TPK Rehab – “The Problem is the Problem”

TPK Rehab now has its own site:

2 thoughts on “TPK Rehab – “The Problem is the Problem”

  1. In the big book, there are dozens of stories wherein the writer had a social functioning problem, as you describe, and he or she never connected it to a personal drinking pattern. Sometimes health professionals need to be the one who “puts a name” to the problem, but more effective is when the person comes to it on his own. However, knowing you are a ____________ (fill in the blank) is not a signal that the identification phrase is an identity. It is merely a descriptor, like blue-eyed, or tall. Some people become the descriptor and use it as an excuse to stop growing. My parents were alcoholics, and while the descriptor “Adult Child of Alcoholics” might explain certain paths I have taken or choices I made, it is such a limiting designation that it doesn’t serve. We are all more than our social functioning or choice making choices. Thanks for the post.


    • Good points. Thanks for the comments.

      From what others have shown me, recovery terms like Addict and Alcoholic refer to the person’s relationship to a particular substance or substances, the effect those have had and effective ways to manage the situation.

      Sometimes the term addict can be used to simplify a person’s description of an overall tendency to overdo certain activities.

      As you indicate they aren’t useful in describing a person’s totality or as an excuse for continuing harmful behaviour.

      People outside of recovery often do not recognize this and therefore see the use of these terms as stigmatizing. Rather than refusing to use the terms, they might be more helpful in assisting their clients by helping them to understand the proper use of the terms.

      My guess is this is why self-identification within a strength-based setting like a twelve-step program is likely more effective that being given a diagnosis.

      However, I have seen examples where being direct is more effective than beating around the bush, trying to be politically correct. Sometimes a professional needs to call it what it is.

      Thanks again for the comments.


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