Counseling is a vital part of successful substance abuse treatment. Quality rehabilitation programs increasingly include forms of counseling, such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), to treat addiction because of its effectiveness in helping clients understand the factors that led to their dependence on drugs or alcohol. CBT also helps the client develop psychological tools for life without chemical dependence.
Drug addiction recovery isn’t just about getting the addicted person to stop using their drug of choice. Counseling also assists in dealing with co-occurring mental illnesses, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) which may underlay or exacerbate the condition.
Benefits of Counseling in an Addiction Treatment Program-
- Counseling helps get to the root cause of substance abuse.
Clients attending counseling sessions can take time to look at the events in their life that led to their substance abuse. An external event or internal process may have played a role in their looking to use chemicals as a type of emotional anesthesia. Someone’s feelings about the underlying event, their loneliness, and emptiness can be identified and addressed in treatment.
- Individual counseling supports clients with mental health issues.
Individual counseling sessions allow clients diagnosed with mental health conditions to get the support they need while navigating their recovery. Clients can receive mental health treatment and drug addiction counseling simultaneously.
- Group therapy provides peer support for clients in drug addiction treatment.
People with a drug or alcohol addiction may feel they are the only ones experiencing family conflict, self-esteem issues, and difficulty coping with life stresses. Participating in group therapy allows clients to realize they aren’t alone in their struggles and that they can help others by sharing their experiences.
- It teaches clients to recognize unhealthy thought patterns.
CBT focuses on teaching participants to recognize when they are experiencing negative thoughts that may trigger a relapse. The person in therapy learns to examine their thought patterns and replace unhealthy thoughts with more positive (and sometimes more realistic) ones.
- Counseling may increase the likelihood that a client will maintain sobriety in recovery.
Counseling is used during treatment and as part of aftercare to help clients develop coping skills to deal with triggers that may lead to a slip or a full-blown relapse. During treatment, clients learn to recognize their triggers and plan to resist the urge to use chemical substances. After completing their treatment program, ongoing counseling provides continued support to people in the early stages of recovery who now have to use those tools in a “real-world” setting.