Counselling Addiction Treatment
Counselling plays a significant role in most recovery programmes for health problems such as addiction, eating disorders, mental health conditions, and behaviour disorders. It is very likely to be a part of your treatment programme if you are in recovery for any of these conditions. In the following article, we explain more about what it is and how it could help you to get better.
What Is Counselling?
There is more to so much more to addiction than just a physical dependence. You are likely to have some deep-rooted emotional and psychological problems that have caused your addictive behaviour, which will need to be addressed for you to have a chance of regaining control of your life once more. To do this, you will more than likely require professional counselling.
Counselling is a form of talking therapy that takes place between you and a counsellor or therapist. It can also take place in a group setting, where you and a group of other recovering addicts will meet with one or more counsellors.
There are a few different methods that fall under the umbrella of counselling, but all have the same goal – to help you identify the cause of your behaviour and to implement changes that will help prevent a relapse going forward.
During counselling, the idea is that you will build a relationship with your counsellor that is based on trust. When this relationship has been established, you will find it easier to discuss your problems and talk about your emotions. Counselling takes place in a secure and comfortable environment, making it easier for you to open up about your issues.
Counselling is ideal for helping those looking to change some aspect of their life. Therefore, if you are struggling with addiction and want to change, counselling will be a tremendous help toward this goal.
How Does Counselling Work?
Counselling works by providing a safe and confidential environment in which you can talk. Establishing a rapport with your counsellor and knowing that you can talk about absolutely anything without recrimination or judgement may be all you need to get started on the road to recovery.
Counselling also provides you with a forum to voice your opinions and express your feelings, which is something that you might otherwise never do. Having an independent, non-biased person to talk to who knows about what you are going through can be a huge help when it comes to overcoming issues such as substance abuse and addiction, behavioural disorders, and mental health problems.
The role of the counsellor is not to give you advice or to judge you for things you have said or done. It is his or her role to help you see things with more clarity. You might even find that with the help of a professional counsellor, you can begin to see situations from a completely different perspective. By doing this, you can concentrate on specific feelings and emotions and will, therefore, be in a better position to implement positive changes in your life.
A good counsellor will develop a relationship with you that is based on trust, but he or she will not get emotionally involved with you or your case. This individual will remain unbiased at all times and will be there to guide you towards your goals rather than telling you what to do or trying to steer you towards their own way of thinking.
Counselling can take many different forms. In general, it takes place on a one-to-one basis with a counsellor. These sessions are designed to be face-to-face meetings where your counsellor can interpret how you react verbally and emotionally to discussions that you have together.
During one-to-one counselling sessions, you can, and should, build a strong relationship with your counsellor and can then work together on issues that relate to you alone. As issues arise, you have the opportunity to tackle them there and then. If you prefer to be counselled in private, then individual counselling is the best choice for you.
As mentioned above, counselling also takes place in a group setting with other recovering addicts, or with family members during family therapy. Group sessions are a useful way for you to learn more about your illness and the impact that it has had, and is having, on others. You can also learn from the mistakes of others and get inspiration and ideas on how to achieve permanent recovery. Being counselled in a group setting allows you to develop a greater understanding of the needs of other people.
Counselling can also take place over the phone, which is common for those who have completed a programme of residential care but need additional support during the early days of independent sober living. Phone contact with a counsellor can, for example, help you to adjust to normal living after a programme of inpatient treatment.
Online or email counselling may also be useful. Some people prefer their counselling done this way as they do not have to leave home and can get the help needed while remaining anonymous. Some like the fact that having to type what they want to discuss gives them time to think about what they actually want to say. This act alone can be quite therapeutic.
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What Abuse/Addictions Is Counselling Used to Treat?
- Gambling Addiction
- Food Addiction
- Eating Disorders
- Shopping Addiction
How Does Counselling Help in Addiction Recovery?
Since addiction is more than just a physical dependence on a chemical substance or activity, counselling is an important aspect of any recovery programme. Long after detox, and when the physical dependence has been addressed, the issues that initially caused the illness will remain unless you also complete a programme of rehabilitation.
