What Happens In Addictions Counselling?

Addictions counselling involves forming a narrative of an individual's life, helping them restructure memories, beliefs and current situations reducing their influence on present addiction based behaviors.

What Happens In Addictions Counselling? on We Do Recover Rehab Finder

If you’re looking for information on addictions counselling then it’s likely that your life is being negatively affected by addiction. Either your own drug and alcohol use has come to the point where you want to quit or HAVE TO begin looking at options around quitting. For more information on how normal it is to have addicted conflict around quitting – read our linked article above.

Most often addiction treatment centres are contacted by the patients family because their loved one is suffering from the progression of the disease of addiction.  Whatever the reason that you’re investigating this topic we hope that this article will provide you with some useful information.

Various addictions counsellors are in recovery from their own addictions and this can bring some value to the clinical process. Other addictions counsellors have no personal experience of being addicted and have studied extensively to be able to work in the field.

I believe it’s important to have a good cross section of staffing in an addictions treatment centre and critical that if any staff are in recovery that they have the appropriate education and accreditation, as well as police clearance to work with addicted people. Some of the lower quality rehabs employ addictions counselling staff that have very little or no formal education and supervision. I would suggest staying away from these centres and find clinics that employ accredited addictions counsellor.

Addictions Counselling in Context

Addictions counselling was unknown of as a field of study until the middle of last century. Before then addicts and alcoholics were treated as psychiatric patients who had little or no hope of ever leading a normal life.  There were no established treatment protocols that worked with the result that addicts and alcoholics would quickly relapse after leaving “treatment”.
What little addictions counselling that was provided seems to have centred on moral judgment which is hardly what an addict or alcoholic wants to hear.  In any case there was simply nothing available for people who found themselves unable to stop using drugs or alcohol.

The 12 step fellowship of AA never intended (and still doesn’t) itself to be an addictions counselling service but was arguably a catalyst for the development of effective programs.  When alcoholics demonstrated that by talking about their problem with one another within the context of a spiritual program kept them sober the medical field began to take notice.

It was Dr. Benjamin Rush who first described addiction as a disease in 1785 read more about that and our addiction treatment services here.

The first programs that drew on this holistic approach to sobriety were developed in America and later adopted worldwide.  This trend has largely continued with a great deal of American research on addictions counselling being modified for local conditions around the world.  Thus there are international standards for addictions therapy and you can directly compare clinics between countries.

What happens in addictions counselling?

Addictions counselling is very similar to other forms of therapy in methodology but also radically different in other respects.  Addiction reaches into so many areas of life that to root it out requires a great many issues to be addressed and interpreted.  Thus it is more complex than counselling certain other issues.

Generally speaking addictions counselling is a lengthy process that draws out a complete life history from the patient and then explores these issues.  By coming to terms with past trauma and learning new ways of dealing with present problems addicts are empowered to choose a new way of life.  This is accomplished in group therapy and individual therapy.

Group therapy in addictions counselling is where the community of addicts in the treatment centre meet together with the addictions counsellor and discuss their experiences.  By hearing how other people have dealt with issues similar to their own addicts realise that they are not alone and receive valuable tips on how to cope with problems.  Additionally group members will provide each other with feedback which is valuable for identifying blind spots and issues that they might otherwise have been unaware of.

Individual therapy is a session between the patient and his/her case worker.  The patient receives direct, individual, attention in these sessions.  These addictions counselling sessions are kept confidential with the result that patients can share issues that they might feel awkward about airing publically or in a group setting.

Is addictions counselling effective?

Yes, provided that the patient is willing to engage fully in the process and follow all of the recommendations of the treatment team.  Getting patients to comply with treatment is an art form that addictions counsellors practice but ultimately it is up to the patient to decide whether they want to be healed or not.  Addictions counselling is only as effective as you let it be.
If you are concerned about your addiction and want to find out how you can reclaim your life and dignity please contact We Do Recover today for a confidential addiction assessment.

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