In most clinics, including private rehab, most drug addictions involve a phase of detoxification at the start of the rehabilitation process. But this is only the beginning of the recovery journey. Whilst this stage of detox is designed to remove all traces of drugs from your body, what happens when this phase of the treatment is completed? The importance of drug counselling and the benefits it brings to your recovery cannot be underestimated.
Having that crucial engagement with a counsellor with time to talk through personal triggers, issues and feelings can be hugely beneficial and mean that your recover, or the recovery of a loved one, is maintained in the outside world.
The primary goal of drug addiction counselling is to help a person achieve and maintain abstinence, not only from addictive chemicals or substances, but also the behaviours that might trigger and feed that addiction. Addiction counselling works by helping you to first recognise the existence of a problem and then to explore the associated thinking connected with it. In the second stage of counselling, a person is encouraged to achieve and maintain abstinence with the aim of building the necessary psychosocial skills and spiritual development to continue in recovery as a lifelong journey.
Drug addiction counselling can take place as part of a group or with an individual counsellor. The key to successful counselling is divided into two parts. The first part can only be accomplished by the person themselves. Whatever your addiction might be, it is up to you to sign up to and have faith in the counselling process. You need to make sure you can be completely open and honest with your counsellor. If there is even the slightest mistrust between you and the person trying to help you, then there is little chance of the counselling being successful. The professional running the counselling session also has a duty to keep up the pressure on you to talk and face up to your situation. If a sensitive topic or subject is raised that might be difficult to confront or talk about, then it is the counsellor’s job to make sure this gets discussed. It might sound harsh to adopt this approach, but being firm does equal success in the long run!
Cassie, 28, is from Oxford. After reaching crisis point as a result of an ongoing situation with substance abuse, Cassie was placed in a private rehab clinic in the Cotswolds. After her detox was complete, Cassie thought she was ready to go home but this was not the case at all. “I thought counselling was for people with mental health problems. I certainly didn’t see it as something that I needed to do. Once the drugs were out of my system, I started to feel a lot better and thought I was over my addiction.”
But staff at the rehab clinic were well aware that whilst Cassie had cleaned her system physically, there was still a long way to go with regard to her associated thinking and relationship to drugs. Cassie was advised to have a series of sessions, one on one with a specialist drug counsellor.
I was quite reluctant to see the counsellor at first but the staff at the clinic insisted it was part of my recovery programme and so I had to go. I didn’t say much at first but after a while it got easier and soon I was really pouring my heart out. The counsellor helped me to face up to and deal with a lot of my demons. I’m pretty sure that without the drug counselling there is no way I would have been able to stay away from drugs for good.
“Talking to the counsellor really made me think about why I took drugs and helped me to understand and make peace with the effect that taking drugs had had on my life. It was quite hard to hear some of those comments but I know the counselling has made me much stronger as a result.”
It has been proven that counselling is a highly effective means of recovery. Each counsellor will have their own individual approach but generally speaking, it is talking and behavioural therapies that are most commonly used – in a group or as part of an individual therapy programme. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is often used for treating drug abuse as it helps people to recognise and deal with feelings, thoughts and situations that have caused drug cravings in the past. The counsellor you see will aim to help you avoid these triggers in order to replace negative thoughts and feelings with alternatives that are much healthier.
Private drug rehab treatment centres offer frequent individual counselling to patients. These counselling sessions sometimes even take place on a daily basis with counsellors helping patients to discover any emotional or psychological factors that may have contributed to their addictions. It is important that these psychological factors are addressed if a patient is to make a full recovery.
In addition to individual counselling, patients in rehab often take part in group therapy. Patients with similar addictions meet together under the direction of a counsellor. The experience allows them to form friendships creating close personal bonds which can accelerate the recovery process.
If you or someone close to you is struggling to face up to a drug addiction, then Port of Call can help. Take the first step today and contact one of our expert advisers for free on 08000029010.
Disclaimer: Names and some details have been changed to protect the identity of our case study participants.
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