What Makes Recovery Difficult

As a therapist, I’m privy to people’s most secret, hidden selves. My work has been to take on their pain and collect the pieces after trauma, breakdown, or loss.

At times, I see the most perverse, distorted, or even evil parts of human nature and existence. Cruelty, deception, manipulation, abuse, conflict, betrayal.

Therapy and recovery becomes most difficult and stressful with certain characteristics.

• borderline personality, sociopathic/psychopathic personality etc
• threats of suicide
• chronic depression
• medical illness (strokes, brain disorder etc)
• rejection of personal responsibility (“you fix me,” blaming)
• hostile and argumentative
• impatience and impulsivity (“fix me quick”)
• substance addicts and abusers
• shallowness (literal, concrete, unable to access or express internal states)
• fear of intimacy (avoidant, seductive)
• ignore boundaries
• want something that cannot be given

These represent only a partial picture of what can make recovery specially difficult.

Only when a client and I are able to identify and explore can we hope for progress,