Psychodynamic Counselling and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

It has been an incredibly busy couple weeks at the Sanctuary, clients presenting with trepidation as the Jubilee celebrations approached, and looking for avoidance tactics or more upsetting, ways of completely missing out on what should be a happy event that no matter what your relationship with booze. For those of us who have jettisoned  booze for good and been sober for a long time, the habit of not drinking is normal.

However early stage abstinence can be very trying at times like these. Of course Diamond Jubilees don’t happen often, but other celebrations do. The natural thought with celebration is always something fizzy and alcoholic. Which can be super, if it is only one or two. 2=relaxant more becomes a depressant. How often have we seen old Auntie Tess weeping in the corner at a wedding, or a godparent being maudlin at a christening? That amount of women presenting at GP’s surgeries with ‘depression’ in rising dramatically. AD’s are handed out like Smarties. From the women I have treated, many of whom are now anti depressant free, were prescribed repeatedly without ever being asked or volunteering information on their drinking habits. Yet another vicious cycle.

As I often say, one size never fits all, and current times for many are difficult and bring us down, but in my opinion, many are being diagnosed with depression as a symptom of self medication with booze. Anxiety too. Often one of the first symptoms of withdrawal is anxiety, adrenaline pumping and fear rearing. I certainly was so used to numbing myself with alcohol that little frightened me or alarmed. I was oblivious to most emotions except my own illogical pity party for the most part. Please don’t get me wrong, I have every sympathy with anyone with mental health issues, but would like to have far more stringent checks in place by GP’s before they hand out the blister packs.  Anti Depressants and Alcohol is not a happy marriage, and leads to much deeper problems if left unchecked.



I am Sarah Turner in my 50's married with two sons. I live in between two pretty villages, just outside of Harrogate in North Yorkshire. My vocation and passion has been to help Women and their families beat alcohol dependence and misuse for many years, and are not able to access appropriate care. Harrogate Sanctuary was born through my fight to find empathetic treatment when I desperately needed it, and failing abysmally. Although I am fully qualified on paper as an Addictions Counsellor and Congnitive Behavioural Therapist, I much prefer to use my own experience as a drunk up until my late thirties, to empathize and understand the problems that Women of today face with the effects and consequences of drinking too much. I adore my family, both human and animal, have three beloved chickens, . My garden never ceases to amaze, and now my boys are grown, I have rather taken to plants to vent my nurturing side. In addition to my own services to my clients, I campaign relentlessly to raise awareness of this hidden epidemic, that still remains such a taboo subject. In the 21st century, it's time for change. To this end I have also co-authored The Sober Revolution, Women calling Time on Wine O'clock, with my friend and ally Lucy Rocca, founder of

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