“It is tempting to want to confront addicts who are lost in lying and denial—to want to ‘snap them out of it’ because ‘anyone can see’ they need to change. This is probably the most damaging thing you can do to someone as a counselor.
“It doesn’t count until they can see it for themselves, and if you try to hurry that process, you will complicate things horribly. We are not in the advice business, nor the sponsoring business, we are in the counseling business. That means we listen more than we talk, and we do not pretend we know better than the client, mainly because we simply do NOT. Each person’s journey is different.”
We so often encourage clients to “trust the process” when we struggle with it ourselves. Good counseling includes patience and faith that change will come and an understanding that the most important work will happen outside of treatment and involve people other than us.