The Importance of Counseling in Addiction Recovery
Kicking your habit — or supporting a loved one through their journey towards sobriety — is a lifelong task that requires consistent use of coping mechanisms. Addiction relapse rates, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, are comparable to those of asthma, diabetes and other chronic diseases. In other words, your risk of a relapse, no matter how long you’ve been clean, is very real. That’s why we cannot stress enough the importance of counseling in drug addiction recovery.
Counseling is an essential tool to help you to stay clean even when your physical dependence has passed. Numerous social and psychological factors can be powerful stimuli during your recovery battle. These include:
- Social occasions, such as birthdays and family celebrations
- Environmental stimuli, like visiting a certain place or neighborhood that you equate with your habit
These are just some of the factors that can reignite your urge to begin to use alcohol or drugs again. Counseling helps you learn to cope with life without reverting back to your habit. It can also help you escape those cravings.
No single approach works for everyone. However, with the right counseling drug addiction treatment plan tailored to your character, living a full and clean life is achievable.
Addiction is a huge problem for Americans today. According to statistics published by NIH Medline Plus, almost one in 10 people over the age of 12 are battling with some form of substance dependence or abuse. What often begins innocently, and as a pleasurable release, can quickly become an issue for you if you use alcohol, prescription drugs and illicit drugs, on a regular basis.
Addiction creates changes to your brain and excites cells within its reward center. There are three distinct ways that this shows itself:
- Cravings for the object of the addiction
- Loss of control regarding its use
- Ongoing involvement with the object of addiction in spite of adverse consequences
Addiction is a complex disease that involves not only your physical manifestations, but emotional as well. Treating one component of addiction and ignoring the other is not enough.
Counseling in addiction rehab helps you to treat the many facets of addiction, including the emotions that we all experience. At some point during the recovery process, we all experience extreme feelings, whether they be anger, joy, shame, low self-esteem, sadness, happiness, guilt, or jealousy. Sometimes these emotions can be overwhelming, especially for you or your loved one who is addicted. Counseling helps to release these feelings and suppressed emotions so you can heal.
Why Counseling is an Integral Part of Addiction Recovery
Counseling is one of the most important aspects of successful addiction rehab. If you are currently struggling with addiction, it is imperative that you seek counseling, as it is one of the most beneficial tools for fighting this disease. Studies show that individuals who receive counseling are less likely to experience a relapse than those who don’t have counseling.
Through 12 Keys Rehab counseling, you can:
- Improve your motivation for recovery. As a substance abuser, you may resist entering addiction treatment because you are ambivalent about stopping substance use. Through our Motivational Interviewing modality of treatment, for example, you will learn how to recognize the damage that substance misuse is doing to your life and the lives of those closest to you. This will encourage you to stop abusing, and to take positive steps forward.
- Learn the skills for stopping alcohol abuse and avoiding relapse. If you feel that you’re dependent on any substance, and don’t know how to stop, we can help. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will help you understand why you crave alcohol, and teach you how to cope with your cravings. You will also learn how to cope with difficult feelings and situations that may trigger relapse.
- Involve those closest to you in treatment activities. Family members, who are well informed about addiction issues and participate in counseling sessions, can have an incredibly positive impact on your recovery.
Addiction counseling helps you:
- Understand the roots of your addiction.
- Learn to deal with and recover from the changes addiction makes to the brain.
- Build self-esteem.
- Identify co-occurring mental issues and illnesses.
- Learn to deal with peer pressure.
- Change your life for the better.
- Learn important life skills.
- Learn positive habits.
- Change your life for the better.
- Achieve confidence and positive self-image.
- Gain freedom from negativity.
Counseling also helps you to:
- Learn how to regain the trust of your loved ones.
- Re-learn how to trust.
- Re-learn forgiveness.
Counseling sets you on the road to permanent recovery, and here at 12 Keys Rehab we can help and support you throughout your journey.
Ways Counseling is Used in Addiction Rehab
There are many different ways counseling is used in addiction rehab here at 12 Keys Rehab, including family counseling, behavioral counseling, counseling during detoxification, individual counseling, group counseling, intensive counseling and aftercare counseling. Let’s explore each of these in further detail.
When you have an addiction, it can be very difficult for friends and family to come to terms with your condition. Prior to counseling, and often unwittingly, it can be all too common for well-meaning family members and friends to become trapped in a cycle of co-dependency and enabling behaviors.
It can be hard for them to open up and talk with you about seeking help. It is also common for friends and family members to ignore the problem for fear of alienating you.
