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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:29 pm 
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I just want to say thank you to all of the people here for writing and responding to these posts. I just started Suboxone yesterday at the doctors office. I have been a user of prescription meds for 5 or 6 years now for chronic back pain. However I began using WAY WAY more than I should have been and buying them on the streets. Sometimes 15-25 Percocet 10's a day on top of a 50mcg/hr Fentynl patch prescribed to me. This has caused me sooooo much financial hardship including loosing my 1 year old car. So, decided enough is enough and gave it up earlier in the week. But the withdrawals were sooooo bad that I ended up using again. I read about suboxone online, then spent about 5 hours on this website reading about everyone's experiences and it was a sigh of relief! I had no idea that there were so many people out here like me. After reading these blogs on here, i was a little more comfortable about seeking treatment. Since yesterday, no withdrawal symptoms and I actually have energy to get out and do stuff. Hell, I was out of bed this morning before noon, got my running around done, and didnt spend $150 on drugs. I'm on day 3 of no percocet or fentynl, and day 2 of suboxone treatment! This stuff really helps ALOT! So thanks to everyone who has written on here.

I do have a querstion if anyone has the time to respond:

Counseling... The doctor says that part of the required treatment is to seek counseling. Now, I have never been to a counselor before. I understand there are group sessions and one on one sessions available. Im pretty nervous about going to a group meeting. I am not exactly comfortable talking about this w/ people. On here is different, not face to face... But one on one, what are we going to talk about all that time? My drug habbit? I feel like if I do one on one counseling it will be like my mom nagging me about something and making me feel bad about it. I made the decision myself to stop, with help. SO... Can someone give me some pointers or maybe explain what the counseling is like? I know it might be hard to explain, but any pointers would help. DOes anyone see a counselor for one on one sessions?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:52 pm 
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Hi Spikey and welcome. It's great to hear this forum has helped you. That's what it's here for. I'm so glad you're doing so well on suboxone. Welcome to your addiction remission!

I think you'll find many people here have therapists. I do and it's helped me so much. It's normal to be nervous when starting therapy. Completely normal. If you're not accustomed to discussing "private" things it may be uncomfortable at first. What you talk about will depend on if you get a chemical dependency counselor or a therapist. Groups are different altogether. If I may say, I'd recommend a regular therapist. They can help you not only with the addiction issues, but so many other struggles you may have in your life. I've found the most important thing is finding a good fit between therapist and client. Sometimes it can happen right away or you may have to try a couple of different ones. Keep an open mind. Suboxone doesn't cure our addiction, but it does help put it into remission and gives us the opportunity to work on issues like why we started using to begin with. Is there anyone (friends, family, other doctors) who could give you the names of different therapists? If not you can just get a list from your insurance company - if that's applicable. Many therapists will offer a meet and greet or consultation first. Just take it one session at a time, try not to look at it like it's a major thing. And I know it sounds cliche', but talking about things really does help. Just say the word if you have anymore specific questions about being in therapy/counseling.

Again, welcome. We're so glad to have you here. Please keep posting.

_________________
-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:36 pm 
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Hi Spikey! I am glad the forum was helpful to you and that you have found other people in your situation. It was a huge relief for me as well. I am glad you are here and that you posted an introduction.

I see a therapist. I always think it is awkward the first couple of visits and I especially find it a bit awkward when I don't have some pressing issue to bring in with me (pretty much most of the time as suboxone seems to keep the craziness out of my life). BUT....I have found that it goes away and I look forward to my appointment every two weeks because it is one of the only times I feel peaceful (most of the time anyways).

I too prefer a regular therapist and have no interest in seeing a chemical dependency counselor, although I think a CDC is good for some people. It just so happens that I went to a CDC when I was younger and spent a lot of time in NA in my past so I think I benefit more from a therapist. To me it is important to research a little about what theory the therapist subscribes to. Mine is primarily bowenian therapy, internal family systems therapy (my personal favorite), and Narrative Therapy. Your experience will in great part be impacted by this. For example, if you go to a therapist who believes in cognitive behavioral therapy, they are likely to focus on helping you change the way you think which will in turn change behavior. For me, there are most certainly good parts about that, but it isn't fulfilling enough and I find it somewhat frustrating at times. It lacks depth to me. If you go to someone who is big on Freud (not real common) then you will spend a lot of time analyzing your childhood (too much depth for me and feels irrelevant). For me, my therapist feels like talking to a good friend who genuinely cares about me and I don't have to feel guilty for talking about me the whole time. We don't really talk about my suboxone or my addiction. Or at least that isn't the focus really. So I don't get lectured or educated on addiction and triggers and whatever. We deal with the things in life that I am sure led me to enjoy using to begin with, but it doesn't always get brought back to that and in my opinion, it doesn't need to be brought back to that.

