my first session with her I had anxiety and was all over the place. And now she knows me to a T. You sound like you were already on the defense and even tho want the help, don’t want to be labeled and alcoholic. Sounds like a acceptance issue, yes you’re here and wanting help. But still having a hard time being honest so you’re gonna get to defensive to situations. Which I was the same, so I’m not saying it’s bad. But in reality you didn’t even give it a chance, she had nothing to do with why u went home and drank rum and cokes. That was all on you,and the sooner you realise and be honest with yourself the better


What type of counselor ? It’s mostly going back to this.
If it’s a medical doctor or a general physicians, that’s what they would do. They don’t do therapy. Therefore @Zoozoospetals medication is unfortunately the first thing physicians will turn on to. There is a lot of disagreements about when to start medication or not, and different kind of studies to defend all those point of view, so it’s hard to tell if that isn’t a good option. Medication does help a lot of people, depends how you sit with it. Because you’ll still have to address the underlying issue.

Although that is a fact:

The most predictive data of a successful therapy is the relation you develop with the patient/therapist. The approach, the type of person, the techniques, all those are responsible of only a little % of the success of the therapy compared to the therapeutic relationship.

That being said, the counselor (what was it, a psychologist? a physician?), anyway, she was definitely unable to set-up the fondation for a good relationship to start. Maybe for some people the way she practices is something they’d found reassuring - but you obviously founded it cold or offensive (which is totally understandable from my point of view).

See I’m not so sure about that Mike, maybe there’s a part of that @Kerrilew21 have and want to work on, but that’s exactly why she went there: to be helped. Difference between your first session as you described it compared to her, is that your therapist was paying attention to you. Her doesn’t. She obviously said some almost rude stuff like this:

First session telling someone that she might have a personality disorder? Either she is being rude and don’t want to help, or she is just unprofessional and maybe incompetent. You can’t diagnose a personality disorder in a single session of, what, 40 minutes? Nah, and even if you do, you don’t tell the person, especially if you’re not to help her with that. Medication doesn’t heal a personality disorder, but therapy do - what that counselor was clearly not open to do with her.

I’d say this wasn’t the one for you @Kerrilew21. Maybe if you have another meeting with her you could talk about that though. Because in the end, what matters is that you want help and looking for something that suit you better than that. Because like Mike said, it ain’t her fault though if you still had those craving at beer thirty and react to those cravings by drinking.

Just my thoughts.
Hope you’ll have a good day,

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I agree with you too man. But I hate to say this, I know my first session I miss interpreted alot of what my counselor said and felt attacked. She may of just been asking her Q’s. I wasn’t in my right mind to even know what my counselor was saying so I got defensive and left pissed off. I went back the next time we clicked better and now I trust her with my life. I don’t think a counselor would say I think you have a personality disorder, without it being brought up. And if she was all over the place maybe the counselor was asking if she thought, like I said a counselor has to get to know someone… and I think she did the right thing with trying to refer her to someone who can best suit her.

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Yea I feel what you. I’ve got a similar reaction when I met my last therapist too, but she was kind to me. There are good and bad therapist, it’s like in any profession. Being in the mental health care myself I still believe you don’t bring up personnalité disorder if you don’t address it and plan on treating it - and even then not on a single session. I think I missed the part where she referred her to someone else, which I think was best for both, considering how the relation began.

Hopefully @Kerrilew21 will stick around and address those rum and coke issues :wink:

Thank you all for your input. Went on a long run to clear my head. I am going to chalk this up as this therapist not being the one for me. I know they have to ask all of those questions to get to know you and that is fine, I wasn’t expecting warm and fuzzies and yes I was anxious but I just don’t think she is the right person for me. I am going to ask around and see if I can get a recommendation instead of randomly picking someone from my insurance. I don’t mind them getting in my head and digging around asking questions but don’t insult me and tell me I am a crappy friend and I may have been bucked off of my horse one too many times and hit my head.

Thanks again, I do appreciate the input. I’ll stick around :wink:

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That’s great. Different therapists have different approaches and you may find your next experience totally different. It does to me sound like this one was trying to arrive at a diagnosis from tick boxes, especially if she said you had a diagnosis of a type of personality disorder. Your therapist should ask you some standard questions as a risk assessment, but this sounds excessive. I hope your next experience is better. :pray:
BTW Counsellors and therapists are the same thing, except in how much they charge!

You are MY kinda gal! God give me the serenity when you have to deal with people that “don’t get it” (and I’m saying that nicely :wink: ). I always say I’m not happy when I go to a restaurant and I just spent a lot of money on food that I can cook better at home. I think this was the issue! You could do better on your own than what this “therapist” was doing for you. In our strive to better ourselves and our lives in getting older is to do what’s good for us, and that’s stop drinking. It sounds like you are doing FABULOUS and you just need that loose end to tie up. I like what the other posters said above, it’s a lot like dating :slight_smile: Find the one that you can build a rapport with. You have support with us and you know what right for you!!! HUGS!!!

PS you made me laugh when you said brown bag under a bridge…cause I always say in a back alley, passed out with a bottle in hand LOL!!!