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Gudrun Zomerland, MFT, CCPS
Licensed Marriage
and Family Therapist
MFC #27617
405 Chinn Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
707-575-8468
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Email Gudrun


Client Resources:

addiction self-tests Addiction Self Tests
sonoma county area addiction support groups 12-Step Fellowship Links
fair fighting rules and tips Handouts and Forms

Articles by
Gudrun Zomerland:

Addiction and
Co-Dependency:

shame as a defense mechanism Shame as Self-Care
internet pornography addiction The Dangers of
Internet Porn
teen drug alcohol addiction Non-Violent Communication and its Relevance for Codependents
teen drug alcohol additction Teen Addiction:
An Open Letter
prescription drug abuse Prescription Drug Abuse
windsor alcohol and chemical dependency treatment The Core of Co-Dependency
santa rosa counselor for depression and anxiety Co-Dependent Characteristics
childhood trauma and post traumatic stress support H.A.L.T.: A Self-Care Tool
family and couples counseling in sonoma county The Family Member in Denial
 

Relationships:

treatment for trauma from domestic violence and spousal abuse Non-Violent Communication and its Relevance for Codependents
attachment disorders in adult relationships Attachment in Adult Relationships
healthy communication skills in adult relationships and marriage Getting to Know Your Emotions
sonoma county marriage counselor Communication Skills for Couples - 101
treatment options for alcoholism and drug addiction in marin county Differentiation, or What Makes Relationships Work
santa rosa psychotherapist treating depression and anxiety John Gottman's Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
 

General Topics:

narcissism Rapunzel, Daughter of a
Closet Narcissist
psychotherapy for trauma Trauma: The Shaking Of A Soul
shame as a defense mechanism Shame as Self-Care
narcissistic parents and conarcissistic children Narcissism and Co-Narcissism
counseling for sexual abuse trauma in northern california Sexual Abuse Guidelines
rohnert park PTSD post traumatic stress disorder therapy Book Review:
"Stop Gaining Weight"
The Body Never Lies by Alice Miller and Hidden in Plain Sight by Barry Grosskopf Is Forgiving Our Parents Necessary for Mental Health?
overcoming fear and phobia through psychotherapy Fear of Fear
counseling for gay and lesbian couples in sonoma and marin county Living with the Light and Dark Sides of Life

 

CAMFT

 

 
 
 
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Open Letter to Our Teens and Young Adults

by Gudrun Zomerland, MFT

Hi,

My name is Gudrun. I have been a mental health counselor with a specialty in addiction for over twenty years. During this time I have discovered that I really like working with young people. Having gone through a turbulent youth myself with the strong need to do things differently, even when it might be harmful to me or others, helps me relate to your experience. Many of you have honored me with your confidences.

Many of you, whether you were sent by your parents, by a probation officer, or whether you came on your own, have told me of how you "party". Partying seems to mean that you get together with your friends to get drunk. You are not talking about a little buzz, created by one or two drinks; you are talking about getting smashed out of your wits. Everybody does it, you say. You tell me of throwing up, hangovers, missed classes, failed tests, having sex with people you don't even like, and black-outs. If you are a young woman, you might tell me that you don't remember how you ended up in an unfamiliar place and that you suspect someone slipped you the rape drug. And worst of all, some of you know someone who has died in a car crash caused by drinking and driving. Having revealed to me all this, you tell me you plan to party again, soon.

Most of you know somewhere deep inside, that you are putting yourselves in extreme danger! Aside from the one of dying on the spot because you drank more alcohol than your body can handle, or you decided to drink and drive or ride with someone who has been drinking, or you contracted a life-threatening STD, you might be developing alcoholism or you might already be a full-blown alcoholic. Research is currently showing that half of all alcoholics are young adults. Two factors put you at above average risk: (1) if you have a family member (including extended family) who is alcoholic, and/or (2) the age at which you started: if you started at age 15 or younger, you are at very high risk; if you started at age 19 or older, the danger diminishes. (Even though, nobody is immune! Some people drink socially all their lives and then develop alcoholism in their 70s.)

Because I can't tell and you can't tell whether your body has already undergone the chemical changes that make stopping to drink difficult, I am going to invite you to ask yourselves a few questions and to consider some commitments to yourselves. Foremost is the question of how long you want to party like this. I'm not being facetious. I am asking you to come up with a time frame. Most of you shared with me your awareness that you don't want to live like this for the rest of your life; you are just not ready to give it up yet. So, set yourselves a time line. When that time arrives, see whether you can follow through or whether you keep extending it, finding reasons and excuses for doing so. If you can't stop or are not willing to stop, you might have alcoholism and need help.

Some of you have shared with me that you are already in a place of wanting to stop partying but are afraid you would lose your social circle if you did. See whether there might be others among your friends who feel likewise. Can you form a subgroup and be the designated drivers for everybody or safe-keepers for some in the group who seem particularly vulnerable? Could you support each other in finding different people to hang out with? If you can't identify anyone else in your group who wants to stop drinking excessively, what might help you make the leap into a new life, new friends? Can you discuss this with someone you trust? If you don't have anyone in your life you trust, do research. Here are some websites for those of you, who are underage:
http://www.thecoolspot.gov/
http://teens.drugabuse.gov/
http://www.freevibe.com/
http://checkyourself.com/Hotlines.aspx
http://www.kidshelpphone.ca/en/informed/sub_drugs.asp?sec=3&sb=2
http://www.steppingstonecenter.org/how-alcohol-affects-the-adolescent-brain

Whether underage or legally adult, many options are out there. In Sonoma County, you can call the Orenda Center at 707-565-7450 to get more information; and in Marin County, you can call Bay Area Community Resources at 415-444-5580. You can also call my office at 707-575-8468 or email me at gzomerland@chinnstreetcounseling.com.

Above all else, I want to say that it breaks my heart to watch you choose something that seems like fun but is so treacherous. Some of you have also, however, let me be witness to making a drastic change in your life and discover that a life without "partying" doesn't have to be boring or lonely. That's my wish for everyone.
 
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