Home > Treating Addictions > Counselling for an Addiction

Counselling for an Addiction

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 16 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Counselling; Addiction; Therapy;

Counselling is the exploration of a person’s life depicting the issues that are causing upset and distress emotional pain or the aims the person would like to achieve. These factors are addressed through the use of effective communication. The person receiving the counselling must be a willing participant who wants to share experiences with their counsellor in order to explore and discuss them; this person also determines the pace of the sessions and is the focal point of the session taking the lead when comfortable.

Most counsellors have a special interest such as addiction and many even have a sub-speciality such as gambling or substance abuse.

How Does It Work?

Counselling works predominantly through the ability to listen, rephrase, suggest, highlight and add clarity to situations. Many areas of life may be explored and confusion should be reduced where possible to aid the individual in recalling subjective and objective information.

Encouragement of expression is sought, especially of feelings that are normally suppressed and kept hidden. Counsellors use approved models and theories that are applied to each individuals history, and different approaches are adopted to each client.

Where Does It take Place?

Counselling is often carried out in a clinic, rehabilitation centre, a venue decided by the social service department or at the counsellor’s office.

Individuals are often more open in a relaxed, informal and neutral environment.

Costs Of Counselling

The cost of counselling varies greatly depending on the location, specialism and experience of the therapist. Some people are fortunate enough to receive funding or a referral from a healthcare professional in which case funds are provided by the NHS.

A private session typically costs between £25 and £40 per session. Session length varies usually from 40 minutes to two hours depending on the counsellor.

Who Are Counsellors?

Counsellors are often people who already work in or have a strong interest in mental health issues. They are typically nurses, social workers or psychiatric workers.

Due to the increase in course availability, anyone can in fact become a counsellor and courses range from basic certification to a Masters Degree. A certificate does not alone suggest a successful counsellor as many of the qualities needed, for example the ability to listen patiently and carefully and the ability to interpret dialogue cannot often be learned on a course, and it is these qualities that are an integral part of the role.

Counsellors are frequently ex-addicts themselves and have the added bonus of a true understanding of the disorder and are helpful in providing advice for dealing with the issues surrounding withdrawal.

Finding a Counsellor

Always ask your healthcare provider for a recommendation; these people have lots of contacts and will know who specialises in addiction and if they have a special interest in the sub-categories of addiction.

Phone the social services department and find out if they have a list of local counsellors that suggests if they have a special interest.

Use the telephone book or Citizens Advice Bureau if possible and research each counsellor on their merits.Counselling is a valuable resource for addicts as they can freely discuss fears, anxieties and experiences in a non-judgemental environment without trepidation of upsetting loved ones.

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