November 2009, Ozd, Therapy Centre
We headed to the two week Short-term Therapy Program in Ozd with great enthusiasm, and a little bit of fear and worry. We are in the second year at the Babes-Bolyai University in the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work in Cluj. We signed up to practice in Ozd and came to the short therapy program because we are interested in the work with addicts and we wanted to put into practice our theoretical knowledge and become acquainted with the therapists. What’s more, we wished to get the hang of this profession.
The short-term therapy was organized between 9-20 November, with 15 participants amongst whom were 12 addicted persons and 3 relatives. We were there mainly as observers. One of us attended the addicts’ group, the other one the relatives’ group, and during the group activities we were active participants in the program.
During the twelve days we gained a lot from exposure to the theory of the work, but we would rather like to share our experience. In the therapy program we listened to astonishing life stories. Then we realized that one needs courage and conscious purpose in order to admit that one has destroyed his/her family’s life, hurt loved ones and that the time spent with them was shifted to time spent with alcohol. One needs strength of mind to wish determinedly for change. Each one of the fifteen people had a particular story and we were touched by them in some way or other. We spontaneously put the question to ourselves: would we be able to do like this?
It was a special feeling to belong to an active and interested working group where we had a part from genuine life stories which we could examine from a professional perspective while we were also personally affected. First we filtered what we heard through our prejudices that we had taken with us. Then the prejudice disappeared proportionally with the respect we felt for the persons who had taken on themselves and their addictions. There was no “hopeless case”, said those with experience, which was also proved by the “rescued” ones who came to tell the participants their own stories in order to support them.
We felt that we were in the best possible place during those two weeks: we were among colleagues who listened to us, who answered our questions, helped us, and we were in a group where we could effectively make progress in our personal and professional development. All this was done without forgetting to give thanks that we all could be present in the program and could pray for each other.
Angéla Jócsák & Izabella Fazakas