chapter  4
28 Pages

A research study into the use of self

My client was a woman called Rachel, a lesbian in her late 50s who was divorced with two adult children, one of whom had a mental disability. She had suffered from severe depression for most of her adult life and, in her words, had an ‘addictive personality’. Her addictions were to alcohol, prescription drugs (tranquillisers, sleeping tablets and anti-depressants) and to co-dependent relationships. She had suffered a severe psychological breakdown three years before I first met her which led to a stay of five months in a psychiatric hospital where she was given electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). She had also had two periods of treatment in an alcohol treatment centre. She had undergone a number of therapeutic experiences, including group psychotherapy and one-to-one counselling with a community psychiatric nurse. These interventions were behavioural in approach and she had found them of some help in the short term, mainly at a practical level.