Consultation Room Is the Front Door To the Help System


In the beginning of September, the “Foundations of Consulting People with addictions to psychoactive Substances and the Relatives of Those People” webinar was held.

This is only a part of “Let’s Be Acquainted” big project (more information on the project on The aim of the course is to give a set of basic knowledge enough for launch of consultation point (room).

The host is Roman Prischenko. A specialist with 18-year old experience in the field of social rehabilitation, the director of rehabilitation programs in “Insuppressible Hope” Autonomic Non-Commercial Organization.

“Revansh” organization launched the “Consultation Cabinet” project several years ago (more information on the project on That is why this webinar is very vital. We are offering you an Orthodox view of the work of consultation cabinet (consultation room).

Basic Notions:

What is the consultation room?

“Consultation room is the front door to the help system” – noted R. Prischenko.

Who is the recipient of help?

*Addiction – dependency, harmful habit, adaptation

The person having problems because of use of PAS (addicted)*. Important relative having problems because of PAV (codependent)*.

*Codependency – a pathological state characterized by deep preoccupation and strong emotional, social and even physical dependency on another person. Most often the term is used related to relatives of alcoholics, drug addicted and other people with any addiction

From theological point of view addiction and codependency are consequences of original sin*.

*Original sin – According to Christian Doctrine as a result of that the sin of Adam and Eva ancestors changed the way of people’s nature existence. The sin itself not depending on the personal qualities of the man “automatically” becomes the part of each man.

What is consultation?

This is the helping behavior that is shown in participation, sympathy and understanding as well as in support and care. It means inventory of requirements and problems of another person and it assists in its successful solving. This is the moral act and responsible effort of the consultant aimed at help to the client in mastering those ways of behavior that lead to solving his/her problems.

Consultation is not a churching. Consultation is not solving all life problems.

Tasks of Consultation:

Invitation is one of the major activities during the first consultation, most consultants do not copy with this task.

“Instead of invitation one starts to speak behind the closed door what the person needs to do,” – said the webinar host.

Screening is the activity aimed at revelation of those who need our help. Analysis of their problems and measuring how those problems that the person has compare with the possibilities and competence level that the system of help presents.

Besides that, this includes:

  • informing;
  • initial (repeated) mental and psychological support;
  • motivation and service (preparation to rehabilitation and social service).

The process of help is bidirectional. That is why if there a movement towards the process of consultation can take place.

The space is important for the consultation. During preparing the space for consultation one should remember that consultation room is the separate room and minimum of information on the walls. Time structuring is required, the length of meetings and their frequency should be defined as well as the length of consultation (number of meetings).

The emotional component of consultation – the interaction between seekers for help and the consultant – is based on Christian principles:

  • difference between the sin and the sinner (from the point of view of Russian Orthodox Church addiction is the sinful passion);
  • cooperation but not leading;
  • realization of that there are three (person+person+God) in the consultation process.

Also, one should not forget about the identity and sincerity, about the emotional warmth and accepting the confidential rules.

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