For these reasons, it is so important to understand just how powerful the family dynamic can be in terms of addressing addiction and helping to overcome it. Getting communication back on track between you and your loved ones is one of the most powerful aspects of family counseling.
Positive family involvement will help both you and your loved ones gain a new perspective in terms of your addiction. In turn, you will then be able to support each other throughout your shared recovery journey.
Counseling will help reconnect you with relatives and friends who have become distant and resentful. When those closest to you are able to assess and identify behaviors they can adjust and modify to help you break the cycle, the process of healing can begin.
Family support is essential to your success. Counseling will help your loved ones to:
- Help you seek assistance for your addiction issues
- Address and educate themselves about the actual addiction
- Support both themselves and you throughout your recovery
- Rebuild bonds that have become fractured or broken
Through our family counseling services at 12 Keys Rehab, our qualified and compassionate staff will help you and your loved ones rebuild loving and safe relationships that last.
Behavioral counseling can help significantly in terms of changing self-destructive behaviors. Alternative names for the counseling are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and behavioral modification. The main aim of this type of counseling is for you to replace negative habits with positive ones.
Behavioral counseling will also help you cope with any difficult situations you may be facing or may have to face throughout your recovery journey. Here, at 12 Keys Rehab, we will tailor the right behavioral counseling treatment plan for you as an individual.
Some of the exercises may include:
- Role playing
- Discussing coping mechanisms
- Positive reinforcement
- Relaxation and breathing methods
- Journal writing
- Modifications in responses to pain, anger and fear
Counseling, often called “talk therapy,” is one of the most important aspects of your addiction treatment. Counseling during detox helps you to deal with and understand the many different emotions you are experiencing. It also helps you to change unhealthy responses and live your life positively.
Counseling during detoxification supports you during your journey from a substance addiction to developing a healthy, productive life. Our 12 Keys Rehab counselors teach you all you need to know about your detox and addiction, and support and encourage you to progress towards a clean and positive lifestyle.
Group therapy is helpful for many rehab clients. However, it may not be enough for you. Many people in recovery also prefer individual counseling as it affords them more privacy. Everyone is an individual, and not all feel comfortable talking within a group situation, as might be the case for you.
Sometimes counselors use individual therapy to prepare you for group counseling sessions. During individual sessions, the counselor can connect with you on a more personal level. This is perfect for teaching you coping techniques and to help you gain a real understanding of the roots of your addiction.
The counselor will help you re-channel your cravings and address the underlying issues that made you turn to alcohol misuse in the first place. This method of counseling is very personalized and designed to best help you reach your recovery goals.
Group counseling is a method of peer group rehab that offers you both the advice, and the experience of others who have walked down the same addiction path as you are right now. One of the most positive aspects of this type of program is that it shows you that recovery is entirely possible, as you will be involved with others who have overcome their addictions.
There is a wonderful feeling of community at out 12 Keys Rehab group counseling sessions. This ensures that you feel at home throughout treatment. The addiction journey can be very socially isolating, but group counseling shows that you’re never alone. Whenever you feel down, your peers will lift you back up again, and often-lifelong friendships develop as a result.
Our group therapy sessions are small and intimate, so opening up to the group is non-intimidating and very individually supportive. As many of our staff are recovered alcoholics and addicts themselves, it is not uncommon for them to open up to you and the rest of the group about their own struggles, as well as victories, on the path to recovery.
Intensive Counseling for Short-Term Rehab
Intensive counseling is relatively brief in nature. However, if you find yourself unable to find the time to commit to a traditional rehab model, this could work for you. Intensive counseling focuses on reducing the risk factors in terms of relapsing and on reconnecting with your inner strength. You learn to gain control of your own feelings, thoughts and actions.
The principal benefit of intensive counseling as part of short-term rehab is the minimal disruption to your everyday life.
Successfully completing rehab is a major accomplishment in your life, and one you should be very proud of. However, this doesn’t mean that the work stops there.
Throughout the weeks, months and even years after rehab, it is important not to become complacent about the risks of relapse. This is particularly true if you have a co-occurring disorder (a mental health issue that occurs in tangent with a substance misuse disorder).
It is imperative that you minimize the risk of falling back into destructive behavioral patterns and addictive behavior. Aftercare counseling minimizes this risk, and ensures that you continue to progress along the road to a clean and sober life.
Various components that make up an effective relapse prevention program include:
- Learning about and recognizing your triggers — There are many psychological, environmental, and social factors that can trigger a relapse. Conflict in personal relationships and flashbacks to abusive situations are a few examples of events that may drive you back to substance abuse. Aftercare counseling can help you get through this.
