One size does not fit all in Addiction Counseling. That is the best way to approach counseling, because it is important to understand that every person is different.
If it was as easy as taking a pill to avoid addiction, everybody would be doing it, or if a week in a residential treatment center would make every addict well again, that would be a universal prescription to combat the disease. But it isn’t that easy.
In-patient or Out-Patient
The two major types of counseling treatment are in-patient and out-patient and each has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to examine each to determine which is best suited for you.
Of course, there may be some things you can do just by visiting your family doctor, and there are a lot of self-help groups that can play a huge part in your recovery, but for this discussion we will limit our focus to in-patient or out-patient. In-patient is when the individual goes into a residential setting for a pre-determined amount of time, such as 30, 60, 90 or 120 days. Within the treatment options are cognitive behavior therapies, behavior modification, psychotherapy and cognitive therapies.
The extended stay and the close, therapeutic relationship makes the in-patient treatment option preferable for many patients, who are willing to do the work, persevere the rough patches and remain committed to being clean and sober.
Medical Detox Is Often Required
In addition to any medical detoxification that might be necessary, the focus of the in-patient stay is to rebuild the patient’s life, to learn life skills, new ways of thinking and hopefully begin to repair damaged relationships and prepare the person for a return to a happy, healthy and productive life.
There will be individual counseling sessions, as well as group therapy sessions, and both are important. Many in-patient facilities use the 12 Step program, but each patient is given an individual treatment plan to meet their specific needs. The staff will work closely with the patient to devise this plan, trying to create an effective care plan that will render positive results.
However, so often patients lose their enthusiasm and fight against their own care, electing to leave treatment early, even after a few days. They return to the same old haunts that contributed to their addiction and go right back to using. Out-Patient Addiction Counseling
Out-patient, as its name implies, is a visit to the clinic for medicine, classes, specific treatments, while the patient remains at home. Patients who cannot afford to take time off from work, especially for long-term care, are candidates for these programs.
For example, after undergoing medical detoxification, which can also be out-patient, opiate addicts may go on a Suboxone program, under the supervision of the clinic. They will still attend classes and group sessions, but do so before or after work.
One of the main things that people dread when it comes to entering into any kind of treatment program is the very real fear that they will relapse. While I am not trying to offer an excuse to use, relapse is a part of treatment and recovery.
It’s not at all uncommon for people to slip and fall, but the key is to get back up again, skinned knees and all, and continue to try. People like to say they are willing, but they may not understand that that means or what that takes. The answer is to be willing to be willing. That means simply that we have to understand that treatment and recovery is a process and we have to stay with it.
Pride is the biggest enemy of addiction counseling.
The biggest downfall in treatment is the patient’s own pride. The same kind of thinking that got them into trouble will drive their insistence that they should be in charge of the solution.
They fight the process, they refuse to cooperate and they leave the treatment program. Drug addiction is a disease of the brain, so why would a diseased brain be the best one to determine a proper course of action. We need to let go and allow others to come along side and help.
Addicts who enter treatment and meet their need head on are just one part of the total equation. Family members also need treatment and support, which is why organizations such as Al-Anon are so valuable. Many treatment centers have support for families, which should be factored in when the decision on the right center is made. The most important first step you should take in selecting counseling and treatment, whether in-patient or out-patient, is to ask plenty of questions. Counseling centers will not be put off by your concerns and they will genuinely try to be as thorough and complete as possible.
But understand the staff are trained, professional people, who have experience and a track record to back up any claims they might share with you. Don’t be afraid to examine those credentials.
If you are willing, there is a treatment program out there for you. It may take a little homework on your part, but it will be well worth the effort.
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Addiction Counseling Summary:
Addiction Counseling can be successful if many different options are used, CBT, behaviour modifications and the 12 Step program.
Addiction Counseling must be customized to meet the unique needs of each person because each person's issues make their addiction unique to them.
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- Matthew 7:7-8
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