One day in November 2009, when I came to see my psychiatrist, I noticed a new signboard on the wall near the building entrance. An organisation called “Blue Cross” had moved into the second floor. Since that date then I’ve been a client of the local counselling centre of Blue Cross Czech Republic, and that counselling has really made a difference for me. When I add up the time I’ve spent in psychiatric hospitals for treatment and therapy I come to a total of 7 years. So I know what I’m talking about. For me, the difference lies in the quality of the interaction. Psychiatry – as I experienced it – relied mainly on medication. In psychotherapy, I heard “you have to” a lot which felt top down, and we also talked very little about my addiction. When I started my individual therapy at the Blue Cross counselling centre I experienced for the first time a therapy really geared towards addiction. Moreover it was the first time in the history of my illness that my husband was also invited to participate with me in the therapy. He came to only one session, but that was enough to greatly improve our communication. The effect the Blue Cross approach has had on me is striking: for the first time in my life I feel less guilty and alone. And I realise that alcohol is not the problem of just one person, but the problem of the whole family. And, most of all, I am proud that I will be among the very first who join the new Blue Cross self-help group that opens up next week here at the centre! By the way – even though I am now fully abstinent, frankly, it is not easy!
*Martina is a fictitious name.
This project story is related to the project Blue Cross Czech Republic Establishes a Broad Network of Counselling and Aftercare Services