For those struggling with or trying to overcome from an addiction, whether it be to tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or gambling – addiction counseling can be an essential part of the recovery process.
Not only does the process help provide an understanding of the addiction and the basis for it, but it can also furnish the patient with the tools to identify the triggers for the addiction and ways to modify their behaviors to counteract them.
Sadly, addictions do not end because people want them to – they need to learn how to manage them and stop them taking over their lives.
An addiction counselor can help people retrace the steps that have led them to a life of addiction. It may be something that happened in their childhood, a marriage or relationship that has failed, or a family trauma. Whatever the reasons, counseling helps them separate cause from effect, and to seek alternative ways to deal with the pain / stress / anxiety that made them take up an addiction in the first place.
It also offers them a safe space in which to express their feelings. One of the hardest problems with any addiction can be lack of honesty. People hide things from their family, friends, spouse, work mates, either because they are ashamed or too embarrassed to admit the truth. A trained addiction counselor is somebody in whom they can confide, with no fear of being judged, and who can help them to clear their minds, and focus on the recovery phase, with no fear as to the repercussions. A counselor can also help them come to the realization that they have an addiction in the first place – often the necessary starting place before any recover strategies can be put in place.
There is no-one-size-fits all when it comes to addiction counselling. Every addict is different, with their own problems and reasons for adopting the addictive habit. Equally, the path to recovery is different for everybody, and a trained counselor will be able to tailor their advice to what suits best the needs of the individual patient. They may also be able to recommend them to other support groups or further treatment where this may be necessary.
A counselor is not there to “save” the client because ultimately nobody can cure an addiction but the addict themselves. Instead, their role is to help guide and support them, and equip them with the techniques and knowledge to be able to save themselves. They can provide the necessary perspective and tools to help the addict create a future for themselves without the need for the alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc. which has blighted their life to this point.
They need to be empathic, non-judgemental, and ready to support their client, even if there a relapse and they “fall off the wagon”. Above all, a counselor needs to be someone they can trust and open up to, and share secrets and thoughts that they would otherwise bottle up, or be reluctant to share with those closest to them.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, Nancy Hilsenrath can help set you on the path to recovery.
(718) 551-2777 EMAIL NANCY TODAY
Addiction counseling for Long Island and Queens, New York residents.
COUNSELING LOCATIONS: West Hempstead, NY, Douglaston, NY, Hewlett, NY