Career Counselor Responses




Esweni Ikein

The 12- step support group I attended was the Food Addicts Anonymous, or the FAA for short. Food Addicts Anonymous is a support group for those suffering from food addiction or who are recovering from food addiction. They aim to be a safe place that is non-judgmental and gives support to their members. It is free to join, and they do take donations. Each member is given a sponsor, someone who has been abstinent or in recovery for a long time. It is not a monetary sponsorship but an accountability/ mentorship one. I chose FAA because I thought it was interesting, and I went in with an open mind to learn about food addiction. I do believe I have one, but I have never addressed it. The meeting I attended was called “Super- Saturday’s tools of recovery.”

Based on my experience at the meeting and the learning resources, the role of a 12- step support groups in relapse prevention and continuum of care are slightly different. From my understanding, 12-step support groups in relapse prevention are geared toward preventing relapse and entering stability. The 12-step support group for the continuum of care allows for treating behaviors and relapses that meet where the client is. Depending on their needs, they can go up in treatment or down in treatment. Treatment groups are for those trying to get on the road of recovery or abstinence and admit they have an addiction.

Something from the meeting that aligned with my expectations was that the support group would have a non-judging environment and that you can be yourself while still learning what you need to succeed and not relapse. The meeting surprised me because it was laid back, and everyone came from around the world to attend. There was a member from New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and some parts of the US. That was cool. I was not expecting it to be so open and chill and was not expecting it to be that way.

Section 2: 2 days ago

Ariel Gonzalez

Initially, I was overwhelmed with the idea of attending a 12-step support group because I felt that support groups are generally very intimate, so I felt intimidated about attending. Before going, I read that the program’s website noted that nonalcoholics could attend the open meetings as observers. This past Monday, I stepped out of my comfort zone, made the trek to the meeting, and attended an in-person Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group for women only. The group had been going on for some time, but the facilitators and participants instantly welcomed me with warmth. The group consisted of women of various ages and backgrounds, which I also found comforting. Many women spoke about how their childhood experiences impacted their alcoholism, while others listened and provided empathetic responses. Before attending this particular group, I was not expecting to choose a gender-specific group, but I was glad I did. I felt the connection and empowerment throughout the time I was observing, which eased my initial feelings of anxiety.

The Role of 12-step Support Groups

Support groups have many benefits as they allow participants to learn the importance of consistency, accountability, and building connections. Lawson (2003, as cited in Capuzzi Stauffer, 2020) discovered that 12-step group participants had positive outcomes during their recovery plan. Further, many support groups focus on avoiding relapses and using specific interventions to avoid relapses. Capuzzi and Stauffer (2020) noted that the primary role of relapse prevention is to avoid triggers that would usually cause a client to use substances. Along with 12-step support groups in relapse prevention, continuum of care, and support groups, the end goal of recovery is virtually the same; however, the processes vary. A 12-step support group addresses matters focused on addictive behaviors (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2020). Moreover, the continuum of care is essentially the maintenance and the stages where a client works on solidifying abstinence (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2020).

Meeting Expectations

After taking the groups process and dynamics course, I had a general idea of what to expect during the support groups, so I did not think the women’s AA 12- step group would be any different. The group was facilitated by two female licensed professional counselors (LPC) who were both very respectful but firm when disclosing confidentiality. Further, I was expecting a relatively small group, which was true too. Overall, I felt that the meeting aligned with many of my expectations.

Meeting Surprises

Before attending the meeting, I was unaware of the gender-specific groups in my area. It was an eye-opening experience as I was surprised that a group like the women’s AA group was open to any woman that would like to observe. Further, despite the group being a 12-step support group, I was surprised that I did not feel too lost or confused about the topic since it seemed like a fluid agenda with the ultimate goal of recovery.

Section 3

Trisha Isaac

Discussion: Typical & Atypical Medications

Case Study: Roger

In the instance of Roger, the case study states the client’s urgency to attend a counseling session. While addressing the prioritization of Roger’s needs, there is client- shared information entailing former prescribed medication from a psychiatrist. This mediation was prescribed to Roger to assist in treatment of his schizophrenia diagnosis. Roger describes his decision not to continue taking his prescribed medication. As explained by Perry (2007), this is due to feeling “trapped and disengaged” from his internal self (p. 1). Despite the reactionary statements via the client, there is absolution in the client displaying symptoms of active psychosis. An intentional, and cautious role must be set forth via the professional in such a scenario. While evidently troubling, the counselor should explore Roger’s mentality regarding non-adherence to his prescribed medication. Sinacola, Peters-Strickland, &Wyner (2019) determine those diagnosed with schizophrenia to exhibit mood swings and a “unique relative contribution” to four categories: “positive, negative, cognitive, mood’ (p. 66). Determining Roger’s non-adherence to medication may be stated as questionary formalities. Such as: “elaborate on your thoughts regarding feeling trapped when taking your medication” and “it must be incredibly challenging to feel hesitance, or even distrust, in the medication prescribed to you. I’d like to discuss this with you further.”

Role of Medication

The underlying precedence set by the client, Roger, in this scenario, is cause for concern. His urgency to attend counseling sessions, whilst displaying symptoms of active psychosis; imply that a delicate and direct approach from the professional counselor must be asserted. To gauge Roger’s grasp on the reality of his diagnosis, the counselor may ask this client to “further describe his thought processes, or actions, which had led him to decide to seek outside support.” Following this, a sensitive discussion entailing the role of medication as a supportive stake in Roger’s perceptions (internal & external). Sincola, Peters-Strickland, & Wyner (2019) explain that approaching the reasoning behind schizophrenia diagnosis is only successful with respect to the client’s indecisiveness. Roger would benefit from a informational discussion, that does not discredit his emotional status at that time


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