chapter  9
18 Pages

The Treatment of Guilt with Alcoholic or Addicted Clients

The reparation process permits recovering alcoholics and addicts to relieve their guilt from the past and sometimes to effect reconciliation with those they have injured- Individuals who combine making up for the past with living morally in the present will eventually return to good standing within the community. Alcoholic selfishness and corruption is exactly that-immoral and self-centered activity directly linked with an addictive career. Some alcoholic and addicted clients will resist this approach. Some clients gain hope when therapists blame the alcohol or drugs for their clients' inappropriate behaviour. The job of therapists is to help their clients recognize that they have been running away from guilt into addiction. Therapists can use some of the same tactics employed to assist clients with shame avoidance: data collection, feelings collages, gentle confrontations that encourage clients to look inside. Therapists may be tempted to try to alleviate their clients' guilt feelings as the first order of business.