My name is Rochelle Craig and I am a professionally qualified addiction counsellor. My journey to becoming qualified and working in this field began as a result of my own suffering from addiction and ultimately getting into recovery. Today I am free of the obsession and am privileged to be working in the field of addiction sharing my experience, strength, optimism and professional knowledge in the unwavering hope that all my clients will walk free from the chains of addiction.
My basic technique is The Minnesota Method. This method is a holistic approach dealing with the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspect of addiction. The basis of this model is abstinence. Once this is achieved it will then be possible to begin the steady process of uncovering and understanding any underlying disturbance that may be triggering the addiction. This approach encompasses the principles of the 12-step programme and encourages attendance at 12-step groups (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous etc.)
As part of the therapy it will be vital that the client builds up trust with the group and accepts support, as well as giving support, to the other members. Finally the client has to work on changing old thought processes and behavioural patterns, in order to change their approach and attitude to life and learn new coping mechanisms.
I integrate other techniques in my work, as I absolutely believe that there is strength in diversity. I will use Cognitive, Behavioural Therapy techniques (to assist change in thoughts and behaviours) and a Person-Centred approach, allowing the client to gain personal insight and bring awareness to how they are able to heal themselves. I also bring my own personal experience of recovering from addiction.
I totally recognize confidentiality as essential to the work I do. I follow the Code of Ethics as formulated by the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals. As an accredited member I am totally bound by these ethics. I also have full Professional Liability Insurance.
I believe strongly in the power of the group, as it removes the addict from the secret and isolated world they create. The addict very often has to create a separate world where their addiction is dominant; they may be a top executive in a very prestigious job, they may be struggling to hold on to a job, they may be on the streets. On the outside each addict can differ, but on the inside they all suffer from an emptiness that they try to fill with their drug of choice. When an addict stops using, they still need to fill the emptiness and this is why connection with other recovering addicts is so vital. The support and friendship they will give each other will replace the emptiness and loneliness that a life of addiction produces.
This is offered to clients who prefer a more personal approach but they maybe encouraged to join a group at a later stage.
For me the most important aspect of my work is the relationship I have with my clients. This relationship is about building up trust and this is achieved, I believe, through empathy and understanding. Being in recovery myself, I experience a lot of identification with my clients and can empathise from deep within my soul.
Professionally, I am very proud of my academic achievements and the work I have done in the field of addiction but I can honestly say my greatest learning has been from my clients. I feel humbled by their openness and honesty and feel privileged to be part of their recovery journey.
I believe that everyone is able to live a life free of the chains of addiction. Freedom does not come easy but it does come if it is worked at!! If you are concerned that you, or someone you know, has an addiction problem, please get some help....I will ask you just one question What are you waiting for?