Here at Franciscan we have an intervention program for students caught drinking under age. The student is mandated to meet with a “Mentor” for four sessions. The mentor is a Counseling student such as myself, whose job is to assess where the student is at as far as alcohol abuse goes. Depending on what they find, they may spend those four sessions any number of ways. If the student has a problem with alcohol, then it can be addressed. If not, then I find myself in a much more pastoral role.
A common conundrum for counselors of all types, and health care professionals, is how to handle dual relationships. They can be tricky, awkward and uncertain things for everyone. What do you do when the person who just told you their hard secrets greets you in the grocery store?
“To instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to admonish sinners, to comfort the afflicted.”
As a second year student in the Counseling program at Franciscan University, I am an intern working with recovering addicts. I am a recovering addict. And the thing that has struck me most poignantly of all in my experience with recovering addicts, is that my training in the Mental Health field is not the most important thing when it comes to my job. The most important thing is shared experience.