What Role Does a Counselor Play When You Are Seeking Recovery?

What Role Does a Counselor Play When You Are Seeking Recovery?

Counselors play important roles in addiction recovery through support, education and controlled confrontation

Counselors are one of the most important parts of the recovery process. They provide support and education to teach people about their addictions. They also create nonjudgmental confrontation that helps people look at addiction in honest ways. Counselors serve the recovery process in many ways, as intake counselors, individual counselors, group therapists and aftercare specialists all help people lead drug-free lives.

Counseling at a Glance

Addiction counselors hold a Master’s or Doctorate’s degree in counseling, and they have many years experience treating substance abuse. They work in private practice or as part of a rehab facility specifically designed for drugs, and they offer individual, group or family therapy. Addiction counselors work in both inpatient and outpatient facilities, but they are also available for therapy after rehab ends (aftercare). Counselors receive certifications from their state and from credentialing boards like the National Board for Certified Counselors. They may provide any of the following services:

  • Assessment and diagnosis of addiction disorders
  • Drug and alcohol counseling
  • Relapse planning and prevention
  • Crisis intervention
  • Psychological testing and evaluation
  • Dual Diagnosis treatment
  • HIV counseling
  • Skills training for parenting, jobs and life skills
  • Research and development

Look for the appropriate state licenses, diplomas and certifications in your counselor’s office. If such documents are not prominently displayed, ask to see them before continuing with treatment.

Intake Counselors

Intake counselors are most likely the first point of contact for someone seeking addiction recovery. They provide information about the treatment plans at their facility, and they help potential patients understand their insurance coverage in regard to treatment. Intake counselors answer questions and address the concerns of those seeking treatment, so they can discuss the basics of treatment to relieve some of your fears about recovery. They can also help family members get their loved one into treatment. It can seem daunting to understand the help your loved one needs, but intake counselors are there to show you the way.

Rehab Counselors

Rehab counselors help diagnose incoming patients. They prescribe medications, monitor patients and provide counseling. Once a diagnosis is complete, rehab counselors provide individual counseling to help recovering addicts understand addiction; they also teach patients some coping strategies to deal with intense cravings. Along with individual therapy are group therapy sessions that give participants the opportunity to share their thoughts with people who are on the same journey. A nonjudgmental environment promotes healthy conversation and the feeling that patients are not alone. Counselors also provide family sessions so family members can learn to help their loved one and to understand the recovery process. These sessions help families reconcile from the pain of addiction. Rehab counselors also provide nonjudgmental confrontation to patients. An important part of the recovery process is taking responsibility for the addiction, and rehab counselors confront patients’ beliefs with what is actually true, which forces patients to face the steps of recovery.

Continuing Care

Aftercare is crucial to treatment success, so counselors who offer it keep recovery on track. Helping patients deal with cravings and other daily struggles decreases the risk of relapse. Counselors review what was learned in rehab about addiction, and they regularly add to the arsenal of coping strategies to focus patients on recovery. Aftercare counselors are available as needed as well as for regular appointments. In the first weeks after rehab ends, your counselor may recommend daily appointments to keep close watch on how you are doing. Over time, your need for therapy will vary depending on your progress, but your aftercare counselor will determine the best treatment schedule for you.

Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Getting into the right rehab program is the first step toward addiction recovery. Counselors are part of recovery at every step of the journey, so a trusting relationship with yours both during and after treatment can strengthen your resolve to stay clean. If you or a loved one struggles with drug or alcohol addiction, we can help: call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options.