Let’s Make an Acquaintance. Basics of Consulting People with Addictions and Their Relatives


Lack of necessary knowledge, skills and the right understanding of Orthodox approach to rehabilitation by staff will become a serious obstacle to giving qualitative help to people with addictions.

That is why the Charitable Fund of the Saint Godly Ioann Kronshtadsky realizes the “Let’s Make an Acquaintance” project. These are tutoring webinars, skype sessions and guest consultations with further exam interview. The course on consulting drug addicted and their relatives is aimed at priests, staff and volunteers of church socially oriented non-profit organizations who begin consulting.

  • How to consult?
  • What is necessary for making a talk?
  • What is the essence of consulting?
  • What are the major questions to be asked?

This and not only this were on the meeting with R. Prischenko (a clinical psychologist with 18 years of experience in the field of social rehabilitation, the author of books on Orthodox rehabilitation and more).

Consulting can be performed according to the model: doctor – patient, specialist – client, person – person. “The idea of the consulting is not only in the learning but also in creating the atmosphere which will result in joint perception”, – the specialist says. To build a talk it is necessary to listen patiently, to react emotionally to basic aspects, to gather information and then to underline the problem and possibilities.

1. Basic questions in consulting:

What is the problem?

  • how the person sees his problem
  • what methods of solving the problems were used before, their results and attitude of the person to them
  • the reason of coming for the consultation right now
  • what are the losses and troubles in various spheres of life in connection with using psychoactive substances(health, family, work, study, with friends, with the law)

What do you want?

  • what help is expected by the person (desired result)

Tasks of consultant:

The consultant should find out the level of responsibility for solving the problem (time, terms, money, etc.) and what the person understands by the notion “recovery”. Besides, information on the nature of addiction and information on recovery can be given. One should explain that the addiction could not be overcome only by personal conation and describe the nearest perspective (detoxication, mutual help groups, hospital, etc.). One should find out what the person has heard and understood (learnt new) and what exactly he/she is going to do today/tomorrow in order to solve the problem.

2. The peculiarities of consulting important relatives

One should not forget that not each relative is a co-dependent person. That is why one should find out if the relative is seeking for help and is co-dependent and then to inform the relative of the consequences of co-dependency.

  • help to realize painfulness of co-dependent behavior and motivate to change this behavior
  • help to find personal and external resources to overcome the co-dependent behavior (prayer, groups for relatives)
  • realize own needs and borders of help
  • make it possible to touch the consequences of use

The changes must be started with yourself. There are no universal ways of solving the problem. The problem is not solved by conation! This is the role of God to save, and our role is co-working.

3. The peculiarities of consulting by phone

  • the sensitiveness of analyzer of hearing
  • a large volume of internal memory of hearing
  • it is necessary to make notes and to fix key moments and phrases
  • to gather demographic data for the questionnaire and magazine
  • to use the scheme “What the person seeking for help wants”
  • to give information on the nature of addiction and supportive resources
  • to invite for the actual consultation and supportive groups

Statistics is important for keeping track on the effectiveness of work. This is impossible to be done without statistics and analytics.

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