Furious with Counselor at IOP - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
Go Back   SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information >
Register Blogs FAQ Members List Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read





Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-03-2014, 08:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
01-14-2019
 
tornrealization's Avatar
 

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Midwest
Posts: 767
Angry

Furious with Counselor at IOP


I'm not quite sure what I can or can't share.

I had my first IOP session tonight and I was basically yelling at the counselor in my car on the way home.

When I showed up, nobody at reception. After start time, people are still milling around, apparently there's more than one night time thing going on because I see children. Counselor shows up and says I'll grab you in a minute. Err, ok.

I am reminded on Deeker's comment "What are you a high class drunk?" to someone who said their AA peoples looked questionable. I'm the only one not in torn jeans, tatts and without a penis. Yea! I do feel weird. One fellow asks how many hours I have to do for my DUI. Say what? What hours?

Find out everyone is there basically except 1-2 people for drug court. Who could that 1 be? I'm ok with this. I like a rougher crown, silly me for worrying I'd drop some swearing. Instead the group is excessively swearing. F-this, F-that, even words that start with C and spelled like Aunt. Counselor - I am fine with some swearing in heat of passion. This established group seemed to be making a sport of it. Some swearing? REALLY!? C WORD? What if I wasn't a super laid back chick? Most girls would be FURIOUS just on that - and it was said MORE THAN ONCE in front of counselor. OMG~!

One guy takes up over an hour, has had some serious ** I mean (oops, almost sweared) stuff to let out. We respected him. A break - counselor - I need to talk to you at break or after group. Ok, I stick around for the 15 minute break. 30 minutes later, group resumes sans one participant. No worries, seen that before. Counselor : I won't say who, but I sent someone home for nodding off and I don't care but they called me a **** behind my back.

Group : Gasp, no way! He wouldn't do that? What? (ME: Angry - 1. blown off for introductions, 2. What if this guy comes back next week? Where is the privacy? WHY if this counselor doesn't care are they sharing this unnecessary information to the group????) Anger starts.

Counselor: No obsessing on cell phones. Looking here n there A-OK. Good rule, yes, I agree. New member shares story. Mr. Sensational decides to share text message about his previous 1 hour share while this other person is sharing. Cell phone goes around the room, this guy is rudely interrupted in my mind, even counselor looks at it and gives a chuckle. What about this cell phone rule? This poor guy gets his turn and Mr. I've just talked an hour is sharing texts and then decides to give the poor guy his wisdom while texting. WHAT?! Angrier @ counselor for allowing this.

Racism : A member brings up how a poor part of town is becoming ***** and how they would never live there. (At this time, nobody knows why I'm there, where I live or my story). Others agree, (I'm offended but whatever, rough and tough crowd). Then shockingly - Counselor - Yea, when I was looking for place to live, I found a perfect one until I saw what town it was in.

I wanted to scream! How dare a PROFESSIONAL act like this? Especially with a newbie? WTH! What if I lived there, I DO have family there, and what if I had kids and husband there??? So 1/2 the group has left "other things to do" and we end early - counselor not feeling well. So this get to know each other brief one on one meeting we were supposed to have at break didn't happen or after group ---oh, Counselor says:"I'll see you next week!"

I snarked back "YEA."

I'm so angry - ANGRY, I nearly exploded at the meeting. If I attack the counselor I get dismissed. Other people are going to say their things, and be rude, but a counselor shouldn't be allowing racist crap happen - let alone add to it, let some guy interrupt other people's sharing with his "more important" texts to pass around and tell people why someone got dismissed (or that he was dismissed at all!) Just say he's left for the night.

I don't know, I want to quit, I want to call her boss. I want to stick it out. The first guy who shared made me feel like AA is not going to be so scary, and helps. But letting him dominate while other people shared - it's the counselor that needs to reign things in. I could express myself to counselor who makes mention of dismissing people - and I can just see it being twisted as though I just am being confrontational trying to leave IOP. I want IOP, but not with an unprofessional.

I nearly exploded during the group at the counselor. Counselor ended with Shy people should come to them if they want to bring up topics. This is all *** aimed at me because everyone else there awhile. I'm like how can I feel to share when someone else is dominating? I almost said "if this "shy" crap is for me, knock it off. I really didn't feel I had an opportunity to break in tonight given what is going on" - that sounds lots nicer than what I would've said, I held my tongue smile and nodded.

I'm not sure what I want to do. I feel like going to the guy who screened me and saying - place me with someone else, but it was the only local night IOP.

