By Rachel Marie
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – Students, parents and other members of the Camden County community gathered on Nov. 15 to discuss addiction counseling and to hear an addict speak about the way to recovery and a better future.

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Bailey Keen, a student at the workshop, points to a flyer on a bulletin board. By Rachel Marie, CCC Journalism Program

About 20 people attended the session, called Strength and Hope: Shared Experiences of Addiction and Recovery, in Taft Hall on the Blackwood campus of Camden County College. The workshop was the third in a six-part series to help addiction counseling majors, parents and others explore causes of drug addiction and methods of recovery. The workshop was intended to help attendees spot and evaluate signs of addiction and learn basic strategies for recovery.

Audience members heard one attendee share his story of addiction and recovery. He said his addiction to narcotics resulted in losing his daughter. Now in recovery, he said, he is in the process of getting her back.

After listening to the story, Dr. James Harris, an adjunct professor at Camden County College and leader of the session, told the audience, “Anyone can stop their addiction, but they have to really want it. Recovery and rehab take a tremendous amount of strength, and as addiction counselors, we have to motivate them to keep their strength.”

Harris also described the use of Socratic questioning by addiction counselors. The method involves critical thinking and questioning things on a deeper level.

“Socratic questioning is a method that is frequently used in addiction counseling. It helps doctors and clients to contemplate and evaluate all different types of information.”

Bailey Keen, a Camden County College student in the audience, then asked, “Is Socratic questioning used by psychologists and other doctors, as well?”

Harris answered it is. “Socratic questioning just helps people, like doctors, to use critical thinking methods. Psychologists may use critical thinking methods to evaluate someone’s brain, although addiction counselors may use critical thinking to evaluate if someone has a change in behavior or attitude or if their actions are different.”

Afterward, Keen said the workshop benefited her. “This workshop helped me gain a lot of knowledge about how to treat addicts and how addiction counseling can go a long way. I had originally attended for a psychology project, but I actually learned a lot from this workshop.”

The final three workshops will take place in the 2018 spring semester. To reserve a seat in a future session, visit https://sparkcreative.wufoo.com/forms/aatf-camden-county-college-workshop/.

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