How much to tell your therapist you drink

Today my friend and I discussed the age old question: what do you tell your therapist in the “how many drinks do you have per week?” section. I find this question VERY misleading and downright erroneous. For a culture centered around spirits and le big mac, our nation’s therapists are certainly hasty to label someone an “alcoholic.” I drink wine. I drink with friends. I drink when the social situation permits. I don’t have a liter of Gordon’s vodka under the sink for my breakfast screw driver.

My friend and I remarked at how therapists FREAK out at pretty much any number that means you drink daily or that you drink more than two drinks at a time. Two drinks? What is that 12 ounces of wine? Name one other American drink that is measured in such a small serving size.

The question of how many drinks someone has a week is legitimate, as long as we’re included some others, like… How many times do you order take out in a week? How many soft drinks do you have in a week? How long does it take you to finish off a jumbo bag of Doritos? How many times a week do you eat something deep fried? For me the answers would be. Two times a year. Never, not even if my life depended on it. I wouldn’t know I don’t eat anything processed. About 14 times this year, but I blame my boyfriend and his gluttonous nature. Again I have no problem with the question as long as it’s asked fairly. In this case, the serving size should be proportionate to every other American vice. That way I could say I have about three large McDonald’s super sized wines a week.

My friend agreed. I was simply trying to make her laugh after her therapist dumped her and she had to fill out yet another evaluation form. The forms are all the same, limiting yet too broad. You really should be able to guide the treatment to some extent instead of spending 40 minutes proving you’re not a drunk.

To prevent being studied, the last therapist I went to specialized in grief. She would sit with me each week to help me learn to cope with my mother’s passing. I’m very pro-therapy, but things with this one deteriorated quickly. One time she cried when I told her a story about my mom. Strike one! Then when I hadn’t seen her in a while, she said she had missed me. Strike two! After a while, I was fed up and stopped showing up. As a result, I received an hysterical voicemail about how I did not have the decency to tell her face to face that I didn’t want to see her anymore. OK, you’re down for the count, fatal attraction.

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1 Comment

Filed under for fun, giving thanks, gratitude, grief, loss, mother, parent, Trauma to Art (T2A)

One response to “How much to tell your therapist you drink

  1. Tara S.

    Thank you, I agree. I hate when docs ask that, too. I’m in my twenties, I’m allowed to go to multiple happy hours and get drunk on the weekend. I’m strengthening my liver. We’re all entitled to it.

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