Anyhow, a lot of therapist have a web site where you can read about their philosophy and education and my therapist has links that explain the theories he subscribes to. You may want to find a few and look them up and see if something sounds fitting to you or not. Does it sound like something you can live with or benefit from without going home and laughing hysterically because it was so ridiculous. And I have been to therapists where I have done that. In fact I am pretty sure my first marriage lasted longer ONLY because we were pulled closer together out of our shared irritation with the therapist.

It isn't as bad as you think. That first step is rough but you get through it. Congrats on your recovery and in getting your life back. I hope this is just the beginning of a wonderful new life!

Cherie


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:04 am 
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I am a trained psychotherapist/family counselor, though I did not specialize in addiction counseling. My primary experience was in helping people in crisis, mostly medical crises as a counselor assigned to a large teaching hospital's Trauma and Emergency Unit and as a family counselor in a Hospice for several years.

My particular course of study required that we go through at least two years of personal one on one therapy and also become part of a peer group of counselors who reviewed how our own unresolved issues might affect how we treated our clients. It was an invaluable part of my education.

So, I believe I can address your concerns from both sides of the issue. While making ourselves vulnerable to others around our 'growing edges' can feel scary, I can attest to the truth that some of my most rewarding experiences in life were both as a client in therapy and as a therapist counseling others.

As long as the foundation of the relationship (whether in group or in a one-on-one situation) is one of deep respect (and you'll know whether your counselor respects you as a human being pretty quickly; we all have an instinct for these things) your counselor should provide an environment in which it is relatively safe for you to explore your 'growing edges' around your substance use. The only people who don't make mistakes in life are dead and no one goes through life without experiencing pain so you're in good company.

When you decide to face whatever circumstances in your life, or unresolved issues in your personal makeup may have contributed to your dependence on the drugs, you are being what I like to call a 'good steward of your pain'. Since you cannot escape pain you might as well use it for growing into a better person with deeper understanding of yourself and compassion for both yourself and others. That is the goal of therapy, ideally. And it helps to insure that you don't return to using drugs to (mis)manage your pain.

IMHO :roll:
Sheila


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:42 pm 
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Thanks for this feedback. It really did help me alot in deciding on how to proceed. Yea, I dont think I can do the group sessions. Or at least not at this point. I would rather one on one. And seeing a regular therapist sounds like a really good idea. I hadn't even thought about that. I guess I just have to find one. Im going to check today and see what my insurance covers, or who for that matter. My concern is that seeing a counselor is going to be like the parents who jump down your pack and nagg about something you've done. And that's not the experience I am looking for.

Im on day 3 and doing great.

~Chris~






Jackcrack wrote:
Hi Spikey! I am glad the forum was helpful to you and that you have found other people in your situation. It was a huge relief for me as well. I am glad you are here and that you posted an introduction.

I see a therapist. I always think it is awkward the first couple of visits and I especially find it a bit awkward when I don't have some pressing issue to bring in with me (pretty much most of the time as suboxone seems to keep the craziness out of my life). BUT....I have found that it goes away and I look forward to my appointment every two weeks because it is one of the only times I feel peaceful (most of the time anyways).

I too prefer a regular therapist and have no interest in seeing a chemical dependency counselor, although I think a CDC is good for some people. It just so happens that I went to a CDC when I was younger and spent a lot of time in NA in my past so I think I benefit more from a therapist. To me it is important to research a little about what theory the therapist subscribes to. Mine is primarily bowenian therapy, internal family systems therapy (my personal favorite), and Narrative Therapy. Your experience will in great part be impacted by this. For example, if you go to a therapist who believes in cognitive behavioral therapy, they are likely to focus on helping you change the way you think which will in turn change behavior. For me, there are most certainly good parts about that, but it isn't fulfilling enough and I find it somewhat frustrating at times. It lacks depth to me. If you go to someone who is big on Freud (not real common) then you will spend a lot of time analyzing your childhood (too much depth for me and feels irrelevant). For me, my therapist feels like talking to a good friend who genuinely cares about me and I don't have to feel guilty for talking about me the whole time. We don't really talk about my suboxone or my addiction. Or at least that isn't the focus really. So I don't get lectured or educated on addiction and triggers and whatever. We deal with the things in life that I am sure led me to enjoy using to begin with, but it doesn't always get brought back to that and in my opinion, it doesn't need to be brought back to that.

Anyhow, a lot of therapist have a web site where you can read about their philosophy and education and my therapist has links that explain the theories he subscribes to. You may want to find a few and look them up and see if something sounds fitting to you or not. Does it sound like something you can live with or benefit from without going home and laughing hysterically because it was so ridiculous. And I have been to therapists where I have done that. In fact I am pretty sure my first marriage lasted longer ONLY because we were pulled closer together out of our shared irritation with the therapist.

It isn't as bad as you think. That first step is rough but you get through it. Congrats on your recovery and in getting your life back. I hope this is just the beginning of a wonderful new life!

Cherie


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