August 17, 2017

How to Work With Your Addiction Therapist

Building trust with your addiction therapist is one of the keys to long-lasting recovery. Read on for tips on how to choose and work with a therapist.

If you’re battling an addiction, the first steps on the road to recovery can be the hardest ones to take.

When you’re tending to your medical needs and working to stabilize your life, it’s easy to forget about the role your mental health plays in the rehab process.

That role is an important one, however. Therapy can help you understand why you use. It can also teach you new coping methods to deal with stressors. It may even identify other underlying issues that contribute to your addiction.

Keep reading to find out how to choose the right addiction therapist for you.

Why You Need an Addiction Therapist

The American Psychiatric Association considers substance use disorders diagnosable mental conditions.

A licensed therapist can use the latest peer-reviewed counseling methods to help you during your recovery. This will give you the best chance of curbing your addiction.

Many addicts use their drug of choice to self-medicate another mental condition. According to 2014 data from the National Institute of Mental Health, 7.9 million Americans have a substance use disorder and some other form of mental illness.

If you’re suffering from anxiety, depression, or another mental disorder, you need the help of a licensed therapist.

What to Expect from Your Therapist

When you decide to seek therapy, you’re taking a big step toward change.

It’s natural to have a lot of questions about the process. You have several different options when it comes to choosing a therapist and a treatment plan. However, the most important thing to remember is to always ask questions.

It’s essential that you understand the therapy process every step of the way and that you trust the professionals treating you.

There Are Lots of Options When It Comes to Addiction Therapy

Therapists use a variety of methods to treat addiction. Each type of treatment is best suited to specific addictions, so be sure to consult with a therapist about which option will work best for you.

Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT)

The goal of CBT is to change the way your brain normally thinks.

Your addiction therapist will encourage you to question your habits and to reevaluate the coping mechanisms you normally lean on. CBT can help you learn better ways to deal with your stress, depression, or anger.

Contingency Management (CM) Interventions

This method is incentive-based. You and your therapist will discuss an incentive program where you can earn rewards by meeting goals. CM lets you celebrate your accomplishments with your therapist in a positive way.

Group Therapy Sessions

If you lack a support network to help you during your recovery, group therapy can be a powerful tool.

During a group session, an addiction therapist will lead a discussion between members. Group sessions give you the chance to hear from people who have been through the same struggles you are facing now.

Popular 12-step programs fall under this form of treatment.

Motivational Enhancement

If you’re unsure that addiction therapy is the right choice for you, motivational enhancement is a good place to start.

This type of treatment typically uses a few short sessions with a therapist to guide you through a recovery plan.

What to Expect During a Session

Every session will be a little different, depending on the treatment method you choose. There are some common elements to therapy, however.

The first and foremost point of any addiction therapy is to get you to talk about yourself. Be prepared to share uncomfortable, confusing, and even painful details about your thoughts, feelings, and history.

Your therapist will use this information to inform your recovery plan and help you through your treatment.

It’s essential that you are as open and honest during this process as possible. Your therapist can’t help you if you are unwilling to share what’s really going on. If you’re having troubling opening up, tell your therapist.

They can help you feel more at ease during the process and build up a level of trust between both of you.

How to Prepare for Your First Session

During your first session, you’ll probably spend a good deal of time getting to know your therapist.

They’ll take some time to go over your personal history and medical information so they can better understand what you’re going through. They may ask about your family history and any other health issues you have,. They may also ask about confrontations you’ve had with law enforcement in the past.

This is also your chance to ask questions of your therapist, like:

  • How long is my treatment plan?
  • Will I have to undergo any drug testing?
  • What happens if I relapse?
  • Is there an inpatient component to my treatment?
  • How successful are these methods for my type of addiction?

Feel free to ask about any other concerns you have. Remember, your therapist is there to help you feel comfortable. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and voice your concerns.

How to Choose the Right Addiction Therapist for You

Talk to them Face-to-Face

Rapport is an essential component of successful therapy. You need a therapist you can talk to, even about difficult topics. Look around until you find someone who is easy to talk to and listens to what you have to say.

Look at Their Credentials

Before making your final choice, ask about your therapist’s certifications and state licenses. Some common certifications include:

  • Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Opt for Open Communication

Recovery from an addiction is a difficult process.

The threat of relapse is very real. Look for an addiction therapist with an open communication policy who is easy to reach in case of an emergency. You need a professional willing to talk to you at all times — even when it may be inconvenient.

Discuss Payment Options

Treatment can be an expensive process, but options exist to help you cover the costs.

Many treatment centers offer discounted payment options or installment plans. You may also qualify for a low copay through your health insurance provider. Ask any potential therapist about their costs and the insurance plans they accept.

Also ask about any flexible options they offer before you choose.

Talk to an Addiction Therapist Today

At Muse Treatment, we have a team of rehab specialists standing by to help you manage your addiction. We employ skilled, experienced clinicians who can help you recover.

You can read more about our treatment program or give us a call at 800-426-1818.

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