What is Addiction Counselling and how does it help?
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.
Who would benefit from attending an addiction counsellor?
People who will most likely benefit from the specialised skill of an addiction counsellor are likely to be those who are directly affected by the impact of a behaviour or chemical that is causing or has caused them harm or distress irrespective of the amount, frequency or usage now or in the past. Examples could include people who are currently chronically abusing alcohol or drugs or caught up in compulsive gambling or addiction to pornography, to people who are just concerned about their usage of certain chemicals such as prescription drugs or eating behaviours. Some people may have stopped their alcohol or drug use for years but are still unhappy and carrying the effects of the past with them and are seeking to recover from earlier, problematic situations in their lives.
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 publically and privately funded settings.
At Fly Free Psychotherapy I am a Humanistic Integrative Practice, and cover mainly Humanistic approaches, with other approaches to help the individual when needed. Please see our posts on Person Centred Therapy [PCT], Gestalt Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy [CBT], Psychodynamic Therapy, and Transactional Analysis [T.A.]for more information.
My office is located in La Linea De La Concepcion, Andalusia, Cadiz, Spain, on the Costa Del Sol, Near to Gibraltar, for face-to-face sessions. I also do online sessions through Skype or Zoom, and at your own home, to anyone who can convert in English.