I honestly haven't been this angry at someone else in a long time. I remember being ANGRY about that all-inclusive I was at, but it was because I (ME!) couldn't drink, not really directed at someone else's behavior so to speak.

I got home, ate, vented, and I'm at a loss of what to do here. I absolutely am not making this up. I liked the IOP I had last time, this was just plain insanity and judgmental. What IF someone of that race was in that meeting? What if the guy dismissed comes back after thinking about why he was dismissed? What if I want to share and now I have to worry about being overshadowed by somebody who'd rather do something else even distracting my time with group/counselor.

Seemed like the guys were OK with this - maybe the similar backgrounds, no idea. Maybe because they all court ordered to be there, they don't complain. Maybe guys don't care.

If anyone thinks I shared too much information- I'll edit, I don't know, I'm not naming names, races, cities, or anything. I tried to be vague.

What to do what to do. This isn't normal, that is for sure. I had IOP in 2008 and did 3-4 weeks. No issues!
tornrealization is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to tornrealization For This Useful Post:
BadCompany (04-04-2014), Carlotta (04-04-2014), Gazza (04-03-2014), gleefan (04-04-2014), Holli (04-04-2014), jaynie04 (04-03-2014), KateL (04-04-2014), LBrain (04-03-2014), Neverthought (04-04-2014)
Old 04-03-2014, 09:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
SoberLeigh's Avatar
 

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: East Coast USA
Posts: 113,903
Oh man, torn; I am so sorry that it turned out this way for you. I am horrified by your experience. Maybe give it one more shot and then call your doctor/insurance company if it doesn't get much, much better.

What a nightmare.
SoberLeigh is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to SoberLeigh For This Useful Post:
Gazza (04-03-2014), KateL (04-04-2014), Neverthought (04-04-2014), tornrealization (04-03-2014)
Old 04-03-2014, 09:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
Member
 
newman23's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 190
Blog Entries: 7
Wow...can you switch to another outpatient group? A guy in the one I am in now just had to switch from one he was going to because of the same scenario. According to him, there were times were almost fist fights broke out in the middle of his outpatient group. He is much happier with the setting were in now.
newman23 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to newman23 For This Useful Post:
Gazza (04-03-2014), Neverthought (04-04-2014), SoberLeigh (04-03-2014), tornrealization (04-03-2014)
Old 04-03-2014, 09:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
Eddiebuckle's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 1,588
I don't know the circumstances or logistics behind your being in IOP, but if you have the ability to seek a different group simply say that this one seemed too informal for your needs. The truth is that many people who are court ordered are not terribly interested in recovery, they are simply checking a box they are required to have. Yes, the counselor is not doing a good job, but that's secondary - this isn't a good fit and the odds of getting it rectified to your satisfaction in the near term (which you need for your recovery) are pretty slim.

Move on and get down to the business at hand.
Eddiebuckle is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Eddiebuckle For This Useful Post:
Carlotta (04-04-2014), Gazza (04-03-2014), Neverthought (04-04-2014), SoberLeigh (04-03-2014), tornrealization (04-03-2014)
Old 04-03-2014, 09:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
01-14-2019
 
tornrealization's Avatar
 

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Midwest
Posts: 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by newman23 View Post
Wow...can you switch to another outpatient group? A guy in the one I am in now just had to switch from one he was going to because of the same scenario. According to him, there were times were almost fist fights broke out in the middle of his outpatient group. He is much happier with the setting were in now.

I'm going to explore that option, now. Earlier I was upset and felt trapped. It was the only local group - but you're right. Maybe I can find one an hour away or closer to work. Both doable options. I just have to expand my territories to look.

Thankyou for sharing this. I'm always second-guessing myself.
tornrealization is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to tornrealization For This Useful Post:
adee (04-04-2014), Dee74 (04-03-2014), Gazza (04-03-2014), Neverthought (04-04-2014), SoberLeigh (04-03-2014)
Old 04-03-2014, 09:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
jaynie04's Avatar
 

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Nutmegger
Posts: 1,799
TR, I know that finding support might not always be comfortable, but it shouldn't be tortuous. I would have a really hard time focusing if I was in a group that grated so much against my value system. And, without a leader at the helm to temper that crap it is likely to continue to be a cockfight at every session.

My inpatient group was all guys and me, another woman joined us at the end. No way would any of that behavior cut it. I am not a prude, I was a bond trader on a trading floor the size of 2 football fields, I have had my days with the boys, but what you describe is a joke. Feeling safe is a very very important part of being able to share, the whole idea of IOP is to find support within a group.

