Who are addiction counselors?
If you have decided to seek professional aid, either for yourself or for someone you know, to help with recovery from addiction you will be coming into contact with addiction counselors.
Addiction counselors are professional people, often with a background in nursing, psychotherapy and psychology, medicine or social care. They are dedicated to the purpose of helping recovering addicts to get clean of their addiction and achieve rehab. They are likely to have counseling accreditations and qualifications as well as membership of bodies such as the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals. (FDAP). It is not uncommon for former addicts to become addiction counselors themselves since they possess a level of insight, familiarity and empathy for the recovering addict’s situation.
The role of addiction counselors
Addiction counselors provide two primary functions.
The first of these is to act as an impartial, non-judgmental confidante: someone that you can talk to with complete confidence about any and every aspect of your addiction and other factors in your life that impact upon it. Even if you have friends or family you trust and can talk to, and feel that you can tell them absolutely anything, an addiction counselor can give you an extra that people who already believe they know all about you, cannot. If you have no-one else upon whom you can depend, addiction counselors should provide the trust, empathy and understanding of your issues that is vital to helping you move forward with rehabilitation.
The second function of addiction counselors is to provide you with the support, education and guidance required to carry you through the process of your rehab. It is not for addiction counselors to dictate the route you must take through rehab; for this to be successful on an individual basis it is important that you are in control of the pace and direction that your rehab takes.
The guidance that addiction counselors provide is likely to be based upon an exploration and discussion of each of the aspects of your addiction. For example, addiction counselors might examine with you some of the personal circumstances that have possibly contributed to your succumbing to an addiction, or perhaps the effects of your addiction upon your personal relationships, and how you feel about this.
Ultimately, the role of addiction counselors is to form a beneficial relationship with recovering addicts, by listening to them, understanding their situation and encouraging them to suggest practical ways in which situations and influences which previously contributed to addictive behavior might be avoided or dealt with in the future.
Where do addiction counselors work?
Many addiction counselors work on an independent basis, providing addiction counseling sessions within their own offices. There is a wealth of such independent addiction counselors, and so it should not be too difficult to find one in your own area.
During a residential detox and rehab programme addiction counselors will most likely be available to you as part of your treatment. The rehab center may also offer outpatient programmes allowing a recovering addict to attend one day a week or for a number of hours over the course of a week. These outpatient facilities are particularly useful after an addict has been in a residential treatment and rehab programme, providing a continuation of support as the recovering addict settles back into everyday life.
It is also possible to arrange for addiction counselors to visit you at home, where evidence suggests that, for some recovering addicts, the process of detoxification and rehabilitation from addiction has a better chance of success thanks to the comforting environment.
Do I need addiction counseling or addiction counselors?
If you have taken the decision to rid yourself of an addiction and are dedicated to seeking professional help to reach your goal, you will find that addiction counseling is a practical and useful tool, for that of course you will need to work with addiction counselors in some capacity or other.
Whilst there are a number of methods and strategies you can adopt to help yourself towards becoming clean and returning to an addiction-free lifestyle, your chances of success will be greatly improved if you obtain professional help.
Recovery from addiction is not something you have to deal with alone. Addiction counselors exist to listen to you, understand your circumstances and experiences, and provide you with the support, direction and education that you need in order to be able to take control of your life again.
Wherever you live, you are likely to be able to find an addiction counselor within your locality. You might ask your physician to refer you to one, or you may prefer to find one yourself via an internet search or your local phone directory. It is worth noting that addiction counselors may also be listed under the headings of addiction therapists or counseling supervisors.