What is Addiction Counselling and how does it help?
Addiction Counselling can take place in different forms, most often in one-on-one fashion but is also available in a couple, family and group format. In whatever modality is taken, it provides the client with a confidential opportunity to discuss their relationship with the problem substance or behaviour and its impact on their life and the life of others they care about.
Addiction Counselling is a highly-specialised form of counselling that views serious and problematic use of a substance or behaviour as far more serious as it being simply a symptom of underlying issues – although inevitably such underlying issues are present. The problematic and addictive elements of one’s life are assessed first and foremost. It is only after an appropriate evaluation of what is underway can a specialised treatment plan be developed that is intended to assist the individual in difficulty to achieve their goals for a better life.
Addiction Counselling is a facilitative process which helps individuals overcome any personal fears and anxiety which they may be experiencing. The primary benefit is that it will help someone in difficulty in their efforts to address and take action as to what needs to be done. It allows an intensive exploration of the sources of the addictive behaviour and enables the person to reach a level of self- understanding that’s essential to a good recovery.
It aims to assist in the following ways:
• To strengthen self-worth.
• To find positive ways to manage stressful events and emotions.
• To learn how to react to common substance and behavioural triggers.
• To develop practical skills for dealing with cravings.
• To assist the individual with rebuilding trusting relationships with others.
• To become responsible and compliant with other treatment plans.
The counsellor role is to facilitate the client’s growth in ways which respect the person’s values, personal resources and capacity for self-determination, leading to lifelong recovery.
Do Addiction Counsellors work with families?
Yes, many addiction counsellors in fact specialise in assisting partners, parents and other family members with the significant struggle of caring for a loved one lost in addiction. Please note that the majority of those seriously impacted by addiction are not in addiction themselves but have an important caring relationship with those who are.
Family members are often remarkable in their ability to carry on despite the worry, fear and stress brought into their lives by the addiction of another. Such family members often find themselves moving from worry and concern to anger and frustration until they eventually find themselves exhausted or even in despair because of the addiction of another.
Addiction does not only damage the health and wellbeing of those addicted but can sometimes have a similar impact on others. Addiction counsellors have the skill, training and compassion to assist family members in such distress and will provide important therapeutic support in both publicly and privately funded settings.