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Patrick T. Barone
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A lot of times people who go through an alcohol related arrest are very stressed out. They are worried, having trouble sleeping, having trouble staying focused at their job, and my services as a clinical psychologist are beneficial.
I would like to talk to you about what it is a psychologist does, how my services can benefit you, and what distinguishes what I do compared to other treatment providers out in the area.
A lot of people are referred to me as a psychologist because they are under stress, as you are right now with your arrest. I want to talk to you a little bit about what it is that I do, so that I can demystify that experience for you. Some people have never seen a psychologist before and think that if you are refereed to one, that you must be crazy or an alcoholic. I can guarantee you that is not an assumption that I'm making off the bat. I see you as a person who is coming in with a difficult situation.
Another point I want to make is that the court very often, even with only one drunk driving arrest, are going to assume that you are an alcoholic. My job is not to benefit the court, it's rather to be your advocate and to help you make a clear decision on whether or not you have an alcohol problem, and what we can do about that.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one solution, as is attending AA meetings. You may or may not have already been involved in AA treatment. The courts often refer people to AA as the preferred form of treatment. It's been around the longest, and frankly courts don't always know what other treatment options are available. If you are involved in AA, and it's working well for you, that's great. Perhaps there isn't another form of treatment necessary for you.
However, if you like the idea of individual therapy and that works well for you, I can collaborate with AA and we can work with 12 steps. That is something we often do together. Finally, some people don't find that AA really meets their needs. It isn't a one size fits all kind of scenario that comes to alcohol treatment. If AA isn't right for you, it may be possible that I could work with you and your probation officer or the courts to see if we can get individual therapy for you instead of AA. As long as you follow those treatment recommendations, the court are pretty satisfied with that.
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