Weatherford Democrat

Front Page

May 5, 2013

Counseling the counselors

WC students discuss the needs of substance abuse counselors recovering from their own addictions

By DAVID MAY

Substance abuse counselors like to say addiction does not have to be a life sentence. But sometimes it is, even if the counselor is also a recovering addict.

Last week, second-year students in Weatherford College’s Social Work/Substance Abuse Counseling program gave presentations about those substance abuse counselors who need help and support and to recognize early on the signs they are on the verge of relapse, and what to do when they do slip and fall on their sometimes long road to recovery.

The group presentations – given before other students and guests panels that critiqued the presentations – were part of the students’ final steps toward receiving a two-year counselor’s degree. For most after graduation, they will continue to work or begin working as substance abuse counselors, with several saying they plan to continue their education to obtain a bachelor’s degree and perhaps pursue a doctorate.

Clinical coordinator, licensed counselor and social worker Michael Webb said about 60 percent of the students are recovering substance abuse addicts – whether alcohol, drugs or both – who are serious about not only their recovery but helping break others free of their cycle of addiction. He said there is not enough support in place to help substance abuse counselors when they backslide.

Webb said the two-year degree these students will earn will help carry them toward the 4,000 hours they must log before they can obtain their Licensed Chemical Dependency Certificate.

Peer assistance is an important part of substance abuse counseling, to not only help the person who is addicted and help keep them from relapse, but also to help see it in their colleagues and support them and help them through their own rehabilitation and path back to sobriety when they relapse.

Evident in the group presentations was the individual admissions of their own past addictions, something that can be important in building relationships and helping those they are counseling.

One of the student presenters, Crystal Foster, noted that relapse can occur in counselors throughout burnout – which is common in the field – which can lead to “empathy for the disease.” She noted that relapse happens before a person picks up a drug, usually involving a process of personal decline such as changes in behavior and attitudes, added stress and social breakdown or isolation, among other symptoms.

Text Only
Front Page
  • Aledo City Council Place 2 Candidates.jpg Q&A: Aledo City Council Place 2 candidates

    With some contested races in area school board and city council races on the May 10 ballots, the WD will provide a closer look at some of those through a question-and-answer feature with the candidates. Early voting begins April 28. Today we look at the candidates running for Place 2 on Aledo City Council.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • USAF photo.jpg Heroes riding for heroes

    The 12th annual Ride for Heroes bike ride this Saturday in Aledo will include some VIPs: members of the United States Air Force Cycling Team.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Little league makes pitch to city for lower user fees

    Weatherford Little League officials have asked the city to lower user fees to the league.

    April 17, 2014

  • 0418 one oregel, oscar.jpeg Trunk full of cash leads to trip to jail

    After a traffic stop late Monday night in Parker County, the Texas Department of Public Safety seized more than $54,000 from a man who, DPS says, admitted to trafficking in narcotics for people he met in Mexico.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • cigarette butts.jpg No butts about it, smoking ban nears

    Weatherford eating establishments have just over a week to get their no smoking signs in place and prepare for the no smoking ordinance enacted by the city council in February to go into effect.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Proposed change in city charter goes before W’ford voters next month

    Weatherford residents will have the chance to vote on a pair of charter amendments on Election Day May 10.

    April 16, 2014

  • IMG_7134.JPG Despite cold, peach crops looking rosy

    Parker County peach growers won’t know for sure for a few more days, but as of Wednesday, one day after April temperatures plummeted into the low 30s, they’re predicting a good, even rosy, peach harvest for this year’s Parker County Peach Festival.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Animal shelter throwing a party

    The Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter made a promise to its staff, volunteers and rescues that if the shelter was able to achieve a 90 percent live release rate by the end of March, the shelter would throw a community-wide party to celebrate its accomplishments.

    April 16, 2014

  • Veterans Memorial Rendering.jpg Cabin fever

    Weatherford Parks and Recreation officials are looking to renovate two areas to make them more user friendly.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Parker County man killed in single-vehicle wreck

    A 60-year-old Parker County man was killed around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in a one-vehicle crash in the 2100 block of FM Road 3325, also known as Farmer Road.

    April 15, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks