Discussion > Question about addiction counseling techniques

I listened to a discussions on NPR about addiction treatment a while back and something I heard has been on my mind. The woman that mentioned alternatives such as SMART recovery also spoke to a technique called confrontation negatively, which I just have concerns about if this is commonly accepted. I was sent to probation department recovery program 14 years ago after a year of doing well with no positive drug test....the counselors at this place just insulted/confronted everyone about almost everything except the context of sharing how hopeless things are but thanks to recovery things are okay now.... etc. I feel like if confrontation is giving someone that needs help hell until they say what is desired, after that just barely treating them like a decent person, and then telling them "Isn't recovery the best". The counselors even managed to make it like a fear and threat based reward system...If someone confronts another then they are free from the counselors abuse for "x" amount of time.That can't possibly be a serious technique for many reasons. In case you are wondering, I got in lots of trouble with them for speaking my mind even the minimal amount that I was allowed to or was reasonable.

February 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChris L

Thanks for your comment. I haven't heard of "negative confrontation" as a named technique, but there is no doubt that harsh, inappropriate and cruel confrontation occurs. Some "treatment" programs used to be infamous for that sort of thing, and we've all heard about some AA meetings that are dominated by ignorant and sadistic people. Of course, there is no place for harsh confrontation in treatment of anything. But when "counselors" are untrained, they may have moralistic views about addiction which they inflict on others. It's a reminder to seek help from people who have taken the trouble to be professionally trained and licensed in the practice of understanding and treating people.

February 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLance Dodes, M.D.

sounds totally counter-productive...

March 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterFrank Crosetti