Counsellor's Role In Addiction Recovery
Therapeutic Alliance With Patients
Therapeutic alliance is the trust that patients feel in their counsellors. It permits them to feel vulnerable while sorting out their problems and working along effectively. Robust associations like these make sure that patients trust their counsellors, and know that their best interests are the most important. This allows counsellors and patients to work together even during troubled and difficult times. While this trust takes time to develop, patients ought to eventually feel comfortable speaking freely during sessions. They should also feel relief after a meeting and feel a need to go back.
Good therapeutic alliances are made by
• Making sure that the patient knows you are interested in their recovery
• Being attentive during sessions and listening to their problems
• Letting them know that you empathise with their problems
• Understand and communicate the core, basic issues at play in recovery
Since therapeutic alliance is one of the most important factors in recovery, counsellors will be better equipped to help their patients in recovery if there’s a comfortable zone between them. This in turn allows the patients to feel free to discuss their problems.
Encouragement Of Patient Recovery
Most addicts refuse to accept that they are dependent on some substance or that they need treatment. So recovery becomes difficult for them. The desire to recover is a key factor in treatment. Thus if the addict doesn’t accept the need for recovery, it becomes difficult for the counsellor .
As per NCBI’s studies: “The most desirable attributes for the counsellor mirror those recommended in the general psychological literature and include: non-possessive warmth, friendliness, genuineness, respect, affirmation, and empathy”. On the other hand confronting and challenging the patient leads to negative results. “In this study the more a client was confronted, the more alcohol the client drank,” as per NCBI again.
Though change is ultimately in the hands of the addict, counsellors should adapt to the individual’s needs to motivate the patient to recover. The counsellor’s role goes far beyond listening, teaching, and offering advice. Counsellors should adapt their style to help improve client’s desire for recovery.
The counsellor is responsible to help the clients with their problems. The counselor should help the patients on the path to recovery as well take actions to change.
Help Patients From Relapsing
Addiction is a chronic disease. Hence a large percentage patients relapse at some point during recovery. According to some studies nearly 40-60% of addicts relapse at some point during their life. But relapse doesn’t mean the failure of treatment. Rather, it indicates that treatments should be tweaked to help the patient.
Once the patient has made a decision to seek addiction treatment, it’s important to ensure that the patient is well prepared to avoid relapse. Just saying “no” when the temptation arises is not enough to prevent a relapse. The counsellor plays a vital role in developing a detailed relapse prevention plan.
Plans are tailored to each individual’s needs. But these core points must be included
• Detailed history of the addict’s substance abuse including relapses in the past
• Warning signs and how best the patients can manage them
• Detailed list of family, friends and counsellors which is to be used as a support network
• Emergency relapse plan
• Prioritise particular changes to lifestyle for a patient’s well being
Counselling Family Members
Recognising and addressing the problem of addiction is one of the most difficult parts of helping the patient as far as family and friends are concerned.
Obviously frequent interactions with family and friends help the patient but family members often ignore the problem thinking that confrontation or discussing the problem with the patient might alienate the patient.
During recovery, it’s important for the family to be well-informed of ways to tackle the patient’s addiction going forward. Counselors come in handy by conducting family therapy sessions and by identifying support groups for them.
Since recovery is a lifelong experience, the support of family members and friends is vital. They help in the success of the recovery and also maybe keep the addict in check. So counselors can help families in understanding the complicated process of recovery.
A counselor should refer a patient to programs such as NA and AA which can provide outside support in addition to counseling therapy.
Meetings attendance greatly helps in the recovery process. Addicts are surrounded by people with similar experiences and lifestyles. Sharing stories with them about the hardships of recovery in a non-judgemental environment greatly helps in recovery.
A counselor must show empathy while guiding the patient through recovery, be able to guide family members during recovery, and address issues of relapse. Overall the role of a counselor is vital in the recovery process.
At Koshish De-addiction Centre, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, we conduct addiction recovery counseling in-house as well as by visiting counselors who provide the necessary and high-quality counseling to addicts as well as their families.
Referring Patients To Outside Support Groups
A counsellor should refer a patient programs such as NA and AA which can provide outside support in addition to counselling therapy.
Meetings attendance is a of these groups greatly help in the recovery process. Addicts are surrounded by people with similar experiences and lifestyles. Sharing stories with them, the hardships of recovery in a non-judgemental environment greatly helps in the recovery process.
A counsellor must show empathy while guiding the patient through recovery, be able to guide family members during recovery, address issues of relapse. Overall the role of a counsellor is vital in the recovery process.
Addiction recovery counseling by Koshish De-addiction Centre, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, is considered to be amongst the best.