Paul Potter, LMSW
Paul reports he considered himself the golden child. Making statements that he would never drink like his grandfather on his mother’s side (the first alcoholic he can trace back). Yet in the 80’s Paul ended up in rehab. As a plumber Paul shares how piping doesn’t relapse – a pipe breaks you replace it or put some glue on it and all is well.
The field of addiction is different- people do relapse and Paul to address addiction only is no longer helpful. People come in with a laundry list of other areas. As counselors we need to be ready to address them in a more holistic approach. If we look at one part with too much of a spotlight we will miss something. We need to encompass everything. We need to look at the person in their environment.
Paul reports he is very aware about “other addictions” and the question people tend to ask is “What does that do to alcohol tobacco and other drug addictions” because Food, Sex and Love are necessary in our lives where alcohol tobacco and other drugs are not.
The cost for this training was a mere $20.00 and Paul explains it was because it was the first time doing this training and we were his test subjects! In exchange we provided Paul with feedback.
The following are reasons why participants report they came to this training;
“As my sobriety went up my food dependence went up.”, “I gained 150 lbs since being clean I hope to learn information that will be helpful.” Paul’s response “The keys lie in things we haven’t heard yet.” “I’m looking for that one thing to put me in recovery for food.” “Yes, I use food as an addiction” states another individual whose father was an addict. Another individual shared “I want to know what Paul has to share.” And one beautiful person reported “I felt fat most of my life and now I realize I wasn’t as fat as I thought I was.” Another individual reports she works with individuals who get DUIs and are mystified as to why they are there. She feels information is transferable to other areas in people’s lives.
Bariatric surgery is noted as one thing that works.
Change is coming.
Behavioral Health and Physical Health services will be in one building. Paul is excited because we’ve wanted this for years. Paul wonders how this is going to work since the people who are working with nutrition already – will they know how to work with our patients? Would we have this epidemic?
Stigma – obesity transcends stigma by 6 to 8 times more than other. One participant who lost 76 lbs reports she felt invisible. Doctors may have the attitude that the patient did this to themselves. Patients pick up on this vibe and may be reluctant to go get medical care. Patients may feel it is their fault – they feel they are blameworthy.
6 out of 10 patients are overweight. 1 out of 5 children are overweight. 30% of adults are obese.
Suggestions – Make waiting room lobbies more comfortable to all -provide chairs that have no arm rests, larger gowns, larger blood pressure cuffs.