Balanced Lifestyle Counseling provides Addiction Counseling in Rochester Hills MI. Call (248) 652-4799 to schedule an appointment and start your road to addiction recovery.
Patient-Counselor Relationship for Addiction Treatment
The role of the counselor in addiction treatment is to provide support, education, and nonjudgmental confrontation. The counselor must establish good rapport with the patient. The patient recovering from chemical addiction deserves to feel understood and that he or she has an ally. The counselor wants to convey to the patient that he or she appreciates the difficulty of this struggle and the need for support through the recovery process.
The metaphor of the hiker and the guide is useful for conceptualizing the counselor-patient relationship. The counselor guides the patient through at least the early stages of recovery, but the recovery process ultimately belongs to the patient. It is the patient alone who is responsible and accountable for his or her recovery. The counselor must emphasize this point to facilitate personal responsibility. Confronting the patient may be useful to emphasize personal responsibility. However, when confrontation is necessary, the counselor should convey a supportive rather than a punitive attitude.
The counselor must find a balance between being directive and allowing the patient to be self-directed. This process is facilitated if the counselor imposes a structure on the session that includes giving the patient feedback about the most recent urine drug screens and about the patient’s progress in recovery and evaluatively processing any episodes of use or near use. The counselor identifies the relevant topic for discussion, based on what the patient seems to need, and introduces that topic. At times, the counselor may directly pressure the patient to change certain behaviors, perhaps, as an example, to start attending 12-step meetings.
However, the patient also is encouraged to be self-directed. For example, within the framework of a particular topic, perhaps coping with “social pressure to use,” the patient may explore how to manage this problem best, and the counselor will respond to the patient’s direction. If the patient seems unable to change some aspect of addictive behavior – for example, being around dangerous situations – the counselor should accept where the patient is and assist the patient to explore those perceptions or situations in a way that might allow himself or herself to do it differently, i.e., in a better way, the next time. However, the counselor should discourage regressive or other movements that lead back toward addiction. A balance needs to be struck so there is respect for the patient and acceptance of where he or she is and continual, ongoing pressure in the direction of abstinence and recovery.
If you are looking for an experienced Addiction Counselor in Rochester Hills MI, contact Balanced Lifestyle Counseling at (248) 652-4799 today!