Alcohol Screening Test 

I was at the Campus Center again today to perform my duties as a Peer Educator. This time, we were partnered with CAPS to run a free alcohol screening test for the student and campus citizens.

The screening is to test for attitudes and behavior towards alcohol consumption. After a student writes down their answer to the questionnaire, they would be paired with a CAPS counselor/therapist/psychologist (take your pick as to what you want to call them, I usually just go with psychologist/therapist) who would then explain to them what their score means and advice them on the steps they should take while consuming alcohol.

I was very excited to be there at the event because I got to work with some CAPS interns/grad students. I already knew one of them because I had seen her for a walk-in session once so it was nice to be able to get to know her a little better.

About half an hour after I was there, in walks S. I didn’t expect to see him at the screening just because I knew that CAPS now has a fresh batch of grad students that usually come out for outreach events and the task falls on them most of the time though it wasn’t unheard of to see licensed psychologists at these outreach events either. When S walked in, I don’t think he expected to see me either.

“Hi S!” I said, cheerfully as he strode over to our table, which was placed next to the CAPS’ table.

“Oh hi!” He said, as he came over to join his colleagues over at the CAPS table.

“You get to come out of the office and get some fresh air, huh?” I commented.

“Yeah, it’s nice to be able to get out from time to time…” He said .

For some reason, I interpreted his body language to mean that he felt awkward and uncomfortable. I’ve never really had any prolonged interaction with him outside of CAPS before (except for the times that I’ve walked by him and just said hi) so I didn’t really know what he’s like in a normal social setting.

I was determined not to make the situation awkward because I am personally very open with the fact that I go to therapy and the fact that I suffer from mental illnesses. I self-disclose all the time and I’m not afraid to do so. In fact, S knows this because I’ve told him before that if we ever meet outside of his office to act normal.

Perhaps he was concerned that I would talk to him about things that we’d talked about yesterday? I don’t know.

Personally, I was ecstatic simply because I got to see him again and got to see him outside of his comfort zone. At the end of my shift, I decided to do a screening as well and asked him to go through the results with me. We sat down and told me that the results were consistent with what we’d previously discussed and said that he really didn’t have much to add. I took the opportunity to just fill him in briefly about my walk-in visit.

I don’t think I should’ve done that because I don’t think he was very pleased with the fact that I had brought up a confidential matter out in public. If he wasn’t pleased, and I gathered that he didn’t seem to be, then I know that I will hear about it next week. It’s actually giving me quite a bit of anxiety and I actually felt really bad for doing the screening for the sole purpose of getting a few minutes to talk to him. I will tell him all this next week of course but for now, I’m probably going to stew on it and it’ll probably make my weekend hell.


6 thoughts on “Alcohol Screening Test 

  1. Ahh it’s tough being on campus with S and seeing him – I’m sure it was tough for you both to navigate. At the end of the day it’s his job to set boundaries – not yours.

    I don’t think you did anything different than what I would have done, to be honest. And I’m sure it’s growing bigger in your brain as it would mine. Wishing you peace this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. It is a little tough when it does happen because the office I work for as a Peer Educator works very closely with CAPS to organize mental health related events. Next event coming up is Depression Screening which, as a mental health advocate, I will definitely be at. So there might be a chance that he’ll be there too. He said to me, “I knew we were bound to meet each other at one of these things…”

      I’m really not sweating it because I really enjoyed seeing him but he seemed a little awkward about the whole thing.

      Anyway… I’ll try not to dwell on it… Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree–you didn’t do anything wrong. The therapist-client relationship outside of a therapy session is a difficult thing to navigate, even for very thoughtful and professional therapists. He may have seemed awkward because he wanted to respect professional boundaries but also wanted to be responsive to you. I think your openness about therapy and mental health is not typical so he may not have had a lot of experience interacting with a student who is relaxed about this outside of session.

    Anyway, it will be interesting for you to see what he says about it, but I don’t think you have anything to worry about. I hope you can let it go and have a peaceful weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Q! Yeah, you’re right. I guess I didn’t really think about how it might not be so typical to have people so open about seeing their psychologist/therapist outside the office setting. It’s definitely something I want to talk to him about – and I’m pretty sure he won’t let us continue without at least addressing it anyway, he’s good about checking in on stuff.

      To be honest, it’s embarrassing but I actually feel good knowing that I have the privilege of being able to meet S outside of his office due to my role as a Peer Educator. I have the privilege that other clients don’t. I’m not sure why I’m embarrassed by it though.


      1. Aww… 😦 Are things still strained for you guys? I hope there’s been some improvement at least…

        Why the shame though? Any ideas?


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