Drug detox cleanses the body of toxic substances and prepares the way for a new beginning, but counseling is where the real work of rehab takes place. Although there’s no magical “cure” for substance abuse, the benefits of counseling can help you overcome the destructive habits and thoughts that brought you to rehab in the first place. Over time, you’ll use the coping skills that you acquire in one-on-one sessions or group therapy to maintain your sobriety and lead a healthy, positive life.
Finding the motivation to quit drinking or using is one of the biggest challenges that rehab clients face in early recovery. To your friends and family members, the devastating effects of your substance abuse may seem obvious, but if you’re like a lot of recovering addicts, you may find yourself slipping into a state of denial with thoughts like, “I’m not really an addict; I just use recreationally,” or “I don’t need rehab; I can quit anytime I want.”
Motivational interviewing is one of the most important therapeutic techniques in early rehab, according to Psychiatric Clinics of North America. In motivational counseling, addiction therapists take on the role of a coach or a collaborative partner, encouraging you to find your own internal sources of motivation to quit. Motivational counseling can help you overcome the ambivalence and fear that keep you from getting clean and healthy.
Changing Self-Defeating Behaviors
Addiction can make you feel completely out of control. Your need for drugs has probably made you do a lot of self-destructive things that undermined your health, your self-esteem and your relationships. In sessions with your counselor, you’ll learn how to identify the behaviors, habits and thoughts surrounding your drug use. Through a process called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), you’ll learn how to change these compulsive behaviors and repetitive thoughts, replacing them with healthier, more constructive approaches.
Preventing a Relapse
Relapse is extremely common among recovering addicts. For months, years or even decades after you stop using, you may feel compelled to turn back to drugs. Emotional pressures, stress, social cues and personal hardships can drive you back to substance abuse in spite of all your hard work. Relapse prevention counseling can benefit you by:
- Helping you learn the warning signs of a relapse
- Helping you develop coping strategies to deal with stress and strong emotions
- Helping you build new social support networks
- Giving you the resources to keep a small slip from turning into a long-term relapse
When you’ve been clean for awhile, the urge to use again might seem to come out of nowhere. But according to the University of Pittsburgh, there are many warning signs of a relapse, such as faltering self-confidence, depression, fear of the future, lack of planning and isolation from others. In counseling, you’ll learn how to recognize these warning signs in yourself, so you can stop a relapse before it starts.
Creating Stronger Relationships
Addiction can sever the ties between spouses, partners, parents and children. Rebuilding broken relationships is one of the most valuable benefits you can gain from counseling. As part of your rehab program, your loved ones will have the opportunity to receive counseling on an individual basis and to participate in therapy with you. Through 12-step programs like Al-Anon and other self-help support groups, your family members can learn how to help themselves and you overcome the destructive effects of addiction.
The addiction specialists at Michael’s House understand that counseling plays a vital role in your healing journey. Our drug and alcohol rehab programs have received national recognition for helping individuals and their families recover from the disease of addiction. Call us at any time to begin the recovery process today.