Addiction is made up of both a physical addiction and a psychological one. To overcome the physical you are likely to need a detox, but to beat the psychological addiction, you will require rehab. And a major part of rehabilitation is counselling.
Counselling is the umbrella term for a variety of different therapies, so your recovery programme is likely to include a number of these. Your rehab provider will assess your situation and personal circumstances to decide on the best counselling techniques for you. However, all have the same aim; to get to the root of your addictive behaviour and to help you change the negative thoughts and processes that have held you in the grip of addiction for so long.
Both individual and group counselling is used to treat a variety of addictions. Individual counselling can be utilised to help you get to the cause of your own problems. You will work closely with a counsellor to talk about issues that are personal to you. Counselling will help you to realise that talking about things can be therapeutic and can help you to get better.
If you have been used to bottling things up or burying your head in the sand, you might find counselling difficult in the early days. Nevertheless, as you progress through your sessions, you will become more comfortable with your counsellor and subsequently more comfortable with the idea of sharing your experiences.
Individual counselling can pave the way for group therapy. The idea of talking about your feelings and emotions with a group of strangers might not appeal to you initially, but you may be surprised at how effective it is in terms of treating your addiction. Being in a group of like-minded individuals will help you to learn more about yourself and others. A group therapy session is a supportive environment where you can develop and learn how to make positive changes with the help of other individuals.
There are many different counselling techniques used to treat addiction, behavioural disorders, and mental health problems. Below we list a few examples for you:
- Behavioural Therapy – Behavioural therapy focuses on helping you to unlearn ‘learned’ behaviour. This type of therapy does not necessarily attempt to address the reason for the negative behaviour but just seeks to develop ways of changing it. It is commonly used to treat those with phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and addiction.
- Family Therapy – Family therapy involves bringing you together with members of your family to discuss issues within the family unit that may have led to your addictive behaviour, or issues that have resulted because of your addictive behaviour. This type of therapy is required so that you and the rest of your family members can overcome the illness together and learn how to move on.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a very popular counselling technique used in the treatment of a variety of health conditions. The basis for this type of therapy is that negative thoughts lead to negative actions. By identifying and challenging negative thoughts, it is believed that negative actions can be changed for more positive replacements.
- Hypnotherapy – Hypnotherapy is used to induce a state of awareness and relaxation where the subconscious mind can then be accessed. It is believed that deep-rooted behaviours and emotions lie within the subconscious and that only by accessing this part of your mind will you be able to overcome your addictive behaviours once and for all.
- Psychodynamic Counselling – Psychodynamic counselling focuses on past experiences and the unconscious mind. By addressing past experiences and exploring your relationships with others, it is thought that the reason for your health problems can be uncovered. During psychodynamic therapy, you might be encouraged to transfer your feelings and emotions towards another person or thing onto your counsellor.
- Solution-Focused Brief Therapy – With solution-focused brief therapy, your counsellor will work on helping you make positive changes to your behaviour instead of dwelling on the causes or on past issues. You will be helped to focus more on your strengths rather than your weaknesses; you will be helped to set goals, which will encourage you to make the positive changes and so enable you to achieve these goals.
How Counselling Differs from Other Psychotherapies?
Counselling is a group of techniques designed to help you overcome issues that have been causing you pain and suffering. It is typically a talking therapy that looks to get you more aware of your feelings and to be more willing to talk about them.
Counselling is often referred to as a helping therapy that is designed to assist you in finding a solution to the problem you have. During counselling, you are encouraged to consider your emotions and feelings and find ways of addressing any negative thoughts and actions you may be exhibiting.
Where counselling differs from psychotherapy is in the length of time it takes to see results. For the most part, counselling is a short-term treatment, but in psychotherapy, treatment tends to be more of a long-term solution to emotional difficulties and problems.
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Co-Occurring Mental Disorders Counselling Treats Include:
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Phobia Disorder
- Social Anxiety
- Panic Disorder
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Unresolved Trauma
Other Supplemental Therapies
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Art Therapy
- Fitness Therapy
- Music Therapy
- Animal Assisted Therapy
- Experiential Therapy
- Holistic Therapy
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