The company that one keeps when going through drug addiction is extremely important. Those who condone addiction can be extremely dangerous, as can those who belittle and guilt addicts. If you’re an addict, you need to be around people who will support you. This is how going to a counselor on a regular basis can help with your drug addiction.
Freedom to speak openly
Addiction can be such a difficult thing to go through because of how alone they can make you feel. Even if your friends and family invite you to talk to them, it can be hard for you to truly let your guard down around them. You might worry that you could reveal something that would cause them to not want to be your friend any longer. Or, you might have an issue with something they have done or said regarding your addiction, but you’re afraid to let them know.
With a counselor, you’re going to have someone who is all but anonymous to you. Yes, you might find some common ground and be cordial towards one another, but you’re going to have a much easier time opening up to them. Their purpose is to help, not judge you. A veteran counselor will have heard so many stories over the years that there’s nothing you can say that will surprise them. As you grow more comfortable with your counselor, you can have a much easier time letting your guard down. You should still see them as a professional, first and foremost. Remember to avoid getting too close to them, as doing so would be unprofessional on their part and would jeopardize your path to recovery.
There’s a difference between someone who hears you and someone who listens. The former receives the information while the latter processes it. A counselor isn’t just someone who will sit there while you talk about your problems with addiction. They’ll give you an open platform for speaking, but they’ll also make sure to offer proper feedback and advice and to ask questions to help you delve deeper into your issues.
When a counselor has something to say, it’s because they believe it’ll benefit you. Be sure to turn up your listening skills as well. They might find a connection between your addiction and another compulsive behavior. You might not agree with everything they have to say, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it any consideration. Offer your own interpretation and see if a dialogue forms. Your counselor shouldn’t think any less of you even if you don’t always see eye to eye.
Signs of a bad counselor
While most counselors are dedicated to their clients and helping them get sober, some are incompatible with clients or unqualified. You should avoid any counselor who displays hostile behaviors, such as unfriendly body language, interrupting, or trying to discredit anything you say. Let them or whoever recommended them to you know that it’s not going to work out.
If you believe that a counselor is unqualified to the point of needing their licensure revoked, speak up immediately. Having incompetent individuals in such important positions is dangerous to the community. By speaking out, you can help set a standard of across-the-board decency for addiction counselors.
A counselor acts like a coach. They’ll offer you all kinds of strategies for how to get through life sober. This includes therapy which addresses dangerous thought patterns which lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. It also includes how your self-esteem can influence your behaviors and what to do when you feel an urge to use drugs or alcohol.
While a counselor can give you instructions, they can’t force you to follow them. Another large aspect of their career is helping you to force accountability into your life. When you are outside of their office, it’s up to you to take their recommendations to heart. The only person who can force you to do anything is yourself, but a counselor can provide the guidance and motivation that gets you on the right path.
Going through addiction can be scary, but it can be made easier if you remember that you don’t have to suffer in silence. A counselor is someone who will let you speak and offer strategies that could change your life. If you are looking to free yourself from addiction, please give us a call at 770-299-1677.