Exploring the role of a counselor in addiction recovery with Dr. Mark Shaw

Substance abuse counselors offer a crucial support system for people rehabilitating from eating disorders, drug and alcohol problems, gambling addictions, and other behavioral concerns. Counselors help patients on their path to addiction treatment by developing a relationship based on trust and offering them the tools, support, and judgment-free advice they need. The assistance counselors in this sector provide to addicts with crisis, and long-term addiction management concerns can range from rapid medical intervention to long-term recovery support.

Form a Therapeutic Partnership with Patients

It takes a lot of trust between patients and their counselors to make the difficult decision to seek addiction treatment. Counselors should be careful to establish a solid therapeutic connection with their patients. A therapeutic relationship is created when clients trust their therapists enough to feel vulnerable while working through their issues. This enables patients and counselors to collaborate while facing hardship. Vital partnerships like this ensure clients have faith in their counselors and understand that they have their best interests at heart.

Patients should gradually feel at ease speaking openly during sessions, feel relieved following an appointment, and experience a desire to return. However, building this trust takes time.

One can form powerful therapeutic partnerships by;

  • Being attentive during sessions
  • Letting patients know you care about their wellbeing
  • Letting patients know you understand their issues
  • Recognizing and expressing the fundamental challenges affecting recovery

The formation of therapeutic partnerships is essential for addiction recovery. Counselors can better support their clients on the road to recovery by providing an environment where patients feel welcome and at ease expressing their struggles.

Promote patient healing

Recovery from addiction is challenging because many people who struggle with alcohol or drug addiction don’t identify their patterns of abuse or feel conflicted about getting help. Since counselors have limited control over a patient’s incentive to change, the patient’s motivation to change has frequently been a source of irritation in substance misuse therapy. To empower the counselor to elicit and boost motivation and to determine a style that will best serve the client’s requirements, Dr. Mark suggests revisiting current approaches to motivation.

After working with counselors all across the world, mentoring, coaching, and supervising them, he believes that the most favored qualities of a counselor are non-possessive warmth, friendliness, sincerity, respect, affirmation, and empathy. These qualities were also recommended in the general psychological literature. Although the patient controls change, counselors can modify their approach to assist clients in remaining motivated at each stage of their recovery. The counselor’s responsibilities go far beyond merely listening, instructing, and giving counsel. The counselor must assist patients in identifying harmful habits, aid in their rehabilitation, and provide the tools they need to take the initiative and alter these behaviors.

One of the most complex parts of supporting loved ones in recovery for Family and friends of patients is dealing with the addiction. Daily interactions with loved ones may unintentionally enable the addict, and many family members prefer to ignore the issue out of concern that confronting the issue will drive their loved ones away. As a result, family members must receive adequate information about managing their loved one’s addiction during addiction therapy. Counselors can assist patients’ families in several ways, such as by facilitating family therapy sessions or by helping them in finding a support group.

Dr. Mark created Family Help for Addiction: A Care Group Study, a 12-week course for family members. Small groups can perform this study in homes, libraries, churches, or other community facilities. Along with receiving sound instruction, the family member in the care group also has access to a network of people frequently facing similar challenges. Addiction rehabilitation is challenging, but when therapeutic partnerships form, clients are more inclined to talk about their struggles, aiding their recovery. Being a regularly scheduled public speaker, certified addictions counselor, and certified holistic counselor seminary lecturer Dr. Mark states that specialists who choose this career route are crucial to the field of clinical mental health counseling and they should be ready to handle all kinds of circumstances!