- Coping with cravings and stressors — Life is a series of changes — some bad, some good. You need to ensure that you’re ready for events such as new relationships, new jobs and so on. Counseling will help you cope with high-risk situations that make you feel emotionally vulnerable.
- Considering the outcome of a potential relapse — When times are tough, returning to substance abuse is not the answer. Here are 12 Keys Rehab, we will equip you with the tools to evaluate the potential outcome of a slip, so you can continue living a clean, sober and productive life.
- Stopping a lapse from becoming a relapse — A minor slip can happen. Seeking help immediately will stop this from becoming a bigger problem. It is important for you to learn how to cope with the potential issue of a small slip, so you can get back on track as soon as possible.
- Family help — Aftercare counseling can be very helpful in terms of family instruction and support. It can be difficult both for you and for your family to blend back into “normal” life after rehab.
Often, there are underlying tensions caused by events that happened during your substance abuse between you and your family. Aftercare counseling will help you and your loved ones get through this difficult transitional period.
- Time to talk — Aftercare counseling offers you an invaluable channel of communication. It can be scary and stressful when you return home after rehab. There are new habits to learn, as well as old friends to leave behind. Relationships with family and loved ones also need rebuilding.
At 12 Keys Rehab, aftercare counseling is the place to talk through these issues with our qualified counselors who understand exactly what you’re going through. After rehab treatment is completed, our counselors and therapists will design an effective aftercare program that will help you live every day relapse-free.
One of the most important aspects of our aftercare program is encouraging supportive relationships between you and others who have walked the same path as you in the past. This way, you can reap the benefits of first-hand advice and experience on living soberly, as well as receiving guidance when you need it most.
The Importance of a Good Relationship with Your Counselor
The fundamental goal of the work of a counselor is to help you resolve your personal challenges and to help improve your emotional harmony. For this to truly work, it must be done within an atmosphere of pure trust.
Establishing an open and trustworthy relationship with our clients is at the heart of our work at 12 Keys Rehab. Many of our empathic and caring staff are recovering addicts themselves, and know first-hand of the struggles and victories you are facing.
Our counseling staff will work with you to create a solid and communicative foundation on which to build your new sobriety. A good counselor will enable you to help yourself, so that if issues arise in the future, you can use them to help navigate through issues
Our 12 Keys Rehab counselors are:
- Empathetic — As many sensitive emotions come to the surface during counseling, it is imperative that our counselors show real empathy to you. In fact, individuals who choose a career in counseling tend to be highly empathetic by nature — it goes with the job.
- Balanced — An effective counseling relationship is dependent on the emotional balance of the counselor. A good counselor will be compassionate, without showing pity. They will be understanding and totally non-judgmental.
- Client-focused — As counseling requires a great amount of listening, our staff understands the importance of staying focused and giving you the attention you need. Through the art of listening, an accurate assessment and suitable therapy plan is created just for you.
- Experienced in setting clear objectives — We will help you establish clear objectives, based on your own specific needs and issues. We will help you set milestones along the way so you can see just how much you’re achieving.
- Positive — We never judge you, and endeavor to be positive at all times.
- Flexible and patient —You, the client, set the pace in terms of how you apply and accept your own counseling, although ultimately goals need to be tied to a timeline. We offer flexibility and patience, depending on your progress throughout the program.
- Prepared — Our staff always prepare well for every counseling session. We place incredible importance on continued research and education in order to continually develop our knowledge. This is what makes good counselors great.
- Highly professional. — An effective counselor is both friendly and professional.
- Unbiased —Our counselors never bring their own preferences or beliefs into their professional lives. Additionally, they are respectful of, and sensitive to every client’s religious, cultural and lifestyle choices. In fact, a great counselor will always seek out ways of integrating a client’s belief-system into their care plan, where possible.
- Discreet – Our counselors always maintain the confidentiality of each and every client.
A good relationship with your counselor will show in terms of your healing and general progress throughout your rehab and beyond. When you are working in tangent with a good counselor, you will find that your happiness increases. They will help you see your past, present and future in a whole new light, and will be able to equip you with the tools to approach this new stage of your life in a confident and positive manner.
Entering rehab is possibly the most important step you will ever take in your life. This is why it is so important to work with the right counselor for you in order to help you on your journey to sobriety.
With time, commitment, treatment and counseling in addiction rehab, you can learn and apply the coping strategies you learned in therapy. To begin your recovery and achieve life lasting sobriety through tailored holistic therapies and addiction rehab counseling, contact 12 Keys Rehab.