I’m not a therapist and I don’t have direct contact with the patients, my role is more of a behind-the-scenes one. Even so, I get to hear many stories about what addiction to alcohol and drugs does to people. I am an editor for Castle Craig, which means I go through articles and interviews and create, translate or edit material for our website and other sites.
I’ve been working for Castle Craig for over a year now and I’ve heard many life stories of drugs, abuse and trauma, most of these more dramatic than what I have seen in films. I was shocked to realise how serious a problem drinking can be. I didn’t know that alcohol could lead to such misery.
Before my first visit to the clinic, I was wondering how the people who work there deal with those who had their lives messed up by drugs and alcohol. It’s hard to imagine how it is to work full time with people who are telling you about their worst experiences, trying to face up to their problems, being unable to offer any quick-fix medication to alleviate their emotional suffering.
So what makes them work in a rehab clinic? Mark Abrami, one of the therapists at Castle Craig, answered me:
“My own experience of being a patient at Castle Craig enabled me to learn about the treatment here and the journey from addiction to recovery. I was motivated to learn about the 12 step program, and I still go to 12 step meetings. My own journey has given me the insight to help others and my education in addiction treatment has shown me how I can do this.
My motive is to help other people in their own recovery. As a therapist, it can be very challenging. But it’s rewarding when we see them come back to continuing care meetings and annual reunions, year after year. There’s a great sense of achievement and hope, that the 12 step process works and it helps people to change. That’s what gets me up in the morning: helping people to look at their demons and learn a new life without addictive behaviour. I also enjoy my work with the treatment team here, we all take part in helping them to reach the goal of abstinence and recovery. It’s a complete team effort.”
It might not seem like a dream job, but therapists get a lot of joy and satisfaction out of seeing their patients recover and start a new life. Many patients write to their therapists at Castle Craig after they leave, sometimes several years after their treatment, to let them know how the hard work and therapy they did together has transformed their lives. You can see some of their messages on our testimonials page.