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Counseling/Interview with an addiction counselor

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Question
Dear Mr. Gerlach,

I am a student in graduate school for clinical mental health counseling and for an assignment I need to interview an addiction counselor or someone who has experience counseling addiction.

The goal of the assignment is for me to write a summary of the following:
A description of your specific credentials as well as the agency/site where they practice.
Need to include a discussion surrounding your inter-professional community relationships
What is your role and function as an addiction counselor?
What is your description of the risk and resiliency factors to psychoactive substance use disorders in your community?

If you can please help answers these questions that would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Roxana

Answer
Hi Roxana - I'm a family therapist, not a credentialed addiction counselor. I encourage you to interview someone with credentials. I have done a lot of clinical work with addicts, and come from addicted parents. What I have learned about addictions and recovery [sobriety] is in these several articles:

http://sfhelp.org/fam/addiction.htm

http://sfhelp.org//gwc/addiction.htm

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/12steps.htm

Good luck on your project - Pete  

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Peter Gerlach, MSW

Expertise

I can answer questions about mood disorders, depression, suicide, relationships, communication skills, problem solving, clear thinking, bonding disorders, trauma recovery, addiction management, grieving, shame, guilt, fear, reality distortion, and trust disorders; courtship, family functioning, "problem kids," mediation, (re)marriage, divorce, stepfamilies, stepparenting, boundaries, self-neglect, abuse, parental neglect, personality subselves, ("parts work"). I cannot answer legal or medical questions.

Experience

I maintained a private therapy practice near Chicago for 27 years, and have worked with over 1,000 men, women, couples, and families on a wide range of personal and family problems. I have been in personal recovery from growing up in an alcoholic family since 1986, and have worked with five therapists to heal my own psychological wounds. I maintained a "warm (phone) line" for callers on the topics above for 20 years, and have taught over 200 seminars and classes in midwestern universities, churches, support groups, and schools since 1981. I have practiced internal-family therapy ("parts work") with trauma-recoverers since 1991.

Organizations
National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) Experts Council; SelfGrowth.com Compassion and Choices, and Final Exit Network

Publications
# Several hundred articles in my non-profit "Break the Cycle!" Web site at http://sfhelp.org These articles are augmented by over 150 educational YouTube videos .

# six books on childhood-trauma recovery, effective communication, and stepfamily courtship, coparenting, and management.

Education/Credentials
A bachelors degree in mechanical engineering (BSME, 1959) from Stanford University, a Masters degree in clinical Social Work, (MSW, 1981), and over 500 hours of post-grad training in the topics above - including clinical hypnosis, spirituality, codependence, addicrtion-management, and guided imagery. My post-grad traning includes two 9-month internships on doing internal-family therapy at the University of Illinois.

Awards and Honors
Hundreds of grateful emails and comments from students and clients all over the world.

Past/Present Clients
Over 1,000 average Midwestern-US women, men, couples, and families. A physical disability limits me to doing telephone and Skype counseling now.

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