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Old 07-20-2016, 09:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Is outpatient rehab supposed to be like this?


Today was my first appointment with a counselor. I was a little concerned when he sat down and immediately went on Facebook.

He then made coffee, played on Facebook messenger and in-between he went through two papers that would have taken 10 minutes.

He asked me when the last time I drank was. He told me he had a problem with me drinking 4 days ago and that's all that was said the entire session.

He then talked about how he is looking for a job and hasn't gotten a raise in 2 years. His phone went off and he read a job description to me.

I lost work pay this morning for this. I want out away from this guy because he is absolutely horrible for my sobriety, a waste of my time and money, but I don't know how to get a new counselor after 1 session? Am I expecting too much?
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sound like an irresponsible person to me no matter what his job might be.

I'd report it to whomever his supervisor is and request a different counselor.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sound like an irresponsible person to me no matter what his job might be.

I'd report it to whomever his supervisor is and request a different counselor.
I agree with Scott. That was completely inappropriate. I would not see this person a second time.

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Old 07-20-2016, 09:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow, talk about unprofessional! I would run, not walk, away from this place. I considered outpatient rehab at a local facility and while I opted not to go that route, they were extremely thorough and professional. There are good places out there. Consider it research!:-)
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I can imagine how that must have made you feel. I wouldn't put myself in that situation again. I'd talk to his superiors to be put with another person. If you get stuck with him tell him. Not easy. I'm sure he's like that with everyone and needs to be confronted. Maybe he'll have you placed with someone else.
This happened to me. The guy had me in tears and I asked for someone else they said they completely understood and many had complained about him.
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree w everyone..report him to his supervisor. I am sorry you had a bad experience but do not be discouraged. Like every field of work there are a few bad apples. Most drug counselors usually care and have a desire to help people. Good luck
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Most drug counselors usually care and have a desire to help people.
It think it's also worth pointing out that drug counseling ( any counseling really ) is a very hard job and there's a lot of burnout, especially for counselors that work in offices that deal with court-ordered/referral clients. That in NO way excuses the behavior of this particular counselor, but sometimes it does happen and they end up doing a poor job because of it.
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I completed inpatient and followed up by out patient with the same facility and the level of care were the same. This sounds like either a bad counselor and/or bad facility. Contact a supervisor and they should remedy this. If not, see if there are other options.
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Please report him. Useless counsellors are dangerous and a threat to sobriety.
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Can you see why he hasn't had a raise in two years???/
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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He had a problem with you drinking four days ago... wow.

The nerve.

I guess he doesn't understand his job description and his role in your recovery. Nor does he seem to have a clue about ethics or responsibility.

This child playing on his Facebook messenger needs to find a new job. Meanwhile, I hope you report this incident.

And most importantly... do not focus on this issue or let it stop you from getting the help you need right now. Go on and get yourself a new counselor if you can while you're there.
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Report this guy to his supervisor. He is giving counselors a bad name.
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Old 07-20-2016, 03:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I don't want to pass him in the halls next time I am there. We did not talk about the things I really wanted to talk about such as cravings, triggers, so on. He admitted he was a serious alcoholic "when younger".

He threw me a paper quiz and said "I hear you have PTSD so fill this out". I added it up and it said I am in a severe depression. He didn't even look at it and shoved it in a folder.

I told him I have a problem with drinking. He said "Oh you're a boozer!!" Then he went on to admit that he actively drinks. He said to me that he can have one beer and stop. Then he back-tracked and said "To be honest, they're usually tall ones ." I can understand the issue with burnout but to admit you're actively drinking and complain to a client 10 minutes into meeting them?

I felt like I was counseling him the entire time. He seemed disgusted that I was in his office. I just feel like crap. I waited a month to see this guy and my insurance won't let me transfer to another outpatient facility without a fight.
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Old 07-20-2016, 03:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I don't want to pass him in the halls next time I am there. We did not talk about the things I really wanted to talk about such as cravings, triggers, so on. He admitted he was a serious alcoholic "when younger".

He threw me a paper quiz and said "I hear you have PTSD so fill this out". I added it up and it said I am in a severe depression. He didn't even look at it and shoved it in a folder.

I told him I have a problem with drinking. He said "Oh you're a boozer!!" Then he went on to admit that he actively drinks. He said to me that he can have one beer and stop. Then he back-tracked and said "To be honest, they're usually tall ones ." I can understand the issue with burnout but to admit you're actively drinking and complain to a client 10 minutes into meeting them?

I felt like I was counseling him the entire time. He seemed disgusted that I was in his office. I just feel like crap. I waited a month to see this guy and my insurance won't let me transfer to another outpatient facility without a fight.
Don't waste your time with him, call and ask to speak with a supervisor and get on with getting help for yourself. Definitely don't use this one bad experience as a reason to not go back. You could also report it to your insurance company.
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Old 07-20-2016, 03:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Can you call your insurance company (some have patient advocates) and tell them exactly what happened?
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I don't want to pass him in the halls next time I am there. We did not talk about the things I really wanted to talk about such as cravings, triggers, so on. He admitted he was a serious alcoholic "when younger".

He threw me a paper quiz and said "I hear you have PTSD so fill this out". I added it up and it said I am in a severe depression. He didn't even look at it and shoved it in a folder.

I told him I have a problem with drinking. He said "Oh you're a boozer!!" Then he went on to admit that he actively drinks. He said to me that he can have one beer and stop. Then he back-tracked and said "To be honest, they're usually tall ones ." I can understand the issue with burnout but to admit you're actively drinking and complain to a client 10 minutes into meeting them?

I felt like I was counseling him the entire time. He seemed disgusted that I was in his office. I just feel like crap. I waited a month to see this guy and my insurance won't let me transfer to another outpatient facility without a fight.
I was in government funded, low cost counselling a few years ago. I saw a counsellor 3 times (I had to wait 2 months for the appt) and I felt like we did not connect and it was completely unproductive for me. The idea of asking to switch to someone different made me so uncomfortable but there was nothing good coming from my appointments.

I requested, and was given, a change in counsellors. The next counsellor was fantastic and I was so thankful I did the hard thing, asking for someone new.

I hope you speak to a supervisor and get assigned to someone, anyone, other than this unqualified, unprofessional, unhelpful person.

Wishing you the best
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:44 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Based on your description I would consider reporting him to the state, not just his supervisor. In Colorado, for example, "psychotherapists" must at least register with the state. This means they are either licensed, or they are registered as "unlicensed."

You should have received a disclosure statement, as well, which would tell you his qualifications, education, philosophy... I just found this from the state of Oregon, but lots of states and other countries operate in this way: Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists Professional Disclosure Statement

He needs to be reported, and if other counselors are aware of his behavior, they're supposed to report him, as well. It's not about being vindictive or trying to get anybody in trouble; it's about taking steps to make sure he doesn't continue harming clients who are often particularly vulnerable due to their particular substance use disorder.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
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probably more common than you might think - most counselors expect their 'patients' will fail, and not without good reason - but not something you should be forced to put up with.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:41 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Don't waste anymore time with him, but more importantly, don't let him put you off getting the help you want and need.
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry this happened to you, I know it will be hard to get time off again so soon, but I sure hope you try another one.
One good thing, this will be an amazing story to tell once you've been sober a while. You have been to the worst possible counselor ever. Sounds like something out of a Monty Python skit!
I also hope you will report him. Lots of people will give up after one bad experience, and that could mean many more years of suffering, and it could mean their death.
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