Addiction counseling is best defined as an evidence-based form of treatment that optimizes your ability to recognize and modify negative feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Behavioral therapy is very useful when it comes to treatment sessions for substance abuse.
By being able to share your thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a therapy-based and supportive atmosphere, you will be able to get better with your communication and even know how to deal more effectively with stress. In a time when millions of people are subjected to all kinds of stress factors like jobs, marriage, financial issues, and others, services like addiction counseling are becoming more important than ever.
Addiction counseling can assist you in outlining goals and plans. These can be plans related to a job, children, career, or even education goals. Another aspect of addiction treatment is that it is helpful when coming up with strategies that do not just help with coping with stress but also have a beneficial effect overall on the health status of an individual.
There are many stressors in life, and if care is not taken, people suffering psychologically from them can relapse. However, by having the needed knowledge, skills, and tools, people can handle stressors better. Handling stress in a more effective way means you can sustain beneficial habits like abstinence, concentration, and sobriety.
For those who may be interested, several facilities offer addiction counseling services. Usually, these services are used with other forms of treatment, like holistic therapies and medication management.Addiction counseling is known for having minimal side effects.
Addiction counseling makes use of science-based approaches to ensure addiction recovery. Several evidence-based treatmentsare used for all kinds of disorders that arise from the abuse of substances. The ideal addiction counseling program is one that depends on years of research, and that is what ensures brilliant results for those who are suffering from addiction to substances like alcohol and hard drugs.
Addiction counseling centers are typically serene and are manned by professionals and experts with the necessary skills, knowledge, and years of experience so they can competently attend to the patients. Even though addiction counseling is supported by science, the ideal place for these services is coordinated by professionals who have the passion to truly assist others.
The Science behind Addiction Counseling
It has been stated in the sections above that addiction counseling is driven by science, as it depends on evidence-based discoveries. The evidence-based practice utilizes a particular guideline, procedures, or set of actions based on the records of earlier success or verifiable outcomes. It is the outcome of a particular treatment session that will determine if a therapist will apply it to an individual or a group during group therapy sessions.
The following are some of the examples of evidence-based practices used in addiction counseling; they are time-tested and proven techniques:
- Relapse Prevention and Management
In addiction counseling, the prevention and management of relapse is a priority when it comes to reducing or eliminating the use of drugs. It is not easy for the patients, but they can get through it with professional help and recommendations.
Several techniques are used in relapse prevention, and one of these is the acknowledgment of the fact that a lapse is not abnormal, and the person should not be judged because of it. No negative connotation should follow a lapse.Another thing is boosting the motivation for change all through the process. Discussions are held with the patients, and explanation is given on the benefits and challenges of maintaining the change.
Relapse prevention also involves the identification of high-risk scenarios. These can be seen with young patients concerning friends and family members. Several factors can trigger a sharp relapse, and these are identified and neutralized. This way, the patient remains in a good condition and is free to express himself or herself.
Another aspect of relapse is developing skills, techniques, and strategies that will assist the affected people to cope with lapses. There should be no overreaction or negative judgment from friends or family members whenever a lapse occurs. Such close people can go a long way in helping to terminate the lapse.
- Family Therapy
This is a kind of therapy session that involves the members of the same family, and they are regularly organized for addiction counseling services. This is because family members are often involved and also impacted when a member is going through a phase of addiction.
- Peer Support
This is a kind of therapy in which people make use of their knowledge and experiences to assist other people. Peer support comes in various forms, but the main goal is to let people with similar experiences come together and give one another the much-needed support.
Peer support also comes with providing a space where those battling addiction can feel understood, accepted, and tolerated; the same space ensures that their struggles are not underestimated, and their experiences are accepted as valid. Peer support confers practical, social, physical, and emotional benefits on not just the participants alone but even the caregivers.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Also referred to as CBT, this is a short-term and goal-based treatment that makes use of a practical approach when tackling a problem. It is a very important concept in psychotherapy. The main essence of this type of therapy is to modify or reshape the patterns of thought or behavior responsible for the problematic conditions in the first place, alongside modifying the feelings of the people too.
- Dual Diagnosis Therapy
As the name implies, this is a kind of treatment applied for people who have mental illness in conjunction with problems related to substance abuse. This is a more complicated case that regular addiction, but professionals in the field always know how to go about it.
This form of therapy is perfect for those who have been diagnosed with suffering from substance use disorder alongside a co-occurring behavioral disorder or mental health.
- Individual and Group Therapy
Whether a therapy should be individualized or done as a group is a decision taken by the addiction counselor in the best interest of the patient.