Psychodynamic Counselling and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

The word Alcoholic conjures up almost without fail, an image of a totally disadvantaged and desolate person, either living rough or in dire circumstances. Weak and worthless individuals who have brought the whole mess on themselves.

I am truly sick of it.

This is made worse of course, for any who is misusing alcohol that the label Alcoholic will drive them into another round of despair and drinking. Women in particular. The catch 22 here is that even though, when we are sober and absolutely solid in the belief that we will stay sober, we are then not allowed to discuss it in polite company. Or should I say, if we do, the stigma begins, and feeling isolated with our new feelings of Euphoria because we have beaten a drug far more powerful than crack or heroin, without any safe replacement, we general just keep it a secret. Yet another piece of baggage to lug around.

After years of keeping secrets and lies, it all begins again. If we tell, then the perception is that if we were drinking that much, surely our children and jobs will be at risk. Why? We live in the 21st Century, where disabilities of all types thank heavens, have been accepted into everyday society, gay partnerships are not at all unusual, racism has been removed, multi-cultural society is celebrated, and yet we ex drinkers are treated with great caution and raised eyebrows. No wonder so many of us who have not got the platform of celebrity or enough money that whatever we come out as would not hurt us in anyway, just keep quiet about it.

Of course I don’t, and never have. But it’s time to just stop it, and call a truce on this stigma, because once it’s removed, we will see far less alcohol misuse with open and honest discussion. That’s all.



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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