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Therapy for Rural Women with Alcohol Problems

answered 12:04 AM EST, Tue July 19, 2011
I had worked with a therapist in Minneapolis last year to get in control of my really heavy drinking. I found her quite helpful and sympathetic and with therapy and with the AA she convinced me to go to I managed to stay sober for well over a year. Since I had been doing so well we had agreed to suspend the therapy, agreeing that we would continue with it should I feel the need or should I relapse.

A couple of months ago I moved to a very rural community because of my husband’s job. I didn’t really want to go since I was worried about my sobriety but he has a fairly good job and I don’t and we really aren’t in a financial position where we can risk his job at this point.

Unfortunately, a lot of what I was worried about materialized. The stress of the move and the loneliness and isolation I felt when I got here (with my husband working very long hours and sometimes not coming home for days) led to my uncorking a bottle a couple of weeks ago and some pretty steady and heavy drinking since then.

I contacted my old therapist to see if she could work with me over the phone or whatever, but she advised me against it and said that for this type of therapy it really has to be in person…and she gave me a referral to a local counselor. Well, I tried him out and found him arrogant to the point of rudeness and I can’t imagine paying money to spend time with him every week.

I’m at the end of my rope and I don’t know what to do? There’s no way I can go to any kind of rehab (a non starter) and there isn’t any kind of place to get help in this town and I just feel really helpless. How can I get help when there is no help to get?

Art Matthews Says...

Just because you haven't found it, doesn't mean help doesn't exist.  AA is a world wide program and may have a local meeting in a church or storefront in a small town near you.  Have a look at the AA.org website page for locating a meeting and see if you can find one close by: http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=28

There are also counselors all over the country who are utilizing distance counseling via telephone, email, text chat and even video based chat.  The development of distance counseling was for situations just like you find yourself in now, rural area/few resources.  You can locate a Distance Credentialed Counselor for your state by going to the Center for Credentialing and Education website: http://www.cce-global.org/Pub/Search

Also talk to your doctor and/or clergy in the town where you have moved to ask about referrals to other professionals who might help.  The types of people who could be helpful to you include Licensed Professional Counselors (or Clinical Counselors), Marriage and Family Therapists,Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Substance Abuse Counselors (or Addictions Counselor), psychologists (PsyD and PhD) and psychiatrists.

Keep reaching out.  Don't let the addiction convince you that there's no option but to succumb.  You are not trapped unless you believe you are.  Keep fighting for your sobriety.  You've gotten there before, you can do it again.  One day at a time.

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Page last updated Jul 19, 2011

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