What is the Role of Addiction Counselors?
Addiction is an epidemic across the nation. Millions are affected by an illness that is very difficult to manage. Due to this, there has been an increase in substance abuse counselors, as well as an increase in their responsibilities. With so much at stake many people may wonder, what is the role of addiction counselors? Alcohol and drug rehab may be a necessity, but it is still an investment- an investment in the future. Therefore, it is important to understand the role of these counselors and how they have the ability to make a lasting impact you or your loved one.
Understanding the role of substance abuse counselors offers powerful insight into how recovering addicts must fight addiction and regain control of their lives. These therapists have numerous responsibilities- responsibilities that will vary depending on their specific field of work and place of employment.
Important roles addiction counselors must fulfill include:
Creating a Therapeutic Alliance with Patients
In order for treatment to be successful, addiction counselors must establish a great deal of trust between themselves and their clients. This bond is known as a therapeutic alliance. This alliance, or level of trust, allows patients to become vulnerable and work out their problems effectively. It generally takes time to establish a therapeutic alliance, but without it most patients are not comfortable speaking freely during therapy sessions. Through creating an understanding, judgement free environment, counselors have a better chance of addressing the root cause of the addiction. This enables the best possible outcome for long-term success.
Encouraging Patient Recovery
There is no easy way out of addiction, recovery takes dedication, strength, and positive support. Friends and family oftentimes help addicts seek recovery, but part of a counselor’s role is to make patients want recovery on their own. It is important for therapists to encourage their clients and show them they are capable of achieving their goals. Besides just listening, teaching, and giving advice, a good therapist is a guide through every stage of recovery.
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Helping Clients Develop a Relapse Prevention Plan
As previously stated, the road to recovery will not be an easy one. Many recovering addicts will relapse at least once in recovery. Yet, this is not to say that they have failed. This means their relapse prevention plan must be readdressed and modified. Regardless of if the client has relapsed in the past or it is their first time in rehabilitation, an addiction counselors job is to make sure recovering addicts are prepared to face any potential triggers that may present themselves after treatment. By showing addicts how to recognize potential triggers and teaching them how to react, should they arise, part of an addiction counselor’s job is to pave the way for long-term sobriety.
Addiction Counselors are Here to Help
Addiction counselors will also provide guidance to family members, refer patients to outside support groups, and remain involved in the lives of their clients long after their time in treatment has come to an end. To truly experience the unprecedented support offered by our addiction counselors, pick up the phone and find the support you need today.