This wasn't a one off aberration, this is a situation that is being exploited and an inappropriate culture whose tone is not being set by the counselor.

Sorry you had to go through that, I almost wanted to drop a few not so nice words in even responding.
__________________
You can't escape until you know you're in prison
SOBRIETY DATE 6/27/13

By Jove, you are so right!
jaynie04 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to jaynie04 For This Useful Post:
alphaomega (04-04-2014), Carlotta (04-04-2014), Dee74 (04-03-2014), Gazza (04-03-2014), LBrain (04-04-2014), Neverthought (04-04-2014), SoberLeigh (04-03-2014), tornrealization (04-03-2014)
Old 04-03-2014, 09:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
Phoenix Rising Again
 
Aarryckha's Avatar
 

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 3,079
Wow, that sounds really horrible.

I would absolutely explore other options. If you are uncomfortable being there, it really isn't going to help you much. The counselor sounds totally unprofessional and I doubt if it was me that I'd want to share anything about myself in such a hostile setting.

Good luck!
__________________


March 1, 2014

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. - Joseph Campbell

That's the funny thing about decisions. You never seem to have to talk yourself into the right one. - Frank Reagan

Aarryckha is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Aarryckha For This Useful Post:
Neverthought (04-04-2014), SoberLeigh (04-03-2014), tornrealization (04-03-2014)
Old 04-04-2014, 06:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 
gleefan's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 3,904
Blog Entries: 11
(((((Torn))))))

I've had the feeling you were looking forward to this opportunity at IOP. I am sorry to hear that it didn't go well.

I've never gone to IOP, but I have been to a court mandated alcohol education seminar. We came from a wide variety of races, cultures, neighborhoods, and backgrounds. Most of us were resistant to being there and didn't talk much at first, but the counselor kept it safe and appropriate, and from day one found ways to show us our commonalities. At first it was as simple as we all had been arrested for drinking and driving, but as the weeks went on it became more nuanced.

The AA meeting that I go to is predominately men. I am one of two women. These guys don't look anything like folks who I'd socialize with in the outside world, but, again, it's safe and appropriate. One fellow even said "Hey, I know there's a lot of guys here, but it's great to have you here tonight, because the only requirement is a desire to stop drinking!" My point is that he made me feel welcome and comfortable, even though - and probably because - on the outside we look nothing alike.

IOP isn't the only path to recovery, and you've been stable since your ER trip. Could you look into something different, ie individual counseling and AA?
__________________
Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything. Maybe it's about un-becoming everything that isn't really you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place. - Unknown
gleefan is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to gleefan For This Useful Post:
jaynie04 (04-04-2014), LBrain (04-04-2014), SoberLeigh (04-04-2014), tornrealization (04-04-2014)
Old 04-04-2014, 06:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
Member
 
FreeOwl's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 7,418
sounds pretty damn awful to me.

do you have other options?

I think our recovery needs to take a path that works for each of us.

I get that sometimes we will be confronted with crap that we need in order for us to grow beyond our own stuff... but this seems super extreme.
__________________
~ Life!! It's WAY too good to drink to! ~
FreeOwl is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to FreeOwl For This Useful Post:
jaynie04 (04-04-2014), SoberLeigh (04-04-2014), tornrealization (04-04-2014)
Old 04-04-2014, 06:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
Member
 
LBrain's Avatar
 

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: PA
Posts: 12,007
Blog Entries: 2
torn, yeah, look into individual counseling. I know that most of my session is spent on "checking in" and the counselor dissects every individual on the spot which takes up tremendous time. By the time "check in" is over the two hours are up and I got to listen to people bitch and whine over a myriad of things. For ME it is a total waste of time. But going there is the only thing keeping my paycheck coming - it's my job. (?) I'm also in with a younger crowd. And then hearing people talk about "my PO" and Pi$$ing hot and my girlfriends texting, and my friend's friend's friend, I still didn't go to a meeting after 5 weeks, my mom can't drive me so I won't make it on Tuesday, I missed the bus etc.
We NEVER start on time. And it's like a lottery guessing who is going to show up. It's a F'ing romper room! Very little about recovery, mostly a bitch and whine session about what is ailing said addict on a particular day.
Plus the 'other stuff' at your place.
__________________
Brain
I will never drink again and I will never change my mind.
LBrain is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to LBrain For This Useful Post:
jaynie04 (04-04-2014), SoberLeigh (04-04-2014), tornrealization (04-04-2014)
Old 04-04-2014, 06:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
Sober Today
 
GreenEggsAndHam's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 779
I'm soooo disappointed that you had a bad experience because I was so happy for this opportunity for you

I hope you can find a place that is not so disorganized and disrespectful! You should feel safe there! Ugghh so sorry for you!
__________________
"The only thing I had to change was everything." - Anonymous, upon receiving his 5-year chip.
GreenEggsAndHam is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to GreenEggsAndHam For This Useful Post:
jaynie04 (04-04-2014), SoberLeigh (04-04-2014), tornrealization (04-04-2014)
Old 04-04-2014, 06:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
Sober Today
 
GreenEggsAndHam's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 779
My experience was not like some of the ones described...

