Addiction counseling can be incredibly beneficial for individuals looking for additional support in recovery. Along with regular AA or NA Meetings, and 12-Step Programs, having an addiction counselor is a great way to get professional guidance in either a one-on-one or group setting.
What's different with Addiction Counseling?
Addiction counselors are able to educate their patients about their addiction on a variable of levels. From spiritual to scientific, certified counselors are able to help the addict understand on the level they are best able to learn.
For example, if someone is more scientific, they may learn more from the scientific parts of recovery.
Scientific Recovery Examples
- A trigger/craving lasts between 15-30 minutes
- For every year a patient used, they need a month for their brain to recover
- If triggered, walking into a different room can help re-route the brain
Many people find that having an addiction counselor is much more intimate and involved. The additional time spent with the group and counselor is an avenue to increase the addict's chances for recovery, because they are advancing their "tools" for how to maintain a sober life.
Kinds of Addiction Counselors
There are indeed different kinds of addiction counselors. There are the counselors who have the medical training, and there are the counselors who have less medical training but are also recovering addicts. Whichever a patient's preference, it's important to ask the question to make sure they are comfortable with the relationship they will have with their counselor. Some prefer speaking with a counselor that knows best the medical field of addiction, while others prefer speaking with a counselor that has been through addiction and is strong in recovery.
If the patient ever feels they need to change counselors, there is no harm in bringing that up. In fact, it is best they make these decisions in order to help their recovery to the fullest. As addicts tend to be "people pleasers," it's important that they not feel they need to stay with one counselor so as not to hurt their feelings. Addiction counselors know that some relationships just don't work, and they will be happy to support the transition to a new counselor. This is because the most important aspect to both the patient and the counselor is the patient's recovery. Recovery comes first, so that everything else can come because of it.