People who suffer from addictions can be described as people with a heart-at-war. In counseling those who abuse or have dependency on substances, it is therefore essential to be able to communicate with clients in a way that ministers love and healing to them; helping things to be corrected rather than creating further hurt, distress and objectification. In its book on resolving conflict and bringing peace, the Arbinger Institute (xx) reports that "home and workplace casualties are everywhere". The book points out, "bitterness, envy, indifference, resentment-these are the hallmarks of the hot and cold wars that fester in the hearts of family, neighbors, colleagues, and former friends the world over," (Arbinger Institute xx). These conflicts are already an issue in clients with addictions, and the method at which I communicate with such clients will either provoke more battles or can begin a process of resolving these conflicts through nonviolent communication (NVC). Lasater and Lasater (11) go so far as to say that, ".what we say changes the world," adding, "This is not an exaggeration." The way I communicate seems critical; it can either promote recovery through peace and discovery or it can reinforce the pain of personal bondage.
Lasater and Lasater (11) note that the difficulties that a counselor brings to the counseling relationship can spill over into the client's process unless the counselor is connected with themselves so that their speech accurately and clearly reflects what is true. Without that connection to the self, one can act out of distorted relationships increasing the suffering of both people(Lasater & Lasater 11). By using NVC to connect first with oneself and then with others, counselors can, "create mutually satisfying outcomes," by changing their words in accordance with the situation and subculture in which they find themselves; this enables the one to use words that resonate and are meaningful to the people they treat, (Lasater & Lasater 14).