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What is Counselling?



The word “counselling” usually refers to the act of providing advice and guidance. It usually involves one person sharing their problems and the other person making positive suggestions for how these problems can be overcome. In the case of addiction counselling, it involves a person who is knowledgeable and trained in counselling offering advice and guidance to someone who is dealing with addiction. It is one of the most effective therapeutic interventions used for dealing with this type of problem, and this is why it is used as part of most addiction treatment options.

The Benefits of Counselling for Dealing with Addiction Problems

There are a number of good reasons for why counselling can be useful for those people who are dealing with addiction problems including:

  • One of the great benefits of this type of treatment is that it increases the motivation to quit addiction and make other positive changes. One of the reasons for why people can remain trapped in addiction for a long time is that their self-efficacy is low – this means that they doubt their own ability to break away from the behaviour. By spending time with a counsellor, the individual can have their self-efficacy increased, so that they feel willing and able to stop.
  • When people keep their problems internalised they will often feel overwhelming. By sharing these concerns with another person these things become clearer and solutions often become obvious. The worse thing that a person can do is to keep their problems bottled up inside – this is what leads to long-term suffering.
  • An addiction therapist will be trained to help people break away from addiction. They will be able to use their skills to move the person in the right direction.
  • The counsellor is not there to tell the person what to do, but to empower the individual so that they are able to make much better choices.
  • The counsellor will be knowledgeable in regards to addiction treatment, and they will be able to offer good advice.
  • One of the important benefits of counselling is that it acts as a feedback mechanism. It can be extremely difficult for people to gauge their own performance in the world – we depend on other people to let us know how we are doing. The counsellor is able to provide honest and precise feedback, and this can be of great benefit to the individual.
  • This therapist can be a great supporter of the individual. This means that the individual feels motivated to do better and try harder. When people feel supported they are usually able to accomplish much more.

The Importance of Trust in Counselling

In order for counselling to be effective, there needs to be a high degree of trust involved. It will not be possible for the individual to get much out of these sessions unless they are willing to be completely open and share their inner thoughts. They say that we are only as sick as our secrets, and it will be secrets that get in the way of the therapeutic relationship. It is difficult to open up completely to another person, but this is what is required in order to benefit from this type of therapy.

It is understandable that people will be reluctant to divulge their inner secrets to a counsellor. This person is likely to be a complete stranger, and the information they may want you to divulge may be very sensitive. You can be worried that the things you say will escape the confines of their office, and that it may end up in the hands of people who could use this information to harm you. This is why trust is so vital in this type of relationship. You need to know that the things you say to this professional are going to stay between the two of you. These individuals are obliged to treat any information you divulge with the greatest of care. Their professional code of conduct means that they must respect your privacy at all times, and that they never divulge the information you provide them. The only exception to this might be if you admitted that you were about to commit a serious crime or cause yourself harm.

Is Counselling Enough to Help People Break Away from Addiction

There is little doubt that attending counselling sessions can be of great benefit to those people who are trying to break away from addiction. It is less certain that this type of treatment alone will be enough to help the individual break their addiction. Some people do seem to manage to break away from substance abuse with just the help of a counsellor, but for most individuals they seem to do better when this counselling is part of a treatment programme involving a number of approaches.

The individual can greatly benefit from counselling sessions even before they decide to end the addiction. The therapist will be able to help them understand the reality of their situation, and to develop the motivation to quit. With the help of this professional, the individual may be guided into rehab or other treatment options. It is often the case that the individual will benefit from counselling sessions after rehab – even if they have been sober for a few years.

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