My IOP had two therapists (sometimes one was out so there would just be one) and no more than 12 people but usually less depending on the day. Group started with check in where everyone speaks briefly (like 30 seconds to 3 minutes) about how their night and morning went. If they have something they need to get off their chest, they say they want to share which is done after all people get to check in. New people are welcomed at that time and given a chance after all other checkins to introduce themselves. People share and the group is very respectful, giving all the opportunity to share through the weeks. The therapists would occasionally ask the more share-ative people to give the more quiet people a chance which was nice. Most days someone has a turn to give their life story. They then get feedback from the group (always positive because we bond quickly).

It was very organized and respectful with pretty regular folks of all ages. I guess I got lucky!
__________________
"The only thing I had to change was everything." - Anonymous, upon receiving his 5-year chip.
GreenEggsAndHam is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to GreenEggsAndHam For This Useful Post:
jaynie04 (04-04-2014), SoberLeigh (04-04-2014), tornrealization (04-04-2014)
Old 04-04-2014, 06:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
Member
 
Holli's Avatar
 

Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 373
Blog Entries: 6
Ugh, sounds terrible. Find another group post haste! Professionally I spend a lot of time in workgroups and committees and it can be painful without a skillful leader or facilitator.
__________________
Day 1: 4/19/14
Holli is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Holli For This Useful Post:
jaynie04 (04-04-2014), SoberLeigh (04-04-2014), tornrealization (04-04-2014)
Old 04-04-2014, 07:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
01-14-2019
 
tornrealization's Avatar
 

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Midwest
Posts: 767
Thanks for all the insights. GEAH, my first IOP wasn't like this, and also had court ordered people.

I'm going to call and see if they have night IOP the location a town away.

I planned on getting a therapist after IOP, but last night I was thinking I needed a therapist for my IOP. I'm going to start that path now, individual counseling.

Thanks everyone. I felt I had no options, clearly I wasn't thinking straight.
tornrealization is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to tornrealization For This Useful Post:
Eddiebuckle (04-06-2014), GreenEggsAndHam (04-04-2014), jaynie04 (04-04-2014)
Old 04-04-2014, 08:11 AM   #15 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Probably my living room. Maybe my bedroom if I'm feeling lazy
Posts: 1,070
Blog Entries: 1
Sorry you had such a rough experience.

I did IOP for 6 months after I got out of rehab. Like you, I was always one of the few people who were there out of choice, and not because they tested positive at work or they were court ordered.

Here's the thing. People come and go in these programs. Just like the revolving door of rehab and AA. The group dynamic constantly shifts over the weeks and months as newcomers arrive and people drop out or "graduate" (I always hated that term - how does one graduate from being an addict/alcoholic? I never graduated. I just kept coming back until my insurance cut me off).

So yes, I've come across the dominators, the racists, people whose vocabulary was limited to just a few obscenities, and my personal pet peeve, addicts and alcoholics who were convinced they didn't have a problem. But I also came across some really decent people who wanted sobriety as much as me. There are a few people I met in IOP who are great friends today. I see them in AA all the time. They stayed sober like me.

If I were you (and I'm not, so obviously do whatever you feel is best), I would give it a few weeks before you bail. Maybe there are people in your group that you might really connect with. Maybe you'll be able to help out a newcomer who comes in feeling like you did.

But yeah, I guess I was lucky to have a counselor who kept things on track. Anytime someone started straying off topic (there was one guy who loved to talk about his cars; it drove me crazy), she reeled them back in. If this guy can't control the group, I hope you can find someone who can.

Individual therapy has its merits, but in my humble opinion, in early sobriety, it's really helpful to have people around you who are dealing with the same stuff as you. People you can hopefully make deeper connections with. Not everyone obviously, but you may be surprised who might walk in the door each session.
digdug is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to digdug For This Useful Post:
tornrealization (04-04-2014)
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:02 AM.