Table of Contents
- Outside Motivation
- Group Counseling
- One on One Counseling
- Reflecting on Changes
- The Benefits of Self-Reflection
- Receive Support to Avoid Setbacks
- How do Addiction Recovery Counselors Provide Support?
- Practical Guidance from Someone with Experience
Accepting help from a trained counselor is an essential part of the recovery journey, yet many people resist this step. Understanding a professional counselor’s role in a successful addiction recovery might encourage this. In this article we’ll explore the reasons why counseling is important in addiction treatment, so that you might feel more open to accepting help.
4 Reasons Why Counseling is Important
Professional treatment has been proven to dramatically improve chances of recovery from addiction. When working towards sobriety, we all want to give it our best shot. Here are four reasons why drug/alcohol recovery counseling is more effective than tackling it alone:
1. Outside Motivation
Drug and alcohol recovery counseling can take two forms: group work or one-on-one sessions. Both increase motivation to achieve a full recovery from addiction.
In group counseling, a counselor will facilitate a gathering of individuals who are all on the journey to recovery. The counselor leads the group in discussions that serve to bond them together. The counselor also helps to keep the conversation safe and productive.
The peer-to-peer relationships that develop during these group sessions, under the guidance of a counselor, motivate individuals  to stay on track with the program. It can be beneficial, and very motivating, to see that other people are struggling with the same issues and that you are not on the journey all by yourself .
One on One Counseling
The second kind of counseling for addiction and recovery comes in the form of one-on-one sessions. These sessions are entirely focused on you, the client. Your counselor will work with you to understand your patterns of substance abuse and help you develop new patterns.
The one-on-one model provides accountability. When you know that you’re meeting with a counselor regularly to be “checked up on”, you have an increased motivation to follow your intention to stay clean. You know that you’ll be discussing your actions at your drug counseling session, and this accountability helps to motivate you to make positive choices.
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2. Reflecting on Changes
Working with a counselor is important because it gives you the opportunity to reflect on the phases of your journey as you move through them. Before you even begin treatment, your counselor will ask you questions about your history. These questions automatically give you time for self-reflection. As you change your life by abstaining from drugs and alcohol, you will start to see changes occurring in your body and mood. It’s helpful to have designated time set aside to reflect on these changes. Reflection is an integral part of healing , and drug and alcohol recovery counseling sessions are the perfect opportunity to take advantage of its benefits.
The Benefits of Self-Reflection
Without self-reflection, positive changes might not be acknowledged, or you might not learn from your mistakes. With self-reflection, you can notice when something goes right so that you can do it again. You can also talk through situations that were hard or reflect on things that aren’t going well. This way, you can find a way to overcome them. If you have ever kept a journal, you know how illuminating self-reflection can be.
A counselor is like a live journal page. He or she is there to help you learn about yourself. They are not there to judge you, and they are bound by a code of ethics to keep what you say private and confidential. This means that you’re free to speak your emotions out loud, in a safe environment, possibly for the first time. This is a powerful practice and can help you feel less isolated if you are experiencing a state of worry, fear, depression, loss or anxiety. It always helps to share the burden.
3. Receive Support to Avoid Setbacks
It’s normal for moments of weakness to occur, when going through a significant change in your life. This is natural for everyone, but with the help of a counselor, it doesn’t have to mean a setback in your recovery. Getting support from a trained counselor during these moments of weakness will help you not to feel overwhelmed and make bad choices.
How do Addiction Recovery Counselors Provide Support?
Often, this comes in the form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . Psychiatrists who offer counseling services have been trained to work with all aspects of a person’s psyche. This means that even if you don’t exactly know what is going on in your mind, a trained psychologist can help you to understand your thoughts, behaviors, and actions, and how they are related.
What’s more, the psychologist can help you modify your thoughts so that the emotions you experience and the outward behaviors that you engage in are different than previously. They also could offer support by prescribing a medication that can address the symptoms that you are experiencing, if needed.
4. Practical Guidance from Someone with Experience
Drug addiction counselors have a lot of experience working with rehabilitation. Although you may be making the shift to clean living for the first time, your counselor has seen and worked with people in your position many times. This past knowledge allows them to help you know what to expect next.
Your counselor will guide you through the next steps so that you won’t feel overwhelmed or that you’re going it alone. Their experience will be immensely helpful if you become confused, lost, or afraid of your new lifestyle.
For example, some recovering alcoholics find it challenging to join in on holiday celebrations after they’ve treated their alcohol addiction. A counselor who has worked with many recovering alcoholics will have tools and resources to offer to clients who are experiencing this and other everyday life challenges that could crop up.
Summary: The Importance of Counseling for Addiction Recovery
It might be tempting to think that you can handle recovery on your own. You may feel motivated and capable of self-reflection. You might even have a support network in place. But if the people in your life who are trying to help you get clean are not trained drug counselors, they might not know what kind of support you need to recover successfully.
Because a qualified counselor specializes in substance abuse and recovery, they are familiar with the ups and downs that you will face on the recovery journey. This can be extremely beneficial because by understanding what your body and mind are going through, the counselor will be able to provide practical, timely advice as you reach each challenge and stage.
Drug counseling and recovery go hand in hand. A counselor can guide you through an initial period of detox, help you reflect on major life changes, and help you to map out a route to clean living after your recovery. No one should feel that they have to overcome addiction alone. A counselor provides support, knowledge, and practical next steps, all of which will help you continue to move forward to a clean, addiction-free life.
To hear more about how a professional addiction counselor can assist in your recovery, contact us via our website, or call us on 603-546-7881. To learn more about the benefits of rehab, read our online resource on this topic