Clients who have a Co-Occurring Disorder often express family and friends don’t understand their disorder, difficulty overcoming stigma of addiction and mental illness, and regaining trust. Client’s can be empowered by sharing their Co-Occur story from a position of transformation and strength. It can help family and friends better understand the challenges a client might face and how they can be supportive. It helps decrease skepticism and misinformation and instead increase trust, education about the disorder, and useful coping skills. Write your story from a strength based co-occurring perspective. If you don’t have a Co-occur Disorder use an example from the case studies in TIP-42. Here is the outline to use:
Use – Addiction & PTSD (trauma from Domestic Violence and chronic homelessness)
An intro might go something like this:
Intro: Hi My Name is_______Nicole______ and I struggle with (i.e. alcoholism) and (i.e. depression).
Define Co-Occur and name the Disorders: Co-Occurring Disorders does not define all of me but it is a real challenge I choose to face daily. Over the past _______________ I have learned a lot about ___________ and __________.
The healthy purpose you are sharing this
Give a brief education on the Co-Occurring disorders (Diagnosis, Symptoms, Brief personal history, How it’s affected you)
Current Challenges and useful copings skills you use to handle them and why
Lessons Learned in treatment & Deep personal growth and how it will help you reach your life goals
The importance of Integrated treatment and decreasing stigma
How can family and friends be supportive (be specific)especially if they are worried about you on a bad and good day,
What is helpful and not helpful?
Address which 12 step you are on and why?
What makes you hopeful for the future
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