While kicking the habit of abusing drugs or alcohol is a major accomplishment, it’s only the first step to lasting addiction recovery. An essential part of long-term care is guidance from an addiction counselor.

This counseling professional helps people through different approaches such as:

The Role of an Addiction Counselor

Client Speaking with an Addiction CounselorWhen it comes to addiction therapy, the counselor’s role is to educate, provide support, and confront individuals with the truth about their addiction. Establishing a good rapport is critical to this part of healing. Individuals should feel as though their addiction counselor is a trusted ally.

During different therapy sessions, an addiction counselor must convey the message that he or she appreciates the difficult struggle of addiction. He or she works to strike a balance between allowing the individual to be self-directed and being directive. The counselor facilitates discussions based on what the individual seems to need. Depending on the chosen relevant topic, the counselor may also directly pressure the individual to change certain behaviors. Self-directed guidance allows the individual to explore the best ways to manage social pressure to use drugs or drink alcohol.

However, keep in mind that not all individuals will respond the same way to therapy sessions. Some may seem unable to change certain addictive behaviors. The counselor should accept where that individual is in the recovery process. He or she simply continues to offer supportive guidance to explore ways to handle situations differently the next time. While respecting and accepting where an individual is, the counselor should provide continual ongoing pressure that steers individuals toward abstinence and recovery.

How an Addiction Counselor Helps During Residential and Outpatient Services

Residential therapy is a way to separate individuals from the environment that encouraged drug or alcohol abuse. During their time in this setting, individuals learn new habits and skills to live soberly.

After residential treatment, some individuals will need continued support through outpatient programs. These evidence-based programs offer increased flexibility on the road to long-term recovery.

An Addiction Counselor Helps with Relapse Prevention

Preventing relapse is the hallmark of many addiction therapy programs. Addiction counselors assist with developing a continuing care plan to help individuals continue their sobriety. They learn ways to identify problematic behaviors that led to their addiction. With this awareness out in the open, individuals can correct those behaviors by making better choices.

This enhanced level of self-control offers ways to explore negative and positive consequences. During therapy, individuals learn how to recognize cravings early. They receive guidance on developing coping strategies to avoid high-risk situations that may increase their desire to begin using again.

Central to preventing relapse is anticipating problems down the road. Uncovering underlying conditions gives individuals a refreshed approach to facing life’s challenges.

Family Therapy and Ongoing Support

Whether an individual enrolls in a residential program or intensive outpatient program, continued support is critical to their long-term success. Ashley Addiction Treatment has addiction counselors who specialize in helping individuals overcome issues with drugs and alcohol.

In addition to helping individuals who struggle with substance abuse, we also offer addiction help for loved ones. Our Family Wellness Program gives family members a voice in their loved one’s addictive behavior. Our expert counselors offer lasting support so families can cope.

We believe that family and friends play an important role in their loved one’s recovery process. An individual recovering from a life-altering addiction requires a strong support system before, during, and after treatment. Receiving encouragement from family and friends is a reminder that individuals aren’t going through recovery alone.

Learn how the right addiction counselor can spark a lasting recovery. Call Ashley Addiction Treatment today at 866-313-6307.