Post Treatment Counseling: Vital Stepping Stone of Recovery
By Kevin Faber
Photo Credits: Joshua Earle
It’s extremely important to follow up treatment with counseling. This is a crucial part of the recovery process. Without counseling, it’s very easy to relapse into old habits. Counseling provides a way to help you transition into a new and healthier way of being.
Helps You Resume Your Relationships and Responsibilities
It’s not always easy to return to your normal life after treatment. You may have complicated issues with your spouse, children, friends and others. Some people may be uncomfortable with your situation. If you have friends with whom you shared your addiction, they can be a dangerous influence on your post-treatment. These are all issues that counseling can help you to deal with.
Counselors have the advantage of being objective about your situation. Unlike family members and friends, they’re able to listen to you and offer suggestions without being directly involved. Having such a person to confide in makes a big difference when you’re attempting to overcome addiction and move forward with your life.
Helps You Avoid or Overcome Relapses
Unfortunately, relapses are very common for people with addictions, depression, suicidal tendencies and other serious disorders. While the intensity of treatment facility is often effective at facilitating improvements, maintaining these changes over the long haul is always a challenge.
After returning from a drug rehab center, or wherever you may have been treated, you must learn to re-integrate with the everyday world. This is the same world that you lived in when you had the initial problem. As you get back into your regular habits, such as work and interacting with friends and family, it’s often tempting to also return to dysfunctional behaviors. Without anyone to talk to about these issues, the temptation may be too strong to overcome.
Counseling provides support and a safety net that makes this transition easier. There will still be challenges, but it’s much less difficult when you have someone to talk to.
Keeps You Accountable
When you’re in the recovery process, it’s essential to be accountable to someone. If you’re fortunate, you may have one or more people in your life who can help you in this area. Counselors, however, are specifically trained to help people dealing with such challenges.
The people in your life, no matter how much they care about you, have their own issues to deal with. You may also be reluctant to burden people with your problems. It’s highly beneficial to have a good counselor with whom you can check in and discuss your progress and challenges.
If you do have a relapse. a counselor can be the best person to help you overcome it. Counselors are trained to look for signs of relapse. This is someone who will be able to help you get over difficult periods and make sure you’re accountable.
Different Types of Counseling
Several types of counseling can be helpful in the post-treatment phase. Cognitive behavioral therapy is very useful for changing long-term behavior. A therapist will give you advice and exercises to help you deal with your thoughts and emotions. Other types of talk therapy, such as psychoanalysis or humanistic therapy may also be helpful. In these sessions, you can discuss anything that’s important to you in a non-judgmental environment. In some cases, it’s also helpful to have your spouse or significant other attend counseling.
Group therapy is another very useful tool. This gives you the chance to interact with others who are in recovery. Discussing issues in a group setting allows you to hear many perspectives and get feedback on your own issues. Both individual and group therapy can be instrumental in the recovery process.
Counseling is Essential After Recovery
Recovery is a long and difficult process. To go directly from treatment to your pre-treatment life without any help is more than most people can handle. Counseling is a way to make this process manageable, giving you tools, comfort and accountability when you need it most.
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