signs of addiction

The Importance of a Counsellor in Addiction Recovery

It can be incredibly challenging for people recovering from drug or alcohol problems to manage both their physical and emotional needs. They may struggle with the discomfort of withdrawal, depression, and feelings of guilt and shame. Many people with substance misuse problems try to stop on their own at some point, but most invariably fail. This can result from many factors but is largely due to a lack of coping skills, and an inability to form the fundamental building blocks needed for a life free of addiction.

This is where counsellors provide a necessary support system for individuals recovering from eating disorders, drug and alcohol issues, gambling addictions, and other behavioural problems. By forming a strong relationship with their patients based on trust, counsellors provide the support, resources and guidance that patients can utilize as they go on their journey towards recovery.

Counselling can offer everything from moral support to advice on how to deal with relationships, family, or career issues that stem from addiction. Opting for counselling rather than attempting to “go it alone” has many benefits and is a far better alternative for long term recovery. 

Learning about coping strategies

Substance abuse counselling teaches individuals how to recover from the physical, mental and emotional patterns that led them to drug abuse in the first place. A counsellor will usually help a patient to identify things such as triggers, and help them to understand and resist destructive behaviour. Therapists use an array of techniques to help patients follow through with treatment plans. These may include Motivational Interviewing (MI), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), 12-step Facilitation Therapy, Person-Centred Therapy and Wellness Coaching

Advice on creating and repairing relationships

Most people with substance misuse disorders leave a wake of destruction behind them in terms of their relationships and loved ones are often left to deal with the aftermath of chaos. Counsellors can offer support and advice in repairing the damage caused by addiction and often help patients to learn a new approach to creating healthy relationships, which are an essential part of a successful recovery.

Support and relapse prevention

Counsellors are well-versed in relapse prevention and can assist in the planning and implementation of relapse control. Having the support of a counsellor who truly understands what a patient is going through also decreases feelings of loneliness and the risk of isolation, two triggers that often contribute to relapse. 

Substance abuse counselling is a vital component to achieving and sustaining sobriety. Because substance misuse is a chronic, progressive illness, counsellors aren’t just there to give patients the tools they need to kick the habit — they’re also there to support patients during their journey toward recovery, and to work with them after treatment for continuing care.

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