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Carole Bennett, MA
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For the majority of my adult life I have dealt with the torture of my family’s substance abuse. My then husband was a self proclaimed alcoholic, his son a heroin addict and our daughter a garbage pail from Mushrooms to Methamphetamine. For years, I didn’t understand that the signs of disengagement or mercurial emotions could be indicators of addiction, until reality smacked me in the face as I discovered blood-stained needles and noticed my daughter’s cutting, regurgitating and basically checking out from the 6th grade on.

When my marriage and career ended, I returned to school for a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and found myself gravitated to the study of substance abuse. I wanted to learn as much as I could about addiction, and help others by combining my own first hand experiences as well as professional education.

Building from a foundation working at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center and other recovery programs, I went on to establish my private practice –- Family Recovery Solutions; a platform consisting of helping my clients understand addiction as well as re-building their self worth and dignity.

I am on the data base for the Hazelden Treatment Centers and have lectured at a number of rehabilitation centers as well as schools and universities.

I am currently writing a book entitled HEARTACHE TO HOPE – Learning to Live with the Alcoholic/Addict.

My nationwide phone counseling service offers a free 60 minute session to anyone with questions or concerns about addiction. I invite you to my website at www.familyrecoverysolutions.com and my toll-free number is (877) 222-6002.

Entries by Carole Bennett, MA

I Love My Chickens -- Discovering My Own Personal Recovery

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 12:33 PM

If you have been reading my blogs, it won't take much for you to be confused about this subject matter. Forgive me for deviating away from the world of addiction and recovery to talk about my chickens, but hey... maybe writing a column on the simple love I have for...

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Do You Like Your Family?

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2014 | 4:27 PM

If you are reading this, you are probably saying to yourself "What an odd question to ask. Of course I love my family." But, now that the holidays are over and most of us have probably had enough family time to last a dozen more holiday seasons, let's take a...

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Eliminating the Not-So-Nice People in Your Life for 2014

(0) Comments | Posted January 1, 2014 | 11:45 AM

I couldn't help but re read the column I wrote last year about eliminating the toxic people in your life for a healthier 2013. Well, I'm back with an additional list, but unlike last year's list which was centered primarily around the alcoholic/addict in your life, this time I'm going...

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The Family Can Hit Their Bottom, Too

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 1:20 PM

We have all heard from friends, neighbors, professionals, television shows and aliens from other planets that when the alcoholic/addict has hit his or her bottom then and maybe only then will they be ready for a recovery program. Usually that comes at the heels of a traumatic event in their...

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Does the Alcoholic/Addict Bring Out the Worst in You?

(2) Comments | Posted July 25, 2013 | 12:38 PM

If there is one thing that my clients have reported through my years of counseling is the common thread or hue and cry that they don't like whom they have become, what they have turned into since dealing with their loved one's addiction issues. They have trouble recognizing themselves and...

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Do We Love Our Pets More Than Our Children?

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 2:54 PM

Do we care for our pets more than our children?

To my dear readers, please forgive my deviation from writing about addiction and recovery. I have been struggling, since the death two days ago of my wonderful Golden Retriever, Lucy, to come out of the fog, and in trying to...

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Redefining 'Acceptance' vs. 'I Don't Care'

(1) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 5:43 PM

Lately, I have found some new clarity and freedom in realizing that there is a difference between accepting the other person for who and what they are, and honestly concluding that I don't care what they do or say. When we accept the person for what they are, we might...

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A Boundary Letter From the Parents to the Child

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 11:52 AM

Boundaries are one of the most important concepts and implemented tools for anyone involved with an alcoholic/addict. Whether their loved one is in recovery or not, it is important for the family member to take care of themselves, not be a punching bag for what can be the bullying behavior...

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Eliminating the Toxic People in Our Life for a Healthy 2013

(2) Comments | Posted December 28, 2012 | 10:55 AM

Well, another year is coming to a close, and a new one is just around the corner. Everyone is contemplating some kind of New Year's resolution, if only to answer someone who may ask, "Hey, what's your New Year's resolution?" So often one goes to the standard, pat answer of...

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I Hate That I Still Love the Alcoholic That Was Once in My Life!

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 4:52 PM

The other day, I attended an Al-Anon meeting in my area. I try to go once a week, as I appreciate the shares of disappointment and victories from my fellow members. I was moved by a share from a woman who was so distraught with herself because she still loved...

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Ego: A Big Challenge to Sobriety

(3) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 4:13 PM

The other day I went to the movies and saw Flight, a wonderful expose of an alcoholic airline pilot portrayed beautifully by Denzel Washington. I knew I wanted to write about it, as it hit many similar chords in my life and my struggle with the alcoholic in my life.

...
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Boundaries for the Alcoholic Parent/Grandparent

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2012 | 4:48 PM

I have been working with Lila, a lovely lady who is married and has two small challenged children. She came to me as she was concerned about what kind of boundaries to implement when visiting her alcoholic father, as well as during phone conversations.

She stated that she loved him...

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Life After Rehab: Stories of Success

(2) Comments | Posted October 24, 2012 | 11:50 AM

I so often write stories of unhappiness, frustration, sadness and despair when one is involved with an alcoholic/addict, so I thought it would be a nice blog if I wrote about some success stories. Stories that, through the 100 percent commitment from the alcoholic/addict to turn his life around and...

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The Aftermath of Hurricane Addiction

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 4:27 PM

Most everyone has lived through some kind of aftermath from the devastation of mother nature. After the rains stop, the wind subsides, the fire is put out or whatever, we often walk around in a state of shock, shaking our heads and wondering what happened and how are we going...

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Are They Really Clean and Sober Just Because They Have Stopped Drinking?

(3) Comments | Posted August 29, 2012 | 11:57 AM

I recently gave a lecture at a conference, and the audience and I participated in a lively discussion as to what the next steps are for the newly-recovered alcoholic/addict as they start to embrace a life of sobriety. Everyone agreed that living/loving the active alcoholic was frustrating, painful, draining and...

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Are You Involved With an Alcoholic/Addict?

(1) Comments | Posted August 9, 2012 | 1:19 PM

Whether you are in a new relationship or one that is decades old, you might be starting to see and question certain new characteristics about your mate that maybe you never noticed before. In my book Reclaim Your Life -- You and the Alcoholic/Addict I talk about The Pyramid of...

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Are We Addicted to Being an Enabler?

(3) Comments | Posted June 21, 2012 | 4:05 PM

I have written several articles about the family and friends' unhealthy involvement in their loved ones' addiction and/or recovery issues and process. So, if what you read sounds familiar, it probably is. But this is an area that merits revisiting over and over, as it's hard to drive home a...

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Why Does the Family Have Such Difficulty Accepting Their Loved One's Addiction Issues?

(2) Comments | Posted April 19, 2012 | 6:24 PM

There isn't a parent, sibling, spouse or any family member that is happy about their loved one's substance abuse issue or prospective addiction problems. The strongest family bond can be ripped to shreds when someone they love to the depths of their soul is heading 90 miles an hour toward...

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A Father (and Rabbi) Loses His Son to a Drunk Driver

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2012 | 6:30 PM

I have been fortunate to never have to travel the road of losing a loved one to the hands of a drunk driver. Though I have had friends and clients that have lived through that horrible experience, I can only cry with them, hold them and empathize as best possible...

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Are All Addictions Created Equal?

(1) Comments | Posted February 21, 2012 | 4:21 PM

Are all addictions created equal?

Years ago when I was just starting out as a substance abuse treatment counselor, I questioned the difference between being addicted to alcohol vs. drugs. Like many, I was of the thinking that being an alcoholic is not as bad as being a drug...

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