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Fall 2012








Question & Answers with Sam

Q: What kind of person can benefit from addictions counseling?
S: If you find yourself engaging in some kind of destructive behavior again and again, and you don’t know why, or how to stop, you’re a good candidate for this kind of therapy.

Q: What are your clients like?
S: I see both men and women, some are teenagers, some retired, some are leaders in their field; some are in trouble with the law. I’ve seen pretty much every imaginable demographic.

Q: Do your clients usually have previous addictions counseling before they see you?
S: I’d say about half had had previous counseling. The other half have never set foot in a counselling office before. I get a mixture.

Q: I find the idea of coming to an addictions therapist intimidating. Do most people feel like that?
S: Sure, of course. Most people don’t know what to expect. I understand that, and I try to make it as easy on everyone as I possibly can. The worst part is getting to the first session. After that barrier is overcome, most find it much easier.

Q: How do you put your clients at ease?
S: A good therapist listens and cares, tries to offer practical advice, and doesn’t push people into areas they don’t want to go to. There has to be a certain rapport and trust, and an attitude of mutual respect.

Q: What do your clients say about you?
S:  Well, no therapist is ideal for everyone. But clients who I’ve worked with tell me they like that fact that I don’t come across as judgmental, and that I offer practical solutions.

Q: How much do people understand about their addictions?
S: When it comes to addiction, there is more stigma and blame out there than useful information. Mostly people have a lot to learn. Often they’ve tried to quit on a number of occasions, but without understanding the mechanisms, they don’t have a lot of success. There is a lot we understand about how addictions manifest. There is a lot of information people can find helpful.

Q: How long is it before clients begin to see results?
S: Obviously there is a wide variation. But I’d say, on average, clients begin to see positive changes after about a month. Some people begin to see changes after the first session.

Q: I noticed you offer phone sessions. Why?
S: Some people prefer to talk on the phone, others prefer the personal contact. I like to offer clients the choice.

Q: Do people actually get better?
S: Yes. I can’t emphasize this strongly enough. Yes. Most clients are pretty skeptical when they come to me. They’ve tried a lot of things on their own, and nothing has worked. But I see people turn their lives around. I see it every day. When I started this practice 18 years ago, I believed that it’s never too late. I still believe that.