Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Help Happens

A client who was extremely resistant when he came into our program six months ago has changed. 

When he first came in he slumped in counseling sessions with his head down, present but not participating. He constantly complained because he had to show up after work. The only reason he was there, he said, was to retain his job. His wife was upset because he had to attend. His complaints seemed endless.

But last week, while discussing his impending successful graduation, he said something that showed he'd changed. He said "help happens."

Something different had gone on with this man. Even though he didn't participate willingly during the first few months, he stopped complaining after a while. He started listening to stories others told in group. In one-on-one sessions he would acknowledge the counselor and began opening up. On some level the idea that he had issues and that there were solutions started to resonate with him.

I've learned in my years of counseling that change is not an overnight event. Like water dripping on a stone, ideas heard in counseling wear down resistance after a time if the client keeps showing up,

And this client did.