Counseling

Counselor comforting male pattientCounseling is the most common form of care provided in a drug rehab programs. In fact, an individual in a treatment program may spend a significant amount of time just talking about addiction. For example, one study outlined a cocaine therapy program that involves 60 sessions stretching over a period of six months.[1]

While this approach may sound like overkill, the reality is counseling makes a big difference for people with addictions.These sessions address the source of the problem. Counseling also provides people with the skills they’ll need to correct the behaviors that led to drug dependence.

How Does Drug Rehabilitation Counseling Help?

While all drugs are physically addictive to an extent,the primary cause for relapse is psychological addiction. Drug rehabilitation counseling addresses these psychological barriers to recovery. Drug recovery also helps retrain the way the individual thinks and makes decisions.

There are four major types of drug rehabilitation counseling:

  • Individual counselingThe patient meets one-on-one with a counselor or therapist. During individual counseling, the therapist explores the patient’s background in an effort to find the root causes for the drug addiction. Then, counselor and patient work together to discover effective ways to make better decisions about drug use.
  • Group counseling. The recovering addict has a chance to meet with fellow patients during the group sessions. These sessions are all about sharing experiences and supporting one another. Because many addicts often live in isolation with their drug problem, this process can be intimidating at first. However, the sheer release of talking to others with the same experiences can often provide an amazing breakthrough.
  • Family counselingOften the addict’s family suffers when a loved one has an addiction. Family counseling is an opportunity to have an open and honest discussion about addiction. Counselors and therapists provide family members with strategies that help the recovering addict stay sober when treatment is complete.
  • Skill building. Staying sober in the face of temptation means flexing muscles of self-control that may have been weakened by drug abuse. A study in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that feelings of depression tended to produce a profound craving for opiates in addicts in recovery.[2] They wanted and needed these drugs, and they may not have the skills to resist the call. Counseling provides addicts in recovery with a sophisticated toolkit to combat addiction triggers.

People with a mental illness in addition to addiction can spend time in therapies that specifically target their conditions. For example, those with anxiety might work with a counselor on stress reduction techniques. Those who have schizophrenia, on the other hand, might focus on spotting the warning signs of relapse. These sessions might be incorporated into the drug addiction sessions the person already has scheduled, or they might be added to the program, increasing the time commitment the person is expected to make.

How to Prepare for Counseling

In general, counseling is considered both safe and effective.Best of all, there is little that patients need to do to prepare for the process. You just need to have a positive attitude. Recovering addicts who refuse to participate in sessions are doing themselves a disservice. However, if an individual accepts the potential benefits of the process, this mindset can enable the recovering addict to see things from a new perspective.

If you’d like to learn more, we’re here to help. Michael’s House is a residential drug treatment facility located in Palm Springs, California. Michael’s House mixes modern treatment styles with the finest holistic care. We are able to provide patients with a powerful integrated treatment that enriches the mind, body and spirit. Please contact us today for more information.


Sources

[1] http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/1673777 Psychosocial Treatments for Cocaine Dependence National Institute on Drug Abuse Collaborative Cocaine Treatment Study. Crits-Christoph, Paul. Published in June 1999.

[2] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0740547294900604 Can induced moods trigger drug-related responses in opiate abuse patients? Childress, Anna Rose.

 

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