There are many variables to maintaining a successful recovery. Such variables exist to provide you the treatments and therapies that meet your individual needs, so you have the best opportunity for a lasting recovery. Among the many tools you will gain in your journey, one of the most important is seeking a counselor.
The relationship you have with a counselor provides a multitude of layers, from establishing healthy relationships, taking accountability, and becoming a pillar of support in times of challenge. Let’s look at the four benefits of having a counselor and why you should consider one in your recovery journey.
Using substances can deteriorate relationships because of the negative impacts on the brain and your behavior. You might lose a lot of trust in yourself and with others, but seeking a counselor may be the first step in re-establishing trust in relationships. After all, to create a bond with a counselor, there must be mutual trust. The bond is also a therapeutic alliance that will offer you comfort and security in being vulnerable and expressive.
Building a relationship with a counselor can be very beneficial in early recovery because you will learn that they will never judge you based on your past or feelings. A counselor can also provide you an ear in times of need. Taking these steps early in the recovery process will help you develop the tools needed to start repairing damaged and/or broken relationships with friends and family. Such developments include:
- Understanding when someone is listening to your needs
- Being able to listen
- Expressing empathy
- Being with someone interested in your wellbeing
Focuses on Your Recovery
A counselor will always put your recovery needs first, meaning they will recognize any behavioral changes that are not conducive to your recovery. Instead, they will work with you to restore aspects of both your personal and professional life. A counselor could also help you with life-changing decisions or decisions that cause stress and anxiety. Examples include changing career paths or moving to a different part of the country. Often a counselor will help you set reasonable goals and expectations that will guide you to achieving them while managing stress.
Develop a Plan in Case of Relapse
When you neglect relationships in recovery, you may develop negative thoughts such as anger and resentment towards yourself and others. When these negative feelings occur, isolation and withdrawal from social support put you at high risk for a relapse. Therefore, a counselor will work with you to create an aftercare plan to ensure that you are working to stay sober.
An aftercare plan is essential in early recovery. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the relapse rate for substance use disorders ranges between 40 and 60 percent. Given these statistics, it is imperative to address your aftercare needs.
While the relapse rates might seem intimidating, they in no way indicate that a lifetime of recovery is impossible. Having a counselor to work with you on a plan reduces your chances of relapse. An aftercare plan should be tailored to meet your needs. Other elements to consider are:
- Understanding the warning signs that create triggers and impulses to use
- Your history of substance use, including any previous relapse
- An emergency plan in case of relapse
- A list of family and friends that will be there for you in case of relapse
- Lifestyle changes that will benefit you in preventing and overcoming triggers
Rebuild Relationships with Family and Friends
While support from a counselor is a terrific way to start restoring trust in yourself and another, seeking and restoring relationships with friends and family is just as important. A counselor can work with your loved ones to help ensure that they know what is going on while educating them on how to provide support. Additionally, your counselor can meet with you and your family and even help refer them to support groups to become more aware of how they can help.
It is beneficial for family members that want to help but do not know where to start; a counselor can be an excellent resource for putting you and your family on the right path. Further, a counselor understands how personal your recovery is, meaning they will never pressure you to move at a pace that induces stress and anxiety. While your counselor will encourage you to incorporate trusted loved ones into your recovery, ultimately, it is your decision to bring family into your recovery.
Finding support and re-establishing relationships is challenging in early recovery. Forming a relationship with a counselor is a terrific way to develop the foundational skills and emotions necessary for restoring the bonds between family and friends. At Choice House, we offer men the opportunity to work with counselors and develop trust and bonds with fellow peers that seek us for help. Our settings provide inspiration, motivation, and comfort for men that may struggle with opening up and expressing their needs in forming healthy relationships. We also move at your pace, work to meet your individual needs, and will never pressure you to take a step when you’re not ready. In addition to providing individual and group therapy, we also offer therapy for you and your family. With a provided 24/7 admissions, there is never a wrong time to reach out for guidance. If you need help, act today by calling (720) 577-4422.