Language, Power and Intentions: Some Ideas of Working with People whose Lives are Affected by Substance Use— Michelle Cherubin

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In this paper the author shares stories from her work with people whose lives are affected by substance use. At the same time, this paper tries to make clear the kinds of ideas that inform the therapist’s thinking and the processes she goes through when deciding which conversational directions to explore. Key themes include: the use of language in therapy; considerations of modern power; responding to concerns about harm and considerations of protection; richly storying the web of relationships a person has to alcohol and drugs; and therapist intentions in this work.