I am a realist. If something doesn’t fall into the category of reality, then it is fantasy. I know that sounds contrite and simplistically abstract, but please hear me out. There is a growing movement in the world of professional counselors that want to raise the morality bar for all of those who work in the field. “One must not drink, smoke or have a history of chemical abuse or dependency. They must live a life of holistic purity to be able to role model what they teach.” WTF?
This type of thinking surpasses the “tell me how that makes you feel?” mentality of warm and fuzzy bullshit. Not to say that there are not times when empathy and kind words can bring out some pent up issues in people’s psyche, but it doesn’t always work. Sometimes, you need to tell the client exactly where the bear shit in the woods. “John, pull you head out of your ass and wake up.” Reality time.
Then along comes these morality elitists who want to eliminate positions of counselors that fall under their level of purity expectations. I know for a fact that those who have had addictions and who have successfully overcame their addictions, know what the hell they are talking about. Those educated idiots who have learned their trade from books may have those theories down pat, but haven’t the foggiest idea of the hard work and shattering battle of going through an addiction and winning this fight.
The other bit of nonsensical tripe this speaker was spouting is that one can never use scare tactics to teach. No, one can not. Not all of the time anyway. But in some situations, it’s the best weapon you have to get through to those knuckleheads kids who are abusing, so I have to disagree with this developmentally challenged statement. The kids I have worked with exist in a complete fantasy world where all those bad things that can happen, always happens someone else and they think they are completely invincible to all that life can throw at them. Show them exactly and graphically what drugs can do to a human body and they retain those images. You want to huff hairspray? This is what your brain and liver will look like and this is what you will look like after a couple of years of huffing, if, you do not die from asphyxiation. This is what people look like after they drove drunk and wrapped their car around a tree. Yes, Carla, that is blood and brain matter splattered all over the windshield. Yes, you’re right. It is gross. Just imagine how your family would feel if they had to see you like this. Not a pleasant thought. Is it?
I have worked the past 16 years with youth and I do have some experience. I may not be successful 100% of the time but many remember what I say and what I show them. Scare tactic? Hell no. Just reality.