Did you know that more than 21 million people suffer from an addiction, specifically a substance use addiction? Many people may choose not to seek treatment, but several hundred others understand that nothing in their lives will improve without it. Treatment can serve as an opportunity for growth and development for oneself, which can enhance important domains of life such as interpersonal relationships, health, finances, and more.
If you are researching addiction recovery, it may be unclear as to why it may be beneficial for you. To help decrease ambiguity and to give you further understanding of it, here are three benefits to engaging in substance abuse counseling.
1. Help You Learn Coping Skills
One of the main reasons it is helpful to seek help from an addiction specialist is to help ensure you learn effective coping skills to be successful in your addiction recovery. These skills will help you identify your specific high-risk situation(s) or potential trigger(s) (e.g., people, places, things, feelings) and devise ways to manage them in the “real world”. With the collaborative efforts of the addiction specialist these will likely be put in a relapse prevention plan, which can serve as a guide map for your successful sobriety journey.
Furthermore, your drug addiction counseling sessions will teach you ways to handle high-risk situation(s) or trigger(s) when it is unavoidable. You cannot always control what happens to you, but you can dictate how you respond. Cognitive reframing, assertiveness strategies, grounding techniques, and urge surfing are just a few examples of the coping skills you will learn and, over time, gain mastery on to reduce the chances of relapsing when confronted with an unavoidable circumstance. Coping skills are quintessential in recovery because, without them, someone dealing with addiction will know how to respond to stressful situations.
2. Learn to Forgive Yourself
When you are in counseling and processing through the myriad of different experiences that have taken place during your addiction, it can oftentimes be overwhelming. You may genuinely feel like everything you have done is magnified, and you begin to see how you have hurt people and what has kept you in your addiction this entire time.
When you are in active addiction, you will likely do and say things to the people you love that can cause later feelings of guilt or shame. You have to bear in mind that it is not you necessarily, but more so your addiction in-action. Counseling will teach you how to forgive yourself through strategies that promote self-compassion, self-love, and boost in your self-worth. It is understandable to feel deep guilt and shame for what you have done. However, there is a way to feel these emotions without continuing to beat yourself up for what you have done.
3. Mend Relationships
Addiction can lead to a breakdown in relationships with important social supports (e.g., friends, family, partners, children). A substance abuse counselor can act as the mitigator between you and those you hold near and dear.
A substance abuse counselor can help provide a safe space for you and your loved ones to talk and work through issues in your relationships by facilitating active listening, empathy, nonjudgmental stance, and validation. Without someone acting as the mediator and explaining certain aspects of addiction, it can lead to potential further confusion, disconnect, and further relationship turmoil.
It is not to say that having family sessions with your substance abuse counselor will solve everything. However, it will serve as a modality that will help promote healing and greater understanding for those involved.
Start Your Journey to Addiction Recovery Today
To recap, engaging in substance abuse counseling can help you understand effective coping skills and strategies that work best for you, facilitate self-compassion and self-forgiveness, and enhance reconciliation and mending interpersonal relationships with your social supports. However, these are only three mentioned and there are certainly plenty more advantages of engaging in substance abuse counseling.
Are you ready to stop addiction in its tracks and start your recovery journey? If so, Contact the Braden Counseling Center and let us help you with your substance abuse treatment needs.