Does the Person You Love have a Drinking Problem?

Question and Answer: I think my mother has a drinking problem and I don’t know if I should say something to her about it?

Here are some guidelines if you suspect that someone you are close to has a drinking problem. 1. Do not attack or blame- it won’t do any good and will create even more distance in the relationship. 2. Create as safe a place as you can for them to open up to you about their issue- doing some of your own self-disclosure about something that is difficult can help open the lines of communication. 3. You can offer support but you cannot force changes, that comes from within each of us, so keep a healthy attitude about what you can and cannot change. 4. If you do broach the subject and she becomes defensive, back down and wait for another time. 5. Take care of yourself! Remove yourself from situations that may be painful to you and do not do any rescuing (easier said than done). An excellent resource is your local Ala-non groups.

Research Updates:

Your friends aren’t as happy as they seem
December 22, 2010, Los Angeles Times

People keep their negative feelings hidden when around others which may lead them to conclude that they are more alone in their emotional difficulties than they really are.

Placebos help, even when patients know about them
December 22, 2010, MSNBC

Patients in small study reported feeling better, even when knowingly taking a sugar pill.

For LGBT teens, acceptance is critical
December 6, 2010, CNN

Family acceptance of LGBT youth predicts positive outcomes in mental health, self-esteem, and overall health status and non-heterosexual young people are more likely to receive punishments in a school or criminal justice setting

Excerpt from Mindful Living Blog: Heartbreaks

So what to do if your heart has been broken? Know that you are in good company- it’s a universal experience. Take care of yourself- eat healthy, sleep as much as you need to, reach out for support, exercise and get outdoors. Journal your feelings. Know that the pain will lessen with time. Treat yourself gently- now is not the time to criticize or blame yourself.

Then when the pain has eased some, you can look at the relationship- what did you learn from it? How did it change you? In what ways were your needs met, or not met? What patterns of behavior might you want to change? And ask yourself what is next?

Do not shut down from others and experiences! It is our natural instinct and it’s OK to do that for a while, but then we need to get back in the saddle and risk being vulnerable again.

You will feel better, I promise.

Happy New Year!! I like the freshness of a new year and all of the possibilities that a new year brings. 2010 was a BIG year for Kettle Moraine Counseling- it’s the year we started! We have grown and grown and grown, which has all been good. We have more therapists and more space. I work with a great bunch of therapists and feel blessed that they chose to work at this clinic when they would be an asset anywhere they work. The clinic has a play therapy office and also a play are for kids in the waiting room- something we are very proud of- we want the little ones to feel safe and welcome and hope that we have accomplished that. As we continue to grow, we hope to never lose that personal touch- because truly you are all important to us. Devona Marshall